Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Funding Opportunity Title
Using Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions to Optimize Established Adolescent Mental Health Treatments (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Required)
Activity Code

R61/R33 Exploratory/Developmental  Phased Award

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-MH-22-150
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.242
Funding Opportunity Purpose

NIMH seeks applications for pilot research to develop and test just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI) augmentations to enhance the effectiveness and clinical potency of established adolescent mental health treatments. An emphasis is placed on studies that are informed by developmental science and grounded in an empirical model of behavior change. Support will be provided for up to two years (R61 phase) for milestone-driven testing, refinement, and/or validation of the intervention's impact on empirically supported, measurable target mechanisms and the possibility (contingent on meeting the R61 milestones) of up to 3 additional years of support (R33 phase) to replicate the target engagement findings in a larger sample and examine the relationship between the target mechanisms and clinical outcomes.

Key Dates

Posted Date
November 15, 2021
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
May 20, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
June 22, 2022 June 22, 2022 Not Applicable November 2022 January 2023 April 2023
February 22, 2023 February 22, 2023 Not Applicable July 2023 October 2023 December 2023

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

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

Expiration Date
February 23, 2023
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide,except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts ).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

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

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Rationale

Just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) represent a promising technology-based approach to enhancing the clinical impact of mental health interventions. JITAIs use mobile and sensor-based technology to monitor an individual’s behavior or state and deliver responsive, tailored interventions at opportune moments. These in-the-moment interventions target proximal, malleable, micro-level behaviors with the goal of impacting distal macro-level outcomes. This announcement is focused specifically on JITAIs delivered during adolescence (defined here as 12 to 18 years of age), a developmental period characterized by heightened risk for new onset or worsening mental illness, challenges related to engagement with mental health interventions, and peak engagement with technology. JITAIs have the potential to capitalize on adolescents' near ubiquitous use of technology by delivering personalized, targeted, and developmentally sensitive interventions autonomously and in real time within the social and motivational contexts that are most salient during this developmental period. To date, JITAIs have shown promise in the areas of physical health, addiction, and adult mental health, but have received limited attention in the adolescent mental health domain.

Research Scope and Objectives

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeks Phased Innovation (R61/R33) grant applications for pilot research that aims to develop and test a JITAI augmentation to enhance the effectiveness and clinical potency of an empirically supported adolescent mental health intervention. For purposes of this announcement, the empirically supported intervention might be delivered in-person or via a digital health platform. Support will be provided for up to two years (R61 phase) for milestone-driven testing, refinement, and/or validation of the intervention's impact on one or more empirically supported, measurable target mechanisms and the possibility (contingent on meeting the R61 milestones) of up to 3 additional years of support (R33 phase) to replicate the target engagement findings in a larger sample and examine the relationship between the target mechanisms and clinical outcomes.

This FOA strongly encourages applications that assemble an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of investigators. The team should provide an integrative plan for working together to effectively address the complex challenges associated with fostering digital health innovation. The interdisciplinary team may include specialists from the fields of mental health, data science, human computer interaction, engineering, developmental science, intervention science, and implementation science.

Intervention Development

The development of the proposed JITAI augmentation should be grounded in an empirical model of behavior change and informed by developmental science. The approach should address key JITAI design principles including the identification and refinement of intervention decision points, intervention options, tailoring variables, and decision rules. Applicants are encouraged to leverage existing hardware and software platforms and incorporate sensing technology whenever possible.

A strong justification is necessary for both the selection of the empirically supported intervention and the proposed JITAI augmentation. The justification should include (a) an empirical rationale for the augmentation target, (b) a clear hypothesis and plan to address the mechanism by which the augmentation will enhance outcomes, and (c) evidence to suggest that the augmented intervention will result in a substantial improvement in treatment response (i.e., the rate, speed, magnitude, or sustainment of response). Augmentation approaches may seek to modify factors associated with suboptimal treatment response or worsening clinical outcomes; promote the use of cognitive, behavioral, or self-regulation skills; provide real time scaffolding to mitigate cognitive impairments associated with a specific mental disorder; or promote help seeking behavior when risk or vulnerability states are detected.

While the primary focus of this FOA is on developing and pilot testing a specific JITAI augmentation for a selected empirically supported intervention, NIMH encourages a secondary focus on generating findings that will enhance our collective knowledge about factors driving adolescent engagement, motivation, and behavior change more broadly within the context of digital health, and the practical challenges and ethical considerations related to the study population. For example, factors related to intervention use within the context of schoolwide student mobile phone policies, parental concerns about limiting adolescent cell phone use when the phone is a treatment device, and engagement factors associated with the extended use of digital health interventions.NIMH also encourages research that includes transdiagnostic intervention targets as well as innovative approaches that apply sensor-based assessments to RDoC constructs, when appropriate.

Scale and Scope of Studies under this Announcement

Experimental Therapeutics: Consistent with the NIMH experimental therapeutics approach, studies in response to this announcement are expected to not only test the intervention’s effects on outcomes of interest, but also inform understanding of the intervention’s mechanisms of action. As such, applications must include a preliminary assessment of target engagement that includes (1) specified target mechanisms associated with the proposed JITAI augmentation, (2) measurement plans designed to assess the target mechanisms and clinical outcomes, and (3) analytic plans designed to evaluate both the intervention-induced changes in the target mechanisms and the associations between changes in the target mechanisms and the intervention outcomes.

R61 Phase: The R61 phase supports preliminary milestone-driven development and testing of the proposed JITAI augmentation in preparation for the R33 phase clinical trial. Applicants are required to specify quantifiable go/no-go milestones that must be achieved prior to proceeding to the R33 phase. Details regarding the milestone requirements can be found under the Research Plan heading in Section IV of this announcement. At a minimum, the R61 phase must include a test of whether an objective measure can be used to assess the JITAI’s effect on one or more target mechanisms.

Additional R61 phase activities may include:

  • Development, evaluation, and refinement of key elements of the JITAI, including intervention delivery decision points, intervention treatment or action options, intervention tailoring variables, and decision rules designed to operationalize intervention, including optimal dosing of JIT intervention prompts to engage proximal targets.
  • Validation of the mobile and sensor-based assessment methods and/or algorithms that will be used to evaluate an individual’s momentary state and context, identify vulnerable proximal states, assess target mechanisms, and/or capture intervention responses.
  • When appropriate, validation of sensor-based approaches to the measurement of RDoC constructs.
  • Development of the initial manual or protocol and fidelity measures.
  • Assessment of intervention safety, usability, and acceptability.
  • Evaluation and optimization of intervention engagement and clinical impact over time.
  • A proof-of-concept clinical trial designed to generate milestone-related findings, conduct a preliminary test of target engagement, and establish the feasibility, utility, and acceptability of the study procedures, protocol, and methods for the planned R33 Phase trial.

R33 Phase: Funding for the R33 phase is contingent on successfully meeting the applicant defined go/no-go milestone criteria. The purpose of the R33 phase is to replicate the target engagement findings from the R61 study, to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the intervention's effectivenss and examine whether engaging the target affects clinical outcomes, and to evaluate factors associated with intervention usability, acceptability, and engagement (both near-term and sustained engagement). Depending on the nature of the intervention and state of the science, studies in the R33 phase need not be powered for a definitive test of clinical effectiveness, but rather should aim to determine the magnitude of the relationship between changes in the target mechanisms and changes in clinical outcomes in a clinical or at-risk population.

The specific activities appropriate for the R33 phase should be justified using outcomes from the R61 phase, other empirical data, and the conceptual model. The results of the R33 phase should inform a decision about whether the JITAI enhances the effectivness of the standard empirically supported intervention and shows potential for improving clinical outcomes, including evidence of safety, acceptability, and feasibility; a preliminary signal of JITAI intervention effectiveness; and a demonstration of the strength of the association between target engagement and clinical benefit.

Considerations for Effectiveness Studies in response to this FOA

Effectiveness Research: NIMH encourages a deployment-focused model of intervention design and testing that considers the perspective of relevant stakeholders and the key characteristics of settings where the intervention is intended to be implemented. The goal of this attention to end-user perspectives and intervention setting characteristics is to ensure that the resultant interventions are acceptable, feasible, and scalable, and that the research results will have utility for end users. Hybrid implementation effectiveness trials are encouraged when appropriate, with a primary focus on intervention effectiveness and a secondary focus on understanding the context for implementation (e.g., Hybrid Type 1 design).

Health Disparities: NIMH is committed to supporting research that reduces mental health disparities and advances equity in mental health interventions, services, and outcomes. Accordingly, this FOA strongly encourages applicants to identify opportunities to reduce disparities in access, engagement, coordination and optimization of mental health treatment and services among youth from racial and ethnic minority groups, sexual and gender minority groups, or other marginalized and minoritized groups including individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals living in rural areas, or socioeconomically disadvantaged persons.

Applications Not Responsive to this FOA

Studies that are not responsive to this FOA and will not be reviewed include the following:

  • Applications that do not propose to test a JITAI augmentation for a specific empirically supported adolescent mental health intervention.
  • Applications that include participants outside of the defined adolescent age range (12-18 years of age) at the time of enrollment.
  • Applications that do not propose a sufficient test of target engagement during the R61 phase (i.e., measurement and analytic plans for evaluating the intervention’s impact on the target mechanism) and plans to replicate the test during the R33 phase.
  • Applications that do not evaluate the intervention's impact on clinical outcomes as well as associations between intervention induced changes in the target mechanisms and changes in the clinical outcomes during the R33 phase.
  • Applications that do not examine the preliminary effectiveness of the JITAI augmentation in the context of the standard empirically supported intervention during the R33 phase.

Contacting a Program Officer: Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Research contacts as far in advance as possible to discuss the potential clinical practice/public health impact of the proposed pilot investigation, as well as concordance with current NIMH priorities.

Protections for Human Subjects: Applications with data collection plans that involve multiple respondent groups (e.g., clients/patients, therapists/providers, supervisors, administrators) should address provisions for human subject protections and consenting procedures for all participant groups, accordingly. The NIMH has published updated policies and guidance for investigators regarding human research protection and clinical research data and safety monitoring (NOT-MH-19-027). The application’s Protection of Human Subjects section plans should reflect the policies and guidance in this notice. Plans for the protection of research subjects and data and safety monitoring will be reviewed by the NIMH for consistency with NIMH and NIH policies and federal regulations.

Suicide-Related Outcomes: 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, NIMH encourages effectiveness research that includes 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 PhenX Toolkit for example constructs and corresponding assessment strategies).

The NIMH has published updated policies and guidance for investigators regarding human research protection and clinical research data and safety monitoring (NOT-MH-19-027). The application’s PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information, including the Data and Safety Monitoring Plan, should reflect the policies and guidance in this notice. Plans for the protection of research participants and data and safety monitoring will be reviewed by the NIMH for consistency with NIMH and NIH policies and federal regulations.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New
Resubmission

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

Clinical Trial?

Required: Only accepting applications that propose clinical trial(s).

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIMH intends to commit $2.0 million in FY 2023 to fund up to 5 awards.

Award Budget
Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period of the combined R61 and R33 phases is 5 years, with up to 2 years for the R61 phase and up to 3 years for the R33 phase. Applications with a project period less than 5 years are encouraged where feasible.  

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Government

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

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

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. 

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. 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 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications)

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide 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.

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:

nimhpeerreview@mail.nih.gov

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.

R&R Budget

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

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, with the following additional instructions:

Specific Aims: A single Specific Aims page should be provided which includes headers titled "R61 Specific Aims" and "R33 Specific Aims," a statement of the specific objectives of the research effort in the two phases of this project, a summary of the R61 go/no-go milestones, and a concise justification for the proposed research.

Research Strategy: Applicants should include the following sections as part of the Research Strategy. Applications should not duplicate information provided in the attachment described in the PHS Human Subjects Clinical Trial Information form but may reference it as needed.

Significance

  • Justify the potential effect of the proposed intervention and the anticipated clinical meaningfulness of the anticipated increment in effects as compared to existing approaches.
  • Address the degree to which the proposed JITAI is potentially scalable and could be disseminated into practice, given typically available resources (e.g., level of provider training and skill), typical service structures, and typical service use patterns.
  • Detail how results from the proposed research will lead to a firm conclusion about the feasibility and utility of a full-scale effectiveness trial and outline the anticipated scope and goals of the intended future work.

Innovation

  • Highlight how innovative research strategies and design/analytic elements are incorporated to enhance the study’s potential for yielding practice-relevant information and generalizable knowledge about factors that drive adolescent engagement, motivation, and behavior change in the digital health space, and practical challenges and ethical considerations related to the study population.
  • As appropriate, highlight proposed innovative mobile or sensor-based measurement approaches and their potential to lead to advancements in the data collection and analytic methods used in the digital health field.

Approach

  • Describe the rationale for the selection of the evidence-based intervention, the conceptual model underlying the JITAI augmentation, and study design. Specify the ways in which the conceptual model and intervention design are grounded in developmental science and an empirical model of behavior change.
  • Describe the current stage of development of the proposed JITAI, including any intervention development and feasibility work that has already been completed and the existing hardware and software platforms that will be leveraged in the planned research.
  • Describe both the R61 and R33 phases. Justify the need for the R61 phase, what will be done and how, including but not limited to intervention refinement, measurement validation, and a preliminary test of target engagement.
  • Describe and justify the proposed R33 phase methodology, including plans for replicating and extending the R61 phase target engagement findings in a larger sample and plans for extending these findings by conducting a preliminary examination of whether intervention-induced changes in the target mechanisms are associated with clinical benefit, and whether the JITAI enhances the effectiveness of the standard empirically supported intervention and shows potential for improving clinical outcomes.
  • Provide a strong rationale for the type, timing, and intensity of the proposed JITAI. Describe methods for addressing key JITAI design principles (i.e., the identification and refinement of intervention decision points, intervention options, tailoring variables, and decision rules) and determining the optimal dosing of just-in-time support to engage the proximal targets.
  • For applications proposing the use of novel mobile or sensor-based assessments, summarize the psychometric data available to date, defend the methodology choices within the context of the current state of the science, and outline plans to validate the selected methods within the proposed study. When multiple passive or active data sources are being utilized, specify plans for aggregating multiple data streams to form a usable composite.
  • Detail the plan to explicitly address whether the intervention engages the mechanisms that are presumed to underlie the intervention effects. Include the following: (1) a conceptual framework that clearly identifies the target mechanisms and the empirical evidence linking the target mechanisms to the clinical outcomes; (2) plans for assessing engagement of the target mechanisms, including the measurement strategy; and (3) analytic strategies that will be used to examine whether the intervention engages the target mechanisms and preliminarily examine whether intervention-induced changes in target mechanims are associated with clinical benefit.
  • Describe plans to involve key stake holders (e.g., community practice partners or providers, consumers, relevant policy makers) in the project in a manner that informs the research and intervention design and helps to ensure that the results will have utility for end users.
  • As appropriate, describe plans for evaluating or addressing factors related to disparities or differences in mental health status or outcomes or strategies to optimize interventions within under-resourced settings and across racial and ethnic, geographical, and socioeconomic groups, and their intersection. Applicants are encouraged to utilize constructs and assessment strategies from the NIMHD PhenX Measures for Social Determinants of Health Collections whenever possible.
  • For studies that involve the assessment of patient-level outcomes, plans are expected for the assessment of suicidal behavior and related outcomes using strategies that can facilitate integration and sharing of data (e.g., see NOT-MH-15-009 and the PhenX Toolkit for constructs and corresponding assessment strategies), as appropriate, or provide a rationale for excluding such measures if they are not included. Accordingly, 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), considering 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.

Go/No-Go Milestones: Applications must include this information in a section indicated by the heading "Go/No-Go Milestones Criteria."

  • This section should include a clear description of the R61 phase milestones that, if met, will justify taking the proposed intervention into the R33 pilot study. The milestones proposed in the application must be objective, quantifiable, and scientifically justified to allow program staff to assess progress in the R61 phase of an award. Adequate functional target engagement must be a key criterion of a "go/no-go" decision to move from the R61 to R33 phase. The milestones must specify the measure(s) and threhold(s) by which they will evaluate whether the intervention engages and alters the target mechanism as hypothesized. If more than one target mechanism is proposed, the milestones must be specific about whether target engagement is required of each to justify taking the proposed intervention into the R33 pilot study, and the applicant must justify the decision. Applicants must justify whether to make their go/no-go decision contingent on all the proposed targets or some combination of target measures. Milestones should not merely reflect progress in terms of accomplishing tasks or in terms of the study timeline (e.g., meeting target enrollment). Milestones must include a description of specific, quantitative threshold values for any measures proposed for go/no-go decision-making.

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.

The following modifications also apply:

Data Sharing Plan

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

To support the goal of advancing research through widespread data sharing among researchers, all investigators funded under this FOA are expected to share those data via the National Institute of Mental Health Data Archive (NDA; see NOT-MH-19-033). Established by the NIH, NDA is a secure informatics platform for scientific collaboration and data-sharing that enables the effective communication of detailed research data, tools, and supporting documentation. NDA 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 NDA.

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 NDA web site provides two tools to help investigators develop appropriate strategies: 1) the NDA Data Submission Cost Model which offers 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 available from the NDA's Data Contribution page. Investigators are expected to certify the quality of all data generated by grants funded under this FOA prior to submission to NDA 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 NDA Sharing Regimen for more information); Investigators are expected to share results, positive and negative, specific to the cohorts and outcome measures studied. The NDA Data Sharing Plan is available for review on the NDA website. NDA staff will work with investigators to help them submit data types not yet defined in the NDA Data Dictionary.

Appendix:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

Foreign Institutions

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.

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. 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.

Use of Common Data Elements in NIH-funded Research

Many NIH ICs encourage 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.

NIMH has released expectations for collecting common data elements when an application involves human research participants. Details can be found at NOT-MH-20-067 and the NIMH webpage on Data Sharing for Applicants and Awardees.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

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

Overall Impact

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.

Significance

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

To what degree does the proposed JITAI have potential for future scalability and dissemination given typically available resources (e.g., level of provider training and skill), typical service structures, and typical service use patterns?

How likely is it that the proposed research will generate data that will lead to a firm conclusion about the feasibility of a full-scale effectiveness trial?

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

Investigator(s)

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

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

Innovation

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

To what degree are innovative research strategies and design/analytic elements incorporated to enhance the study’s potential for yielding generalizable knowledge about factors that drive adolescent engagement, motivation, and behavior change in the digital health space, and practical challenges and ethical considerations related to the study population?

As appropriate, do the proposed innovative mobile or sensor-based measurement approaches have the potential to advance the data collection and analytic methods used in the digital health field?

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

Approach

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

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

To what extent is the proposed conceptual model for the JITAI adaptation grounded in developmental science and an empirical model of behavior change?

Is the need for the R61 phase well justified? Are the plans for refining the intervention and conducting a preliminary test of target engagement feasible and appropriate? Does the scope of work planned for the R33 phase represent a clear extentsion and expansion of the work completed in the R61 phase? Does the R33 phase include appropriate plans to replicate the target engagement findings from the R61 phase as well as plans to evaluate whether the JITAI enhances the effectiveness of the standard empirically supported intervention and demonstrates potential for improving clinical outcomes? Do the plans include a preliminary examination of whether intervention-induced changes in the target mechanisms are associated with clinical benefit?

Are the proposed methods appropriate for addressing key JITAI design principles (i.e., the identification and refinement of intervention decision points, intervention options, tailoring variables, and decision rules) and determining the optimal dosing of just-in-time support to engage the proximal targets?

For applications proposing the use of novel mobile or sensor-based assessment methods, are the methodology choices appropriate given the current state of the science? Are plans for validating novel methods included in the study design?

Does the application include plans to involve collaborations and/or input from community practice partners/providers, consumers, and relevant policy makers in a manner that informs the research (e.g., to help ensure the interventions/service delivery approaches are acceptable, feasible, and scalable) and helps to ensure the results will have utility?

If applicable, does the application include appropriate plans for evaluating and/or addressing factors related to disparities or differences in mental health status or outcomes and/or strategies to optimize interventions within under-resourced settings and across racial and ethnic, geographical, and socioeconomic groups, and their intersection?

Does the application describe plans for the assessment of suicidal behavior and related outcomes using strategies that can facilitate the integration and sharing of data as appropriate? Does the application provide a rationale for the selection of suicide-related constructs, the corresponding assessment instruments, assessment time periods (e.g., lifetime, history, current), and assessment schedule, considering the target population, participant burden, etc.? Does the application also include provisions for clinical management when suicidal behavior is reported? In situations where it is not appropriate or feasible to include the assessment of suicide outcomes, is a clear justification for the omission provided? See NOT-MH-15-009 and the PhenX Toolkit for suicide-related constructs and corresponding assessment strategies.

Do the data collection procedures and data sharing plan facilitate appropriate data sharing and integration into larger databases (e.g., use of common data elements), consistent with the goal of advancing effectiveness research?

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

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

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

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

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

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

Environment

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Review Criteria

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.

Go/No-Go Milestone Criteria

Are quantitative criteria pre-specified and rigorously defined to assess milestone achievement and operational feasibility required for advancing from the R61 to the R33 phase? Are success criteria defined in terms of outcomes achieved (e.g., specific measures and thresholds for target engagement) rather than as tasks completed? Are R61 milestones feasible, justified, well developed and quantifiable regarding the specific aims of each stage? If more than one target mechanism is proposed, are the criteria specific regarding whether target engagement of both is necessary to advance to the R33? Specifically, will the investigators and NIMH Program Officials be able to determine if the project succeeded in (a) demonstrating that the intervention alters the target mechanism (thus providing an initial proof of principle), and (b) providing preliminary evidence that the intervention can be applied in an at-risk or clinical population with adequate acceptability and tolerability?

Study Timeline


Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected 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 database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

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

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

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

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.

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) Sharing Model Organisms and (2)  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 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 will receive a written critique.

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

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

Applications will be assigned 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 (NAMHC).

. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

The NIMH has published policies and guidance for investigators regarding human research protection, data and safety monitoring, Independent Safety Monitors and Data and Safety Monitoring Boards, reportable events, and participant recruitment monitoring (NOT-MH-19-027). The application’s PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information should reflect the manner in which these policies will be implemented for each study record. These plans will be reviewed by the NIMH for consistency with NIMH and NIH policies and federal regulations. The NIMH will expect clinical trials to be conducted in accordance with these policies including, but not limited to: timely registration to ClinicalTrials.gov, submission of review determinations from the clinical trial’s data and safety monitoring entity (at least annually), timely submission of reportable events as prescribed, and establishment of recruitment milestones and progress reporting.

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

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

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

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

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

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, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

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

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA.

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

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

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

A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. NIH FOAs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 45 CFR Part 75.301 and 2 CFR Part 200.301.

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Mary Rooney, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-827-1325
Email: mary.rooney@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Nick Gaiano, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-827-3420
Email: nick.gaiano@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tamara Kees
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-8811
Email: tamara.kees@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

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