Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Funding Opportunity Title
Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Coordinating Center (U2C) (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

U2C Resource-Related Research Multi-Component Projects and Centers Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-OD-16-006
Related Notices

September 19, 2022 - Notice of Pre-Application Webinar for Funding Opportunities to Extend and Expand the ECHO Cohort. See Notice NOT-OD-23-001

NOT-OD-22-190 - Adjustments to NIH and AHRQ Grant Application Due Dates Between September 22 and September 30, 2022

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-OD-22-021
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-OD-22-016 , U24 Resource-Related Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)
RFA-OD-22-017 , UG3/ UH3 Phase 1 Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement/Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement Phase II
RFA-OD-22-018 , UG3/ UH3 Phase 1 Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement/Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement Phase II
RFA-OD-22-019 , UG3/ UH3 Phase 1 Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement/Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement Phase II
RFA-OD-22-020 , U24 Resource-Related Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)
RFA-OD-22-022 , U24 Resource-Related Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.310, 93.853, 93.847, 93.838, 93.837, 93.839, 93.840, 93.233, 93.879, 93.273, 93.361, 93.307, 93.242, 93.121, 93.866, 93.865, 93.279, 93.113, 93.350, 93.213, 93.855
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this FOA is to invite applications for a Coordinating Center for the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. The ECHO Coordinating Center will provide comprehensive operational leadership and an organizational infrastructure to manage and coordinate all ECHO Cohort activities. The Coordinating Center’s main roles are to: 1) Provide oversight and effective project management for all aspects of the ECHO Cohort consortium; 2) Support multiple ECHO Cohort committees and serve as the centralized ECHO Cohort communications center; and 3) Administer the Opportunities and Innovation Fund.

This FOA runs in parallel with companion FOAs that solicit applications for Cohort Study Sites for follow-up of existing ECHO Cohort participants and for recruitment of new pregnant participants (RFA-OD-22-018), for Cohort Study Sites only for follow-up of existing ECHO Cohort participants (RFA-OD-22-019), for Cohort Study Sites only for recruitment of new pregnant participants (RFA-OD-22-017), for an ECHO Data Analysis Center (RFA-OD-22-022), for an ECHO Measurement Core (RFA-OD-22-020), and for an ECHO Laboratory Core (RFA-OD-22-016).

Key Dates

Posted Date
August 30, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
October 21, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

October 21, 2022

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
November 21, 2022 November 21, 2022 Not Applicable February 2023 May 2023 September 2023

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.

Expiration Date
November 22, 2022
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Multi-Project (M) 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. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

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



  3. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Objective, Background, and Scope

The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program plans to extend and expand the ECHO Cohort in its next phase (2023-2029) to further investigate the roles of a broad range of early exposures from society to biology, including the preconception period, on ECHO’s five key child health outcomes among diverse populations. The objective of this FOA is to solicit applications for an ECHO Coordinating Center to provide comprehensive operational leadership and an organizational infrastructure to manage and coordinate all ECHO Cohort activities. The main roles of the ECHO Coordinating Center are to: 1) Provide oversight and effective project management for all aspects of the ECHO Cohort consortium; 2) Support multiple ECHO Cohort committees and serve as the centralized ECHO Cohort communications center; and 3) Administer the Opportunities and Innovation Fund.

ECHO is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and, as such, encourages community-engaged recruitment and retention strategies that will enhance the diversity of the ECHO Cohort participants; research that addresses health equity and health disparities; and enhancements in the diversity of the scientific workforce in children’s health (NOT-OD-20-031). In this FOA, the term "diverse populations" includes health disparity populations as defined by NIH.

Background

In 2016 NIH launched the nationwide ECHO Program with the mission to enhance the health of children for generations to come. ECHO Pediatric Cohort investigators established the ECHO Cohort by combining data and biospecimens from multiple pre-existing and ongoing maternal-child cohort studies, driven by the ECHO Cohort Protocol. ECHO investigators explore how a broad range of early environmental exposures from society to biology influence five pediatric outcome areas: pre-, peri- and postnatal, upper and lower airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health. ECHO focuses on exposures from preconception to age five and child health outcomes from the prenatal period through adolescence. The scientific impact of the ECHO Cohort relies upon data and biospecimen availability which ECHO makes available in two ways: 1) on the ECHO Cohort Data Platform—a highly secure, FISMA moderate cloud environment available to ECHO analysts, along with the ECHO Biorepository; and 2) a nearly-anonymized, controlled access public use dataset located in NICHD’s Data and Specimen Hub available to the broader scientific community. To date, the ECHO Cohort datasets comprise data on over 50,000 children, plus their family members, and nearly that number of biospecimens.

The ECHO Program now seeks to extend longitudinal follow up of existing ECHO Cohort participants and expand the ECHO Cohort by adding new pregnant participants. The next phase of the ECHO Cohort consortium will extend its reach by following nearly 40,000 existing ECHO Cohort child participants for an additional 7 years.The ECHO Cohort will also expand to include a new diverse sample of approximately 20,000 pregnant participants, and, if available, the conceiving partner, recruited during early pregnancy with follow-up of their resulting offspring.

Derived from the postpartum period of these 20,000 pregnant participants, the ECHO Cohort will also include a preconception pilot study of approximately 10,000 potential pregnant participants and, if available, their conceiving partners who are at moderate to high probability of having a subsequent child during the study period (2023-2029). NIH anticipates at least 3,000 births from this preconception pilot study, followed through the end of the ECHO Cohort study period (2023-2029), including a minimum follow up to one year of age. The ECHO Program Office expects these combined strategies to result in the ECHO Cohort consisting of ~60,000 children—ranging from the preconception period through adolescence—plus their caregivers.

Scope

This FOA and its companion FOAs will continue to support the ECHO Cohort to allow investigations into the effects of a broad range of early environmental exposures, beginning during the preconception period, on child health outcomes. ECHO is interested in a broad range of exposures including physical and chemical, societal, medical, psychosocial, behavioral, and biological. ECHO will continue to focus on its five key child health outcomes: pre-, peri- and postnatal, upper and lower airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health. The ECHO Cohort consortium will continue to emphasize solution-oriented research that can inform programs, policies, and practices.

To achieve success, the NIH expects all ECHO awardees to employ outstanding practices of team science, including mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration, with all consortium members. The ECHO Cohort consortium will include:

ECHO Cohort Study Sites to lead collaborative ECHO Cohort science; follow up existing ECHO participants; recruit new pregnant participants with emphasis on diverse populations, their resulting offspring, and, if available, the conceiving partner; develop and implement the ECHO Cohort Preconception Pilot Study; and implement the ECHO Cohort Protocol using ECHO’s central data capture system.

An ECHO Coordinating Center to provide comprehensive operational leadership and an organizational infrastructure to manage and coordinate all ECHO Cohort activities. The Coordinating Center’s main roles are to provide program oversight and effective project management for all aspects of the ECHO Cohort Program; support multiple ECHO Cohort committees and serve as the centralized ECHO Cohort communications center; and administer the Opportunities and Innovation Fund for early career scientists.

An ECHO Data Analysis Center to lead, standardize, and integrate ECHO Cohort Protocol data capture, management, and storage through a central data system; provide analytic support and expertise to analysis proposals approved by the ECHO Cohort consortium; and enrich research infrastructure and data science to facilitate broader sharing of ECHO Cohort data and resources with the scientific community.

An ECHO Measurement Core to develop and refine measures for the ECHO Cohort Protocol, including methods to implement the measures; assist all ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers in implementing and evaluating the ECHO Cohort Protocol; and lead strategic decision-making to incorporate new and revised measures to advance ECHO Cohort science while moderating participant and staff burden.

An ECHO Laboratory Core to provide leadership and infrastructure for all activities related to ECHO Cohort biospecimens and data generated from biospecimen assays. The main roles of the ECHO Laboratory Core are to facilitate collection and processing of biospecimens; manage the ECHO Cohort Biorepository; perform or facilitate a wide range of biospecimen assays to support ECHO Cohort analyses; and coordinate biospecimen information and assay results.

It is essential that applicants for this FOA familiarize themselves with the companion FOAs, including the goals and requirements for the Cohort Study Sites, Coordinating Center, Data Analysis Center, Measurement Core, and Laboratory Core and how they function together within the ECHO Cohort consortium.

At the start of the funding period, Cohort Study Sites will implement the ECHO Cohort Protocol, from pregnancy through adolescence, i.e., 20 years, 11 months 30 days. NIH expects that the ECHO Cohort consortium will develop and implement a Steering Committee-approved preconception phase of the ECHO Cohort Protocol within the first year of the study period.

The ECHO Cohort Protocol will consist of two types of essential data elements and biospecimens, Core and Specialized. All Cohort Study Sites must collect all Core and Specialized data elements and biospecimens on all participants.

The Core data elements in the ECHO Cohort Protocol will include exposure and outcome elements that are key to analyses that will employ the large sample size of the ECHO Cohort. Such elements will include sociodemographics, dates of birth and study visits, addresses, health histories, psychosocial and family environment, lifestyle and other behaviors, physical and neurodevelopmental health, and well-being. Core biospecimens will include DNA from the biological parents; the pregnant participant's whole blood, urine, hair, and toenails; children’s DNA, whole blood or blood spot, urine, hair, toenails, and shed teeth. NIH encourages Cohort Study Sites to collect placenta, cord blood, and breastmilk on a sub-sample of participants.

The ECHO Cohort Protocol will include Specialized Exposure and Specialized Outcome areas specifying the essential data elements and biospecimens that ECHO Cohort Study Sites will collect in each area. These Specialized areas will include more extensive elements or more detailed measures than the Core elements. The NIH ECHO Program Office anticipates the Specialized Exposure areas to include a) Physical & Chemical, e.g., air pollution and household chemicals; b) Lifestyle, e.g., nutrition, sleep, physical activity; or c) Psychosocial, e.g., stress, social support, and discrimination. Specialized Outcome areas include ECHO’s five key child health outcomes area: pre-, peri- and postnatal, upper and lower airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health. Cohort Study Sites must collect all data elements specified by the ECHO Cohort Protocol within their specialized exposure and outcome areas, from all participants.

For this FOA, the Coordinating Center will have primary responsibility for overall ECHO Cohort consortium oversight, project management, committee support, communications, and management of the Opportunities and Infrastructure Fund. The Coordinating Center will work closely with and rely on cooperation and input from the ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers described in companion FOAs (RFA-OD-22-016, RFA-OD-22-017, RFA-OD-22-018, RFA-OD-22-019, RFA-OD-22-020, RFA-OD-22-021, and RFA-OD-22-022). It is essential that applicants for this Coordinating Center FOA are familiar with the companion FOAs, including the specific goals and requirements for the Cohort Study Sites, Data Analysis Center, Measurement Core, and Laboratory Core and their functioning within the ECHO Cohort consortium.

Structure of the ECHO Coordinating Center

The ECHO Coordinating Center will consist of the following components:

1. Overall Component

2. Coordinating Center Administrative Core

3. Oversight and Project Management Component

4. Committee Support and Communications Component

5. Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component

Specifically, the ECHO Coordinating Center’s specific aims should address each component:

1. Coordinating Center Overall Component

Provide an organizational structure and related functions to manage and coordinate all aspects of the ECHO Cohort consortium and to collaborate effectively with all Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers

2. Coordinating Center Administrative Core

Provide the internal structure and related functions to manage the ECHO Coordinating Center award and contracts

3. Oversight and Project Management Component

The Coordinating Center will:

  • Monitor overall progress of the ECHO Cohort and progress at individual Cohort Study Sites in meeting ECHO Cohort consortium goals and objectives:
    • Provide overall project management by establishing and monitoring milestones and timelines for the ECHO Cohort with direct authority to manage and coordinate the deliverables of the Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers
    • Develop a real-time, user-friendly, central dashboard to track consortium-wide ECHO Cohort and study site progress toward achieving annual ECHO Cohort objectives
    • Identify risks to meeting consortium goals, develop solutions, and elevate issues to the Steering Committee, Operations Committee, and NIH as needed
    • Lead consortium-wide improvements in efficiency and evaluation of protocol fidelity in collaboration with Cohort Study Sites, Data Analysis Center, Measurement Core, Laboratory Core, and NIH ECHO Program staff
    • Complete an external evaluation of the scientific outcomes of the ECHO Cohort consortium in the middle of the funding project period
  • Oversee development and implementation of a single, standardized ECHO Cohort Data and Biospecimen Collection Protocol (“ECHO Cohort Protocol”) that includes the preconception period and amendments as approved by the Steering Committee and the NIH ECHO Director:
    • Coordinate development of a Manual of Operating Procedures for data collection, use of the ECHO Cohort consortium’s central data capture system (e.g., REDCap Central), biospecimen collection, processing, and storage, including remote as well as in-person approaches to collection in collaboration with other Cores and Centers
    • Support development of a preconception section of the ECHO Cohort Protocol in collaboration with other consortium investigators to be completed within the first 6 months of award so that the consortium can implement the protocol by the end of the first year
    • Oversee regulatory aspects of human subjects protections including implementing a standard ECHO Cohort process for central single IRB (sIRB) approval and informed consent
    • Provide appropriate training for ECHO Cohort staff and ensure required training is up to date
    • Monitor implementation of the ECHO Cohort Protocol in collaboration with all ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, Centers, and NIH
    • Assist Cohort Study Sites as needed to overcome barriers to enroll and retain participants and collect complete and high-quality data and biospecimens according to the ECHO Cohort Protocol
    • Support rapid development and implementation of time sensitive projects under the ECHO Cohort Protocol in response to natural experiments or health crises
  • Coordinate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) activities across the ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers to ensure the ECHO Cohort incorporates diverse study populations, a diverse workforce, research questions addressing health disparities and health equity, and culturally relevant and sensitive communications
  • Coordinate, develop, and implement consistent ECHO Cohort policies under the guidance of the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee and Operations Committee, e.g., data sharing, publications, return of results, biospecimen use, ancillary studies.
  • Maintain capability to administer capitation funds to study sites for enrollment, retention, and data and biospecimen collection for study participants

4. Committee Support and Communications Component

The Coordinating Center will:

  • Provide administrative support and coordination for multiple ECHO Cohort committees, working groups, and task forces as follows:
    • Provide leadership for an ECHO Cohort Operations Committee (see Shared Accountability and Governance section) meeting approximately twice a month
    • Coordinate the functions of the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee, including approximately twice-a-month video conferences, maintenance of Steering Committee minutes, coordination of subcommittees, working groups, and task forces
    • Support administrative functions for subcommittees, Working Groups, and Task Forces
    • Coordinate the functions of the ECHO External Scientific Board including face-to-face or virtual meetings, maintain External Scientific Board minutes, and provide communications between the External Scientific Board, the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee and the NIH ECHO Director and NIH ECHO Program staff
    • Organize and coordinate 2-4 in-person or virtual consortium-wide scientific and operational meetings per year
    • Facilitate activities related to the ECHO Cohort Publications Committee including, but not limited to, establishing efficient publications policies and processes, hosting a site for reviewing ECHO Cohort analysis proposals, and providing an easily searchable database of proposals and publications
    • Provide scientific editorial services and lay summaries of ECHO Cohort publications
  • Serve as the centralized ECHO Cohort Communications hub with the following responsibilities:
    • Communicate with all ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers and the NIH ECHO Program Office to ensure the ECHO Cohort consortium operates in an effective, consistent, and collaborative manner
    • Facilitate multi-directional communication between ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores and Centers to encourage high-impact and solution-oriented research such as hosting user-friendly sites for members of the consortium to interact with each other and draft materials
    • Create universal ECHO Cohort branded communications for recruitment, enrollment, retention, and dissemination, including but not limited to informed consent forms, website, newsletters, and participant-facing materials
    • Design and maintain user-friendly online ECHO Cohort resources for the storage and exchange of ECHO Cohort information as well as an external interface for participants, the broader scientific community, external stakeholders, and the public
    • Ensure that ECHO Cohort communications are considerate of diverse audiences and use language that is inclusive and promotes equity
    • Coordinate development and implementation of strategies for participant engagement, including centralized return of aggregate and individual results to participants
    • Develop and implement strategic plans to engage key audiences via social media
    • Manage ECHO websites and social media channels status
    • Develop and distribute infographics, social media graphics, templates, fact sheets, and other graphics
    • Draft and distribute press releases to disseminate ECHO research results; conduct outreach to engage the media across traditional and emerging channels

5. Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component

The ECHO Coordinating Center will:

  • Administer and manage the ECHO Cohort Opportunities and Innovation Fund to promote the development of early career scientists, support innovative projects that introduce new research, tools, and technologies in the ECHO Cohort consortium, and promote collaborations that support the scientific goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium
  • Develop requests for Opportunities and Innovation Fund applications, manage acceptance of applications, and organize application reviews
  • Establish an administrative structure to disburse and track Opportunities and Innovation Fund resources to awardees
  • Establish procedures to report Opportunities and Innovation Fund project progress and expenditures to the NIH ECHO Program Office
  • Facilitate career development and networking activities for awardees
  • Evaluate the impact of the Opportunities and Innovation Fund on awardees’ careers at the end of the award period
  • Execute contracting functions for Opportunities and Innovation Fund awards and meeting support

This FOA will not support management of the ECHO Biorepository, which is a function of the ECHO Laboratory Core (see RFA-OD-22-016)

Project Timeline

All applicants for the Coordinating Center should provide a detailed timeline with milestones for establishing and managing all years of the study in the application.

Shared Accountability and Governance

ECHO anticipates using a shared accountability model, including a plan, do, study, act approach, to support achievement of consortium goals. The ECHO Cohort Steering Committee will drive the ECHO Cohort consortium’s scientific direction by setting strategic research priorities and annual scientific objectives. To fulfill this responsibility, the Steering Committee may establish a series of subcommittees, working groups, or task forces to generate research ideas, specify ECHO Cohort Protocol needs, integrate scientific knowledge, review research products, and disseminate scientific results.

The ECHO Cohort Steering Committee’s annual scientific objectives may include

  • Setting a target number of distinct types of ECHO Cohort analyses, e.g.,
    • Influences of multiple exposures on ECHO health outcome areas
    • Influences of exposures on more than one ECHO health outcome areas
    • Analyses that address urgent public health issues that relate to any one or more of ECHO’s five health outcome areas
  • Ensuring ECHO Cohort analyses address scientific questions related to, e.g.,
    • Health disparities and health equity
    • Social determinants of health
    • Natural experiments or health crises
    • Novel chemicals
    • Resilience or reversibility
    • Health trajectories or developmental plasticity
    • Preconception exposures
  • Focusing analytic resources on solution-oriented ECHO Cohort analyses designed to inform programs, policies, and practices to enhance child health

To enable the Steering Committee’s strategic scientific priorities and annual research objectives, the NIH ECHO Program Office will establish consortium-level operational objectives related but not limited to

  • Study participants, including participants from diverse populations
    • Recruiting newly pregnant or preconception participants
    • Enrolling children into the ECHO Cohort
    • Retaining participants through the end of the study period
  • Data collection, completeness, and usability
    • Approving the Preconception phase of the ECHO Cohort Protocol
    • Ensuring data quality and fidelity of implementing the ECHO Cohort Protocol for pregnancy, preconception, and child participants
    • Making ECHO Cohort data available for analysis
  • Biospecimen collection and use
  • Publication and dissemination of ECHO Cohort data analyses

An ECHO Cohort Operations Committee will enable achievement of the Steering Committee’s scientific priorities and the operational objectives that the NIH ECHO Program Office sets. To fulfill this responsibility, the Operations Committee may establish subgroups to assure consortium-wide progress toward objectives relating to participant enrollment and retention, biospecimen storage and use, consortium-wide data availability, analysis and manuscript pipelines, or consortium policies. The Operations Committee will facilitate the function of a central dashboard that displays real-time consortium-wide progress toward the annual ECHO Cohort consortium's scientific and operational objectives. The Operations Committee will regularly evaluate the extent of achievement of the ECHO Cohort consortium's objectives, identify barriers to success, and implement solutions. The dashboard will allow the Steering Committee, Operations Committee, and NIH ECHO Program staff to closely monitor the contributions of all ECHO Cohort consortium awardees toward achievement of all scientific and operational objectives.

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

The ECHO Program is committed to diversity equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The ECHO Program recognizes that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations participate in, and benefit from research, and enhancing public trust.

To support the best science, the ECHO Program encourages inclusivity in research. Examples of structures that promote diverse perspectives include but are not limited to:

  • Transdisciplinary research projects and collaborations among researchers from array of scientific fields
  • Engagement from different types of institutions and organizations, e.g., research-intensive, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based
  • Individual applications and partnerships that enhance geographic and regional heterogeneity
  • Investigators and teams composed of researchers at different career stages
  • Participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce (see NOT-OD-20-031), such as underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women
  • Project-based opportunities to enhance the research environment to benefit early- and mid-career investigators

This FOA requires a PEDP as part of the application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the FOA instructions carefully and view the available PEDP guidance material.

Applications must include a PEDP submitted as Other Project Information as an attachment (see Section IV). The PEDP will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation, aswell as considered among programmatic matters with respect to funding decisions.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

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

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to fund one award, corresponding to a total of up to $14,000,000 total costs for fiscal year 2023. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

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

The project period is 7 years.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local Governments

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

Federal Governments

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are 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 full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; 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 his/her 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.

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST or an institutional system-to-system solution. A button to apply using ASSIST is 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 Multi-Project (M) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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:

Susan A. Laessig, Ph.D
Telephone: 301-435-1045
Email: susan.laessig@nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Component Component Type for Submission Page Limit Required/Optional Minimum Maximum
Overall Overall 6 Required 1 1
Coordinating Center Administrative Core Admin Core 6 Required 1 1
Oversight and Project Management Component Core 12 Required 1 1
Committee Support and Communications Component Core 12 Required 1 1
Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component Core 12 Required 1 1

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall Component: required
  • Coordinating Center Administrative Core
  • Oversight and Project Management Component
  • Committee Support and Communications Component
  • Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component

Page Limitations

Available Component Types

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall Component

6

Coordinating Center Administrative Core

6

Oversight and Project Management Component

12

Committee Support and Communications Component

12

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component

12

Overall Component

When preparing your application, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

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

SF424(R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Other Attachments:

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

In an "Other Attachment" entitled "Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives," all applicants must include a summary of strategies to advance the scientific and technical merit of the proposed project through expanded inclusivity. The PEDP should provide a holistic and integrated view of how enhancing diverse perspectives is viewed and supported throughout the application and can incorporate elements with relevance to any review criteria (significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment) as appropriate. Where possible, applicant(s) should align their description with these required elements within the research strategy section. The PEDP will vary depending on the scientific aims, expertise required, the environment and performance site(s), as well as how the project aims are structured. The PEDP may be no more than 1-page in length and should include a timeline and milestones for relevant components that will be considered as part of the review. Examples of items that advance inclusivity in research and may be part of the PEDP can include, but are not limited to:

  • Discussion of engagement with different types of institutions and organizations (e.g., research-intensive, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based)
  • Description of any planned partnerships that may enhance geographic and regional diversity
  • Plan to enhance recruiting of women and individuals from groups traditionally under-represented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce
  • Proposed monitoring activities to identify and measure PEDP progress benchmarks
  • Plan to utilize the project infrastructure (i.e., research and structure) to support career-enhancing research opportunities for diverse junior, early- and mid-career researchers
  • Description of any training and/or mentoring opportunities available to encourage participation of students, postdoctoral researchers and co-investigators from diverse backgrounds
  • Plan to develop transdisciplinary collaboration(s) that require unique expertise and/or solicit diverse perspectives to address research question(s)
  • Publication plan that enumerates planned manuscripts and proposed lead authorship
  • Outreach and planned engagement activities to enhance recruitment of individuals from diverse groups as research participants including those from under-represented backgrounds

For further information on the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), please see https://braininitiative.nih.gov/about/plan-enhancing-diverse-perspectives-pedp.

Project/Performance Site Locations (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research and Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application.

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.

PEDP implementation costs:

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall)

Specific Aims: The aims should address how the ECHO Coordinating Center will provide overall management and coordination of the ECHO Cohort consortium to achieve its overall goal of investigating the roles of a broad range of early exposures from society to biology, including the preconception period, on ECHO’s five key child health outcomes—pre-, peri- and postnatal, upper and lower airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health—among diverse populations.

Research Strategy:

The Overall section of the application should describe proposed plans for the organization and staffing of the Coordinating Center, how the Coordinating Center Components of the organization, including key personnel, will interact and ensure efficient cooperation, communication and coordination, and how the proposed organization of Coordinating Center Components will create an integrated entity capable of effectively providing support for the ECHO Cohort consortium's functions.

Include the following:

(i) An overall organizational chart showing the three required Coordinating Center Components and the Administrative Core, as well as any additional organizational entities, identifying the proposed PD(s)/Pl(s), the Component Leaders, and staff serving in a senior role.

(ii) An overall discussion of governance and internal and external communication and coordination concepts that are of importance for the success of a large, multi-component consortium and its coordinating center.

(iii) Plans for the Coordinating Center to collaborate with the ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers.

(iv) An overall discussion of relevant considerations for developing and amending the standard ECHO Cohort Protocol, implementing the Protocol at each study site, and monitoring progress of data and biospecimen collection at each study site, including innovative strategies, methodologies, and approaches to overcome common problems and difficulties in human subjects research.

(v) A detailed description of the relevant expertise, experience, and accomplishments of the applicant organization in the planning, direction, coordination, management, and provision of the full scope of organizational and research support provided for in this application.

(vi) If applying as a renewal, the applicant should document their progress during the first seven years in the ECHO Cohort consortium (FY2016-2022)

(vii) If the applicant organization also applies to the ECHO Data Analysis Center FOA, Measurement Core FOA, or Laboratory Core FOA, include a discussion of specific advantages offered to ECHO if the applicant organization was to support the Coordinating Center in addition to the other ECHO Cohort Center or Core(s).

Letters of Support:

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

The following modifications also apply:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan. This plan should describe how the proposed Coordinating Center would follow the NIH and ECHO data sharing and use policies.
  • Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

Appendix:

Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Overall)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials 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, there must be at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or a Delayed Onset Study record within the application. The study record(s) must be included in the component(s) where the work is being done, unless the same study spans multiple components. To avoid the creation of duplicate study records, a single study record with sufficient information for all involved components must be included in the Overall component when the same study spans multiple components.

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 (Overall)

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

Coordinating Center Administrative Core

When preparing your application, use Component Type ‘Coordinating Center Administrative Core.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.

  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.

  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.

  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.

Budget (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Applicants must include funding in the budget for the following:

  • Applicants should provide support for key staff to attend ECHO Cohort Consortium Science Meetings in the Bethesda, MD area at least twice a year throughout the project period, including the launch meeting anticipated in the Fall 2023.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

The most commonly referenced Research Plan attachments are listed below for your convenience. FOA–specific instructions are required for the Specific Aims and the Research Strategy in each component. FOA-specific instructions are optional for Letters of Support. Delete “Letters of Support” if there are no FOA-specific instructions.

Specific Aims: Briefly describe the overall Specific Aims of the proposed Core

Research Strategy:

This section of the application should describe the internal administrative structure of the proposed ECHO Coordinating Center. The application should address the following:

  1. Describe the internal administrative structure of the proposed ECHO Coordinating Center and identify lines of authority, personnel with specific responsibilities for internal function quality assurance and control, and personnel with financial responsibilities for the management of the ECHO Coordinating Center Award
  1. Describe processes and procedures that will ensure effective operations and communications among the Coordinating Center staff in all domains including the financial management of the Coordinating Center award
  1. The NIH may use capitation to enhance productivity for underperforming Cohort Study Sites. The application should describe the administrative structure needed to provide capitation costs tied to study deliverables to ECHO Cohort study sites. Capitation structure may include participant recruitment and visits for data and biospecimen collection.
  1. Describe the administrative structure needed to establish contracts for Opportunities and Innovation Fund awards

 

Letters of Support:

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

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

Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

Appendix:

Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix.Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Coordinating Center Administrative Core)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials 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 a 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.

Oversight and Project Management Component

When preparing your application, use Component Type ‘Oversight and Project Management Component.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Oversight and Project Management Component)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information

  • Type of Applicant (optional)

  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project

  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Oversight and Project Management Component)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Oversight and Project Management Component)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Oversight and Project Management Component)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Oversight and Project Management Component)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.

  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.

  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.

  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.

Budget (Oversight and Project Management Component)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Applicants should consider budgeting for support of a single, standardized Protocol where all Cohort Study Sites will collect Core elements and Specialized exposure and outcome data and biospecimens from approximately 60,000 ECHO Cohort child participants, and their parents or caregivers, from the preconception period to adolescence by approximately 50 Cohort Study Site awardees, over the entire period of the Cooperative Agreement.

Applicants should consider budgeting for comprehensive Project Management for the entire ECHO Cohort consortium including all Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers described in companion FOAs.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

 

PHS 398 Research Plan (Oversight and Project Management Component)

The most commonly referenced Research Plan attachments are listed below for your convenience. FOA–specific instructions are required for the Specific Aims and the Research Strategy in each component. FOA-specific instructions are optional for Letters of Support. Delete “Letters of Support” if there are no FOA-specific instructions.

Specific Aims:

Briefly describe the overall Specific Aims of the proposed Oversight and Project Management Component.

Research Strategy:

This section of the application should describe the approach for innovatively addressing the scope of activities for overall oversight and project management. Include proposed plans for supporting development of the ECHO Cohort Protocol and monitoring of data and biospecimen collection at all study sites.

Include the following:

(i) The senior administrative team and key personnel’s overall experience in leadership, oversight, and project management - highlight major strengths, capabilities, and critical experience without repeating information in individual biosketches

(ii) Project management experience for large collaborative multi-component research consortiums

(iii) Experience developing electronic central dashboards and tools to track progress in large multi-team research consortia and plans to develop and operate such a dashboard or progress tracking tools for the ECHO Cohort consortium

(iv) Specific milestones, measurable goals, and benchmarks for the entire award period. Milestones are intermediate steps towards the completion of concrete goals

(v) Institutional infrastructure and resources that will contribute to the successful operation and activities of the Coordinating Center

(vi) Highlights of unique and innovative approaches for coordinating multi-component research

(vii) Chain of responsibilities and internal communication processes within the organizational structure including that for decision making and conflict resolution

(viii) Outline of the overall strategy, approaches, and flexibility to adapt that the applicant team will use to develop and implement its delineated activities.

(ix) Strategies to facilitate complete and timely implementation of the ECHO Cohort Protocol

(x) An organizational chart listing the tasks that this Component will accomplish. Identify the types of staff associated with each task and describe their respective roles and responsibilities.

(xi) A description of the processes for coordinating development or amendment of the ECHO Cohort Protocol and ancillary documents, e.g., Standard Operating Procedures, in collaboration with ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers.

(xii) A description of the Coordinating Center's involvement in the development of study informed consent forms and managing applications under a single, central IRB.

(xiii) A plan for training ECHO Cohort Study Site staff to implement the ECHO Cohort Protocol prior to study initiation.

(xiv) Plans and procedures to monitor Cohort Study Site fidelity to the ECHO Cohort Protocol, as well as plans to mitigate challenges.

(xv) Plans for the Coordinating Center to manage and coordinate deliverables of the ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers.

(xvi) Experience in monitoring compliance with OHRP and NIH requirements for human subject research, accurate protocol implementation, and internal quality assurance.

Letters of Support:

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

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

Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

Appendix:

Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix.Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Oversight and Project Management Component)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials 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 a 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.

 

Committee Support and Communications Component

When preparing your application, use Component Type ‘Committee Support and Communications Component.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Committee Support and Communications Component)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Committee Support and Communications Component)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Committee Support and Communications Component)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Committee Support and Communications Component)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Committee Support and Communications Component)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.

  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.

  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.

  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.

Budget (Committee Support and Communications Component)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Applicants must include funding in the budget for the following:

  • Applicants should provide support for key staff to attend ECHO Cohort Consortium Science Meetings in the Bethesda, MD area at least twice a year throughout the project period, including the launch meeting anticipated in the Fall 2023.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Committee Support and Communications Component)

Specific Aims: Briefly describe the overall Specific Aims of the proposed Committee Support and Communications Component.

Research Strategy: This section of the application should describe proposed plans for support of the functions of ECHO Committees and plans to support communications among all ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers, and NIH, between ECHO and the broader scientific community, and between ECHO and the public.

Include the following:

i) An organizational chart listing the tasks that this Component will accomplish. Identify the types of staff associated with each task and describe their respective roles and responsibilities. Discuss the applicant organization's prior experience in providing committee and communications support for large multi-team research consortia and present examples of challenges that the organization encountered and how they overcame them.

(ii) A description of how the Coordinating Center will coordinate the functions of the internal ECHO Cohort Steering and Operations Committees and the ECHO External Scientific Board, as well as their interactions with the ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers. Discuss potential problems and offer alternative approaches.

(iii) A description of the methods that the Center will employ to develop and implement the ECHO Cohort consortium’s operating policies and procedures under the guidance of the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee and Operations Committee. Discuss how the Coordinating Center will ensure expeditious processes while being inclusive and thorough. Present timelines for policy development.

(iv) A description of how the Coordinating Center will establish and maintain effective communications among ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers, and NIH, as well as with key external audiences. Discuss potential problems and offer alternative approaches.

(v) Plans and procedures for the development and maintenance of effective communications between ECHO and the public, including the participants in the ECHO-supported studies.

(vi) Plans and procedures for the development and maintenance of the ECHO website to function both as an internal interactive resource, as the interface between ECHO and the broader scientific community, and as the interface between ECHO and the public. Describe in general terms the expertise of the group as a whole in developing such websites, the elements and services that the ECHO website will include, and special characteristics that will enhance its functionality.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Committee Support and Communications Component)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials 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 a 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.

 

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component

When preparing your application, use Component Type ‘Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative: Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Project Lead’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.

  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.

  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.

  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.

Budget (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Applicants should budget for costs associated with the administration of the Opportunities and Innovation Fund including but not limited to support of the award process, support of funded studies, facilitation of networking among awardees, and evaluation of the program. The NIH ECHO Program Office anticipates that the Opportunities and Innovation Fund will award $2,400,000 in direct costs per year for up to 12 new studies of 2-year duration per study in years 2-6.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

Specific Aims: Briefly describe the overall Specific Aims of the proposed Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component.

Research Strategy: This section of the application should describe proposed plans for the management of the ECHO Opportunities and Innovation Fund, a fund to promote the development of early career scientists, support innovative projects that introduce new research, tools, and technologies in the ECHO Cohort consortium, and promote collaborations that support the goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium. The ECHO Coordinating Center will manage this fund with input from the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee.

Include the following:

(i) An organizational chart listing the tasks that this Component will accomplish. Identify the types of staff associated with each task and describe their respective roles and responsibilities.

(ii) A description of the support that the proposed Coordinating Center will offer to the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee in setting up policies for the Opportunities and Innovation Fund, yearly assessment of infrastructure and resource needs and development of Opportunities and Innovation Fund requests for applications, distribution of these requests within the ECHO community, receipt of applications, and setting up application reviews, and announcing final NIH award decisions.

(iii) Proposed policies and procedures for distribution and monitoring of Opportunities and Innovation Fund award funds.

(iv) A description of the role that the proposed ECHO Coordinating Center will play in supporting the initiation of Opportunities and Innovation Fund research protocols, including support of single IRB applications, staff training, monitoring of protocol execution and coordinating data and biospecimen transfer to the ECHO Data Analysis Center and Laboratory Core, as appropriate.

(v) Proposed procedures, formats, and timelines for reporting on the status of Opportunities and Innovation Fund projects and expenditures to the NIH ECHO Program Office.

(vi) Proposed procedures for supporting career development, networking and, evaluating the impact of the Opportunities and Innovation Fund award on the careers of recipients.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component)

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials 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 a 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.

 

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) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

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) and component Project Leads 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.

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, NIH. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

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

Applications must include a PEDP submitted as Other Project Information as an attachment. Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn before review.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact - Overall

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 - Overall

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 proposed Coordinating Center address the needs of the research consortium that it will support? Is the scope of activities proposed for the Coordinating Center appropriate to meet those needs? Will successful completion of the aims bring unique advantages or capabilities to the research consortium?

Specific to this FOA:

Overall: To what extent do the activities of the proposed Coordinating Center support the overall ECHO Cohort goal of investigating the roles of a broad range of early exposures from society to biology, including the preconception period, on ECHO’s five key child health outcomes—pre-, peri- and postnatal, upper and lower airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health—among diverse populations? How will successful completion of the aims bring unique advantages or capabilities to the ECHO Cohort consortium? Are the proposed plans for oversight, management, and communication efforts appropriate for effective coordination of the ECHO Cohort consortium? To what extent do the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives further the significance of the project?

Administrative Core: How does the proposed Administrative Core address the needs of the ECHO Coordinating Center? How will the Administrative Core contribute to achieving the overall goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium?

Program Oversight and Project Management Component: Does the proposed approach address the needs of the ECHO Coordinating Center for program oversight and project management of the ECHO Cohort consortium? How will the approach contribute to achieving the overall goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium to investigate the roles of a broad range of early environmental exposures from society to biology, including the preconception period, on ECHO’s five key child health outcomes—pre-, peri- and postnatal, upper and lower airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health—among diverse populations?

Committee Support and Communications Component: Does the proposed component address the committee support and communication needs of the ECHO Coordinating Center? Is the scope of activities proposed for the core appropriate to meet those needs? How will the core contribute to achieving the overall goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium?

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component: Does the proposed component address the needs of the ECHO Coordinating Center to manage the ECHO Opportunities and Innovation Fund? How will the component contribute to achieving the overall goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium?

Investigator(s)

 

Are the PD(s)/PI(s) and other personnel well suited to their roles in the Coordinating Center? Do they have appropriate experience and training, and have they demonstrated experience and an ongoing record of accomplishments in managing clinical research? Do the investigators demonstrate significant experience with coordinating collaborative clinical research? If the Center is multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise and skills; are their leadership approach, governance, plans for conflict resolution, and organizational structure appropriate for the Coordinating Center? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?

Specific to this FOA:

Overall: To what extent will the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives strengthen and enhance the expertise required for the project?

Administrative Core: Are the Administrative Core Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the Administrative Core? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate for the Administrative Core? Are the leadership and administrative staff of the core qualified in managing ECHO Coordinating Center operations? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?

Program Oversight and Project Management Component: Are the Program Oversight and Project Management Component Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to achieving the overall goals of the ECHO Cohort consortium? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate? Are the leadership and administrative staff qualified for program oversight and project management of the ECHO Cohort consortium? Do they have experience training staff to follow data and biospecimen collection protocols; monitoring execution of protocols; and coordinating research activities across multiple research projects or a large multi-team research consortium.

Committee Support and Communications Component: Are the component Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the component? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; is the proposed leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate? Are the leadership and administrative staff qualified to provide ECHO committee support and communications expertise to support the ECHO Cohort consortium?

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component: Are the component Lead(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the component? Do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the component? Do they have experience managing a request and selection process for using internal funds? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?

Innovation

 

Does the application propose novel organizational concepts, management strategies, or technologies in coordinating the research consortium the Coordinating Center will serve? Are the concepts, strategies, or instrumentation novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts, management strategies, or technologies proposed?

Specific to this FOA:

Overall: To what extent does the applicant propose innovative approaches to program oversight, project management, or communication that will facilitate effective coordination of a large multi-team consortium? To what extent will the efforts described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives meaningfully contribute to innovation?

Administrative Core: Does the application propose novel organizational concepts, management strategies, or communication approaches in supporting the ECHO Coordinating Center? Are the concepts or strategies novel to one type of research or applicable in a broad sense? Does the application propose a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts or management strategies?

Program Oversight and Project Management Component: Does the application propose novel organizational concepts or management strategies in supporting the ECHO Cohort consortium? Are the concepts or strategies novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Does the application propose a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts or management strategies?

Committee Support and Communications Component: Does the application propose novel organizational concepts or management strategies in providing committee support and communications for the ECHO Coordinating Center? Are the concepts or strategies novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Does the application propose a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts or management strategies?

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component: Does the application propose novel organizational concepts or management strategies in managing the ECHO Opportunities and Innovation Fund? Are the concepts or strategies novel to one type of research program or applicable in a broad sense? Does the application propose a refinement, improvement, or new application of organizational concepts or management strategies? To what extent are plans for the Opportunities and Innovation Fund adequate to enhance ECHO Cohort research?

Approach

 

Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the goals of the research consortium the Coordinating Center will serve? Will the investigators promote strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased scientific approach across the consortium, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the consortium is in the early stages of operation, does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the consortium? Are an appropriate plan for work-flow and a well-established timeline proposed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to ensure consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies of vertebrate animals or human subjects?

Specific to this FOA:

Overall: How does the overall approach address integration within the Coordinating Center components? Are the timeline and milestones associated with the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives well-developed and feasible?

Administrative Core: Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the goals of the ECHO Coordinating Center? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? Does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the ECHO Coordinating Center? Does the application propose an appropriate plan for workflow, effective plans for communication, and a well-established timeline?

Program Oversight and Project Management Component: Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the goals of the ECHO Coordinating Center for program oversight and project management of the ECHO Cohort consortium? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? Does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the ECHO Cohort consortium? Does the application propose an appropriate plan for workflow, effective plans for communication, and a well-established timeline?

Committee Support and Communications Component: How are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the committee support and communication goals of the ECHO Coordinating Center? How are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? How does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the ECHO Coordinating Center? How does the application propose an appropriate plan for workflow, effective plans for communication, and a well-established timeline?

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component: Are the overall strategy, operational plan, and organizational structure well-reasoned and appropriate to manage the ECHO Opportunities and Innovation Fund? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? Does the proposed strategy adequately establish feasibility and manage the risks associated with the activities of the ECHO Coordinating Center? Does the application propose an appropriate plan for workflow and a well-established timeline? Are the plans for evaluating the ECHO Opportunities and Innovation Fund adequate?

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?

Environment

 

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

Specific to this FOA:

Overall: To what extent will features of the overall environment described in the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (e.g., collaborative arrangements, geographic diversity, institutional support) contribute to the success of the project?

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

Program Oversight and Project Management Component: Will the institutional environment in which the component will operate contribute to the probability of success in facilitating the ECHO Coordinating Center's program oversight and project management functions and the probability of success of the ECHO Cohort consortium? Are the institutional support, equipment, and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the proposed component? Will the component benefit from unique features of the institutional environment, infrastructure, or personnel?

Committee Support and Communications Component: Will the institutional environment in which the component will operate contribute to the probability of success in facilitating committee support and communications aspects of the ECHO Coordinating Center? Are the institutional support, equipment, and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the proposed component? Will the core benefit from unique features of the institutional environment, infrastructure, or personnel?

Opportunities and Innovation Fund Component: Will the institutional environment in which the component will operate contribute to the probability of success in managing the ECHO Opportunities and Innovation Fund? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the proposed component? Will the core benefit from unique features of the institutional environment, infrastructure, or personnel?

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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 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

Not Applicable.

Renewals

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

Revisions

Not Applicable.

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by 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 will receive a written critique.

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

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

Applications will be assigned 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, including the PEDP.

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.6. 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.

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Grantee 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.

Prior Approval of Pilot Projects

Recipient-selected projects that involve {clinical trials or studies involving greater than minimal risk to human subjects} require prior approval by NIH prior to initiation.

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 must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html 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 FOA.

Recipients of FFA must ensure that their programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. For guidance on meeting the legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to programs or activities by limited English proficient individuals see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/fact-sheet-guidance/index.htmlandhttps://www.lep.gov.

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

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR 200, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

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

  • Directing the activities of the ECHO Coordinating Center, including: (i) establishing and implementing processes for decision-making, communication and collaboration; (ii) establishing and implementing processes and systems for tracking the implementation of ECHO Cohort activities, identifying problems/deficiencies, and determining the need for and implementing corrective actions; (iii) assessing and allocating resources, reviewing their adequacy, and determining needed adjustments; (iv) establishing and implementing financial management capacity and systems to track and project resources and expenditures; (v) implementing and managing an information system to support day-to-day ECHO Coordinating Center activities; (vi) cooperating with the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee and Operations Committee; the External Scientific Board; the ECHO Cohort Study Site PDs/PIs; the ECHO Data Analysis Center PD/PI; the ECHO Measurement Core PD/PI; and the ECHO Laboratory Core PD/PI; (vii) establishing procedures for assessing the ECHO Coordinating Center progress and productivity.
  • Coordinating project management for the complete scope of ECHO Cohort activities—including recruitment and retention of participants; standardized, quality-assured collection of ECHO Cohort Protocol-specified data and biospecimens on all participants; transfer of biospecimens to ECHO laboratories and biorepositories; and development and dissemination of ECHO Cohort publications.
  • Ensuring effective cooperation and collaboration across all ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers, within ECHO scientific focus areas; with the NIH ECHO Director and the NIH ECHO Program staff; and with the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee and Operations Committee.
  • Ensuring that the performance of ECHO Cohort activities complies with all Federal regulatory requirements and guidelines for the conduct of human subjects research, as well as NIH policies and procedures.
  • Providing reports, as directed, to the NIH ECHO Director, the NIH ECHO Program staff, or others regarding overall ECHO Cohort activities, e.g., tabular summaries of study progress, protocol deviation, site safety or adverse event monitoring reports, and budget summaries.
  • Providing updates at least annually on implementation of the PEDP to the NIH ECHO Director or NIH ECHO Program staff.
  • Ensuring the training or certification of ECHO Coordinating Center staff and including a list of all training programs and written assessments in the Annual Progress Report.
  • If NIH ECHO Program Office determines that capitation for research costs is necessary to improve Cohort Study Site performance, supporting the policy for capitation of research costs, as well as indication of Cohort Study Site cooperation with the capitation policy.
  • Coordinating use of a single central Institutional Review Board (sIRB) so that ECHO Cohort research can proceed as effectively and expeditiously as possible by reducing unnecessary administrative burdens and systemic inefficiencies without diminishing human subjects protections.
  • Supporting Cohort Study Site use of the ECHO Cohort consortium’s central data capture system and processes to collect all ECHO Cohort Protocol-specified data and to deposit data—including personally identifiable information—onto the secure, FISMA moderate ECHO Cohort Data Platform. Recipients acknowledge that analysis of ECHO Cohort data within the FISMA moderate ECHO Cohort Data Platform will include use of research participants’ personally identifiable information, such as date of birth and address.
  • Ensuring that ECHO makes its near-anonymized de-identified ECHO Cohort study data and biospecimens available to the broader scientific community through an NIH-selected, controlled-access public data repository within a time period that the NIH ECHO Director approves.
  • Awards issued under this FOA will be incrementally funded for up to seven years. These awards will not be Multi-Year Funded.
  • Awards issued under this FOA will be excluded from the Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP).
  • NIH will not allow automatic carry over. An NIH Grants Management Official must review and approve all carry over requests, regardless of the size and/or dollar threshold.
  • There will be no automatic first no-cost extensions. The NIH Grants Management Specialist must review and approve all extensions.
  • Recipients will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

  • The NIH ECHO Director, NIH ECHO Program staff, and other NIH staff will serve in support roles to guide ECHO Cohort operations and consortium-wide studies.
  • NIH staff will have substantial scientific/programmatic involvement during the conduct of this activity through technical assistance, advice and coordination above and beyond the normal program stewardship role for grants.
  • NIH anticipates that decisions regarding ECHO Cohort activities will involve consensus-making and that the NIH staff members will participate in this process.
  • In various matters related to study approval and oversight, the NIH staff will have final decision authority, as described below.
  • Additionally, an agency program official or IC program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

  • The NIH ECHO Director and the NIH ECHO Program staff, in collaboration with ECHO PDs/PIs, will participate in deliberations and decision-making regarding the multiple substantive, operational, resource, and administrative responsibilities of this NIH initiative.
  • NIH ECHO Program staff or their designees will collaborate with ECHO Cohort Study Site, Core, and Center staff to ensure the provision of appropriate information, materials and training regarding NIH policies and procedures for the conduct of human subject research.
  • Cooperative Agreements require close interactions among the recipient, recipients from the companion FOAs, and NIH. Shortly after the award, the PDs/PIs and NIH ECHO Program staff will form the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee and Operations Committee.
  • NIH expects key personnel to serve on committees, subgroups, working groups, taskforces, and interest groups, according to their expertise.
  • All responsibilities are divided between recipients and NIH staff as described above.

ECHO Cohort Steering Committee

The ECHO Cohort Steering Committee will drive ECHO’s scientific direction by setting strategic research priorities and annual scientific objectives.

  • NIH anticipates that the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee will comprise approximately 12 rotating voting members with a majority Cohort Study Site representation. The Steering Committee may include the NIH ECHO Director or a designee from the NIH ECHO Program staff, the PI/PD of the Coordinating Center, the PI/PD of the Data Analysis Center, the PI/PD of the Measurement Core, and the PI/PD of the Laboratory Core.
  • The NIH ECHO Director or a designee from the NIH ECHO Program staff will serve as a non-voting member of the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee. If the Steering Committee has an external chair, that person would also serve as non-voting member except in instances requiring a casting vote when the votes on each side of a decision are equal.
  • To fulfill its responsibilities, the Steering Committee may establish a series of committees, working groups, and task forces to generate research ideas, engage stakeholders—including research participants—in developing and disseminating research, specify ECHO Cohort Protocol needs, integrate scientific knowledge, review ECHO Cohort research products, and disseminate scientific results.

ECHO Cohort Operations Committee

The ECHO Cohort Operations Committee will manage ECHO Cohort operations to enable achievement of the Steering Committee’s strategic priorities and annual scientific objectives, as well as the operational objectives that the NIH ECHO Program Office sets.

  • NIH anticipates that the PI/PD of the Coordinating Center will chair the operations committee and, as such, that the ECHO Coordinating Center will provide comprehensive operational leadership and an organizational framework to coordinate and manage all ECHO Cohort activities.
  • NIH anticipates that the ECHO Cohort Operations Committee will comprise approximately 9 rotating voting members with majority of ECHO Cohort Core and Center representation. The Operations Committee may include the NIH ECHO Director or a designee from the NIH ECHO Program staff and representatives of the ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Coordinating Center, Data Analysis Center, Measurement Core, and Laboratory Core.
  • The Operations Committee, with leadership from the ECHO Coordinating Center, will facilitate the function of a central dashboard that shows real-time consortium-wide progress toward annual ECHO Cohort scientific and operational objectives, allowing the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee, Operations Committee, and NIH ECHO Program staff to closely monitor the contributions of all ECHO Cohort consortium awardees toward achievement of consortium objectives.
  • The Operations Committee will regularly evaluate the extent of achievement of ECHO Cohort consortium objectives, identify barriers to success, and propose solutions to the ECHO Cohort Steering Committee.
  • To fulfill its responsibilities, the Operations Committee may establish a series of subgroups to address operational domains that may relate to one or more of the following: ECHO Cohort participant recruitment, enrollment, and retention; data collection; biospecimen collection, storage, and use; consortium-wide data and biospecimen availability; ECHO Cohort analysis and manuscript pipelines; and consortium policies; among others.

ECHO Cohort Study Site Pods

The ECHO Cohort governance structure will include multiple small groups of Cohort Study Site PDs/PIs of approximately equal size ("Pods") to enhance bi-directional communication between them and the Steering Committee and Operations Committee. The Pods may be led by Cohort Study Site representatives serving on the Steering and Operations Committees.

ECHO External Scientific Board

The ECHO External Scientific Board will review the ECHO Cohort consortium's progress and provide feedback to the NIH ECHO Director, NIH ECHO Program staff, and the appropriate NIH Institute/Center/Office Council on the ECHO Cohort consortium’s programmatic strategies. The External Scientific Board may be a working group of the NIH Council of Councils or an Advisory Council of an NIH Institute, and as such, would include at least one member of that Council.

  • The External Scientific Board will provide advice on the ECHO Cohort consortium’s programmatic strategies to ensure long-term success and overcome challenges, which include:
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration and synergy
  • Attending to numerous stakeholders, such as Congress, researchers, professional societies and participants
  • Capitalizing on expertise within, as well as outside NIH
  • Incorporating all ECHO Cohort Study Sites, Cores, and Centers under one umbrella
  • Ensuring sustained success and wise use of resources
  • Other duties of the External Scientific Board may include:
  • Offering input on the ECHO Cohort consortium's structure, activities, and study design, both during ECHO Cohort Protocol development and during the analysis of study results
  • Providing findings to ensure that resources that the program delivers are as useful as possible for end users
  • Assessing data security policies and procedures
  • Safeguarding the interests of study participants and safety of ECHO Cohort Protocol procedures
  • Ensuring adequacy of study progress in terms of recruitment and retention, data and biospecimen availability, and publications
  • Assessing issues pertaining to the balance of scientific value with participant burden
  • Monitoring the impact of proposed ancillary studies and sub-studies on participant burden and overall achievement of the main study goals
  • Tracking overall scientific directions of the study
  • The NIH ECHO Director and NIH ECHO Program staff will review the External Scientific Board charter periodically and may amend or terminate the charter, pending final approval of the NIH ECHO Director.

Observational Study Monitoring Board

NIH may establish an independent Observational Study (or Data and Safety) Monitoring Board (OSMB) to monitor and provide recommendations to ECHO regarding participant recruitment/enrollment and retention, safety, data quality, and other issues, as appropriate. The OSMB may also review the Steering Committee-approved ECHO Cohort data collection protocol, informed consent templates, objectives and related progress, and monitoring plans prior to the start of recruitment.

Dispute Resolution:

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

3. Reporting

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

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

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All recipients of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over the threshold. 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 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, 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 75and 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Susan A. Laessig, Ph.D

NIH, Office of the Director

Telephone: 301-435-1045

Email: susan.laessig@nih.gov

Lynda R Hardy
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Phone: 301-594-1297
E-mail: lynda.hardy@nih.gov

Kathryn Stein, PhD
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-827-4653
Email: kathryn.stein@nih.gov

Elizabeth L. Neilson, PhD, MPH, MSN
Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
Phone: 301-827-5578
Email: Elizabeth.Neilson@nih.gov  
 

David A. Jett, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Phone: 301-496-6035
Email: jettd@nih.gov

Aruna Natarajan, MD, PhD
Division of Lung Diseases
Telephone: 301-827-0180
Email: aruna.natarajan@nih.gov

Kimberly A Gray, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Phone: 984-287-3262
E-mail: gray6@niehs.nih.gov

Beda Jean-Francois
National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 202-313-2144
Email: beda.jean-francois@nih.gov

Sung Sug (Sarah) Yoon, RN, PhD
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-402-6959
Email: sungsug.yoon@nih.gov
 

Voula K. Osganian, M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Phone: 301-827-6939
E-mail: voula.osganian@nih.gov

Andrew Bremer, M.D. Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-402-7886
Email: andrew.bremer@nih.gov

William C. Dunty, Jr., Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-7351
Email: duntyw@mail.nih.gov

Deborah E. Linares, PhD
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Phone: 301-402-2516
Email: deborah.linares@nih.gov   

Alkis Togias, MD
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone:  240-627-3587
Email:  togiasa@niaid.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

Email: FOAReviewContact@csr.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Bonnie J. Jackson

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Institutes of Health

Phone: 301.496.5482 | Mobile: 301.640.6552

Email: jacksobo@mail.nih.gov

Samantha J Tempchin
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Phone: 301-496-4222
E-mail: tempchins@mail.nih.gov

Diana Rutberg, MBA
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-4798
Email: rutbergd@mail.nih.gov

Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Email: ChiefGrantsManagementOfficer@ninds.nih.gov

Ron Caulder
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-827-8020
Email: caulderr@mail.nih.gov

Jenny L Greer
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Phone: 984.287.3332
E-mail: jenny.greer@nih.gov

Debbie Chen
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Phone: 301-594-3788
Email: debbie.chen@nih.gov

Randi Freundlich
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-594-5974
Email: freundlichr@mail.nih.gov
 

Tracie McGraw
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Phone: 301-435-0770
E-mail: tracie.mcgraw@nih.gov

Margaret Young
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-642-4552
Email: margaret.young@nih.gov

Priscilla Grant, JD
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Phone: 301-594-8412
E-mail: pg38h@nih.gov

Sam Ashe
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 301-435-4799
Email:  Samuel.Ashe@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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