Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Components of Participating Organizations

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Tobacco Regulatory Science (R21)

Activity Code

R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-OD-13-010

Related Notices
  • May 10, 2017 - New NIH "FORMS-E" Grant Application Forms and Instructions Coming for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2018. See NOT-OD-17-062.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-OD-17-009

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-OD-17-007, R01 Research Project Grant

RFA-OD-17-008, R03 Small Grant Program

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

93.077  

Funding Opportunity Purpose

 The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite research project applications to support biomedical and behavioral research that will provide scientific data to inform regulation of tobacco products to protect public health. Research Projects must address the research priorities related to the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). The awards under this FOA will be administered by NIH using funds that have been made available through FDA CTP and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (P.L. 111-31). Research results from this FOA are expected to generate findings and data that are directly relevant in informing the FDA's regulation of the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

May 10, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

July 17,2017

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

60 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Date(s)

August 17, 2017, February 13, 2018, July 17, 2018, February 13, 2019), by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

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

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

November 2017, June 2018, November 2018, June 2019

Advisory Council Review

January 2018, August 2018, January 2019, August 2019

Earliest Start Date

April 2018, September 2018, April 2019, September 2019

Expiration Date

February 14, 2019

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners.

  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. Go to Grants.gov to download an application package to complete the application forms offline or create a Workspace to complete the forms online; submit your application to Grants.gov; and track your application in eRA Commons.
Learn more about the various submission options.

Table of Contents

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

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

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

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite R21 applications to support biomedical and behavioral research that will provide scientific data to inform regulation of tobacco products to protect public health. Research Projects must address the research priorities related to the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP).

The awards under this FOA will be administered by NIH using funds that have been made available through FDA CTP and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (P.L. 111-31). Research results from this FOA are expected to generate findings and data that are directly relevant in informing the FDA's regulation of the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health. 

Background

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), signed by the President in June 2009, created the FDA Center for Tobacco Products and granted it authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products in order to protect public health. Under the law, FDA regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. The law also gave FDA the ability to regulate additional tobacco products, commonly referred to as “deeming” them through rulemaking. A full description of the FSPTCA can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm298595.htm.

FDA finalized the “deeming” rule, effective August 8, 2016 "to regulate all tobacco products that were not under its jurisdiction that meets the statutory definition of “tobacco product”, including Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems or ENDS (e.g., e-cigarettes, vape pens), cigars, pipe tobacco, gels, hookah (waterpipe) tobacco, and future tobacco products, but not including accessories of newly deemed products." Products deemed under this rule are subject to the same FD&C Act provisions that cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco are subject to, including but not limited to: (1) required submission of ingredient listing and reporting of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) for all tobacco products; (2) prohibition against use of modified risk descriptors (e.g., “light,” “low,” and “mild” descriptors) and claims unless FDA issues an order permitting their use; and (3) premarket review requirements. These actions will improve the public health by affording FDA information regarding the health risks of such products, evaluating whether marketing of new products would be appropriate for the protection of public health or are substantially equivalent to an identified predicate product, and preventing misleading claims about the relative risk of tobacco products. In addition, FDA has the authority to develop product standards, when appropriate for the protection of public health. Funds for this program have been made available through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (P.L. 111-31).     

Program Scope and Research Objectives

Science will inform the FDA in regulation of the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products in order to reduce the public health toll from tobacco product use in the United States. This FOA is focused on the following seven FDA CTP scientific interest areas. Only applications proposing research relevant to one or more of these seven areas will be considered for funding.

SCIENTIFIC INTEREST AREAS

Toxicity - Understanding how tobacco products and changes to tobacco product characteristics affect their potential to cause morbidity and mortality, including animal and cell culture models as well as novel alternative toxicology approaches that test the toxicity of tobacco smoke, aerosols, or specific constituents in tobacco. Priorities include toxicological assays (in vivo and in vitro) to compare toxicity across different types of tobacco products within the same class including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), cigars, waterpipes and smokeless tobacco; how product design characteristics (and changes in those characteristics) impact constituent exposure and toxicity from tobacco products; biomarkers to assess exposure, as well as biomarkers to assess harm or toxicity of non-cigarette tobacco products, including ENDS

Addiction - Understanding the effect of tobacco product characteristics on addiction and abuse liability. Priorities include impact of changes in tobacco product characteristics (such as flavors, product design) on dependence; differences in dependence and tobacco use patterns with use of low nicotine content cigarettes in context with other tobacco products; the amounts of nicotine delivered to ENDS users during experimentation, regular ENDS use, dual use of ENDS and cigarettes, and cigarette smoking quit attempts; correlation of ENDS use behaviors with pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics effects of nicotine and other HPHCs delivered by ENDS;

Health Effects - Understanding the short and long term health effects of tobacco products. Highest priority areas include cardiovascular or respiratory health effects, including inflammation. Other health effects including cancer, oral health or reproductive health may be included within projects but should not be the primary focus of the application. Priorities include impact of changes in tobacco product characteristics (such as flavors, product design) on human health; biomarkers to assess short and long-term effects of non-cigarette tobacco products; clinical evaluations to distinguish changes in cell function/physiology specific to tobacco exposure (e.g., ENDS aerosol exposure) known to indicate longer term disease development and progression.

Behavior - Understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to tobacco product use and changes in tobacco product characteristics. Priorities include changes in tobacco product characteristics (such as flavors, product design, packaging) impact on tobacco use behaviors including experimentation, initiation, dual/poly use, transition to non-flavored products, and cessation; innovative methods and measures to assess tobacco use behaviors; measures, methods, or study designs to assess the likely impact of novel and/or potential modified risk tobacco products on tobacco behavior, including perceptions, susceptibility, experimentation, adoption, switching, and use (including dual use); measures (e.g., attitudes, perceptions, intentions) to best predict future behaviors of non-cigarette tobacco product use, including current and established users of cigars, waterpipe, and ENDS.

Communications – Understanding how to effectively communicate to the public and vulnerable populations regarding nicotine and the health effects of tobacco products, including media campaigns, and digital media. Priorities include messages to effectively communicate about nicotine and the harms of non-cigarette tobacco product use; methods and messages for communicating complex scientific concepts to the general public, including risk and harms of tobacco use taking into account untended consequences; effectiveness of text and graphic warnings for tobacco products other than cigarettes.

Marketing Influences – Understanding why people become susceptible to using tobacco products (both classes of products and products within classes) and transitions between experimentation, initiation to regular use and dual use. Topics may include tobacco industry marketing such as advertising, point-of-sale, digital media, and promotions. Priorities include methods, measures, and study designs to best assess the impact of tobacco product advertising, and promotion restrictions on users and non-users of tobacco including marketing of novel and/or potential modified risk tobacco products ; impact of potential marketing restrictions on youth experimentation, initiation, use and cessation.

Impact Analysis – Understanding impact of potential FDA regulatory actions.

Priorities include evaluation of policies at the state and community level that fall within FDA CTP regulatory authorities; methods and measures (e.g., behavioral economics, population modeling) to estimate the range of potential impacts on behavior and health of potential FDA regulatory actions such as products standards addressing toxicity, appeal, and addiction.

The term "characteristic" encompasses materials, ingredients (including additives and flavors), design, composition, heating source and other features of a tobacco product including harmful and potentially harmful constituents. Product characteristics can be incorporated into all of the above topics. 

Applications may focus on one or more classes of tobacco products. If a vulnerable population will be included, applicants will be expected to identify the population and how the population is important to the research question, taking into account the impact on population health. Vulnerable populations include:

  • Youth and young adults
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Low SES
  • Rural populations
  • People with mental health or medical co-morbidities
  • Military/veterans
  • The LBGTQ community
  • Pregnant women/women of reproductive age

NON-RESPONSIVE RESEARCH TOPICS

Although the following research topics may be within FDA CTP’s regulatory authorities to fund, they are not to be included in the FOA and will be deemed out of scope:

  • Studies of short term health effects and/or acute topography/clinical pharmacology testing of early generation ENDS products
  • Mechanistic studies/basic science of disease development unless biomarkers of harm with predictive value for disease development associated with tobacco product use is an outcome
  • Short-term studies of the acute effects of reduced nicotine content cigarettes
  • Graphic health warnings for cigarette packages and advertisements
  • Communicating harmful and potentially harmful constituents to the public
  • Impacts of marketing restrictions on adults
  • Descriptive studies of demographics and/or risk perceptions that describe only exposure to advertising without linking exposure to tobacco use behaviors

Projects must propose research aims that are within the regulatory authority of FDA CTP and the scientific interest areas identified in this FOA in order to be considered responsive to this FOA. As such, investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss whether their application is responsive to this FOA with a Scientific/Research Contact, listed in Section VII, prior to submission of their application. Additional information, including research priorities and a Frequently Asked Questions document can be found at: http://prevention.nih.gov/tobacco/.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Applicants should keep the following special considerations in mind as they prepare their applications:

  • Data Harmonization for Tobacco Regulatory Research via the PhenX Toolkit: NIH and FDA encourage investigators involved in human-subjects studies to employ a common set of tools and resources that will promote the collection of comparable data across studies and to do so by incorporating the measures from the Core and Specialty collections, which are available in the Tobacco Regulatory Research Collection of the PhenX Toolkit (www.phenxtoolkit.org).
  • Tobacco Industry Funding of Applicants: The FDA CTP has adopted the following guidance regarding tobacco industry funding of applicants responding to this FOA.
  • The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA) has set forth points with regard to existing or prospective sponsored research agreements with tobacco companies or their related entities and the impact of acceptance of tobacco industry funding on NIDA's credibility and reputation within the scientific community. Please see (https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/advisory-boards-groups/national-advisory-council-drug-abuse-nacda/council-statements/points-to-consider-regarding-tobacco-industry-funding-nida) for details. While this guidance was originally issued for NIDA applicants, it is relevant for all applications submitted under this FOA.
  • Recommended Guidelines for the Administration of Drugs to Human Subjects: NACDA also recognizes the importance of research involving the administration of drugs with abuse potential, and dependence or addiction liability, to human subjects. Potential applicants are encouraged to obtain and review these recommendations of Council before submitting an application that will administer compounds to human subjects. The guidelines are available on NIDA's Web site at https://www.drugabuse.gov/funding/clinical-research/nacda-guidelines-administration-drugs-to-human-subjects

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.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon funding availability, the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications, and programmatic priority.

NIH, via support from the FDA Center for Tobacco products (CTP), intends to fund up to 14 R21s, corresponding to a total of up to $4 million, for fiscal year 2018. Future year amounts will depend on availability of funds.

Award Budget

The combined budget for direct costs for the entire project period may not exceed $275,000.  No more than $200,000 in direct cost may be requested in any single year.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is two years.

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

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)

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)
  • 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)

NOTE: Research proposed in applications from foreign institutions must be specific to the United States population and provide information that will be useful to United States regulations.

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) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms 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 Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Tobacco Regulatory Science Program
Office of Disease Prevention
6100 Executive Blvd.
Room 3B01, MSC 7530
Bethesda, MD 20892-7530 (use Rockville, MD 20852 for Express Mail)
Telephone: 301-451-7464
Fax: 301-480-2230
Email: TRSP@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 or Modular 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:  The research plan(s) must explicitly state how the expected results will inform tobacco product regulatory activities and actions.

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 research findings generated from this FOA may be used to provide scientific evidence informing the regulation of the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health.  If the research data are cited publically in support of regulation, institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as outlined in 2 CFR 200 (http://gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title2-vol1/pdf/CFR-2015-title2-vol1-part200.pdf ) and the NIH Grants Policy Statement  (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2011/nihgps_ch2.htm#info_confidentiality)

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

Appendix:

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

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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

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

Awards funded under this FOA are not subject to SNAP authorities and do not have authority for the carryover of unobligated balances from budget period to any subsequent budget period without prior written approval from NIH. Special reporting requirements also apply, as described in Section VI.3. Reporting.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant,  nonresponsive to the scientific interest areas identified in this FOA, and/or proposing work outside FDA-CTP's regulatory authority will not be reviewed.

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the Tobacco Regulatory Science Program by email at TRSP@mail.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

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. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For this particular announcement, note the following:

The R21 exploratory/developmental grant supports investigation of novel scientific ideas or new model systems, tools, or technologies that have the potential for significant impact on biomedical or biobehavioral research. An R21 grant application need not have extensive background material or preliminary information. Accordingly, reviewers will focus their evaluation on the conceptual framework, the level of innovation, and the potential to significantly advance our knowledge or understanding. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or, when available, from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required for R21 applications; however, they may be included if available.

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 issue or a critical barrier in the field?  Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge and/or technical capability be improved? How will successful completion of the aims affect the concepts, methods, and technologies related to the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products?

Investigator(s)

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

Innovation
Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the 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 children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

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) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

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

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

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

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

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. An Interim Report will be due every six months following the project start date, as well as the annual progress report.  Electronic copies should be sent to the Grants Management Specialist listed on the Notice of Grant Award. The scientific summary should be a maximum of two (2) pages.

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 registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, 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)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Rachel Grana Mayne, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5899
Email: granar@nih.gov

Lisa Postow, PhD
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-877-7843
Email: postowl@nih.gov

Abraham Bautista, PhD
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-9737
Email: bautista@nih.gov

Mary Kautz, PhD
National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-443-3206
Email: kautzm@nih.gov

Fred Tyson, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-0176
Email: tyson2@nih.gov


Peer Review Contact(s)

Mark Caprara, PhD
Center for Scientific Review
Telephone: 301-613-5228
Email: capraramg@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Amy Bucheimer
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-827-6694
Email: bucheimera@nih.gov

Judy Sint
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-480-1307
Email: sintj@nih.gov

Judy Fox
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-4704
Email:jfox@nih.gov

Carol Perry
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6282
Email: perryc@nih.gov

Michelle Victalino
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-316-4666
Email: victalinom@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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