Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

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

Funding Opportunity Title
Technologies and Assays for Therapeutic Genome Editing INDs (U01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-RM-22-014
Related Notices
  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189.
Funding Opportunity Number (FON)
RFA-RM-24-007
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.310
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Notice Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to solicit applications on the optimization and characterization of technologies and assays with the potential for utilization and adoption in regulatory submissions of genome editing therapeutics.

Key Dates

Posted Date
March 22, 2024
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
June 26, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

June 26, 2024

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
July 26, 2024 Not Applicable Not Applicable November 2024 January 2025 April 2025

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

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

No late applications will be accepted for this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

Expiration Date
July 27, 2024
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

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

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

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

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

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

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


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Notice of 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 and innovative 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 genetic diseases. However, many challenges need to be overcome before such techniques could be widely used in the clinic. To maximize the potential of genome editing technology, the SGCE program was developed to accelerate the translation of genome editing technology into clinical applications.

Based on input received from stakeholders from academia, industry, and regulatory agencies, as well as the substantial progress in the field of genome editing since the launch of the first five-year phase of the SCGE program, the second five-year phase of SCGE will focus on translating and accelerating safe and effective somatic cell genome editing therapeutics into the clinic. Specifically, SCGE Phase 2 will support the following initiatives: 1) Technologies and Assays for Therapeutic Genome Editing INDs; 2) IND-enabling Studies of Somatic Genome Editing Therapeutic Leads; 3) IND-enabling and Platform Clinical Trials of Somatic Genome Editing for Multiple Diseases and 4) Somatic Cell Genome Editing Translational Coordination and Dissemination Center (TCDC).

The SCGE Program will involve collaborative research by a consortium of award recipients with differing expertise to develop, optimize and demonstrate improved candidate genome editing therapeutics as treatments for human disease. Recipients from all four 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. Collectively, these initiatives are intended to substantially expand the number of genetic diseases treated by in vivo genome editing, ultimately allowing this technology to achieve its potential as a therapeutic platform to treat genetic disease.

Program Formation and Governance

The awards funded under this NOFO will be cooperative agreements (see Section VI.2. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award). Close interactions among the recipients 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 Program Consultants 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 SCGE Working Group is co-chaired by the Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the Director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 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.

Research Objectives

The purpose of this 3-year U01 NOFO is to support the optimization and evaluation of IND-enabling technologies and assays to help accelerate the clinical development and evaluation of novel somatic cell genome editing therapeutics to treat a broad array of rare and common diseases. Examples of technologies and assays that would be responsive to this NOFO include those for Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC), potency, pharmacology/toxicity, detection and measurement of on/off-target effects, immune responses, and cell tracking studies. Applicants should have an IND-enabling technology or assay to be optimized, with supportive preliminary data, at the time of submission. Projects should focus on further development and rigorous characterization of the technology and/or assay for utilization and adoption in regulatory submissions. This NOFO is intended to bring assays to the point where they could be integrated with future clinical trials/studies.

Research Scope

This program will support the optimization, refinement, and establishment of acceptability criteria of technologies and assays that will provide data on the efficacy and safety of somatic cell genome editing technologies and delivery systems in future regulatory submissions. In Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sufficient CMC information should be provided to assure safety, identity, quality, purity, and strength (including potency) of the investigational product entering clinical trials. CMC activities include the establishment of manufacturing processes and product characteristics, as well as defining product testing methods to ensure that the product is safe, effective, and consistent between batches. To guide the CMC development plan, it is important to establish the Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs), a set of criteria to which a drug product should conform to be considered acceptable for its intended use. Establishing acceptable CQAs for genome editing therapeutics can be challenging due to the biological complexity of the products. Nevertheless, the risk associated with genome editing therapies can be reduced by developing appropriate analytical procedures and assays to help define suitable CQAs and ensure high-quality clinical products that meet the quality requirements for nonclinical and clinical trial materials.

Process control techniques developed for protein drug production are not always applicable to cell and gene therapies. While a few in vivo somatic cell genome editing therapeutics have entered the clinic targeting the liver and eye, a comprehensive suite of technologies and assays to help define the CQAs of the genome editing product(s) have yet to be generated. Some examples of CMC challenges during the development of genome editing products include suitable potency assays to demonstrate relevant biological activity and to help determine dosage, pertinent assays to inform editing-related immunogenicity, safety and efficacy, manufacturing procedures suitable for scale-up for a multifaceted product, and other optimized bioanalytical assays to fulfill CMC-related activities. A combination of assays may be required when a single assay may not provide adequate CMC data due to a complex mechanism of action or multiple activities of a preliminary therapeutic agent.

To support the clinical advancement and regulatory approval of the ever-increasing number of genome editing therapeutics, there is a need for appropriate fit-for-purpose CMC and analytical methodologies to be optimized and qualified for eventual implementation into genome editing therapeutic programs as these programs transition from research into clinical stages. Also in 2023, the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 permits the utilization of new approach methodologies (NAMs) to animal testing, including non-animal or human biology-based test methods, such as cell-based assays, microphysiological systems, or bioprinted or computer models to predict drug toxicity, metabolism, and other absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) properties. NAMs can now be used to seek FDA exemptions for assessing drug safety and effectiveness during the preclinical phase. Some applicable assays have been developed by investigators in academic laboratories or small biotechnical companies for research purposes but require adaptation and/or comprehensive analysis to meet regulatory requirements during the review of clinical products. Applications responsive to this NOFO will fill this gap as these technologies and assays are critical during preclinical development and the manufacturing process, and would impact product quality, safety and efficacy during clinical application. Successful assays and associated protocols will be shared with the broader community via the Translational Coordination and Dissemination Center (TCDC) and SCGE Toolkit that will be the primary output of this collaborative Common Fund-sponsored program.

Examples of product and process characterization assays supported by this NOFO include, but are not limited to:

  • Technologies that enable more informative assessment of patient adaptive and/or innate immune (immunogenicity) responses to genome editors and vectors during clinical trials, including the presence or development of anti-drug antibodies, potential biological consequences, and whether those responses change over time or in response to redosing
  • New approach methodologies that complement traditional animal research, including microphysiological systems, organoids, and other 3- dimensional cell models, that recapitulate critical aspects of normal human physiology and provide quantifiable and predictive measurements of genome editing effects
  • Computer-based technologies, for example artificial intelligence or machine learning, for generating predictive models of individual or population-based biological response(s) to genome editing-based intervention
  • Technologies to detect on and off-target editing in gene-edited animals (or humans) in a non-invasive manner, including but not limited to the use of cell-free DNA obtained from blood or other tissue compartments that can be readily accessed non-invasively (e.g. saliva, exhaled breath condensate, urine, stool)
  • Methods to assess or predict the potential clinical impact of undesired off-target effects, including but not limited to cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, mutagenicity and tumorigenicity potential
  • In vitro and in vivo assays for clinically relevant evaluation of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of a genome delivery or editing reagent, including durability of editing, bioavailability, bioactivity, cell/tissue specificity, and/or dose-prediction in clinical trials
  • Potency assays to assess specificity and sensitivity measurements of the functionality and efficiency of genome editing product, including vector infectivity and identity, editor activity, and other parameters as appropriate
  • Process development technologies for scale-up and cGMP manufacturing of genome editing products
  • Bioanalytical methods for final product identity and potential contamination
  • Technologies for tracking and monitoring of genome editing therapies in vivo, which may include amongst others, in utero therapeutic products

Applications addressing the following topics will be deemed non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Exploratory research for new technology development that lack supporting unpublished and/or preliminary data
  • Assays that are not applicable to genome editing INDs
  • Discovery or development of new genome editing therapeutic products
  • Assays/technologies for non-somatic cell editing
  • Projects proposing clinical trials

Technologies that can be broadly applicable to more than one genome editing therapeutic product and/or indication are encouraged

Funds from the NIH will be made available through the U01 cooperative agreement award mechanism. Awards will be up to 3 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 studies to establish an assay profile and performance criteria (Accuracy [Relative], Analytical Measurement Range, Parallelism, Precision, Selectivity, Specificity, and Stability, as applicable) of sufficient quality for the likely utilization of the technology or assay to support IND-submission of genome editing therapeutic products. As part of the NIH SCGE Consortium, Consortium-generated animal and/or human samples from genome-editing therapeutic studies are expected to become available, and applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other SCGE Consortium members to help evaluate the utility and performance of the assay(s). It is anticipated that in the remainder of the award period, projects will continue to perform assay optimization and further define the analytical parameters using relevant samples, including samples from other consortium members as scientifically appropriate.

NIH's Interest in Diversity

Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation–requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission.

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported 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 or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust. NIH encourages applicants to include a diverse group of scientists in their research programs, including individuals from underrepresented backgrounds (see NOT-OD-20-031, Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity and NOT-OD-22-019, Reminder: Notice of NIH’s Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities).

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A financial assistance 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 NOFO.

Application Types Allowed
New

The OER Glossary and the How to Apply - Application Guide provides details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NIH Common Fund intends to commit approximately $2,000,000 per year for three years. Approximately four awards are anticipated, contingent upon availability of funds and receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The maximum budget period is 3 years (FY 2025-2027).

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

All organizations administering an eligible parent award may apply for a supplement under this NOFO.

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local Governments

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

Federal Government

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government– including the NIH Intramural Research 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 (Organizations)
Foreign Organizations

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) 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 How to Apply - 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. Failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission, please reference NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications for additional information. 

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) - A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

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

2. Cost Sharing

This NOFO does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 1.2 Definition of Terms.

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 NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

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

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the How to Apply - 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:

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

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the How to Apply – Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the How to Apply – Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

All applicants must budget for travel for personnel to attend two in-person meetings per year.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Provide a rationale for the choice of methodology and/or assay, including how the technology will be used to support IND applications of somatic cell genome therapeutic products, and which CMC requirement(s) the improved technology is intended to fulfill. Describe the overall strategy and analytical approaches for optimization and refinement of the methodology and/or assay, and provide quantitative benchmarks to support the proposed approaches. Discuss how the outcome will inform the establishment of CQAs to meet quality requirements for a genome editing therapeutic product. Provide a plan for assay replication and validation, using samples from relevant cell or animal experiments or from human clinical studies within and without the project, as appropriate.

Milestones: A Gantt chart with specific milestones is required for all studies. Provide milestones with quantifiable measures and benchmarks for assessing the progress of the project towards the development of assays that could be utilized for regulatory decision-making process. Milestones must not be simply a restatement of the specific aims. The milestones should provide the means and timeline for assessing the progress made towards each aim. By the end of the second year of funding, the investigator(s) is expected to have demonstrated the performance criteria of the technology and/or assay of sufficient quality to be of potential utility in IND-submissions. By year 3, assay optimization and definition of the analytical parameters is expected to be completed. Due to the collaborative nature of the SCGE Consortium, investigator(s) is encouraged to test a subset of Consortium-generated animal and human samples in the selected technology and/or assay by the end of year 3, as scientifically appropriate. Under a separate heading, describe how these objectives are expected to be achieved during the period of the award.

Resource Sharing Plan:

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the How to Apply - Application Guide

The following modifications also apply:

  • Applicants should indicate their willingness to abide by 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 tools, and resources could substantially diminish their value and public benefit. Accordingly, recipients should manage resources, protocols, tools, and software in a way that achieves the goal of the SCGE Program. The development of policies, methods, and standards for such sharing is critically important. The NIH expects that the recipients, 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 resource sharing.
  • 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 no to 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 TCDC 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 policy regarding intellectual property of resources developed with Federal funds (NIH Research Tools Policy https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/HTML5/section_8/8.2_availability_of_research_results_publications__intellectual_property_rights__and_sharing_research_resources.htm and other related NIH sharing policies at http://sharing.nih.gov.

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

Intellectual Property:

Applicants should describe any constraints of which they are aware that could impede their use of compounds, assays, or models for research purposes and/or clinical development (e.g., certain restrictions under transfer or sharing agreements, applicants' previous or present intellectual property (IP) filings and publications, compounds with similar structures that are under patent and/or on the market, etc.) and how these issues would be addressed. If the applicant has filed pertinent patents, the applicant should indicate filing dates, the type of patent, and application status. If multiple organizations are involved, explain how IP will be shared.

Other Plan(s):

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

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

  • All applicants planning research (funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH) that results in the generation of scientific data are required to comply with the instructions for the Data Management and Sharing Plan. All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, must address a Data Management and Sharing Plan
  • Consistent with achieving the goals of this program, the NIH expects that information such as collected data and any metadata collected under this NOFO 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 data 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 Phase II Platform 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 management and sharing plan.
  • Applicants should indicate their willingness to abide by all data deposition, quality control metrics, standardization, metadata requirements, and data 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 sharing practices for SCGE-generated data could substantially diminish their value and public benefit. Sharing practices that promote access to or use of SCGE program data for research purposes are encouraged to achieve the goals of the SCGE program. The development of policies, methods, and standards for such sharing is critically important. The NIH expects that the recipients, 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 sharing.

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

Appendix:

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the How to Apply - Application Guide.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the How to Apply - 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 How to Apply - 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 How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide must be followed.

Foreign Organizations

Foreign (non-U.S.) organizations must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign organizations described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

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

See Part 2. 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. 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 Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

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 How to Apply – 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 Section 7.9.1 Selected Items of Cost.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the How to Apply - Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.

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

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

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

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the How to Apply - 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 the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC), 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 NIH Intramural Program. NIH intramural scientists will participate in this program as PDs/PIs in accord with the Terms and Conditions provided in this NOFO. 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.

Should an extramural application include the collaboration with an intramural scientist, no funds for the support of the intramural scientist may be requested in the application. The intramural scientist may submit a separate request for intramural funding as described above and as described in the NIH Intramural Source Book.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

Scored Review Criteria

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

Significance

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

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

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

Specific to this NOFO:

How strong is the explanation for the use of the technology to support IND applications of somatic cell genome therapeutic products? Are the overall strategy and analytical approaches adequately developed, and appropriate to lead to an outcome that will inform the establishment of CQAs to meet quality requirements for genome editing therapeutic products? To what extent are the plans for assay replication and validation adequate and sufficient to establish the utility of the platform(s)?

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 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 three points: (1) a complete description of all proposed procedures including the species, strains, ages, sex, and total numbers of animals to be used; (2) justifications that the species is appropriate for the proposed research and why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative non-animal model; and (3) interventions including analgesia, anesthesia, sedation, palliative care, and humane endpoints that will be used to limit any unavoidable discomfort, distress, pain and injury in the conduct of scientifically valuable research. Methods of euthanasia and justification for selected methods, if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, is also required but is found in a separate section of the application. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals Section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animals Section.

Biohazards

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

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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

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

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

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

Budget and Period of Support

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

2. Review and Selection Process

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

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will receive a written critique.

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

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

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this NOFO. 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 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

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. This request is not a Notice of Award nor should it be construed to be an indicator of possible funding.

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

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

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

If a recipient receives an award, the recipient must follow all applicable nondiscrimination laws. The recipient agrees to this when registering in SAM.gov. The recipient must also submit an Assurance of Compliance (HHS-690). To learn more, see the Laws and Regulations Enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights website

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

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 System for Award Management (SAM.gov) requirements. SAM.gov requires Federal agencies to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently SAM.gov) prior to making an award. An applicant can review and comment on any information in the responsibility/qualification records available in SAM.gov. NIH will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the information available in the responsibility/qualification records in SAM.gov, 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 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 (HHS) grant administration regulations at 2 CFR Part 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 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 NIH as defined below.

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

  • Determining research approaches, designing protocols, 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 approximately twice a year and the SCGE Program Steering Committee will recommend the frequency of other in-person and teleconference meetings.
  • Providing data and other shared resources in a timely fashion as agreed upon by the SCGE Program Steering Committee.
  • Submitting all required data, SOPs, protocols and resources as soon as they are scheduled for submission to the SCGE TCDC for quality control and compilation in the SCGE Phase II Platform.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the event negotiated milestones are not accomplished, submitting a milestone report which will include a discussion of why the milestones were not met in the agreed-upon timeframe and propose a corrective action plan. The corrective action plan shall include amended milestones, plans to achieve the amended milestones, and any additional items required by NIH Working Group staff. The plan shall be provided to NIH Working Group staff no later than 2 months following the missed milestone. Amended milestone plans will be approved by the grant management officer and specified in the Notice of Award.

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

The Program Official will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. Additionally, prior to funding an application, the Program Official will contact the recipient to discuss the proposed milestones and any changes suggested by NIH staff or the NIH review panel. The Program Official will negotiate with the recipient and agree on a final set of milestones which will be approved by the grant management officer and specified in the Notice of Award. The Program Official will review award progress. In the event of missed milestones, the Program Official will review corrective action plans in collaboration with the NIH Working Group staff to determine the next course of action. The Program Official will be responsible for recommendations to the NIH to continue funding, or to withhold or restrict support for lack of progress or failure to adhere to NIH policies.

The NIH Project Scientist(s) will have substantial scientific 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 have the following substantial involvement:

  • 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 recipients. The Project Scientist(s) will also help coordinate the efforts of the SCGE Consortium with other groups conducting similar efforts.
  • Participating as a member of the SCGE Program Steering committee and serving on subcommittees as appropriate. Reporting periodically on SCGE progress to the Common Fund SCGE Working Group and through it to the NIH Common Fund.
  • Providing advice on the management and technical performance of the award.
  • Assisting in promoting the availability of the data and related resources developed during 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.
  • Advising on the development of final milestones for the study.
  • Reviewing the progress of the study, and of each participating facility, through consideration of the annual reports, site visits, volunteer logs, etc. Facilitate coordination among other U.S. Government agencies, promoting collaborations and facilitating information exchange.

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:

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 Program Officials and 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 award recipient Steering Committee member will have one vote, and the NIH Project Scientists together will have one vote.  Other NIH officials may participate as non-voting members.

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 PD(s)/PI(s) of an SCGE award agrees to work collaboratively to:

  • Provide for secure, accurate and timely data, SOP, protocol and resource submission.
  • Participate in presenting and publishing new processes and substantive findings.
  • Assess and disseminate the SCGE Phase II Platform.
  • 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.
  • Under the direction of NIH officials and through the SCGE Program Steering Committee, interact with program consultants, as appropriate.

Program Consultants (PCs):

Program Consultants provide critical scientific and managerial insight which will assist NIH staff, the SCGE Working Group (WG), and the awards for each program in determining whether the program is producing something of value to the biomedical research community. Program Consultants are volunteers who provide individual feedback and input on specific, timely issues arising for the program. The PCs will include approximately 4-6 non-federal scientific experts who are not directly involved in the activities of the SCGE program. NIH will appoint PCs and may adjust the roster of PCs in response to program needs. The SCGE POs, PSs, NIH SCGE Working Group, and other NIH staff may attend the PC meetings.

Program Consultants (PCs) will:

  • review and evaluate the progress of the entire SCGE program.
  • 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.
  • meet at least once a year in person, in conjunction with a meeting of the SCGE Program Steering Committee, and by phone or email, at other times as needed.
  • provide annual individual assessments to the NIH of the progress of the SCGE Consortium, and, as necessary, will present recommendations regarding any potential changes to the scientific direction(s) of the SCGE program. The individual assessments and scientific recommendations will be provided to the Director of the Office of Strategic Coordination, NIH, through the NIH SCGE Working Group.

Program Consultants (PCs) will not:

  • participate in peer review, funding decisions, grant specific meetings, reporting processes, and/or grant oversight.
  • have access to PII sensitive data, internal guidance, and/or proprietary information. Exceptions may be made under rare circumstances.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between recipients and NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened: 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 recipient. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the recipient's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and HHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Data Management and Sharing

Consistent with the 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

4. Reporting

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

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

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

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 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 (Responsibility/Qualification in SAM.gov, formerly 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 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

Finding Help Online: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-637-3015

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

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

Peer Review Contact(s)

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
Email: NOFOReviewContact@csr.nih.gov 

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Samuel 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 2 CFR Part 200.

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