Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information


Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Funding Opportunity Title

Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER2) - Coordinating Center (U24)

Activity Code

U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-HG-12-008

Related Notices
  • June 2, 2016 - Notice Announcing Pre-application Information Webinar for Clinical Sequencing Evidence-generating Research (CSER2) Requests For Applications (RFAs) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding Clinical Sequencing Funding Opportunities. See Notice NOT-HG-16-021.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number


Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-HG-16-010, U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

RFA-HG-16-011, U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

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


Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity is to provide support for

centralized coordination of the activities funded under the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER2) Consortium (RFA-HG-16-010 and RFA-HG-16-011).

Key Dates


Posted Date

May 6, 2016

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

July 5, 2016

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

July 5, 2016

Application Due Date(s)

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

No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

November 2016

Advisory Council Review

January 2017

Earliest Start Date

June 2017

Expiration Date

August 6, 2016

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

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

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

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

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide support for centralized coordination of the activities funded under the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER2) Consortium (RFA-HG-16-010 and RFA-HG-16-011). Together with 3-6 Clinical Sites and 3-6 Clinical Sites with Enhanced Diversity, the Coordinating Center (CC) awardee will constitute the Clinical Sequencing Evidence Generating Research (CSER2) Consortium, the goals of which will be to: 1) define, generate and analyze evidence regarding the clinical utility of genome sequencing in multiple clinical contexts; 2) research the critical interactions among patients, family members, health practitioners, and clinical laboratories that influence implementation of clinical genome sequencing; and 3) identify and address real-world barriers to integrating genomic, clinical, and healthcare utilization data within a healthcare system(s) to build a shared evidence base for clinical decision-making.

Definitions.  For the purposes of this FOA, the following definitions are used:

  • "Clinical Sites" refer collectively to the sites to be funded under RFA-HG-16-010 (Clinical Sites) and RFA-HG-16-011 (Clinical Sites with Enhanced Diversity), who will address the Objectives described in the respective FOAs.
  • "Clinical utility" is defined broadly as the assessment that a genomic intervention will lead to an improved health outcome, including diagnosis, treatment, management, or disease prevention that will benefit a patient or his/her family members, as described in a position statement from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG; While CSER2 will focus primarily on clinical utility of sequencing to patients and family members, additional work on personal utility, related to interventions for which clinical benefit is less well defined, is also of interest.
  • "Healthcare settings" refers to the healthcare context in which medical care is provided (e.g., specialized medical centers, community clinics, primary care).
  • "Clinical conditions" refers to the ways in which patients are characterized according to presence or absence of disease (e.g., healthy individuals, individuals with particular diseases).
  • "Diversity" is used in reference to the inclusion of patients who come from racial or ethnic minority populations, underserved populations, or populations who experience poorer medical outcomes, and will be used in part to distinguish the expectations for patient recruitment and retention by applicants to RFA-HG-16-010 (CSER2 Clinical sites) from those to RFA-HG-16-011 (CSER2 Clinical Sites with Enhanced Diversity).
  • "Stakeholders" include groups traditionally outside academic research settings who will have a vested interest in the best practices and evidence generated by CSER2, such as professional societies, regulatory agencies, payers, and patient advocacy groups.
  • "Genome sequencing" refers broadly to DNA-based sequencing approaches that interrogate a  patient's genome sequence using next generation sequencing technologies, including but not limited to targeted gene sequencing panels of at least 100 genes, whole exome sequencing (WES) or whole genome sequencing (WGS). Large-scale targeted genotyping arrays would not be considered genome sequencing.
  • "Evidence" refers to information generated in the course of CSER2, including, but not limited to:  data, records, observations, outcomes, analyses, measures, publications, best practices, and recommendations.

CSER (RFA-HG-10-017, was funded in 2011, and expanded in 2013, to explore the use of genome sequencing in clinical care and to identify associated challenges and opportunities in a variety of clinical contexts (e.g., pre-conception screening, pediatrics, cancer, and healthy adults). Additional information on CSER may be found at or A key feature of CSER has been integrated and coordinated efforts to address challenges and opportunities in targeted areas, implemented largely through Working Groups. To date, nine Working Groups have been established: Actionability-Return of Results, Electronic Health Records, Genetic Counseling, Informed Consent and Governance, Outcomes and Measures, Pediatrics, Practitioner Education, Sequencing Standards, and Tumor. These efforts have culminated in a number of scientific advances, including models for genomics-oriented informed consent tailored to the care setting, recommendations to improve the consistency of genomic variant interpretation, and approaches to the disclosure of primary pediatric and tumor findings and of secondary findings more broadly. Collaborating with the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network, CSER has also identified barriers and recommended approaches to incorporating genomic information in electronic health records. Valuable CSER products also include contributions to and leadership on three sets of ACMG recommendations (relating to secondary findings, variant interpretation, and clinical laboratory standards), case studies and single site publications, methodological and tool development, and collaborations with other consortia. CSER research products are available at:

In prioritizing opportunities for clinical genome sequencing research, NHGRI sought wide input in a series of workshops: Future Opportunities for Genome Sequencing and Beyond (, Genomic Medicine VIII Workshop (, Roundtable on Inclusion and Engagement of

Underrepresented Populations in Genomics ( and Integrating Genomic Sequencing into Clinical Care: CSER and Beyond ( The scope and objectives of CSER2 outlined below reflect the highest priority recommendations focusing on the clinical encounter: defining, generating and analyzing evidence for clinical utility of genome sequencing; addressing research at the intersections of patients, family members, practitioners, and laboratories to improve implementation of genomic sequencing during the clinical encounter; and identifying and addressing real-world barriers to integrating genomic, clinical, and healthcare utilization data within a healthcare system and exchanging data across healthcare systems.

To address these recommendations, the multidisciplinary approach to characterizing the clinical encounter and broad spectrum of clinical conditions that characterized CSER will continue. However, several new aspects are proposed for CSER2:

  • CSER2 will have a more specific Consortium-wide focus on assessing the clinical utility of genome sequencing that includes the identification, generation, and analysis of consensus measures.
  • CSER2 will focus more deeply on research opportunities at the intersections of three key domains: 1) patient and family, 2) health practitioner, and 3) clinical laboratory.
  • Ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) research will continue to be required, but may be integrated throughout each site and need not be segmented into a separate sub-project.
  • CSER2 Clinical Sites will compare two or more genomic testing modalities (genomic sequencing, standard of care, etc.) to facilitate rigorous evidence generation and evaluation, such as through randomized trials or comparative effectiveness research. Clinical Sites will be expected to include at least one modality that is a DNA-based genome sequencing approach, as defined above. In contrast to CSER, this may include multi-gene sequencing panels, as well as WES and WGS.
  • CSER2 will have an expanded focus on patient diversity. A minimum of 25% diverse patients who satisfy the above definition of "diversity" will be required for the companion FOA soliciting applications from Clinical Sites (RFA HG-16-010), and at least 60% of patients who satisfy this definition of "diversity" will be required for the companion FOA soliciting applications from Clinical Sites with Enhanced Diversity (RFA HG-16-011).
  • CSER2 will have increased emphasis on broadening the range of healthcare settings beyond academic medical centers, to advance the effective use of clinical genomics outside of tertiary academic hospitals.
  • CSER2 will increase its collaborative efforts with stakeholders in the clinical implementation of genomic sequencing.
Objectives of this Research Program

The CSER2 CC will work together with the CSER2 Clinical Sites to accomplish the objectives of this research program:

1. Define, generate and analyze evidence regarding the clinical utility of genome sequencing in multiple clinical contexts.

CSER2 Clinical Sites will each propose site-specific measures of clinical utility relevant to the clinical condition(s) and patients at each site and to the healthcare setting in which care is being provided. They will work together and with the Coordinating Center to identify consensus measures for clinical utility, which, as described in the "Definitions" section above, may include evaluations of patient diagnosis, family implications, and personal utility. Proposed measures of clinical utility may be novel or existing. It is expected that some measures may be site specific. However, consensus will be needed across sites to identify and implement common measures. Each CSER2 Clinical Site is anticipated to include and analyze at least 1,100 patients over the entire term of the award, with the potential for larger sample sizes per site as funding and scientific priorities permit. By using standardized measures, the >10,000 patients anticipated to be studied across CSER2 will provide a large sample of ancestrally, clinically and socioeconomically diverse patients, from a spectrum of clinical conditions and healthcare settings, that can be used for Consortium-wide analyses, including comparisons and sub-group analyses. An important component of CSER2 evidence generation will include comparing the clinical utility of genome sequencing to alternative modalities, with preference for established modalities such as standard of care or targeted gene sequencing panels. Clinical Sites are encouraged to evaluate the utility of clinical genomic applications across diverse populations and healthcare settings, to assess whether differences in utility exist and if so, how to address them.

2. Research the critical interactions among patients, family members, health practitioners, and clinical laboratories that influence implementation of clinical genome sequencing.

CSER2 Clinical Sites will each propose research focused at the point of the clinical encounter, where patients and family members, health practitioners and clinical laboratories intersect. Many such topics were initially explored in CSER; CSER2 will expand upon these topics as well as investigate more deeply the outcomes and implications of returning genomic results.  Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Patient-centered recruitment and retention, including approaches tailored to diverse or underserved patients, or for use in varied healthcare settings
  • Genomic variant interpretation and disclosure of genomic results, including approaches tailored to ancestrally diverse populations
  • Collection of structured phenotype information to facilitate data sharing between health practitioners and clinical laboratories and across sites
  • Patient/family-centered measures of utility
  • Reanalysis of existing genomic data, e.g., in the context of new outcomes, new variant interpretation
  • Characterizing the implications of a genomic finding on subsequent clinical outcomes or healthcare utilization

3.  Identify and address real-world barriers to integrating genomic, clinical, and healthcare utilization data within an existing healthcare system to build a shared evidence base for clinical decision-making.

In the course of addressing the two aims above, CSER2 will contribute to understanding how genomic information may be clinically useful to patients, family members, practitioners and laboratories. Such evidence will be disseminated in a number of ways, e.g., directly to the individuals involved, through publication of best practices and recommendations, and through data sharing via resources such as dbGaP and ClinVar. To realize the potential of such evidence to accelerate translation of genomic findings, CSER2 Clinical Sites will also identify and address barriers to integrating genomic, clinical, social and behavioral, and healthcare utilization data that tend to be siloed within a prototypical healthcare system(s).

CSER's work establishing clinical sequencing pipelines at each site, in diverse clinical contexts, helped establish recommendations and best practices to allow for collaborative studies of clinical genome sequencing. Similarly, CSER2 will endeavor to facilitate a data integration process at each site and encourage interoperability of processes, standards, best practices, and data across sites and with external healthcare systems as feasible. As common opportunities or best practices that apply across diseases and healthcare settings are identified, these opportunities will in turn contribute to broader efforts to build a shared evidence base for clinical decision-making, such as through the ClinGen Program (, which aims to build an authoritative central resource that defines the clinical relevance of genes and variants for use in precision medicine and research, or the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program (, which leverages advances in genomics, emerging methods for managing and analyzing large data sets while protecting privacy, and health information technology to accelerate biomedical discoveries.


ELSI research will remain a major aspect of CSER2, and should extend beyond the forays into return of results and psychosocial outcomes that were the main focus of CSER to the broader set of ELSI issues raised by the assessment of clinical utility in the diverse populations and healthcare settings being studied in CSER2. ELSI expertise and research should be integrated across all three CSER2 aims.

Patient diversity and breadth of clinical conditions and healthcare settings

The inclusion of diverse patients, a broad range of healthcare settings and a spectrum of clinical conditions will be crucial to accomplishing CSER2's goals. Central to this focus is research that will assess and improve the current processes of recruitment, testing, and follow-up of patients from diverse racial and ethnic groups, as well as those from the range of as-yet understudied clinical healthcare settings where genomic medicine might be put into practice. This research includes the examination of novel ELSI issues that may arise as genomic medicine is implemented more broadly across the United States (U.S.), including research designed to explore how best to maximize the likelihood that clinical genomics will help to ameliorate, rather than exacerbate, health disparities in the U.S.

Stakeholder Engagement

The meaningful involvement of stakeholders such as professional societies, payers, regulatory agencies and patient groups will be important to CSER2. CSER2 sites, including the CC, are expected to solicit and be responsive to stakeholder input regarding clinical utility measures or other relevant evidence to be generated and refined in CSER2. In turn, this process is anticipated to enhance the applicability of CSER2 evidence for decision-making by stakeholders, such as the establishment or refinement of best practices or implementation or reimbursement policies, or contribution to other evidentiary frameworks. Finally, through regular interactions and collaborations with stakeholders, CSER2 will be well positioned to respond to emerging needs for evidence and accelerate adoption of genome sequencing approaches demonstrated to have clinical utility. The CSER2 Consortium will develop and implement a consortium-wide Stakeholder Engagement Plan to identify and collaborate with relevant stakeholders throughout the research process, in their roles as co-investigators, liaisons, or other capacities.


Role of the Coordinating Center

To facilitate the work of the Consortium so as to increase the efficiency and reach of the Consortium as a whole, this FOA will establish a CC. The CC will work collaboratively with CSER2 investigators, stakeholders (as defined above), other relevant NHGRI programs and NIH staff to enable a robust research program promoting the assessment of clinical utility of genome sequencing and responsible implementation of genomic information into clinical care. To meet this goal, the applicant is expected to propose and demonstrate the capability to implement action plans in multiple areas of scientific and administrative coordination. Scientific expertise in multiple areas is necessary so that the CC can facilitate and support the Consortium and its diversity of active Working Groups and to organize the development of best practices in these areas. The current CSER Working Groups as listed above ("Background") will form the basis for CSER2 Working Groups although Working Groups may be disbanded or newly formed as agreed upon by the Steering Committee.

The proposed CC will work with all CSER2 Clinical Sites to identify issues that have broad applicability, within and external to the CSER Consortia; accelerate the resolution of these issues; and disseminate methods, tools and best practices. The CC will also be responsible for key logistical and administrative aspects of the program, including meeting planning (including coordination of travel for 10 additional participants or program advisors per meeting), generating and distributing documents, and facilitating Consortium-wide communication. Although the primary focus of the CC will be on collaborative activities undertaken by the CSER2 Working Groups, where needed the CC will provide direct assistance to individual Clinical Sites, help to develop common methods and tools, and facilitate cross-study approaches.

Within the context of the 2011 NHGRI Strategic Plan (, the CSER Program will have an important role in defining key challenges and opportunities in clinical sequencing and genomic medicine. Similar efforts are ongoing at other academic medical institutions; the research and insight generated by this Program will benefit the entire field by developing and widely disseminating methods and best practices and, where appropriate, interacting with these other efforts.

Program Formation and Governance

The award made under this FOA will be a cooperative agreement (see Section VI.2., Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award). Close interaction among awardees and the NIH will be required to develop appropriate strategies and tools to carry out this program. A Consortium will be organized with all of the principal investigators and key personnel funded under this FOA and the companion CSER2 FOAs.

The Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) from each Clinical Site, Clinical Site with Enhanced Diversity, and Coordinating Center, along with the NIH Project Scientist(s), will be responsible for the scientific direction of the Consortium and will meet in person as a Steering Committee three times per year and by conference call on an ongoing (likely monthly) basis. Soon after funding, the CSER2 Steering Committee will meet to set CSER2-wide goals for the project period. The Steering Committee will propose and collect Consortium-wide measures of clinical utility; identify and address common recruitment, sequencing, analytic, translational and ELSI issues; review preliminary results; explore opportunities for synergy among studies; develop best practices, and design and implement a Stakeholder Engagement Plan. The Steering Committee is expected to establish subcommittees and Working Groups to facilitate collaborative work and standardize approaches. CSER2 Working Groups may build on existing CSER Working Groups or be newly formed to meet CSER2 goals. Working Groups may propose new research collaborations with non-network investigators and organizations, as long as the activities are conducted in accordance with the policies and practices of the Consortium. Key collaborators and pre- and postdoctoral trainees, in addition to the PD(s)/PI(s), will be eligible to attend Steering Committee meetings..

A separate FOA will be issued to support investigator-initiated research in clinical sequencing that enhances understanding of how genome sequencing can best be used in clinical care ( PAR-16-209. These grantees are expected to conduct research independent of CSER2. They will be introduced to the Consortium shortly after award and invited, but not required, to attend CSER2 Steering Committee meetings. The Coordinating Center will be responsible for organizing a yearly meeting for these grantees, which may be in conjunction with one of the CSER2 Steering Committee meetings. As was done in CSER with the inclusion of investigators on several grants studying the ELSI issues related to the return of results, investigators on other relevant NHGRI-funded investigator-initiated ELSI grants may also be integrated into CSER2 to augment the ELSI expertise available at the Clinical Sites. The CC would coordinate and support travel for an average of 10 additional participants per in person Steering Committee meeting, to include these ELSI investigators as well as members of the External Scientific Panel.  

Data Sharing in this Initiative

Consistent with achieving the goals of the program, NIH expects that the project datasets (for phenotypic, environmental, covariate, process, and other relevant data) and associated sequencing data from CSER2 will be widely shared with the scientific community for research, while carefully observing standards of patient privacy, confidentiality, and management of health information. This includes outcomes and measures standardized across CSER2 sites, particularly those generated by CSER2 Working Groups or as part of the CSER2 Stakeholder Engagement Plan. Awardees are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy ( Resources such as study protocols, informed consent form templates, results report templates, and bioinformatic tools are expected to be made available through an open access section of a database such as dbGaP, other public web sites, and publication in the scientific literature. The primary responsibility of sharing project-specific data rests with the individual Clinical Sites; however, the CC may be requested to help track completion of tasks and share CSER2-wide data and metadata on behalf of the CSER2 Consortium. Although NHGRI expects project datasets from genomic studies selected as part of this FOA to be available through NIH databases such as dbGaP and ClinVar, the NHGRI does not intend these databases to become the exclusive source of this program’s data.

After the initial review, NHGRI program staff will conduct an additional administrative review of the plan for sharing data and may negotiate modifications of the data sharing plan with the prospective awardee. The final negotiated version of the data sharing plan will become a term and condition of the award of the cooperative agreement.

External Input to the Network

Stakeholder Engagement Plan. As described above, the CSER2 Steering Committee will design and implement a Stakeholder Engagement Plan - a Consortium-wide strategy to seek input from stakeholders such as professional societies, payers, regulatory agencies, and patient groups on evidence used to assess clinical utility. Acknowledging that engagement can take many forms, particularly in the context of diverse patients and different clinical conditions and healthcare settings, applicants are encouraged to propose both CC-specific and CSER2-wide approaches for stakeholder engagement.

External Scientific Panel.

An External Scientific Panel (ESP) will evaluate the progress of the CSER2 program, providing recommendations to the network about the progress and scientific direction of all components of the program. The CSER Steering Committee will meet with members of the ESP twice a year, once in-person and once through teleconference. The Steering Committee will receive, consider, and respond in writing to a report of the ESP’s comments.  .

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

Section II. Award Information


Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed



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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NHGRI intends to commit up to $1M in FY2017 to fund 1 award.

Award Budget

Application budgets should not exceed $645K direct costs per year, and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The total award period for this FOA is 4 years (FY17-FY20).

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

o    Hispanic-serving Institutions

o    Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o    Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o    Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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


  • 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)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession


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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

Awards will not be made to the same PDs/PIs in any of the CSER2 FOAs (RFA HG-16-010, HG-16-011, or HG-16-012) and PAR-16-209.. Investigators are allowed to apply for both the CSER2 FOAs and PAR-16-209. , but should be cautioned that they will not be eligible to be funded for both.

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

Applicants must obtain the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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:

Lucia A. Hindorff, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Telephone: 240-271-1509

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  The PD/PI is expected to devote at least 1.8 person months (15% of full-time professional effort) to this Program. For applications proposing multiple PD(s)/PI(s), at least one PD/PI must devote a minimum of 1.2 months (10% of full-time professional effort) to this Program. Individuals with expertise in clinical implementation, sequencing, integration of genomic variants into EMR, informed consent, genetic counseling, assessment of clinical and psychosocial outcomes, ELSI, and healthcare utilization should be included.

R&R Budget

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

The cost of organizing three CSER2 meetings per year, including travel for an average of ten additional participants or advisors per meeting (eight NHGRI External Scientific Panel members attending once per year, seven ELSI investigator-initiated awardees attending three times per year) should be included in the proposed research budget. The costs of necessary staff members from the Coordinating Center, to attend these meetings, as well as the costs associated with monthly conference calls should also be included in the proposed research budget. The CC will be expected to plan for one meeting per year for grantees of the Investigator-Initiated Clinical Sequencing Research Program (PAR-16-209). The cost of organizing and facilitating this meeting should be included in the proposed research budget.

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Specific Aims: List each aim for the study site and how it supports the Objectives of this Research Program as described in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description.

Research Strategy: Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to in coordinating and facilitating the specific aims of the project. The application should clearly describe approaches for coordinating and facilitating development and dissemination of best practices for incorporation of genomic data into clinical care, including clinical utility measures, informed consent and disclosure of incidental genetic findings and findings of potential clinical relevance for use in clinical care.

Applicants should describe their approaches to providing integrative, organizational and logistical support and facilitation of the CSER Steering Committee (SC), subcommittees, and Working Groups. Prior experience serving in a coordinating role should be described. Relevant activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tracking, scheduling, and facilitating committee meetings and conference calls;
  • Preparing concise minutes or summaries of meetings for distribution;
  • Planning for CSER2 Consortium meetings and meetings of the Investigator-Initiated Clinical Sequencing Research Program.
  • Initiating outreach activities that will help make CSER2 resources as widely accessible and highly utilized as possible;
  • Tracking release of data and tools generated by the consortium;
  • Serving as a repository of Consortium documents and practices;
  • Generating Consortium progress reports for NHGRI staff and the External Scientific Panel;
  • Facilitating harmonization of data formats for dissemination;
  • Facilitating communication between studies and data repositories;
  • Providing assistance as needed to investigative groups for data analysis (especially multi-study analyses as needed), to NCBI for receiving and disseminating descriptive and association data, and to the NHGRI Program Office for program management;
  • Interacting with all of the participants of the program to determine issues that have broad applicability, such as informed consent, sequencing, data exchange standards, genomic variant interpretation, analysis methodology, electronic health records and dissemination of genomic findings, and organizing the process of developing best practices related to these issues;
  • Collaborating with other awardees in the development and design of research methods, protocols, tools, and strategies;
  • Summarizing and synthesizing efforts across the CSER2 Consortium to implement use of genomic variants in research and clinical care.

Applicants should also describe their plans for ensuring the security and integrity of program-wide data and for maintaining the privacy of study participants. Recognizing that the CSER2 Consortium is part of a broader scientific effort to integrate sequencing into the clinical context, applicants are asked to describe plans for outreach by which they will engage similar clinical sequencing efforts, many already or likely to be launched at research (and non-research) medical centers during the course of this program. Consistent with a goal of leveraging existing studies, the awardee under this initiative also will be expected to coordinate productively with related ongoing efforts supported by NIH, as applicable.

The exact boundaries of the activities of the CC and other CSER2 participants are not possible to delineate in their entirety at this time, and will depend in large degree on the capacities and experience of the Clinical Sites selected. The full range of responsibilities will be negotiated once the project is funded and underway. Applicants should describe their willingness to be flexible in assuming or relinquishing responsibilities as program needs arise, and the expertise that makes them uniquely qualified to meet these evolving needs.

Applicants should be aware of the expectations for the CSER2 Clinical Sites and the Clinical Sites with Enhanced Diversity, as described in RFA-HG-16-010 and RFA-HG-16-011. Aspects relevant to Coordinating Center are summarized further below.

Clinical utility aim. Applicants should describe how they will work together with Clinical Sites and stakeholders to identify standardized measures of clinical utility for use across multiple CSER2 sites, and describe how such consensus approaches could refine and improve upon site-specific measures that may initially be proposed. Ideas for Consortium-wide analyses, including potential sub-group analyses, should also be proposed. Applicants should specify necessary site-specific or disease-specific clinical utility measures along with any aspects of the proposed approach that generalize beyond the specific condition(s). The reliance of the proposed consensus measures and approaches on sharing data from individual patients or participants among sites should be described.

Research at the intersection of patients, family members, practitioners and laboratories. Applicants should describe how the CC might identify opportunities for coordinated research across CSER2 relating to research questions at the specific "intersection(s)" (such as patients with practitioners, practitioners with laboratories, etc.) with potential for applicability across patients, clinical conditions and healthcare settings in the U.S. where genomic medicine might be put into practiceApplicants should propose and justify other research opportunities that may fall outside these examples but are broadly relevant to the application or potentially to other CSER2 sites. The applicant should describe the potential for enlarging the intersections to include relevance to other domains and to stakeholders over the project period should also be described. The applicant should  address the role of the CC in coordinating and facilitating cross-site research.

Feasibility of genomic, clinical, and healthcare utilization data integration. Each CSER2 Clinical Site will pilot the integration of genomic, clinical, social and behavioral, and healthcare utilization data to facilitate clinical decision making. During the project period, the CC, in collaboration with Clinical Sites, should identify, evaluate, and coordinate opportunities for meaningful data exchange across multiple Clinical Sites. At this time, it is not known whether the creation of a secure mechanism for exchange of CSER2-wide patient information and inter-site data management will be needed. Applicants should comment on the reliance of achieving CSER2 goals on establishing such a mechanism and their capability to do so. In serving as a potential repository for aggregate genomic findings and summary data derived from CSER2 and to allow for the possibility of facilitating patient-level data exchange among sites, applicants should plan to pursue approval for human subjects research.

Data standards. As relevant to each of the three CSER2 aims above, applicants should describe their approaches to assisting Clinical Sites in identifying standards for data and meta-data. Strategies for identifying potential current and emerging standards to facilitate data exchange within and among sites are encouraged. The lack of mature standards should not constrain creative or innovative approaches to accomplishing CSER2 aims; however, where such standards do exist, applicants should indicate their commitment to interoperability and sharing in the following areas as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program:

  • Phenotype information
  • Genome sequencing data
  • Genomic variant interpretation
  • Psychosocial outcomes
  • Healthcare utilization data
  • Outcomes measures for clinical utility
  • Infrastructure (e.g., tools and databases) and data models related to the data integration aim, such as the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership/Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OMOP/OHDSI) or PCORI Common Data Models.

Patient diversity and breadth of clinical conditions and healthcare settings. Applicants should explain how the CC will be prepared to identify, evaluate, and coordinate approaches to enhancing participant diversity overall within CSER2. Opportunities for outreach and dissemination of genomic medicine in healthcare settings beyond specialized academic medical centers, particularly those contributing to potential reduction of health disparities that are relevant to the U.S. population, should be proposed. Investigator expertise related to technology implementation and clinical genetics in diverse communities and broader healthcare settings should be noted.

Cross-Consortium efforts.

Early after funding, the CC will organize the first CSER2 Steering Committee meeting so that goals and milestones can be set for CSER2. Applicants should describe plans to organize in person Steering Committee meetings three times per year and teleconferences as needed (likely monthly) to share information on data resources, methodologies, analytical tools, as well as preliminary results. Applicants should describe plans to organize  Working Group teleconferences, workshops, and webinars and prepare agendas and minutes for those meetings. Applicants should describe their ideas for outreach activities that will help make CSER2 resources as widely accessible and highly utilized as possible.

Applicants should describe their ideas for working with other sites to accomplish CSER2 goals, including their preferred approaches for identifying measures of clinical utility, and describe suggestions to facilitate and implement consensus approaches. Applicants should also describe their:

  • Willingness to adhere to Consortium-wide policies and procedures to be determined by the CSER2 Steering Committee. Applicants should also describe plans for, and willingness to abide by, Memoranda of Understanding or other sharing agreements potentially needed for data and sample sharing within the Consortium.
  • Plans for how their research team will provide statistical, clinical, ELSI or other methodological expertise and advice to other CSER2 sites in the development and design of research and consultation methods, procedures, policies and strategies to be applied in this program.
  • Ability to respond to evolving needs for such expertise, as needs arise.
  • Willingness to support investigators as needed in preparing abstracts, presentations and publications and in assisting CSER2 leadership in making the public aware of the program.
  • Ideas and strategies for promoting CSER2 visibility and outreach to the stakeholder community and other genomic medicine efforts.
  • Ability to perform additional tasks not detailed here but in the applicant’s view are essential to CSER2 should be noted and potential approaches described.

The CC will assist CSER2 Clinical Sites as needed in the release of phenotype and genomic data via NIH data resources, assuring compliance with NIH policies relating to privacy and human subjects protections. However, the primary responsibility for transmitting individual-level sequence data to NIH data resources will rest with the CSER2 Clinical Sites.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Applicants should propose possible CSER2-wide approaches to stakeholder engagement and describe the value of developing an engagement plan throughout the research process, including but not limited to: study development and refinement, analysis of data/evidence, and dissemination and implementation of findings. Ideas for implementation and dissemination strategies to ensure effectiveness from the stakeholder perspective would also be valuable.
  • Applicants should also describe their individual, CC-specific plans for stakeholder engagement, and how those efforts will augment and complement Consortium-wide approaches.
  • Past experience(s) working with stakeholders to meet collaborative goals should be summarized.

Project Management plan. Applicants should describe how the PD(s)/PI(s) will manage the proposed project, who will serve as the project’s Program Manager to oversee the day-to-day activities and how the management structure will support achievement of the proposed goals, including how decisions will be made regarding reallocation of resources that may be necessary. A description of management structure, leadership roles, and mechanisms of communication should be provided.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan, including a description of proposed approaches to data security.
  • Applicants should clearly describe data or resource sharing with external NIH resources such as dbGaP and ClinVar.
  • Applicants should also describe plans for sharing of software and analysis tools.

Appendix:  Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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 (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and 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 on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

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

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

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.


Does the proposed Center address the needs of the research Consortium that it will coordinate? Is the scope of activities proposed for the Center appropriate to meet those needs? Will successful completion of the aims bring unique advantages or capabilities to the research Consortium?  If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? ? How will the coordination and facilitation activities contribute to assessment of the clinical utility of genome sequencing and help evaluate additional impact of clinical sequencing? Does the proposed project have the potential to improve healthcare and outcomes?


Are the PD(s)/PI(s) and other personnel well suited to their roles in the Center? Do they have appropriate experience and training, and have they demonstrated experience and an ongoing record of accomplishments in managing clinical sequencing research? Do the investigators demonstrate significant experience with coordinating collaborative clinical research? If the Center is multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise and skills; are their leadership approach, governance, plans for conflict resolution, and organizational structure appropriate for the Center? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?? Have the PD(s)/PI(s) participated in any collaborative, multi-center networks or contributed substantially to efforts involving stakeholders?  Is the management plan well-described and commensurate with the level of complexity required for this FOA?


Does the application propose novel organizational concepts or management strategies in coordinating the research Consortium the Center will serve? Are the concepts, strategies, or instrumentation novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts or management strategies proposed?? Is the proposed approach or methodology dynamic and responsive to evolving changes in clinical care?  Does the applicant demonstrate the ability to be facile and responsive to external input in this rapidly moving field?


Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the goals of the research Consortium the Center will serve? Will the investigators promote strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased scientific approach across the Consortium, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the Consortium is in the early stages of operation, does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the Consortium? Are an appropriate plan for work-flow and a well-established timeline proposed?  Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?? Are the plans for assisting with Consortium activities, providing logistical support and fulfilling Coordinating Center functions likely to increase the synergy and productivity of the program? Will the proposed approaches to identifying consensus measures for clinical utility, promoting cross-study analyses and disseminating best practices accelerate the achievement of CSER goals? Does the application provide clear plans for timely, accurate and efficient dissemination of these data and for stakeholder engagement that could also be refined according to Steering Committee or stakeholder discussions? Are appropriate measures of data security proposed? If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  


Will the institutional environment in which the Center will operate contribute to the probability of success in facilitating the research Consortium it serves? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the Center proposed? Will the Center benefit from unique features of the institutional environment, infrastructure, or personnel?  Are resources available within the scientific environment to support electronic information handling?

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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


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.


Not Applicable.


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


Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA.. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Council on Human Genome Research. 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.
  • Complementarity to and synergy with other funded projects
  • Ability to work effectively in large collaborative efforts or research consortia
  • Applicability of the proposed approach to furthering inclusion of minority or underserved populations in the U.S., and relevance of proposed research questions related to diversity and health disparities
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see; and Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

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

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

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

  • Determining research approaches, designing protocols, setting project milestones, and conducting research.
  • Participating in group activities, including a study-wide Steering Committee to share design and analysis techniques and promote comparability across studies wherever possible.
  • Sharing Consortium-wide clinical utility measures and other standardized metrics with the Consortium, as agreed upon by the Steering Committee.
  • Implementing Steering Committee recommendations for improving data collection, phenotyping, and standardization in their project, as appropriate and feasible.
  • Implementing Steering Committee recommendations for evaluating concerns among patients, clinicians, investigators, IRBs, and other relevant groups and stakeholders in their project regarding incorporation of sequence data into clinical care.
  • Developing and implementing appropriate educational resources for patients and clinicians.
  • Evaluating the impact of reporting genome sequencing results to patients on disease-centered, patient-centered, and cost-related outcomes.
  • Identifying concerns unique to minority and underserved populations, and to diverse healthcare settings.
  • Providing protocols, reports and data in a timely fashion as agreed upon by the Steering Committee.
  • Cooperating with other awardees in the timely publication and dissemination of program results and the eventual release to the scientific community of methods, tools, and results, and other resources.
  • Abiding by common definitions, protocols, procedures, etc. as chosen by majority vote of the Steering Committee.
  • Defining the aims and operations of the Coordinating Center within the guidelines in this FOA for performing these activities.
  • Sharing results according to the genomic data sharing policy, and any other data sharing policy agreed to between the NIH and the applicant.
  • Adhering to policies regarding data access, publication, and intellectual property established by NIH and the Steering Committee for this program.
  • Not disclosing confidential information obtained from other members of the program.
  • Notifying the Project Scientist(s) of all major interactions with another member of the Steering Committee.
  • Submitting periodic progress reports in a standard format, as agreed upon by the Steering Committee and External Scientific Panel.
  • Attending and participating in Steering Committee meetings and accepting and implementing guidelines and procedures, as appropriate.
  • Abiding by relevant policies, including, but not limited to:
  • Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

The Project Scientist is a scientist of the NHGRI who will have substantial scientific and programmatic involvement during the conduct of this activity through technical assistance, advice, and coordination. However, the role of NIH staff will be to facilitate and not to direct the activities. It is anticipated that decisions in all activities will be reached by consensus of the program and that NIH staff will be given the opportunity to offer input to this process. The Project Scientist(s) will participate as a member of the Steering Committee and will have one vote. The Project Scientist(s) will have the following substantial involvement: 

  • Participating with the other Steering Committee members in the group process of setting research priorities, and contributing to the adjustment of research protocols or approaches as warranted. The Project Scientist will assist and facilitate the group process and not direct it.
  • Serving as a liaison, helping to coordinate activities among and for the awardees and as an information resource for the awardees about genome research activities. The Project Scientist will also coordinate the efforts of the program with other groups conducting similar studies.
  • Attending all Steering Committee meetings as a voting member and assisting in developing operating guidelines, quality control procedures, and consistent policies for dealing with situations that require coordinated action.
  • Reporting periodically on the progress of the program to the NHGRI Director and to the National Advisory Council on Human Genome Research, as appropriate.
  • Retaining the option to recommend the withholding or reduction of support from any project that fails to achieve its goals or comply with the Terms and Conditions of award.
  • Serving on subcommittees of the Steering Committee, as appropriate.
  • Serving as a liaison between the Steering Committee and the External Scientific Panel, attending ESP meetings in a non-voting liaison member role, and arranging for timely preparation and distribution of meeting minutes.
  • Serving as a liaison between the Steering Committee and other federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).
  • Assisting awardees in the development, if needed, of policies for dealing with situations that require coordinated action.
  • Providing advice in the management and technical performance of the award.
  • Assisting in promoting the availability of the data and related resources developed in the course of this program to the scientific community at large.
  • Participating in data analyses, interpretations, and, where warranted, co-authorship of the publication of results of studies conducted through the program.
  • Other NIH staff may assist the awardees, as designated by the Program Official.

Additionally, an agency program official or IC program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. The assigned program director may also serve as an NIH Project Scientist.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

Close interaction among the participating investigators will be required, as well as significant involvement from the NIH, to develop appropriate strategies and tools to incorporate genomic results into clinical care. The awardees and the Project Scientist will meet as the program Steering Committee three times per year and monthly on conference calls as needed to share information on data resources, methodologies, analytical tools, as well as data and preliminary results. Key co-investigators and pre- and postdoctoral trainees, especially those who are members of under-represented minority groups or those from different but related disciplines, in addition to the PIs, are eligible to attend these meetings.

The Steering Committee will serve as the main scientific body of the program. The Steering Committee will be responsible for coordinating the activities being conducted by the program. The Steering Committee membership will include one NHGRI Project Scientist, one Project Scientist from component IC's funding an award, and the PD/PI from each awarded cooperative agreement from this and accompanying CSER2 FOAs. The Steering Committee may add additional members, and other government staff may attend the Steering Committee meetings as desired. It is anticipated that additional coordination mechanisms may be set up with other U.S. and international groups that may collaborate with the program.

Each CSER2 Clinical Site and Coordinating Center will have one vote and the NIH Program Scientist(s) together will have one vote. Cooperative agreements with multi-PI arrangements will have a single vote to be decided as desired within the multi-PI award. Awardee members of the Steering Committee will be required to accept and implement policies approved by the Steering Committee.

To address particular issues, the Steering Committee may establish Working Groups as needed, which will include representatives from the program and the NIH and possibly other experts.

The Steering Committee will:

  • Discuss progress in meeting the goals of the Program
  • Develop recommendations for uniform procedures and policies necessary to meet the goals of the Program
  • Develop and implement a CSER2-wide Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  • Serve as a venue for consideration of ethical and psychosocial implications of returning genomic data results to patients
  • Develop and disseminate guidelines and best practices for assessing clinical utility and for incorporation of sequencing data into clinical care
  • Develop a set of standardized clinical utility measures and other metrics to be shared across the program
  • Identify and pursue opportunities for cross-site analyses
  • Define state-of-the-art approaches for incorporating sequence data into clinical care that are responsive to evolving changes in clinical care, to facilitate translation of genomic findings into improved genetic risk assessment, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, cost-efficiency, and, ultimately, improved health
  • Meet in person three times a year, and monthly via conference calls
  • Interact with other relevant NHGRI and NIH activities, as needed, to promote synergy and consistency among similar projects

External Scientific Panel

An External Scientific Panel (ESP) will evaluate the progress of the CSER2 program, providing recommendations to the network about the progress and scientific direction of all components of the program.

The ESP is currently composed of nine senior scientists with relevant expertise, although the membership may be enlarged permanently or on an ad hoc basis as needed. The CSER2 ESP will meet at least twice a year, once per year in person and once by telephone conference. At least once per year, there will be a joint meeting with the Steering Committee to allow the members of the ESP and the Steering Committee to interact directly. Twice a year the ESP will make recommendations regarding progress of the program to the network about changes, if any, which may be necessary.

Dispute Resolution:

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

3. Reporting

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

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free) Customer Support (Questions regarding registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact CenterTelephone: 800-518-4726

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-710-0267

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lucia A. Hindorff, Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Telephone: 240-271-1509

Peer Review Contact(s)

Ken Nakamura, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Telephone: 301-402-8823

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Deanna Ingersoll
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Telephone: 240-669-2989

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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