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.
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
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support confirmatory efficacy testing of non-pharmacological interventions for mental disorders in adults and children that address unmet therapeutic needs, and are consistent with the NIMH emphasis on the experimental therapeutics approach. In this approach, clinical trials should be designed to increase knowledge of the relationship between underlying disease processes and the mechanisms of action through which any intervention produces therapeutic change http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2012/experimental-medicine.shtml
Therefore, interventions appropriate for confirmatory efficacy testing must be based on a compelling scientific rationale, previous demonstration that the intervention engages and alters the hypothesized mechanism of action, and a preliminary efficacy signal (for further information, see the NIMH Clinical Trials FAQ webpage at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/funding/opportunities-announcements/clinical-trials-foas/nimh-clinical-trials-funding-opportunity-announcements-applicant-faqs.shtml). The proposed trial must include plans to replicate these target engagement and validation findings in a fully powered, confirmatory efficacy study that is likely to show superiority of the intervention over an appropriately justified comparison condition.
Interventions appropriate to this FOA may include, but are not limited to: behavioral, cognitive, interpersonal, device-based, or combined approaches. Pharmacological interventions to establish efficacy are not allowable under this FOA. PD(s)/PI(s) submitting applications consistent with the experimental therapeutic approach but whose scope does not fall within that of the current FOA are encouraged to contact Scientific/Research staff and/or view the NIMH Clinical Trial web page.
Traditionally, efficacy testing of interventions for mental disorders involves subjects selected on the basis of heterogeneous clinical indications and outcomes focused on symptom reduction. Such trials, whether positive or not with respect to symptom change, deliver little information about the mechanism of action of the intervention or the underlying cause of the disorder and therefore provide little guidance for further intervention development or refinement. As a result, NIMH is shifting to an experimental therapeutic paradigm in which interventions are evaluated in stages http:/www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2012/experimental-medicine.shtml. A preliminary stage in this progressive pipeline is to demonstrate that the intervention exerts some measurable effect on a hypothesized "target" or mechanism of action, and that measures of change in the target are related to clinical outcomes. Commensurate with the intervention, targets may be behavioral, cognitive, or interpersonal processes (e.g., attention bias, cognitive control, self-regulation, familial criticism).
This FOA supports confirmatory efficacy trials of interventions for which this preliminary evidence of target engagement has already been demonstrated and there is a signal suggesting intervention efficacy. The earlier stages of intervention development, which include preliminary tests of target engagement and target validation, are not appropriate for this FOA and are supported by NIMH through companion FOAs (NIMH Clinical Trials FOA page). Interventions appropriate for confirmatory efficacy testing under this FOA are those for which the following preliminary evidence already exists:
In order to address the lack of uptake of research-based therapies and the alarming fall-off in effect sizes from efficacy to effectiveness studies, NIMH will prioritize studies that incorporate a deployment-focused approach, taking into account typically available resources (e.g., the training and skill level of average providers), usual care service structures (including healthcare financing, reimbursement mechanisms), and typical service use patterns, in order to test more practice-ready interventions.
Effective prevention and treatment of mental illness have the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with intentional injury (i.e., suicide attempts and deaths, see: www.suicide-research-agenda.org). Lack of attention to the assessment of these outcomes has limited our understanding regarding the degree to which effective mental health interventions might offer prophylaxis. Accordingly, where feasible and appropriate, applicants are strongly encouraged to include assessment of suicidal behavior in clinical trials in response to this FOA using strategies that can facilitate integration and sharing of data (e.g., see NOT-MH-15-009 and https://www.phenxtoolkit.org/ for constructs and corresponding assessment strategies).
NIMH is particularly interested in the development of therapeutic and preventive interventions that focus on operationally defined, empirically-supported functional domains or symptom(s) of mental disorders as opposed to broad diagnostic categories in which not all subjects may share the same underlying disease process. For example, NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) constructs may inform mechanism-based hypotheses and the selection of interventions, outcome measures and clinical subjects (see http://www.nimh.nih.gov/research-funding/rdoc/nimh-research-domain-criteria-rdoc.shtml for more details). Intervention targets related to RDoC constructs are of interest for this FOA, but other, non-RDoC constructs may be suitable as well, especially if they maximize the probability that subjects share the same mechanism of disorder.
NIMH will consider the following critical pre-requisite criteria prior to funding a confirmatory efficacy trial:
Examples of studies that are not responsive to this FOA and will not be reviewed include the following:
Applicants must include all information described in the FOA instructions in Section IV.2 (Instructions for Application Submissions; Other Attachments; PHS 398 Research Plan; Research Strategy). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with Scientific/Research Contacts when developing plans for an application. This early contact will provide an opportunity to clarify NIMH policies and guidelines as well as to discuss how to develop an appropriate project timeline, which is subject to peer review.
Applicants are encouraged to leverage existing resources and infrastructure such as those provided by institutions with Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) and/or other existing consortia/networks to promote efficient cross-disciplinary collaborations.
PD(s)/PI(s)s submitting applications consistent with the experimental therapeutic approach but whose scope does not fall within that of the current R01 FOA are encouraged to contact Scientific/Research staff or view the NIMH Clinical Trial web page. Investigators interested in conducting fully-powered effectiveness trials in community-practice settings are referred to FOAs RFA-MH-16-420 and RFA-MH-16-415.
Please note, per NOT-MH-14-007 NIMH will not accept R01, R21, or R03 applications that include clinical trials of potential therapies for mental disorders, under the NIH parent R01 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PA-13-302, NIH parent R21 FOA PA-13-303, and NIH Parent R03 FOA PA-13-304, and subsequent reissuances of these FOAs.
For applications that plan to test efficacy in devices that require federal regulatory approval processes, NIH expects FDA guidance meetings to be performed prior to submission of the application, so that information from the guidance meeting is incorporated into the protocol design.
Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
NIMH intends to commit $4 million in FY 2016 and $4 million in FY 2017 to fund up to 4awards per fiscal year. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.
Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
The maximum project period is 5 years; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to limit their proposed project period to 3 or 4 years.
NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.
Higher Education Institutions
The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.
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.
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.
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.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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:
Applicants must download 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 Grants.gov.
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.
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:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
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.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
Other Attachments: Applicants should upload a single attachment that includes the following information relevant to the proposed clinical trial. This attachment must be no more than 4 pages. Applications that exceed this limit will not be reviewed.Applicants should use the headers below in their description. Applications that lack this attachment will be incomplete and will not be reviewed.
I. Study Participant and Recruitment Descriptors: Applications must provide a clear description of:
II. Milestones and Timeline: Applications must provide a clear description of:
III. Information for FDA-regulated devices and device based interventions:
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. with the following additional instructions:
As appropriate, Senior/Key Personnel should demonstrate their expertise and track record in clinical trials including: recent recruitment and retention rates of trial subjects; methodological and statistical expertise (e.g. handling repeated measures designs, missing data; assessing effect size; and measurement of intervention change mechanisms). Also include recent collaborative clinical research efforts among members of the proposed team, if any.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Research Strategy: Applicants must include the following information as part of the Research Strategy. Applications should not duplicate information provided in the attachment described in Section IV.2., "SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information", unless needed to provide context.
In order to be considered complete, applications must address the transportability/scalability of the proposed intervention and should detail how the treatment manual, therapist training procedures, and fidelity assessment and enhancement methods could be adapted and refined to be applicable to clinical practice. The application should justify the potential impact of the intervention compared to existing approaches and should address the degree to which the proposed intervention could potentially be brought to scale in an effectiveness study or be disseminated into practice.
Where feasible and appropriate, applicants are strongly encouraged to include assessment of suicidal behavior in clinical trials in response to this FOA using strategies that can facilitate integration and sharing of data (e.g., see NOT-MH-15-009 and https://www.phenxtoolkit.org/ for constructs and corresponding assessment strategies). The application should provide the rationale for the selection of suicide-related constructs and corresponding assessment instruments (e.g., measures of ideation, attempts), the time periods assessed (e.g., lifetime history, current), and the assessment schedule for administration (e.g., baseline, during intervention, post-intervention, follow up), taking into account the nature of the target population, participant burden, etc. The application should also address provisions for clinical management when suicidal behavior is reported. In situations where it is not appropriate or feasible to include assessment of suicide outcomes due to the nature of the intervention (e.g., services interventions that target provider behavior or systems-level factors), the target population (e.g., very young children), or unique issues related to participant burden or safety/monitoring concerns, the application should provide an appropriate justification for excluding these assessments.
Significance: In this section of the Research Strategy, the application should:
Innovation: In this section of the Research Strategy, the application should:
Approach: In this section of the Research Strategy, the application should:
Protections of Human Subjects: Describe key features of a safety monitoring plan including plans for efficient IRB review and approval including the use of centralized IRB models when multiple clinical sites are planned.
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:
In order to advance the goal of widespread data sharing among researchers, investigators funded under this FOA are expected to share those data via the National Database for Clinical Trials related to Mental Illness (NDCT; http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/; see NOT-MH-14-015 and NOT-MH-15-012). Established by the NIH, NDCT is a secure informatics platform for scientific collaboration and data-sharing that enables the effective communication of detailed research data, tools, and supporting documentation. NDCT links data across research projects through its Global Unique Identifier (GUID) and Data Dictionary technology. Investigators funded under this FOA are expected to use these technologies to submit data to NDCT.
To accomplish this objective, it will be important to formulate a) an enrollment strategy that will obtain the information necessary to generate a GUID for each participant, and b) a budget strategy that will cover the costs of data submission. The NDCT web site provides two tools to help investigators develop appropriate strategies: 1) the NDCT Budgeting Spreadsheet http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/preplanning/budget - a customizable Excel worksheet that includes tasks and hours for the Program Director/Principal Investigator and Data Manager to budget for data sharing; and 2) plain language text to be considered in your informed consent http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/preplanning/informed-consent. Investigators are expected to certify the quality of all data generated by grants funded under this FOA prior to submission to NDCT and review their data for accuracy after submission. Submission of descriptive/raw data is expected semi-annually (every January 15 and July 15); submission of all other data is expected at the time of publication, or prior to the end of the grant, whichever occurs first (see Data Sharing Expectation http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/preplanning/#tab-1 for more information); Investigators are expected to share results, positive and negative, specific to the cohorts and outcome measures studied by using the Study functionality(see http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/results). The NDCT Data Sharing Plan is available for review on the NDCT web site (http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/NDCT_Data_Sharing_Policy_20141002.pdf ). NDCT staff will work with investigators to help them submit data types not yet defined in the NDCT Data Dictionary http://ndct.nimh.nih.gov/submit/data-dictionary.
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.
It is strongly recommended that intervention protocols and manuals be included in the appendix.
When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. 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.
Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (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 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. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.
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.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
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.
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.
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 NIMH, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.
In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIMH Referral Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.
NIMH encourages the use of common data elements (CDEs) in basic, clinical, and applied research, patient registries, and other human subject research to facilitate broader and more effective use of data and advance research across studies. CDEs are data elements that have been identified and defined for use in multiple data sets across different studies. Use of CDEs can facilitate data sharing and standardization to improve data quality and enable data integration from multiple studies and sources, including electronic health records. NIH ICs have identified CDEs for many clinical domains (e.g., neurological disease), types of studies (e.g., genome-wide association studies (GWAS)), types of outcomes (e.g., patient-reported outcomes), and patient registries (e.g., the Global Rare Diseases Patient Registry and Data Repository). NIH has established a "Common Data Element (CDE) Resource Portal" (http://cde.nih.gov/) to assist investigators in identifying NIH-supported CDEs when developing protocols, case report forms, and other instruments for data collection. The Portal provides guidance about and access to NIH-supported CDE initiatives and other tools and resources for the appropriate use of CDEs and data standards in NIH-funded research. Investigators are encouraged to consult the Portal and describe in their applications any use they will make of NIH-supported CDEs in their projects.
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.
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.
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).
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 project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? 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? Could the intervention fill an important unmet therapeutic need for those living with a mental disorder and substantially reduce the burden of serious mental disorders? Will the study advance the knowledge of the pathophysiologic and/or psychopathologic mechanisms relevant to the functional domain, symptoms, or diagnosis of interest?
Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? What evidence indicates that the researchers can function as a team? Does the research team have demonstrated clinical trials expertise and a track record in successfully conducting clinical trials (e.g., subject recruitment and retention rates, reporting in clinicaltrials.gov, publications, etc.)? Does the investigative team have sufficient methodological and statistical expertise in the study and measurement of intervention change mechanisms (e.g., handling repeated measures designs, missing data, effect size)? Does the investigative team include sufficient expertise in the measurement methods proposed? Are the staffing, governance, and organizational structure appropriate for conducting the study as proposed and within specified timelines? Is there a description of the expertise needed by any potential consultants?
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? If the intervention being evaluated is a novel approach, does the application introduce a novel, well-specified target and/or a novel approach to engaging established targets (i.e., mechanisms of disorders or mechanisms of change)? Does the proposed intervention stem from a basic finding, or is it translating an established finding in a novel way?
If the proposed project concerns an adaptation or extension of an intervention with established efficacy, will the study focus on novel targets and will the design be able to provide an empirically supported basis for: (a) identifying prognostic indicators (subgroups) that predict differential benefit from target engagement (e.g., in comparison to the existing, un-adapted intervention), and/or (b) further paring the intervention down to its essential elements based on clear evidence of target engagement?
Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? 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? Does a robust and reproducible body of evidence support the study hypothesis and rationale? Is there compelling evidence of the intervention's target engagement (i.e., a significant difference in target change between the experimental and control intervention groups)? Is there evidence of target validation (i.e., a signal that the clinical outcome is changing in the hypothesized direction after intervention)? Is there an initial efficacy signal that serves as a basis for anticipating at least a moderate effect size in the fully-powered confirmatory efficacy trial? Is there a rationale for the effect size threshold that would be clinically meaningful?
Are there established intervention manuals, therapist training packages, and a set of fidelity assessment and enhancement methods?
Does the project propose clear hypotheses and have the potential to test and potentially refute any hypotheses around the proposed mechanism(s) of action? Will it advance knowledge of intervention or disease mechanisms, whether the result is positive or negative?
Does the application describe preliminary evidence of feasibility, including the availability of intervention manuals and fidelity measures?
Does the application include sound methodology for (a) replicating and extending the initial target engagement findings, and (b) evaluating associations between target engagement and subsequent clinical or functional change (target validation)?
Does the application provide sufficient detail regarding how the delivery of the intervention will be operationalized, monitored, and quantified?
Does the application address the intervention's potential scalability (i.e., compatibility with typically available resources, reimbursement practices)? Does the application address how the treatment manual, therapist training procedures and protocols for monitoring and enhancing fidelity could be adapted for use in community practice if the intervention is found to be efficacious?
Does the application include reliable measures of outcome that capture changes in the disorder, functional domain, or symptom(s) within the context of the trial?
Is the approach feasible in terms of realistically having in place everything necessary to carry out data acquisition and analysis in a timely manner? Will sufficient and appropriate data be collected to inform a "go/no-go" decision about further intervention development or moving the intervention to an effectiveness trial?
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? Is there documented evidence that the PD(s)/PI(s) successfully carried out studies of similar structure and complexity as in the current application in the specified setting? Does the environment support timely subject recruitment and completion?
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.
Study Timeline and Milestones
Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessments? Is the project timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g. CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative data bases, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?
Are appropriate, evaluative milestones clearly defined for the aims associated? Are the milestones feasible and quantifiable with regard to the specific aims and timeline? Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls?
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.
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.
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.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
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.
Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.
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).
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 Wide Association Studies (GWAS) /Genomic Data Sharing Plan.
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NIMH, 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:
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 Mental Health Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
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.
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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. The proposed milestones may be modified in negotiations with NIMH program officials before an initial award is made, and during the review of annual non-competitive renewal applications. Agreed upon milestones will be included in the Notice of Award, and unmet milestones will be considered in the review and approval of these annual renewals.
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.
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.
Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
Recruitment Reporting and Trial Registration
NIMH requires reporting of recruitment milestones for participants in clinical trials as noted at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-MH-05-013.html. While trials in response to this FOA may not seek 150 subjects or more (the level at which this reporting has been required), we expect reporting for all trials, even those with less than 150 subjects.
The NIMH expects the registration and results reporting for all NIMH-supported clinical trials in ClinicalTrials.gov, regardless of whether or not they are subject to FDAAA (see https://grants.nih.gov/ClinicalTrials_fdaaa/at-a-glance.htm). We plan to include language regarding this expectation in the notice of grant award.
A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity
and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
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)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application
instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
For inquiries to the Division of Translational Research (DTR):
For inquiries to the Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR):
Joel Sherrill, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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.
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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