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
Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs (P20 Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

P20 - Research Program Projects and Centers - Exploratory Grants

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-HD-17-003
Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-HD-22-005
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
93.865
Funding Opportunity Purpose

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) invites exploratory grant applications, hereafter referred to as the Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs or LD Hubs, addressing the etiology, manifestation, prevention and remediation of reading, writing and/or mathematics specific learning disorders (SLDs). An LD Hub includes a single research project and a Leadership Core that support the goals and aims of the LD Hub. This FOA seeks to serve as a catalyst to understand and address 1) the needs of diverse, under-represented populations in SLD research, 2) the role technology plays in improving or limiting the learning experiences of children with SLD, including the impact of remote learning on service delivery, family stress, and peer socialization, 3) investigate more complex behavioral phenotypes of learners in SLD research, 4) speed the maturation of nascent/novel, high-impact, high-risk SLD studies that advance research on SLDs and demonstrate potential to directly benefit the SLD community, policy or practice, and 5) provide project embedded, career enhancing research and professional development opportunities to support the next generation of SLD scientists. This initiative provides opportunities to support planning and building of a body of research and corresponding intellectual infrastructure to enable P20 grantees to compete for large research and program project opportunities in the future.

This FOA aims to integrate research topics that are of relevance to various research programs at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and align with the NICHD Strategic Plan. The FOA intends to build cross-programmatic, trans-disciplinary and crosscutting scientific research and critically nurture the development of early career researchers capable of conducting this research.

Key Dates

Posted Date
August 25, 2021
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
October 30, 2021
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to application receipt date

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
November 30, 2021 November 30, 2021 Not Applicable March 2022 May 2022 July 2022

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on the listed date(s).

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

Expiration Date
December 01, 2021
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

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). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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



  3. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites exploratory grant applications (referred to as LD Hubs) to address understudied research topics and highly innovative and high risk research topics and approaches related to specific learning disorders impacting reading, writing, and mathematics. This program has a specific focus and requirement that projects address research topics of particular relevance and need for under-studied and under-represented populations. In line with these goals, applications in response to this FOA must address high public health impact research topics where there is limited data or where progress is limited and novel solutions are needed to improve public health outcomes. Additionally, an equal focus and requirement involves enhancing data collection reflective of the diversity of learners in the U.S. Given the exploratory nature of this funding mechanism, NICHD expressly and strongly encourages research applications that involve high-risk, high reward science. As such, it is understood that a high tolerance for risk with the potential promise of innovative solutions to meaningful public health problems is expected and responsive to this FOA. Given that this announcement encourages a high tolerance for risk, topics related to the most difficult research questions in the field are directly relevant and encouraged. LD Hubs should provide opportunities for feasibility and exploratory research endeavors that utilize, or are informed by, transdisciplinary research perspectives with the explicit goal of competitively transitioning to larger research or program projects in the future. The FOA integrates research topics that cut across various research portfolios within the Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB) of NICHD, specifically the Language, Bilingualism, and Biliteracy Program; Early Learning and School Readiness Program; Math & Science Cognition, Reasoning, & Learning - Development & Disorders Program; and Reading, Writing, and Related Learning Disabilities Program and provides formal opportunities to advance trans-disciplinary and crosscutting scientific topics and provide opportunities for project-embedded, career enhancing opportunities to support the next generation of scientists.

NICHD has had a long-standing interest in specific learning disorders (SLDs). This funding opportunity announcement is a renewal of the Learning Disabilities Innovation Hub FOA) and is intended to continue NICHD’s emphases on understudied and innovative research topics addressing the needs of individuals with SLDs that impact mathematics, reading and writing with an explicit focus on understudied populations that struggle to acquire and master relevant skills and individuals with more complex behavioral phenotypes (e.g., multiple co-occurring conditions). Consistent with this emphasis, the focus of this FOA is on developmental LDs although applications will be considered for projects with well-characterized pediatric patient populations where the underlying etiology of the learning difficulty may be difficult to ascertain and may not currently have a diagnosis of specific learning disorders (e.g., individuals with history of traumatic brain injury). The LD Hub’s research FOA writ large is designed to directly complement the Learning Disabilities Research Centers (LDRCs) Program and the broader investment in learning disabilities at the NICHD and NIH. The LDRCs have historically been focused on specific learning disorders impacting reading and more recently transitioned to be inclusive of writing and math development; the topics within the LDRCs generally represent more mature domains of inquiry and necessitate substantial preliminary data at time of application. This announcement intends to complement the scientific scope of the LDRCs with expanded attention to understudied scientific questions and populations where a minimal scientific base exists and there is a need to tolerate a high-degree of scientific risk. The LD Hub program aligns with cross-programmatic efforts within the NICHD to examine topics related to specific learning disorders and provide an opportunity for scientific maturation of early career investigators and topics such that they can transition to a LDRC, other NIH or federal research project funding opportunities. This initiative is part of a larger systemic effort within the CDBB and more broadly at the NICHD to enhance trans-disciplinary interaction, team development of diverse, next generation scholars through enriched, project-embedded career enhancing opportunities to advance team-based scientific approaches with the goal of improving outcomes for children, youth and adults with disabilities.

Pursuing lines of research inquiry directly responsive to this FOA may involve managing and mitigating various scientific risks. NICHD recognizes that lines of inquiry responsive to this FOA will likely, but not required to be, high or higher risk and expects projects proposed to emphasize innovative approaches to manage risk and address the project aims to benefit the scientific understanding of LD and individuals with LDs.

To advance the field, the LD Hubs are envisioned to serve as a conceptual hub to facilitate the development of the scientific research base and equally important corresponding resources to push the next generation of LD science and diverse cadre of scientists capable of conducting research forward. This FOA recognizes that for many scientific topics there is a limited extant research base directly relevant to the research topic; there may be difficulties in identification, recruitment and retention of particular populations of interest; and methodological challenges have limited pursuit of many research questions of express relevance to this FOA. To help address these challenges, this FOA encourages projects to leverage the existing evidence base of more rigorously specified and studied LDs and comorbidities. This will allow the field to better understand and address the needs of understudied populations of learners including those with complex behavioral phenotypes.

An express intent of this FOA is to provide opportunities for project-embedded research, professional development, and learning opportunities of a new cadre of early career investigators and build a research base on understudied topics and populations with SLDs in the areas of mathematics, reading and writing. The intent of the LD Hubs is to provide an opportunity to launch new directions and inquiries in SLD research. LD Hubs are expected to build a research base sufficiently compelling to gain future funding support and advance the understanding of complex learning challenges. As such, the LD Hubs are conceptualized as a time-limited research support opportunity and may only be renewed for one additional 4 year period for a total of up to 8 years of support. At the end of that time, investigators and projects should be sufficiently developed and prepared to transition to opportunities available through Centers programs such as the LDRC program or warrant independent support as an NIH investigator-initiated research project.

Examples of LD Hub Research Topics

Listed below are possible suggestions of the types of research topics for this FOA. This list is not intended to be comprehensive; applicants should not feel confined to the examples listed below. Regardless of the topic, applicants must develop a creative, evidence-informed approach to inclusivity and diversity in the construction of project, construction of aims and approach to sample selection and recruitment. Responsive topics include, but are not limited to, those listed below.

  • Identify and model epigenetic indicators of response-to-intervention in math and reading
  • Develop computational modeling approaches to test hypotheses of the relative emphasis of instructional elements, modeled over time, in order to guide the development of novel approaches to instruction in math, reading and writing
  • Develop computational modeling approaches to connect behavioral and neurobiological data, with the goal of developing enhanced accounts of mechanisms involved in the development of specific learning disorders
  • Develop novel approaches to enhance and speed acquisition and development of reading, math or writing for children and adolescents for learners with substantial learning challenges
  • Identify novel approaches to improving literacy outcomes for transient (e.g., homeless) and other high-risk populations (e.g., incarcerated youth)
  • Conduct longitudinal investigations of early precursors beyond approximate number acuity of math learning and learning disabilities in children 0-4 years of age.
  • Identify and elucidate the nature of risk factors for learning disabilities sensitive to differences across developmental period and population
  • Examine the manifestation and possible intervention approaches for learners with mathematics, writing, or comorbid reading disabilities using systems science approaches.
  • Develop new intervention and service delivery models for addressing the English and/or math literacy needs of low-literate or developmental, young adult learners that are based on current mechanistic evidence for intervention efficacy in specific subgroup populations (e.g., younger English Language Learners, younger persons with IDD).
  • Develop and assess new intervention and service delivery models to comprehensively address the oral language, preliteracy, and early math learning of children birth to age eight for underserved, at-risk populations.
  • Investigate the prevalence of and potential etiologic role of comorbid anxiety disorders in LD (e.g., math anxiety in math learning disability) and/or develop and assess targeted interventions for persons with comorbid anxiety disorder(s) and LD
  • Identify normative early life exposure to and spontaneous production of comparative (e.g., more than, shorter than, equally) and numeracy-related language and its relationship to early numeracy skills (e.g., Approximate Number acuity, acquisition of the principle of cardinality, object counting skills, etc.); identify the role of early exposure to numeracy-relevant language to the later development and/or refinement of numeracy and math skill.

Non-Responsive Applications:

For all submissions, applications will be deemed non-responsive to this RFA if the application:

  • Focuses on population(s) that do not substantially include individuals at risk for SLDs, diagnosed with one or more SLDS, and/or face significant and persistent learning challenges in reading, writing or mathematics
  • Involves a primary research focus on co-occurring reading disabilities and ADHD
  • Proposes a renewal that would extend a project beyond 8 years of support
  • Primarily focusing on technology development or of examining the impact of a specific technology tool regardless of the population served
  • Proposes research utilizing technology-based learning tools targeting primary and direct usage by children 3 and younger rather than targeting caregivers

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New
Renewal

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

Clinical Trial?

Optional: Accepting applications that either propose or do not propose clinical trial(s).

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NICHD intends to commit $1,600,000 in FY 2022 to fund up to 3 awards.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $390,000 in direct costs per year, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award 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 from this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local 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)

Federal Governments

  • U.S. Territory or Possession
Foreign Institutions

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

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number to register in eRA Commons. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration, but all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

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).

Funding is limited to a total of eight years for this initiative. Hence, funding for only one renewal is permitted for a specific grant.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST or an institutional system-to-system solution. A button to apply using ASSIST 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.

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, 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.

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:

Brett Miller, PhD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-9849
Email: brett.miller@nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Component Component Type for Submission Page Limit Required/Optional Minimum Maximum
Overall Overall 12 Required 1 1
Research Project Research Project 12 Required 1 1
Leadership Core Leadership Core 6 Required 1 1
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.

Overall Component

When preparing your application, 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.

Project/Performance Site Locations (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 Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

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.

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 LD Hub project overall. Describe the short- and long-term objectives and goals of the proposed LD Hub. Include the objectives for the Research Project and the Leadership Core.

Research Strategy:

The Research Strategy section of the Overall Component serves to introduce the proposed LD Hub and its objectives, identify the focus or theme of research addressed in the proposed LD Hub, describe the project-embedded research, professional development, and learning opportunities for early career scholars to support their trajectories towards independent SLD research, the goals and planned activities for the Leadership Core and importantly, the synergy between the research and leadership core activities.

To be responsive to this FOA, applicants must explicitly indicate to which and how their application responds to one, and only one of the three foci listed below. Note, these foci are not mutually exclusive; applicants are guided to select the single most central focus from the three foci below. Given the strong focus historically on reading and ADHD in the Learning Disabilities Research Centers' program and via the R01 funding mechanism, applications with a primary focus on co-occurring reading disabilities and ADHD will be deemed non-responsive to this RFA:

1) Expanding representation/inclusion: Applicants must have a primary focus on a population of learners that have been historically under-represented in SLD research. These learners must be at risk for SLDs, diagnosed with one or more SLDs and co-occurring condition(s) or face significant and sustained learning challenges resistant to intervention. The goal is to inform the nature and development of learning challenges for these children/young adults and to build a research base that informs service development and/or delivery for all learners.

For applicants claiming this focus, the application must include a justification of the selected population(s) proposed and how these population(s) constitute an under-represented population at risk for SLDs, diagnosed with one or more SLDs and co-occurring condition(s) or face significant and sustained learning challenges in mathematics, reading and/or writing. Additionally, applicants need to explicitly describe and utilize innovative recruitment and/or methodological approaches to ensure adequate participant recruitment from groups historically under-represented in SLD research and rigor and reproducibility of the proposed research.

2) Pushing innovation: Applicants must propose innovative (potentially high risk), under-studied research topics involving either individuals at risk for SLDs, diagnosed with one or more SLDS, and/or face significant and persistent learning challenges in reading, writing or mathematics. These projects may be wholly focused on at-risk or understudied populations; however, all projects must over-sample individuals from groups that have been historically under-represented in SLD research. Preference will be given to projects focused on individuals with complex behavioral phenotypes (e.g., multiple SLDs or SLD and co-occurring condition(s)).

Applications claiming this focus must provide evidence that the topic is understudied and provide justification for how the research topic and/or approach constitute an innovation. As these applications are expected to be higher risk, applicants should ensure an appropriate risk mitigation plan is included as part of the requirements outlined in the FOA for the Leadership Core.

3) Technology and learning: Applicants must propose projects examining the use of technology by learners directly or instructor/caregiver led, including remote learning, for individuals at risk for SLDs, diagnosed with one or more SLDs and co-occurring condition(s) or face significant and sustained learning challenges. Individuals pursuing this topic should be particularly sensitive to differences in IT infrastructure across schools, libraries, homes, etc. and to the extent possible utilize this variability as a natural experiment to inform and innovate learning solutions flexible enough to address individuals with diverse learning needs. This topic’s primary focus must be on generating generalizable results focused on mechanisms of learning.

Projects primarily focused on examining the efficacy of a specific IT learning solution are not within scope of this initiative. Applicants utilizing this topic may only propose research on technology-based learning for ages 4 and up if the project directly targets the child/young adult; alternatively, projects examining caregiver/instructor usage of technology-based learning tools does not have an age restriction.

All applications should provide an overview of the major themes of the overall project, its goals and objectives, background information and the overall importance of the research to the theme of this project, which must align to one (or more) of the FOA foci listed above. Explain the strategy for achieving the goals defined for the overall grant and how the single Research Project and single Leadership Core relate to that strategy. Explain how the different aspects of the organization, including key personnel, will coordinate and communicate, why they are essential to accomplishing the overall goal of the research, how the combined resources create a synergistic, overall programmatic effort of integrated research and describe how the project-embedded, research experiences, professional development and learning activities support the next generation of LD scholars. Include any necessary tables, graphs, figures, diagrams and charts in this section.

Additionally, provide the following information as part of the research strategy:

All applicants must discuss the philosophy, objectives, and potential impact of the proposed Research Project and Leadership Core on specific learning disorders research and describe how they would build on resources and expertise of the applicant institution (and collaborative institutions), if applicable. Provide background on recent advances, limitations, and overall impact on research in domains of relevance to the application and more broadly to the field of learning disabilities research.

Letters of Support: Please include only letters that reflect support for overall activities of the entire LD Hub.

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.

NICHD Plans for Sharing Human and Non-Human Data and/or Biospecimens

NICHD expects that data, biospecimens, and results of NICHD-funded research will be shared with the wider scientific community to the extent feasible and in a timely manner. NIH Data Sharing Policy expects the timely release and sharing of data to be no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset. All NICHD applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, must include a Sharing Plan that addresses sharing of data as well as biospecimens, if applicable. Ideally, this plan would include submitting data or biospecimens to an appropriate repository. These plans will also be considered by program staff as award decisions are being made as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program.

Specifically, for human data, the NICHD encourages the use of the Data and Specimen Hub (DASH), a centralized resource for researchers to store and access de-identified data from studies funded by NICHD. They can also submit information about the location and availability of biospecimens to DASH, if applicable. Submission of data to the NICHD DASH is one way that grantees may meet the requirements of the NIH Data Sharing Policy and make study data available for secondary analyses. Information about DASH may be obtained at https://dash.nichd.nih.gov/.

If use of DASH is not feasible, NICHD expects awardees to share data and/or biospecimens through other equivalent broad-sharing data and/or biospecimen repositories. For projects generating large-scale human genetic data, applicants should provide a Provisional or Institutional Certification specifying whether the individual-level data can be shared through an NIH approved repository, such as dbGaP, in line with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-14-124.html).

Appendix:

Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Overall)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, there must be at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or a Delayed Onset Study record within the application. The study record(s) must be included in the component(s) where the work is being done, unless the same study spans multiple components. To avoid the creation of duplicate study records, a single study record with sufficient information for all involved components must be included in the Overall component when the same study spans multiple components.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form (Overall)

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

Research Project

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Research Project)

Complete only the following fields:

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

 

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Research Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

 

Research & Related Other Project Information (Research Project)

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

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

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

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

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

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

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

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

 

Budget (Research Project)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Project)

Specific Aims: Include Specific Aims for the LD Hub 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. Cite published experimental details and provide the full reference in the Bibliography and References Cited section. Clearly describe the project's objectives and explain its relevance to the overall LD Hub program's theme. Specify the significance of the work proposed to our understanding of learning difficulties and specific learning disorders (SLD) in domains relevant to the scope of the research. For applications, no pilot or preliminary data is required. Note that renewal applications must provide a Progress Report as part of the research strategy section.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to provide a cogent argument for the choices of aims/topics, study populations and methods proposed. Applicants must clearly describe the developmental characteristics of their proposed sample(s) and how study of SLD(s) in this population will contribute to our larger understanding of SLDs and to other populations with significant learning difficulties. Additionally, please describe the methods planned for recruitment and retention of participants, SLD or SLD risk identification, broader behavioral description of the participants, and definition of learning difficulties/disabilities planned. Applicants must describe the developmental epoch under study. Note, no preference will be given for a particular developmental epoch from birth through early adulthood. When addressing SLD research in early adulthood, NICHD is especially interested in struggling learners that are seeking remedial skill development in mathematics, reading, and/or writing in post-secondary or workplace programs but otherwise achieve performance levels commensurate with adult basic and adult secondary education. Adult populations other than young adult learners is out of scope for this initiative.

Applicants should describe how planned project-embedded, research experiences, professional development activities, and learning opportunities for early career scholars would occur within the scope of the research activities proposed. More generally, descriptions must include plans for involvement of individuals who are members of groups that are currently underrepresented in scientific domains relevant to LD research. Renewals should describe the involvement of early career scholars in the previous funding cycle as part of the progress report.  

Letters of Support: Please provide any letters of support directly relevant to the research project.

Resource Sharing Plan: A Resource Sharing Plan is not required with this component. A Resource Sharing plan must be included in the Overall section of the application.

Appendix:

Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

 

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Research Project)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or a Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

 

Leadership Core

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

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Leadership 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 (Leadership Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Leadership 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) (Leadership 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 (Leadership 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 (Leadership Core)

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

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

PHS 398 Research Plan (Leadership Core)

Specific Aims: Include Specific Aims for the LD Hub Leadership Core.

Research Strategy:

In the description of the Leadership Core, applicants must clearly describe the 1) overall administration plans for the LD Hub, 2) scientific risk mitigation strategy that will be utilized to minimize foreseeable risk and to identify and resolve challenges as they arise, 3) the meaningful integration of early career researchers, defined as pre-doctoral or medical students, post-doctoral individuals, and investigators who have recently finished their pre-doctoral, medical, or post-doctoral training and are pursuing research careers (e.g., assistant professor level faculty). These individuals should be involved in the planning and execution of a research project as appropriate to their level of training and experience and recruitment schedule.

Applicants should describe plans to provide career enhancing opportunities for early career researchers through meaningful integration in the proposed research project and describe the oversight and management of this process by the Leadership Core. The intent is to provide project-embedded, career enhancing research and professional development opportunities to support the next generation of SLD scientists.

Specifically, as part of the Leadership Core, the applicant must:

Provide an overall management plan for the LD Hub

  • Describe the experience, accomplishments, and expertise of the Core Lead and other key core personnel. Please emphasize group synergies not apparent from individual experiences, accomplishments, and expertise. Information in the biographical sketches may be referenced and should not be repeated here.
  • Explain specific plans and procedures to ensure that the core is cost-efficient. If there are cost-sharing arrangements (note that cost-sharing is not a requirement of this FOA), describe them.
  • Provide explicit benchmarks that will be used to evaluate the success of the Leadership Core.
  • Develop and include a risk mitigation plan that identifies, monitors and mitigates known and emergent risks to the scientific project inclusive of the career enhancement activities.
  • Develop a formal publication plan covering the duration of the project. Publication plan will be requested at the beginning of an award for all funded applications.
  • The NIH continues to encourage institutions to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Applicants must discuss efforts to promote diversity within the NIH-funded scientific workforce and describe how they will identify and address barriers that may impede the participation of underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities in the proposed program.
  • Protocols for extra-Hub data sharing as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program.
     

Advisory Boards: Because of their complexity and higher risk nature of relevant science, all LD Hubs grants require guidance and interaction with a mix of early-/mid-career and senior members of the scientific community not directly involved in the conduct of the proposed research activities and operations. Applicants must develop plans for an External Advisory Board to provide objective outside counsel and periodic review of the LD Hub’s activities and progress including objective input to the PD/PI on the review and recommendations for support of proposed pilot projects (if applicable). Applicants are not to contact or select Advisory Board members at time of application. In the case of renewal applications only, please list the existing advisory board members for the current, funded LD Hub as a historic reference. All applicants should describe the operation of the Board, including size, structure, function, and frequency of meetings, as well as the scientific expertise to be recruited. Renewal applications should not specify whether existing members will be recruited in the future, but instead focus on the scientific expertise needed for the renewal application. Members of the Advisory Board are to be selected and confirmed, and notification sent to program staff at NICHD, within four months after the award date. Provisions for costs of the Advisory Board are to be included in the application budget request and justification.

Letters of Support: Provide letters of support for the Leadership Core.

Resource Sharing Plan: A Resource Sharing Plan is not required with this component. A Resource Sharing plan must be included in the Overall section of the application.

Appendix:

Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Leadership Core)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or a Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

 

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

 

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

For this specific announcement, please note the following: 

The overall LD Hub Project will be evaluated as an integrated research effort focused on one or more research areas.  The relationship and contributions of the Research Project and Leadership Core to the central theme will be discussed and evaluated. Reviewers will assign an impact score based on assessment of the scientific and technical merit of the LD Hub overall. Reviewers do not need to weigh all components of the application equally and may weigh the research project and overall review more heavily in their final review of impact of the application.

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

Overall Impact - Overall

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 - 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 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 the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Will there be coordination, cohesiveness, and synergy between the Research Project and Core as they relate to the common theme of the LD Hub?

What is the likelihood the LD Hub will enhance collaborative efforts and bring transdisciplinary perspectives together to advancement of LD science?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

Investigator(s)

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

Does the team include established or emerging investigators from complementary research fields that could make a substantial contribution to the LD Hub?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

Approach

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

Is the LD Hub's overall strategy to foster scientific interactions and the development of more mature line of LD research appropriate and likely to succeed? Will it provide the foundation necessary to establish a well-integrated research team that is capable of generating new and innovative research grant applications?

Does the application present an effective resource and data sharing plan?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

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

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

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

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

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

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

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

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

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

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

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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 categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

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 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).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

Scored Review Criteria - Research Project

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

Significance

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

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

Investigator(s)

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

Does the team include established or emerging investigators from complementary research fields that could make a substantial contribution to the LD Hub?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

Approach

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

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

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

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

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

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

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

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

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

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

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

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

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

Additional Review Criteria - Research Project

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 categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

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 Project

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

Not applicable. A Resource Sharing Plan is not required with this component. A Resource Sharing plan must be included in the Overall section of the application.

 

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

 

Scored Review Criteria – Leadership Core

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

Significance

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

 

Investigator(s)

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

Does the team include established or emerging investigators from complementary research fields that could make a substantial contribution to the LD Hub?

Innovation

Does the leadership core 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, or instrumentation 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, or instrumentation proposed?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the research project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed core activities? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the core activities 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?

Are the Core plans adequate to assure meaningful integration of early career researchers in research activities? Are there effective administrative structures for day-to-day management of the LD Hub, including arrangements for internal quality control of ongoing research? Are there adequate benchmarks to evaluate the success of the core and its impact on participants or groups that utilize its services?

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

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 – Leadership Core

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 categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

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 – Leadership Core

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

Not applicable -- A Resource Sharing Plan is not required with this component. A Resource Sharing plan must be included in the Overall section of the application.

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 will receive a written critique.

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

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines 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 appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

Recipients must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

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

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

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

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

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

Prior Approval of Pilot Projects

Recipient-selected projects that involve {clinical trials or studies involving greater than minimal risk to human subjects} require prior approval by NIH prior to initiation.

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 laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex. This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html.

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.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

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

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients 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 recipients 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 agreementsare required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Brett Miller, PhD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-9849
Email: brett.miller@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Sherry Dupere, PhD
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)

Maggie Young
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-642-4552
Email: youngmar@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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