Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is developed as a Common Fund initiative (https://commonfund.nih.gov/) through the NIH Office of the NIH Director, Office of Strategic Coordination (https://commonfund.nih.gov/). All NIH Institutes and Centers participate in Common Fund initiatives. The FOA will be administered by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on behalf of the NIH.

Funding Opportunity Title

Expanding the Human Genome Editing Repertoire (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-RM-18-017

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-RM-18-012 U42 Animal (Mammalian and Nonmammalian) Model, and Animal and Biological Materials Resource Cooperative Agreements

RFA-RM-18-013 U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

RFA-RM-18-015 U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

RFA-RM-18-016 UG3/UH3 Exploratory/Developmental  Phased Award Cooperative Agreement

RFA-RM-18-018 U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

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

93.310

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications proposing research on the development of novel and optimized alternatives to existing in vivo genome editing complexes.

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

January 24, 2018

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

March 3, 2018

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

March 3, 2018

Application Due Date(s)

April 3, 2018, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

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

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

June/July 2018

Advisory Council Review

August 2018

Earliest Start Date

September 1, 2018

Expiration Date

April 4, 2018

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


Table of Contents

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

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


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

Background   

The NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) program is funded through the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. All Common Fund initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for transformation of research processes.

The simplicity and broad applicability of targeted and programmable genome editing approaches, including but not limited to those based on CRISPR-Cas9, raise the possibility of a fundamentally new way to treat a variety of rare genetic diseases, as well as numerous therapeutic strategies for common diseases.  However, many challenges need to be overcome before such techniques could be widely used in the clinic. Participants in a 2017 NIH workshop identified several research areas in need of investment, including optimized genome editors, specifically targeted delivery systems, and more predictive animal models and studies. Although research in each of these fields has been very active, efforts have focused on the needs of individual studies and not on overall procedures for improving and testing the safety and efficacy of genome editing approaches.

To maximize the potential of genome editing technology to treat as many diseases as possible, the SGCE program has been developed to accelerate the translation of genome editing technology into clinical applications. The key components of the SCGE program include: (1) better animal models for assessing genome editing in vivo (SCGE Animal Models,  RFA-RM-18-012 and RFA-RM-18-013); (2) tools and assays to detect adverse consequences of genome editing in human cells (SCGE Biological Systems, RFA-RM-18-015); (3) new technologies to deliver genome editing machinery into disease-relevant cells and tissues in vivo (SCGE Delivery Technologies, RFA-RM-18-016); (4) novel genome editing and engineering systems (SCGE Editing Systems, RFA-RM-18-017); and (5) the SCGE Dissemination and Coordinating Center (SCGE DCC, RFA-RM-18-018). The SCGE DCC will make the results, tools and technologies developed under this program widely available to facilitate adoption for translation into clinical applications.

The deliverables of the SCGE program will be a collection of tools, methods, data, and best practices that will accelerate development and testing of new treatments for many diseases (i.e., the SCGE Toolkit for Therapeutic Genome Editing or SCGE Toolkit). The SCGE program will involve collaborative research by a partnership of genome editing experts, delivery systems experts, animal model creators and assay developers to produce validated techniques and knowledge through exchange of expertise, information and research tools. Awardees from all five SCGE program components will form a Consortium, governed by a steering committee of investigators and NIH staff that will develop consensus policies and procedures for Consortium-wide activities such as data and resource sharing. Contingent on availability of funds, the NIH plans a future funding opportunity for Large Animal Testing Centers that will use either pigs or non-human primates, including wild-type animals as well as reporter animals developed by RFA-RM-18-013, to assess efficacy and safety of in vivo genome editing and delivery technologies. It is expected that all awardees will collaborate to accelerate the translation of genome editing technologies into treatments for human disease.

Research Objectives

The objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to support research aiming to develop innovative genome editing systems with improved specificity, efficiency, or functionality over currently available systems. Expanding the repertoire of genome editing tools would accelerate the development of novel genome editing therapeutics to treat a broad array of rare and common diseases.

Research Scope

This program will support the development of novel and optimized alternative genome editing platforms to existing in vivo genome editing complexes. CRISPR-Cas is the newest and most widely adopted tool in the genome editing repertoire, which already consists of diverse methodologies including mega nucleases, transposons, recombinases, protein nucleic acids, transcriptional activator-like effector nuclease (TALENs) and Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs). Advances in the TALEN and ZFN platforms have resulted in improved on-target modification efficiency and decreased off-target activity. Creative engineering of CRISPR-associated nucleases including fusion with other editing enzymes, transcription factors or chromatin modifiers has already led to programmable editing of genomic DNA or RNA without double-stranded DNA cleavage as well as directed modulation of endogenous gene expression. Nevertheless, there continues to be a need to invest in fundamental advances in genome editing technology with novel biological capabilities, and improved efficiency and precision, to maximize their clinical applicability for the treatment of a variety of diseases.

Expanding the repertoire of genome editors will greatly increase the power of genome editing for therapeutic development. Improvements in programmable nucleases are being rapidly generated, but significant drawbacks remain to be addressed. For example, off-target cleavage, which may result in undesired genomic rearrangements and other genotoxic effects, has been reported. Another significant issue with the current targeted nuclease approach is that low efficiency in homology-directed repair (HDR) is an impediment to genome editing when DNA insertions or replacements are required. Nuclease cleavage results in double-strand breaks (DSBs), which activate the cellular error-prone nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway. Repair through this pathway leads to unpredictable sequence rearrangements after the lesions have been repaired, with potential detrimental effects. Relevant to in vivo therapy, pre-existing immunogenicity to the Cas9 proteins from S. aureus has been reported. Finally, the large size of nuclease genes can reduce transduction efficiency and be difficult to package in some viral vectors, such as adeno associated virus.

Genome editing technology supported by the SCGE Consortium is defined broadly, extending beyond nuclease-dependent activities for manipulating DNA and thus may also include, but not be limited to, nuclease-independent targeted editing, epigenetic modifiers, transcriptional repression and activation approaches, and RNA editors. Furthermore, the scope includes more than a single editor type (e.g., CRISPR-Cas). It is anticipated that applicants will utilize mathematical models and high throughput screening techniques, as appropriate, to identify, design, and optimize functional genome editors in an iterative manner. Design and optimization strategies to enhance genome editing capabilities in human cells can include but is not limited to:

  • Rational screening, directed evolution, and selection methodologies to guide the identification of complexes with novel enzymatic activities and substrate specificities.
  • Epigenome reprogramming technologies to alter the epigenetic composition of the genome at any given genomic location.
  • Strategies for manipulation of normally inaccessible genomes or genomic regions that are relevant to the treatment of certain diseases.
  • Approaches to increase the frequency of HDR within target regions, while reducing non-specific events.
  • In silico computational design, including software tools, to improve or alter the activity of existing genome editing platforms. Modeling and simulation results should complement experimental studies that quantify the genome editing system efficacy and characterize both on-target and off-target system activities.
  • Modifications of existing nucleases may be proposed, but should represent a significant enhancement compared to present nucleases, such as improved delivery or packaging in viral or non-viral vectors, short-term or regulatable expression or activity, higher fidelity with reduced off-target activity, and decreased immunogenicity.

Funds from the NIH will be made available through the U01 cooperative agreement award mechanism.  Awards will be up to 5 years in duration and will include milestones to evaluate progress.  During the initial two years of funding, it is expected that investigators will complete the necessary proof of concept studies demonstrating the capacity of the new or optimized genome editor(s) to perform the proposed genome modifications with improved efficacy and/or novel functionality using in vitro molecular or cell model systems chosen by the awardee. As part of the NIH SCGE Consortium, investigators will have access to Consortium-generated testing platforms and delivery systems, and are expected to collaborate with other SCGE Consortium members to optimize packaging strategies and initiate studies evaluating the enhancements in activity and/or safety of optimized or novel editors in cell or tissue ex vivo modelling systems and in vivo efficacy in animals.

Specific requirements for the applicants to this FOA:

An integrative research plan based on collaborations of synthetic biologists with computational scientists, cell biologists, engineers, and/or physician scientists is strongly recommended. Awardees are expected to contribute expertise in genome editing technologies, genomic and epigenomic regulation, and synthetic biology to the Consortium to help guide SCGE animal model development (RFA-RM-18-012, RFA-RM-18-013, RFA-RM-18-014); SCGE delivery technologies (RFA-RM-18-016) and SCGE biological systems (RFA-RM-18-015).

Program Formation and Governance

The awards funded under this FOA will be cooperative agreements (see Section VI. 2. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award). Close interactions among the awardees and NIH will be required to maintain this complex program. The whole SCGE program governance will rest with the SCGE Program Steering Committee in collaboration with NIH program officials, with advice from an External Scientific Panel (ESP) providing critical scientific and managerial insights, and subject to oversight by the NIH SCGE Working Group. The NIH SCGE Working Group consists of NIH programmatic staff from multiple Institutes and Centers of the NIH as well as the Office of the Director. This group will be primarily responsible for the stewardship of the SCGE program. The NIH SCGE Working Group is chaired by the Director of National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). It reports to the Directors of the Office of Strategic Coordination/Common Fund and the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives for final funding decisions.

Pre-application Information Session

All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH staff to discuss the alignment of their proposed work with the goals of this FOA, and the SCGE program. A technical assistance teleconference will be held for potential applicants. NIH staff will be available to answer questions related to this and companion FOAs. Time, date, and dial in information for the call will be announced in an NIH Guide Notice and will be posted on the Common Fund SCGE program website: https://commonfund.nih.gov/editing.

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

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Clinical Trial?

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

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NIH Common Fund (Office of Strategic Coordination) intends to commit $1.0M in FY 2018 to fund up to three awards, contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets should not exceed $250,000 direct cost per year in FY 2018 - FY 2022 and need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

 The maximum project period is 5 years (FY 2018 - 2022). 

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:

o   Hispanic-serving Institutions

o   Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o   Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o   Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

o   Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government, including the NIH Intramural Program
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

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

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

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

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

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

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

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

Letter of Intent

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

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

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Betty Poon, Ph.D.
Telephone: 240-669-5024
Email: poonb@niaid.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. All applicants must budget for travel for personnel to attend two meetings per year in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.   

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy:

All projects should include plans for comprehensive evaluation of efficiency and accuracy of the proposed genome editing platforms. If modifications of existing nucleases are proposed, applicants should clearly articulate the quantitative performance metrics they aim to achieve that represent a significant improvement over the state of the art.

Project timeline: A timeline (Gantt chart) that includes milestones is required for all studies.  Milestones are goals with clear and quantifiable criteria for success.  The milestones are required in order to provide clear indicators of a project's continued success or emergent difficulties and will be used to evaluate the application not only in peer review but also in consideration of the awarded project funding of non-competing award years.  By the end of the second year of funding, the investigator(s) is expected to have demonstrated the capacity of the new or optimized editor(s) to edit target gene(s) with quantifiable improved efficacy and/or novel functionality in in vitro molecular or cell model systems chosen by the awardee.  Applicants should also consider the cooperative nature within the SCGE Consortium whereby the investigator(s) will share editors with delivery awardees and work to collaboratively optimize packaging and delivery by the end of year 3. The milestones section should describe how the applicants will achieve these objectives during the period of the award. The timeline and milestones must be provided under a separate heading.

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 include a Resource Sharing Plan.

  • Applicants should indicate their willingness to abide by all data deposition, quality control metrics, standardization, metadata requirements, data and software release, and public copyright license policies developed by the SCGE Program Steering Committee and approved by NIH staff.  A primary goal of the SCGE program is to facilitate discoveries by the broad scientific community, thereby accelerating the translation of genome editing technologies into treatments for human disease. Restrictive licensing terms and sharing practices for SCGE-generated data, tools, and resources could substantially diminish their value and public benefit. Accordingly, awardees should manage data, resources, protocols, tools, and software in a way that achieves this goal. Sharing practices that would hinder, prevent or block access to or use of SCGE program data, tools, and resources for research purposes will be considered to be hindering the goals of the SCGE program. The development of policies, methods, and standards for such sharing is critically important.  The NIH expects that the awardees, through the SCGE Program Steering Committee, will develop such policies, methods, and standards in concert with the NIH.  These policies, methods, and standards will remain consistent with NIH-wide policies on data and resource sharing.
  • Specific Plan for Data Sharing: Consistent with achieving the goals of this program, the NIH expects that information such as collected data, technical protocols, and any other metadata collected under this FOA is to be deposited as appropriate into existing, publicly available data repositories that are easily accessible, and in machine readable format. Where appropriate, applicants should identify such repositories and plans for deposition. For datatypes that lack suitable public repositories, applicants should indicate their willingness to identify an appropriate alternative solution that is consistent with achieving the goals of the program. Data should also be made available as appropriate via the SCGE Toolkit that will serve as the central access point for information regarding data, critical tools, protocols and reagents being developed by the SCGE program. If applicable, applicants must abide by the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (https://gds.nih.gov/) and should indicate their agreement to it in the data sharing plan.
  • Specific Plan for Protocol, Tool, and Reagent Sharing: As one of the primary goals of this program is to advance research through development, establishment, broad dissemination and use of community resources across the research community, NIH intends that protocols, tools, and reagents generated by the SCGE program be broadly available and distributed at minimal cost, and without undue intellectual property constraints, so that they can be as widely used as possible for research purposes by the larger scientific community, while encouraging rapid adoption and commercialization of the technologies for the development of genome editing therapies.  For all applications and where otherwise applicable, the applicant should discuss plans for sharing and distribution of non-data resources that will be generated by the proposed project, including animal strains, protocols, biomaterials, and reagents. The SCGE DCC will work with all SCGE program investigators to collect, curate, and disseminate information regarding tools and reagents being developed by the program and to disseminate this information through the SCGE Toolkit and other sources as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program.
  • Specific Plan for Sharing Software:  A software dissemination plan, with appropriate timelines, is expected in applications that are developing software.  There is no prescribed single license for software produced in this project; however, reviewers will be asked to evaluate the software sharing and dissemination plan based on its likely impact. A dissemination plan guided by the following principles is thought to promote the largest impact:
  • The software should be freely available to biomedical researchers and educators in the non-profit sector, such as institutions of education, research institutions, and government laboratories.
  • The terms should also permit the dissemination and commercialization of enhanced or customized versions of the software, or incorporation of the software or pieces of it into other software packages.
  • To preserve utility to the community, the software should be transferable such that another individual or team can continue development in the event that the original investigators are unwilling or unable to do so.
  • The terms of software availability should include the ability of researchers outside the project and its collaborating projects to modify the source code and to share modifications with other colleagues.  An applicant should take responsibility for creating the original and subsequent "official" versions of a piece of software.
  • Applicants are asked to propose a plan to manage and disseminate the improvements or customizations of their tools and resources by others.  This proposal may include a plan to incorporate the enhancements into the "official" core software, may involve the creation of an infrastructure for plug-ins, or may describe some other solution.
  • Any software dissemination plans represent a commitment by the institution (and its subcontractors as applicable) to support and abide by the plan.
  • Applicants should also be familiar with the NIH statements regarding intellectual property of resources developed with Federal funds (NIH Research Tools Policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/intell-property_64FR72090.pdf) and other related NIH sharing policies at http://sharing.nih.gov).

Prior to funding, NIH Program Staff may negotiate modifications to the Sharing Plan with the applicant.

Appendix:

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

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

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions.

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

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

Important reminders:

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

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

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Applications Involving the NIH Intramural Research Program

The requests by NIH intramural scientists will be limited to the incremental costs required for participation. As such, these requests will not include any salary and related fringe benefits for career, career conditional or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed service) with permanent appointments under existing position ceilings or any costs related to administrative or facilities support (equivalent to Facilities and Administrative or F&A costs). These costs may include salary for staff to be specifically hired under a temporary appointment for the project, consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other items typically listed under Other Expenses. Applicants should indicate the number of person-months devoted to the project, even if no funds are requested for salary and fringe benefits. 

If selected, appropriate funding will be provided by the Common Fund through the NIH Intramural Program. NIH intramural scientists will participate in this program as PDs/PIs in accord with the Terms and Conditions provided in this FOA.  Intellectual property will be managed in accord with established policy of the NIH in compliance with Executive Order 10096, as amended, 45 CFR Part 7; patent rights for inventions developed in NIH facilities are NIH property unless NIH waives its rights. 

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

 
Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

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

Investigator(s)

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

Innovation

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

Approach

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

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

Specific to this FOA: 

Are the plans for evaluating the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed genome editing platforms well described, comprehensive, and appropriate to establish the feasibility of the platform? If modifications of existing nucleases are proposed, are the performance metrics quantitative and do the modifications provide significant improvements over current genome nuclease-mediated editing strategies?  

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

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

Protections for Human Subjects

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

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

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

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

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

Milestones

       Are the proposed Milestones well-defined with quantifiable measures that will enable clear
       decisions about their attainment?

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

Select Agent Research

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

Resource Sharing Plans

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

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

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

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

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

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

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

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

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 Parts 75, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for the SCGE program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees 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 awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below. Awardee will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under this award, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Determining research approaches, designing protocols, setting project milestones, and conducting research.
  • Participating in group activities, including a Consortium-wide SCGE Program Steering Committee and subcommittees as needed.
  • The SCGE Consortium will meet in person at least twice a year and the SCGE Program Steering Committee will recommend the frequency of other in-person and teleconference meetings. 
  • Providing reports and data in a timely fashion as agreed upon by the SCGE Program Steering Committee.
  • Submitting all validation data as soon as they are collected to the SCGE DCC for quality control and compilation in the SCGE Toolkit.
  • Preparing abstracts, presentations and publications and collaborating Consortium-wide in making the public and professionals aware of the program.
  • Assessing and disseminating data, protocols, and methods developed for or derived from the SCGE program within and outside the Consortium.
  • Adhering to policies regarding data sharing and publication established by the NIH and the SCGE Program Steering Committee.
  • Abiding by common definitions, protocols, and procedures, as chosen by majority vote of the SCGE Program Steering Committee.
  • Submitting periodic progress reports in a standard format, as agreed upon by the SCGE Program Steering Committee and NIH SCGE Working Group.
  • Attending and participating in SCGE Program Steering Committee meetings and accepting and implementing decisions by the NIH SCGE Working Group, as appropriate.

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

  • The NIH SCGE Working Group consists of NIH programmatic staff from multiple Institutes and Centers of the NIH as well as the Office of the Director.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) will have substantial scientific and programmatic involvement during the conduct of this activity through technical assistance, advice, and coordination.  However, the role of NIH staff will be to facilitate and not to direct the activities.  The Project Scientist(s) will participate as members of the SCGE Program Steering Committee and will have one vote.  The Project Scientist(s) will have the following substantial involvement:
  • Participating with the other SCGE Program Steering Committee members in addressing issues that arise with SCGE planning, operation, assessment, and data analysis.  The Project Scientist(s) will assist and facilitate the group process and not direct it.
  • Serving as a liaison, helping to coordinate activities, including acting as a liaison to other NIH Institutes/Centers, and as an information resource for the awardees. The Project Scientist(s) will also help coordinate the efforts of the SCGE Consortium with other groups conducting similar efforts.
  • Attending all SCGE Program Steering Committee meetings as a voting member, assisting in developing standard operating procedures, and consistent policies for dealing with situations that require coordinated action. The Project Scientist(s) will be responsible for working with the grantee as needed to manage the logistic aspects of the SCGE program.
  • Reporting periodically on SCGE progress to the Common Fund SCGE Working Group and through it to the NIH Common Fund.
  • Serving on subcommittees of the SCGE Program Steering Committee as appropriate.
  • Assisting awardees in the development, if needed, of policies for dealing with situations that require coordinated action.
  • Providing advice in the management and technical performance of the award.
  • Assisting in promoting the availability of the data and related resources developed in the course of this program to the scientific community at large. 
  • Participating in data analyses, interpretations, and, where warranted, co-authorship of the publication of results of studies conducted through the program. 
  • Other NIH SCGE Working Group staff may assist the awardee as designated by the Program Official.
  • 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. The assigned Program Official may also serve as an NIH Working Group Project Scientist(s) to assist the awardee. 

NIH reserves the right to withhold funding or curtail an award in the event of:

  • Substantive changes in the project, or failure to make sufficient progress toward the work scope with which NIH concurred, or
  • Ethical or conflict of interest issues.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

Close interaction among the participating investigators will be required, as well as significant involvement from the NIH, to manage, assess, and disseminate the SCGE program. The awardees and the Project Scientist(s) will meet in person with the SCGE Program Steering Committee twice a year and on conference calls as needed to share information on methodologies, analytical tools, and preliminary results. PDs/PIs, key co-investigators and pre- and post-doctoral trainees, especially those who are members of under-represented minority groups or those from different but related disciplines, are eligible to attend these meetings.

The SCGE Program Steering Committee will serve as the main scientific body of the program.  The SCGE Program Steering Committee will be responsible for coordinating the activities being conducted by the program and is the committee through which the NIH SCGE Working Group formally interacts with the SCGE investigators.  The SCGE Program Steering Committee membership will include PD(s)/PI(s) of each SCGE award (limited to one person for a Project with multiple PIs), other staff as needed (ex-officio) and the NIH Project Scientist(s).  The SCGE Program Steering Committee may add additional members, and other government staff may attend the SCGE Program Steering Committee meetings as desired.  Each project will have one vote and the NIH Program Scientist(s) together will have one vote.

The SCGE Program Steering Committee may establish subcommittees as needed to address particular issues, which will include representatives from the program and the NIH and possibly other experts. The SCGE Program Steering Committee will have the overall responsibility of assessing and prioritizing the progress of the various subcommittees.

The SCGE awardee agrees to work collaboratively to:

  • Provide for secure, accurate and timely data submission.
  • Participate in presenting and publishing new processes and substantive findings.
  • Assess and disseminate the SCGE Toolkit.
  • Participate in the governance of the SCGE program as a member of the SCGE Program Steering Committee.
  • Interact with other relevant NIH activities, as needed, to promote synergy and consistency among similar projects.

External Scientific Panel (ESP):

  • An ESP will be responsible for reviewing and evaluating the progress of the entire SCGE program. The ESP will also, as appropriate and at the request of the NIH SCGE Working Group, provide input to the NIH about the progress of the individual SCGE projects in meeting their individual and Consortium goals and milestones. The ESP will be composed of 4-6 senior, non-federal scientific experts who are not directly involved in the activities of the SCGE program.  NIH will appoint members to the ESP and select one member as chair. The SCGE POs, PSs, NIH SCGE Working Group, and other NIH staff may attend the ESP meetings.
  • The ESP will meet at least once a year, in conjunction with a meeting of the SCGE Program Steering Committee in the DC Metro area, to allow the ESP members to interact directly with the awardees, and by phone or email, at other times as needed.
  • Annually, the ESP members will provide their individual assessments to the NIH of the progress of the SCGE Consortium, and, as necessary, will present recommendations regarding any changes to the SCGE program. The assessments and recommendations will be provided, through the NIH SCGE Working Group, to the Director of the Office of Strategic Coordination, NIH.

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 SCGE Program 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.

3. Reporting

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

A final 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.

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Betty Poon, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-5024
Email: poonb@niaid.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Elena Smirnova, Ph.D.
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Telephone: 301-357-9112
Email: smirnove@csr.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Vandhana Khurana
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-2966
Email: khuranav@niaid.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

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

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