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
Developing Measures to Advance Quality in Mental Health Care Services (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R01 Research Project Grant

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices
  • May 15, 2023 - Notice of Correction to Due Date for Letter of Intent for RFA-MH-23-265 . See Notice NOT-MH-23-320.
  • NOT-OD-22-195 New NIH "FORMS-H" Grant Application Forms and Instructions Coming for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2023

    NOT-OD-22-189 Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

    NOT-OD-22-198 Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023

    NOT-OD-23-012 Reminder: FORMS-H Grant Application Forms & Instructions Must be Used for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2023 - New Grant Application Instructions Now Available

    Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number
    RFA-MH-23-265
    Companion Funding Opportunity
    None
    Assistance Listing Number(s)
    93.242
    Funding Opportunity Purpose

    The aim of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to support the development, testing, and validation of outcome-focused mental health care quality measures, in a form suitable for submission to, and endorsement by, relevant regulatory or governing bodies.

    Outcome-focused quality measures take the form of assessing the fraction of a given group of patients e.g., those served by a given clinician, facility, health system, or health plan whose outcomes meet or exceed certain specified clinical objectives. While standardized instruments for assessing patient clinical status are plentiful, there is a gap in the translation of standardized instruments of patients clinical status into outcome-focused measures of mental health care. Endorsement by relevant regulatory or governing bodies will facilitate implementation of these measures, for example, into clinical practice, health care quality reporting, and alternative payment programs.

    Key Dates

    Posted Date
    April 07, 2023
    Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
    September 10, 2023
    Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

    September 10, 2023

    Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
    New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
    October 10, 2023 Not Applicable Not Applicable March 2024 May 2024 July 2024

    All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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

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

    Expiration Date
    October 11, 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 NOFO or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts ).

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

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

    Table of Contents

    Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

    Section I. Notice of Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose

    This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) aims to support the development, testing, and validation of outcome-focused mental health quality measures, in a form suitable for submission to and endorsement by relevant regulatory or governing bodies.

    Outcome-focused quality measures take the form of assessing the fraction of a given group of patients e.g., those served by a given clinician, facility, health system, or health plan whose outcomes meet or exceed certain specified clinical objectives. While standardized instruments for assessing patient clinical status are plentiful, there is a gap in the translation of standardized instruments of patients clinical status into outcome-focused measures of mental health care. Endorsement by relevant regulatory or governing bodies will facilitate implementation of these measures, for example, into clinical practice, health care quality reporting, and alternative payment programs.

    Background

    While standard and validated measures for assessing patients clinical status exist for many mental health conditions, as do standard and valid measures of relevant aspects of patients functioning and well-being, there are currently very few corresponding validated outcome-focused measures.

    Quality measures assess the rate of a target outcome, e.g., over time and/or across populations. For example, the National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed an outcome-focused measure of improvement in depressive symptoms: the percentage of patients whose PHQ-9 depressive scores decrease from over a score threshold of 9 to below a score of 5 six and twelve months later. With NQF endorsement, this measure has been incorporated into national health care quality initiatives, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-Based Incentive System (MIPS).

    While standardized instruments for assessing patient clinical status (e.g., PHQ-9) are plentiful, there is a key gap in the translation of standardized instruments of patients clinical status into outcome-focused measures of mental health care.

    Outcome-focused quality measures can be used to assess changes in the quality of services at a population level, that is, across a group of patients, e.g., by clinician, facility, health system, health plan, or community. Different facets of quality may be meaningful to different stakeholders (e.g., clinicians, payers, patients).

    In other areas of medicine, validated outcome-focused quality measures have been used to monitor and incentivize quality improvement and help patients and families choose providers. The use of outcome-focused quality measures in quality reporting and payment programs helps incentivize the regular use of patient status measures in clinical care. Thus, there is a crucial need to apply these same approaches to mental health care, given that the quality of care can be variable. This requires the availability of additional validated outcome-focused mental health care quality measures that can be submitted to relevant regulatory and governing bodies for potential endorsement and use.

    Research Objectives

    The goal of this NOFO is to support research to develop and validate outcome-focused quality measures for mental health conditions. Projects should aim to facilitate the development and validation of mental health measures that will be submitted to national governing bodies for endorsement. These governing bodies include (but are not limited to) the National Quality Forum, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Measures Under Consideration (MUC) process (https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/QualityMeasures/Pre-Rulemaking), or other relevant national, state, or local governing bodies that use quality measures to inform reimbursement for mental health services.

    Such measures should be developed with consultation with the relevant governing bodies prior to submission, to ensure that the requirements of the governing body will be met, and to help ensure the development of an acceptable and implementable measure.

    It is expected that recipients will communicate with one another, through participation in Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) meetings, as well as other activities that the PD/PIs may choose to develop. These meetings may provide a forum to discuss topics such as project updates, the process of submission to governing bodies, strategies that can be used to improve standards and validation procedures for quality measures, and best practices to disseminate findings to clinical and policy communities. NIH staff may participate in meetings as a resource.

    This NOFO is for research to be conducted in the U.S. or with clear relevance to the U.S. domestic health system.

    Specific Areas of Research Interest

    Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

    • Development and testing of new outcome-focused measures of mental health care quality, based on existing standardized clinical measures (e.g., PHQ-9, GAD-7, PCL, other Patient Reported Outcome Measures).
    • Development and testing of quality measures that focus on patient functioning, based on measurement of specific patient goals such as living independently, obtaining/retaining work or education, or other quality of life indicators germane to recovery and cure of mental illness. These outcome-focused measures might be based on existing patient-reported instruments such as the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS), the Sheehan Disability Scale or other measures.

    NIMH is committed to supporting research that reduces disparities and advances equity in mental health functioning, services and outcomes. Accordingly, this NOFO encourages research studies that ensure the development and validation of quality measures that are broadly relevant across populations; this can include individuals across the lifespan (children and/or adults), and can be used to identify and address health disparities across racial and ethnic minority groups, individuals limited by language or cultural barriers, sexual and gender minorities, individuals living in rural areas, socioeconomically disadvantaged persons and other underserved groups.

    Projects should include the input of end users and/or key stakeholders in the design and analysis. NIMH encourages a deployment-focused model of intervention and services design and evaluation that takes into account the perspective of relevant stakeholders (e.g., service users, providers, administrators, payers) and the key characteristics of the settings (e.g., resources, including workforce capacity; existing clinical workflows) that are intended to use the resultant quality measures. This attention to end-user perspectives and characteristics of intended clinical and/or community practice settings is intended to ensure the resultant quality measures are acceptable, feasible to use and scale in relevant settings, and will ultimately have utility for end users. Applicants are specifically encouraged to include a member of the relevant governing body as part of their project team.

    Collaborations between academic researchers and clinical or community practice partners or networks are encouraged. When possible, studies should capitalize on existing infrastructure (e.g., practice-based research networks such as the NIMH-sponsored Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), electronic medical records, administrative databases, patient registries, institutions with Clinical and Translational Science Awards) to increase the efficiency of participant recruitment (i.e., more rapid identification and enrollment) and to facilitate the collection of moderator data (e.g., clinical characteristics), longer-term follow-up data, and broader, stakeholder-relevant outcomes (e.g., mental health and general health care utilization, value and efficiency of intervention approaches).

    Responsive applications will include the following:

    • A plan to contact the relevant governing body during the application development process to ensure that the actions necessary for endorsement will be undertaken during the project.
    • A justification for the choice of the governing body (e.g., NQF, CMS, or other entity) and a credible plan for submission for endorsement, including a plan to follow the procedures as outlined by the relevant governing body.
    • Inclusion of relevant costs for submission for endorsement in the budget. Applicants will want to consult with the relevant governing body to assess the extent of work involved, in order to estimate the effort and resources needed.

    Applications Not Responsive to this NOFO

    Applications proposing the following will be considered non-responsive to this NOFO and will not be reviewed:

    • Projects that do not address a mental health-related outcome.
    • Projects that are not designed to develop measures that can be submitted for endorsement to a relevant national, state, or local governing body.
    • Projects that assess the outcomes of a single intervention without developing generalizable outcome-focused measures.
    • Projects that develop structural or process measures (e.g., examining the capacity of the healthcare system or procedures conducted by clinicians) without including clinical or functional outcome-focused measures.
    • Projects without a clear relevance to the U.S. healthcare system.
    • Development or implementation of measures to control costs without taking into account the quality of the services provided (see NOT-OD-16-025).

    Applications should include a timeline that includes estimated time for submission to the relevant governing body.

    For additional questions, applicants are encouraged to contact the Scientific Program Staff listed in Section VII.

    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

    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 NOFO.

    Clinical Trial?

    Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials.

    Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

    NIMH intends to commit $1,500,000 in FY 24 to fund up to 4 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 project period is 4 years.

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

    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.

    • 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.
      • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
      • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)- A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
    • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; 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 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 their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

    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 NOFO 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 NOFO. 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 notice of funding opportunity 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:
    Email: 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 NOFO.

    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 or Modular Budget

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

    Budget should describe the costs for accreditation/endorsement in the budget, and justify the costs relative to the scope of work required.

    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:

    Research Strategy: As part of the Research Strategy, the application include the following information:

    Significance:

    Provide a rationale for why this outcome-focused quality measure should be developed and/or validated (e.g., in terms of the base rate of the condition(s), the availability or lack of availability of existing measures, the potential to improve care and outcomes through use of the measure). Describe why this outcome is appropriate to be translated into a quality measure (e.g., dimensions of mental health functioning, quality of life, quality of care, value of care).

    Describe gaps in knowledge that this quality measure will fill, and how addressing these gaps will be beneficial in improving patient care, quality and/or outcomes.

    Investigators:

    Without duplicating information in the biosketches, describe the research team’s experience and capabilities in assessing client-level outcomes, in system-level measurement, in measurement of quality of care, and in partnering with end users/stakeholders in research activities.

    Describe the research-practice partnerships, including with end users, stakeholders, and governing bodies, with specific attention to the expertise of the partners, feasibility of their activities, and how those partnerships will yield implementable quality measures (e.g., measures that are acceptable and feasible and can be submitted to the relevant governing bodies).

    Innovation:

    Describe how measures developed from this NOFO will lead to improvements in patients mental health functioning, quality of life, and/or improvements in the quality or value of care provided within the U.S. healthcare system.

    Approach:

    Describe the clinical assessments that will be used to develop the outcome-focused measure(s), including the rationale for choosing these measures.

    Describe how the clinical assessments will be translated into outcome-focused measure(s) and the approach that will be used to validate the care quality measure(s).

    Describe the governing body to which the measure will be submitted for accreditation/endorsement, the rationale for choosing this governing body (NQF, CMS or other entity), the applicant’s contact with the organization to date, and the plan for submission.

    Describe the study timeline in detail, taking into account start-up activities, data collection and analysis, and submission to a governing body for endorsement.

    Environment:

    Describe how the study will utilize existing infrastructure (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative data bases, patient registries) or utilize other available resources to increase the efficiency of participant recruitment and data collection. Or, provide a justification in the event that such resources cannot be incorporated.

    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.

    Other Plan(s):

    Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, the Data Management and Sharing Plan will be attached in the Other Plan(s) attachment in FORMS-H application forms packages.

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

    • All applicants planning research (funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH) that results in the generation of scientific data are required to comply with the instructions for the Data Management and Sharing Plan. All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, must address a Data Management and Sharing Plan.

    To advance the goal of advancing research through widespread data sharing among researchers, investigators funded under this FOA are expected to share those data via the National Institute of Mental Health Data Archive (NDA; see NOT-MH-23-100). 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 the 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 website 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. For more guidance on submitting data to NDA refer to the NDA website https://nda.nih.gov/contribute/contribute-data.html . 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.

    • No publications or other material, with the exception of blank questionnaires or blank surveys, may be included in the Appendix.
    • Information from the governing body on the process for submission of measures can be included in the Appendix, but is not required.
    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 form. 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 NOFO for information on registration requirements.

    The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier 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 or non-compliant 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 expects investigators for this funding announcement to collect Common Data Elements (CDEs) for mental health human subjects research. Unless NIMH stipulates otherwise during the negotiation of the terms and conditions of a grant award, this Notice applies to all grant applications involving human research participants. The necessary funds for collecting and submitting these CDE data from all research participants to the NIMH Data Archive (NDA) should be included in the requested budget. A cost estimator (https://nda.nih.gov/ndarpublicweb/Documents/NDA_Data_Submission_Costs.xlsx) is available to facilitate the calculation of these costs. NIMH may seek further information regarding CDEs prior to award. Additional information about CDEs can be found at 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

    Section V. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria

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

    For this particular announcement, note the following:

    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?

    Specific to this NOFO:

    • How well does the application justify the proposed quality measures and their focus (e.g., dimensions of mental health functioning, quality of life, quality of care, value of care)? How strong is the justification regarding the benefit of developing this measure? Does the applicant provide appropriate and adequate evidence of the need for this outcome to be translated into a quality measure (e.g., in terms of the base rate of the condition(s), the availability or lack of availability of existing measures, the potential to improve care and outcomes through use of the measure)?
    • How well does the application justify that the gaps in knowledge will be fulfilled by the quality measures to be developed in this project? How likely is it that addressing these gaps will be beneficial for improving patient care, quality or outcomes?

    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?

    Specific to this NOFO:

    • How experienced is the research team in assessing client-level outcomes, in system-level measurement, measuring quality of care, and partnering with end users/stakeholders in research activities?
    • How strong or well-developed are the research practice partnerships, including with end users, stakeholders and governing bodies, to ensure that the partnership can produce feasible, acceptable, validated and implementable quality measures that can be submitted to relevant governing bodies?

    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?

    Specific to this NOFO:

    • How will the measures developed from this project lead to improvements in patients mental health functioning, quality of life, and/or improvements in the quality or value of care provided, within the US healthcare system?

    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?

    Specific to this NOFO:

    • How sufficient is the rationale for the choice of clinical assessment measure which will be used to develop the outcome-focused measure(s)?
    • How sufficient is the plan for translating clinical assessments into outcome-focused measure(s)?
    • How credible is the plan to seek endorsement from the relevant governing body? How sufficient is the description of the plan, including the rationale for the choice of governing body and contact with the governing body to assess submission requirements? How likely is it that the measures that are developed in this proposal will meet the requirements for submission to the governing body?
    • How sufficient is the study timeline, and does it adequately take into account start-up activities, data collection and analysis, and submission to a governing body for endorsement? How feasible and well-justified is the projected timeline?

    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?

    Specific to this NOFO:

    • To what extent does the study utilize existing infrastructure (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative data bases, patient registries) or utilize other available resources to increase the efficiency of participant recruitment and data collection? Alternatively, how sufficient is the justification provided for not incorporating these resources?

    Additional Review Criteria

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

    Protections for Human Subjects

    For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the 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 Animals Section.

    Biohazards

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

    Resubmissions

    Not Applicable

    Renewals

    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 Resource Sharing Plan(s) (i.e., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.

    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 NOFO.

    Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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

    3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

    Section VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices

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

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

    Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that 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.

    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.

    Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS will be required to complete an HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS 690) in which the recipient agrees, as a condition of receiving the grant, to administer programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex and disability, and agreeing to comply with federal conscience laws, where applicable. This includes ensuring that entities take meaningful steps to provide meaningful access to persons with limited English proficiency; and ensuring effective communication with persons with disabilities. Where applicable, Title XI and Section 1557 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity, The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. See https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/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 NOFO.

    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. Data Management and Sharing

    Note: The NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing is effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023.

    Consistent with the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

    4. 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 NOFOs 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.

    5. Evaluation

    Enter text here.

    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: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (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: 301-637-3015

    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)

    Jennifer Humensky, Ph.D.
    National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
    Telephone: 301-480-1265
    Email: jennifer.humensky@nih.gov

    Peer Review Contact(s)

    Nicholas 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 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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