RELEASE DATE:  August 11, 2003

RFA Number:  RFA-RR-03-011

National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)


APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  November 13, 2003 and February 18, 2004


o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) is authorized under 
Sections 481A and 481B of the Public Health Services Act, as amended by 
Sections 303 and 304 of Public Law (PL) 106-505, to "make grants or contracts 
to public and nonprofit private entities to expand, remodel, renovate, or 
alter existing research or animal facilities or construct new research or 
animal facilities."  The facilities will be used for basic and clinical 
biomedical and behavioral research and research training. 


The principal objective of this program is to facilitate and enhance the 
conduct of PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research by supporting the 
costs of designing and constructing non-Federal basic and clinical research 
facilities to meet the biomedical or behavioral research, research training, 
or research support needs of an institution or a research area at an 


This RFA will use the NIH research facilities construction grant mechanism 
(C06).  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the 
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.  The time limit for 
completion of the improvement project in response to this RFA may not exceed 
five years and no facilities and administrative (F&A) costs or continuation 
costs will be awarded. The initial budget period is usually 2 years in 
length, although extensions may be requested. All funds must be obligated 
within 5 years from the date of award. The awards will be issued June through 

Matching funds ($1 to $1) will be required for the specific project awarded.  
Matching funds must be non-Federal funds set aside for this project and must 
be "in hand" at the time the award is made. Under Section 481A, up to 50 
percent of the necessary and allowable costs of a project may be awarded: 
grant funds may not be used for the acquisition of land or for off-site 
improvements. The maximum award amount will be $4.0 million for all 
applicants, including Centers of Excellence under section 736 of the PHS Act 
as amended by Public Law 105-392, and National Primate Research Centers 
(NPRCs) will be required to provide matching funds in a ratio of 1 to 4 ($1 
for each $4 of Federal funds provided) for a maximum award of $4.0 million. 
A description of the sources of non-Federal funding for the project (both 
matching funds and funds needed to complete the total project) must be 
provided with the application. A letter committing matching funds must 
accompany the application and provide assurance of commitment from an 
appropriate institutional official authorized to commit funds at the 

Applications proposing a Federal share of less than $1.0 million or more than 
$4 million will not be accepted.  Because the nature and scope of the 
activities proposed in response to this RFA may vary, it is anticipated that 
the size of awards will vary also.  In unusual and compelling circumstances, 
the Director, NCRR, may waive some or all of the requirement for non-Federal 
matching funds [Section 481A (e)(4) of the Public Health Service Act as 
amended by Public Law 106-505].  For additional information, please refer to 
URL: http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/resinfra/pawaiver.pdf.  

An applicant may request a budget for direct costs from $1 million to $4 
million per year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will 
vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and 
duration of each award will also vary. Awards pursuant to this RFA are 
contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient 
number of meritorious applications.


An application may be submitted if an institution conducts biomedical and 
behavioral research and has any of the following characteristics:
o Non-profit organizations 
o Domestic public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

Under Section 481A of the PHS Act, domestic, non-Federal, public and private 
non-profit institutions, organizations, and associations that conduct or 
support biomedical or behavioral research are eligible to apply, including, 
for example, allied health professional schools. In response to this RFA, an 
institution, which has currently one or more PHS-supported basic or clinical 
biomedical or behavioral research projects, may submit two applications to 
the Research Facilities Improvement Program in the same fiscal year for 
projects that encompass different scopes and are from two different "stand 
alone" components that are uniquely identified subordinate organizational 
elements of the institution (for example, a medical school and a dental 
school within a university).

Applications are encouraged from institutions of emerging excellence, which 
are defined as recipients of a "Center of Excellence" award in the fiscal 
year preceding the fiscal year in which an application is submitted in 
response to this RFA.  Centers of Excellence (COE) awards are made by the 
Division of Health Professions Diversity, Bureau of Health Professions, 
Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS.  A list of the Centers of 
Excellence, and further information about this program can be found at URL 
http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/diversity/coe/default.htm.  The telephone number for 
additional information on the COE awards is 301-443-2982.  For this RFA, the 
needs of smaller and developing institutions will be given special 


The Principal Investigator should be a highly placed institutional official, 
at the level of Dean or equivalent, who has responsibility for allocation of 
space for the biomedical or behavioral research and research training.  
Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as 
individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply.


ALLOWABLE COSTS: Facility construction that may be supported under this 
program includes construction of new facilities, additions to existing 
buildings, completion of uninhabitable "shell" space in new or existing 
buildings, and major alterations and renovations. The acquisition and 
installation of fixed equipment such as casework, fume hoods, large 
autoclaves, or biological safety cabinets are allowed. Support for 
instrumentation or equipment that usually would be requested as part of a 
research project grant will not be provided.  Note: The use of these Federal 
funds to build "shell" space or acquire land or make off-site improvements is 
not allowed.   


Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged and the opportunity to answer 
questions from potential applicants is welcomed.  Inquiries may fall into 
three areas: programmatic/technical, peer review, and financial or grants 
management issues:

o Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, requests for application 
Standard Form 424, application supplemental instructions, and SPOC comments, 
if any, to:

Dr. Willie D. McCullough
Division of Research Infrastructure
National Center for Research Resources
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6701 Democracy Blvd., Room 940
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Telephone:  (301) 435-0766
FAX:  (301) 480-3770
Email:  mccullow@mail.nih.gov

o Direct inquiries regarding technical programmatic issues (engineering and 
architectural) to:

Mr. Esmail Torkashvan, P.E. 
Division of Research Infrastructure
National Center for Research Resources
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6701 Democracy Blvd., Room 928
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Telephone:  (301) 435-0766
FAX:  (301) 480-3770
Email:  torkashv@mail.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: 

Dr. D.G. Patel
Office of Review
National Center for Research Resources
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6701 Democracy Blvd., Room 1070
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Bethesda, MD 20817 (express/courier)
Telephone: (301) 435-0824
Email: pateldg@mail.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Mr. Paul Karadbil
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6701 Democracy Blvd., Room 1040
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Telephone:  (301) 435-0844
Email: karadbp@mail.nih.gov


Applicants must use Standard Form 424, "Application for Federal Assistance," 
modified in accordance with the instructions contained in the document 
"Application Information and Supplemental Instructions: Extramural Research 
Facilities Improvement Program Projects."  The applicant's full street 
address is required in column #5 of the Standard Form 424.   Application 
forms and the supplemental instructions required for completing them may be 
requested from the program official listed under INQUIRIES or downloaded from 
our web site (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/resinfra/resfac.pdf). Standard Form 
424 fillable forms are available at 

Interested individuals are advised to consult with appropriate officials at 
their institution before completing the application forms. 


Appropriate margins and font size are described in the Application 
Information and Supplemental Instructions 

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  November 13, 2003 and February 18, 2004

USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 
application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the 
Standard Form 424 construction application.  Type the RFA number on the 
label.  Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the 
application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for 
review.  The RFA label is also available at: 


The completed signed original and one exact photocopy (without appendices) of 
the signed application must be submitted to: 

BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710 
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (express/courier)
TELEPHONE: (301) 435-0715

At the time of submission, four additional copies of the application (with 
five sets of appendices, if any) must be sent under separate cover to: 

Dr. D.G. Patel
Office of Review
National Center for Research Resources
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6701 Democracy Blvd., Room 1070
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Bethesda, MD 20817 (express/courier)
Telephone: (301) 435-0824
Email: pateldg@mail.nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed on or 
before the November 13, 2003 or February 18, 2004 receipt date.  The CSR will 
not accept any application in response to this RFA that is essentially the 
same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws 
the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is 
essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the 
submission of a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but 
such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous 

o  Intergovernmental Review -- Executive Order 12372

Applicants are required to comply with Executive Order (E.O.) 12372 as 
implemented by 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental Review of Department of 
Health and Human Services Programs and Activities. E.O. 12372 sets up a 
system for state and local government review of proposed Federal assistance 
applications.  Applicants (other than federally recognized Indian tribal 
governments) should contact their State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) as 
early as possible to alert them to the prospective applications and receive 
any necessary instructions on the state process. For proposed projects 
serving more than one state, the applicant is advised to contact the SPOC of 
each affected state. 

A current list of SPOCs is included in the supplemental instructions (States 
without a SPOC do not participate in this process) or at 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html. The SPOC must be given 60 
days to review a construction grant application.  Applicants are to provide 
the SPOC with a copy of the application not later than the time the 
application is submitted to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH. 
Applications submitted to NIH in response to this solicitation must contain 
either SPOC comments or documentation indicating the date on which the 
application was submitted to the SPOC for review. The SPOC comment period 
ends 60 days after the application receipt date. The granting agency does not 
guarantee to "accommodate or explain" state process recommendations it 
receives after that date. 

All SPOC comments must be forwarded to both the applicant and to the NCRR 
Program Official listed under INQUIRIES. If comments are provided by the 
SPOC, the applicant may wish to submit to the NIH a statement of its reaction 
to the comments and any appropriate changes to its application.  If no 
response is received from the SPOC by the end of the 60 days allotted for 
review of the application, the applicant must notify the NIH that no response 
was received. 

o  Public Disclosure

Applicants must make a public disclosure of the project by publication and 
describe its environmental impact at the time the SPOC is notified.  It is 
suggested that the notice be published in a large-circulation newspaper in 
the area. This public disclosure is required by Section 102 of the National 
Environment Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and by Federal Executive Order 11514. 
An example is provided in the "Applicant Information and Supplemental 

o  Design Standards

Design requirements serve to protect the health and safety of persons using 
the proposed facility, assure that the new facility is accessible to and 
useable by the physically handicapped, control the project's impact on the 
natural environment, conserve energy resources, achieve economy in 
construction costs, and protect against natural disasters such as earthquake 
and flood.

O  Design Schedule Requirements

The NIH extramural research facilities construction grant (C06) requires all 
funds to be obligated within five years.  Following the receipt of a Notice 
of Grant award, the institution must sign and return the Terms and Conditions 
of the award to the Office of Grants Management, NCRR, in order to begin the 
design phase of the award.  Because the award has a five-year time limit for 
completion of the construction project, the grantee is required to begin the 
design phase immediately following the return of the signed Terms and 
Conditions.  The grantee must complete the three design phases leading to the 
development of the construction document (CD) within the first budget period 
of the award (completion of the design phases in less than two years is 
acceptable).  Grantees should allow four to six weeks for the NIH review of 
each design submission.  Grantees must submit all design documents for 
approval by the NCRR/NIH and the grantees must adhere to the following design 
document approval schedule:

o  Schematic Designs  (35% complete):  6 to 12 months

o  Design Development (65% complete):  12 to 18 months

o  Construction Document (95% complete):  18 to 24 months
Failure to meet the above required design document approval schedule places 
the grantee in non-compliance with the requirement of the award and may 
jeopardize this and/or future awards.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NCRR.  

Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be returned to the 
applicant without further consideration.

An appropriate scientific review group convened by NCRR in accordance with 
the standard NIH peer review procedures (http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) 
will evaluate applications for scientific and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique
o Receive a second level review by the NCRR National Advisory Research 
Resources Council.


Review Considerations 

Applications that are complete and responsive will be reviewed for scientific 
and technical merit by the Scientific and Technical Review Board on 
Biomedical and Behavioral Research Facilities established for this purpose by 
the NCRR using the review criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit 
review, a process may be used by the initial review group in which all 
applications receive a written critique and receive a second level review by 
the National Advisory Research Resources Council.  Applications will be 
evaluated on the basis of criteria intended to assess the following overall 
questions: (1) To what extent will the proposed change in the research 
environment facilitate the applicant institution's ability to conduct, 
expand, improve, or maintain biomedical/behavioral research? (2) Explain how 
the proposed project will meet unmet national health needs for 
biomedical/behavioral research, research training and/or research support 

Reviewers will also consider the following factors: 

o The specific impact of the proposed construction on existing and future 
PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research, research training and/or 
research support activities related to only the NCRR-supported construction 
project described in the application for the proposed facility. 

o The impact of the proposed construction on the planned advancement or 
expansion of the research and research training activities at institutions 
with limited PHS support. 

o Appropriateness and suitability of the proposed facilities, including 
safety and biohazard aspects, for the research to be conducted and/or 
research support and training to be provided. 

o Specific deficiencies in the existing research facilities that would be 
remedied and the impact of the proposed project on current and future 
research activities. 

o The appropriateness of the proposed physical location and layout of the new 
facility and the reasonableness of the proposed time-course, cost and 
sequence for the construction. 

o Adequacy of the proposed administrative arrangements with respect to 
institutional commitment to use the space for biomedical/behavioral research, 
research training and/or research support and the capabilities of the 
Principal Investigator and staff for scientific and fiscal administration of 
the facility.

Facility design considerations:

o Conformance to NIH Guidelines, National Life Safety Code and local codes 
o Occupancy category 
o Site adjacency and National Fire Protection Agency compliance
o Building zoning/adjacency such as public, semi-private, private 
o Functional adjacency
o Proposed conceptual layout
o Net and gross square feet of proposed layout
o Biological Safety Level Category
o List of containment devices in each room
o Traffic pattern (users, material, animal, patients) 
o Hazardous waste management
o Waste management
o Pest management control
o Coordination between all disciplines

o Proposed HVAC system (equipment, distribution)
o Proposed Hydronic system (equipment, distribution)
o Proposed room by room pressurization control
o Proposed vibration and noise control criteria 
o Proposed room by room temperature and humidity control 
o Proposed HVAC system operation during normal and emergency cycle
o Scientific program standard operating procedures (SOP) during HVAC system 

o Proposed specialty systems (water purification, animal water feed, special 
liquid or gases)
o Proposed potable and non-potable water systems

Fire Protection:
o Proposed fire protection barriers
o Proposed sprinkler system 
o Proposed fire alarm system

o Conformance to National Electrical Code
o Proposed electrical distribution system (normal, emergency, UPS)
o Proposed room lighting 
o Proposed security system
o Proposed telephone/data/LAN distribution system
o Proposed equipment monitoring system
List of references for the design of facilities supported through the 
Research Facilities Improvement Program:

o NIH Design and Policy Guidelines, http://des.od.nih.gov

o Primary Containment for Biohazards: Selection, Installation and Use of 
Biological Safety Cabinets, CDC/NIH

o Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, CDC/NIH 

o Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Research 
Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 1996

Specific Considerations in Writing and the Review of the C06 Application 

Easy to read schematic line drawings must be part of the application. 
Drawings must clearly indicate all construction and renovations.  Safety 
aspects must be incorporated in the design. The facility location must be 
identified with regard to related research facilities.  The drawings must 
indicate egress routes and the relationship of rooms.  All related 
specialized facilities and the location of major equipment must be shown. 

Provide an organizational chart of the institution that defines the 
administrative authority.  

Fully justify the cost of the construction. Provide precise cost estimates 
and vendor quotes when available. 

Justify the space requirements for support staff.
Clearly describe the impact of the proposed construction on PHS-funded 
research for both existing and future research projects.  Provide a table 
that list current and pending research grants and indicate the title, 
principal investigator, grant number, source and annual amount of funding, 
and start and end dates.  List only those projects which will be active from 
the start date on the application face page. 

The narrative of the application is limited to 40 pages.  Line drawing must 
be included in the narrative, but are not counted against the 40-page 
narrative limitation. 

Provide succinct descriptions of specific research activities that will 
benefit from the proposed construction. Do not provide a description of 
global research activities at the institution. 

Provide biographical sketches (4 pages including other support) of only 
investigators who will be major users of the proposed facilities, the 
principal investigator and the program director. A table formatted as per the 
Supplemental Instructions which details the research support to benefit from 
the proposed improvement project is required in the application in addition 
to the 4-page biographical sketches. 

Limit appendices to only additional information relevant to the information 
outlined in the application for the construction of the proposed facility for 
which NCRR-support is sought.  Do not submit general institutional reports 
and strategic plans not directly related to the facility described in the 
application.  Examples of information to be included in the appendices, if 
applicable, are:
o Environmental Analysis Form
o Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care 
(AAALAC) Report 
o Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Report  
o Equipment specifications
o Occupational Health Program
o Rate charts

Special considerations for an animal facility should include:
o A detailed description of any biohazard issues.
o A description of the veterinary support.
o The training and continued education programs for veterinary staff.
o A detailed animal census.
o A description of which animals are used for each project.
o A description of the composition and procedures of the IACUC.
o A description of appropriate procedures to ensure that the facility will be 
used as intended.


Application Receipt Date: November 13, 2003 or February 18, 2004
Peer Review Date: February/March 2004 or June 2004
Council Review: May 20, 2004 or September 9, 2004
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: May 2004 or September 2004


Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds
o Programmatic priorities.

Applications submitted in response to this RFA will compete for available 
funds with all other recommended applications.  Factors considered in making 
awards include the merit of the proposal as determined by peer review; the 
needs of the institution, with special consideration for small institutions 
as well as institutions designated as Centers of Excellence; the commitment 
by the institution of funds needed to complete the project; the availability 
of appropriated funds; prior receipt of a construction award from this 
program; and geographic distribution. 

Award Conditions 

The grantee will begin a process of design approval with the NCRR staff after 
acknowledging receipt of the Notice of Grant Award. This consists of three 
stages of submission of design documents. Two sets each of Schematic Design, 
Design Development and Final Construction Design Documents will be submitted 
at Stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively.  The documents will include detailed 
cost estimates and are required for final review and approval by NCRR before 
bids and proposals can be solicited by the grantee for the construction 
contract. Advertisement for construction bids and construction may be 
initiated only after receipt of the construction grant award and subsequent 
approval of the working drawings and specifications by NCRR staff. 

Early in the design process, applicants are encouraged to review the "NIH 
Grants Policy Statement," which is available on-line at 
https://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps/policy_stmt.htm.  The sections 
related to public policy requirements and construction (i.e. Part III) are 
particularly relevant. No requests to initiate construction, consistent with 
NIH policy, will be entertained prior to receipt of a construction grant 
award from NIH and subsequent approval of working drawings and specifications 
by NCRR staff. 

The facility must be utilized for biomedical or behavioral research purposes 
for which it was constructed for at least 20 years beginning 90 days 
following completion of the construction project. Any lease agreement must 
cover a time period sufficient for the usage requirement and be a minimum of 
20 years in length from the completion of the facility.  An annual progress 
report is required for 20 years Federal interest in the facility as a 
condition of this award and must include a list of publications "originating 
from the use" of this project facility.  This list should be limited to those 
scientific papers acknowledging NCRR support including grant numbers.  
Failure to comply with the 20-year utilization requirement will result in 
recovery of the Federal share of the value of the facility in accordance with 
Federal Regulations at 45 CFR 74.32.


Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. 
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This 
RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.389. Awards are made under authorization 
of Sections 481A and 481B of the Public Health Services Act, as amended by 
Sections 303 and 304 of Public Law (PL) 106-505 and administered under the 
NIH grants policies and administered under the NIH grants policies described 
at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and Federal Regulations 42 
CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  Applicants are required to comply with Executive 
Order 12372 as supplemented by 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental Review of 
Health and Human Services Programs and Activities.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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