Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

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

Funding Opportunity Title
Drug Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) Clinical Centers (U01 - Clinical Trial Optional)
Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-DK-17-509
Related Notices

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

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-DK-22-013
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-DK-22-508 , U01 Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.847
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to invite applicationsfor for clinical centers for the continuation of the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN). The DILIN Clinical Centers are the components of the Network to identify, enroll and clinically characterize patients eligible for the DILIN. The companion RFA (RFA-DK-22-508) seeks to continue the Data Coordinating Center for DILIN.

Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is one of the more challenging forms of liver disease; both in diagnosis and management. Several hundred drugs, dietary and herbal supplements have been implicated in causing liver injury. Their clinical presentation can be highly variable and mimic almost any form of liver disease. Over the last 19 years, the DILIN throughout its publications has become the major source of information and progress in understanding the burden of drug-induced liver injury for clinicians, hepatologists, researchers, and the public at large in the US and Worldwide.

The Network has made major advances in the understanding of the clinical presentation and outcomes of liver injury due to drugs as well as herbal and dietary supplements (HDS). These advances have led to exploratory inroads on the pathogenesis of DILI. DILIN remains the only structured, systematic and prospective effort in the United States and world-wide to characterize drug and HDS induced liver injury. The ultimate aims of DILIN are to elucidate the clinical and pathophysiologic features of DILI so as to allow inroads into its understanding, treatment and prevention, thus decreasing the burden of this disease.

The Network's future research interests lie in four main areas:

1. Clinical, biochemical, histologic and biologic characterization of DILI including acute and chronic disease, HDS-induced injury, ethnic and racial differences, genetic studies, cytokines and immunological profiling.

2. Support of ancillary studies and collaborations (both domestic and foreign, with academic or industry investigators) on mechanisms of idiosyncratic liver injury that might lead to insights into pathogenesis and approaches to prevention or treatment.

3. Pilot/feasibility studies that would lay the groundwork for future studies on treatment of severe acute DILI and chronic symptomatic cases.

4. Pharmacovigilance of HDS and newly approved prescription medications (in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration) and public resource for accurate information on DILI (DILIN centers and LiverTox).

Applications focused on basic and animal studies of DILI will not be considered responsive to this FOA.

Key Dates

Posted Date
August 24, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
September 27, 2022
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

September 27, 2022

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
October 27, 2022 October 27, 2022 Not Applicable March 2023 May 2023 July 2023

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

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

Expiration Date
October 28, 2022
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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

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

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

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

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

  3. 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. Funding Opportunity Description

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health through an open competition is seeking applications to continue the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) established by NIDDK in 2003. The DILIN has made major advances in the study of the epidemiology and clinical spectrum of hepatotoxicity due to drugs and to herbal and dietary supplements (HDS). RFA-DK-22-013 will seek the continuation of DILIN to enhance the enrollment of cases and controls (when justified) from a diverse demographic background and a wide geographic distribution. A major aim of the network study is to pursue genetic analyses to find predictive biomarkers as well as genetic “fingerprints” useful for elucidating the pathogenesis of Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) and ultimately for developing specific means of prevention and or treatment. The Network will be composed of several Clinical Centers with expertise in diagnosis and management of DILI and a Data Coordinating Center with expertise in the management of multicenter studies and clinical and translational datasets. It is expected that the clinical centers will be a single site, with direct access to eligible patients and able to develop strategies to identify eligible DILI patients during the acute phase of the injury. To enhance our understanding of the clinical manifestations of DILI in all demographics and ethnic groups in the US, the clinical centers are encouraged to explore alliances with clinical institutions traditionally serving underrepresented minorities. These centers will be managed under the umbrella of the main DILIN clinical center and compensated on a per patient enrolled basis.

This FOA encourages applications for five to seven Clinical Centers (through an open competition); applications for the DILIN Data Coordinating Center have been requested through a separate limited competition FOA, RFA-DK-22-508: Limited Competition for the Continuation of the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) Data Coordinating Center (U24).

Background Information and Research Objectives

Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US and the most common reason for US FDA regulatory actions regarding approved medications. Implicated drugs include not only prescription medications but also herbal products and over-the-counter dietary supplements and medications. Patients who develop hepatocellular DILI with jaundice have at least a 10% chance of dying from the injury and DILI patients that progress to acute liver failure have only a 25% chance of spontaneous recovery. While DILI caused by an agent can be serious, it is relatively uncommon, with an estimated frequency that ranges from 1 per 1,000 to 1 per 1,000,000 patient-years of exposure. Therefore, the low incidence of DILI coupled with the limited knowledge of the biochemical mechanism(s) or pathways responsible for this ‘idiosyncratic’ adverse event make it difficult to identify high-risk patients. Furthermore, pre-clinical testing does not always provide a reliable assessment of the hepatotoxic risk of new medications, and because DILI is a rare event, pre-marketing clinical studies conducted in highly selected populations over a relatively short period of time also may not detect a potential for liver injury. Therefore, the hepatotoxicity of a specific medication often becomes apparent only after regulatory approval and when the drug is used by large numbers of unselected patients in the general population. Finally, the biochemical, clinical and histological features of DILI from initial onset to clinical presentation can not only mimic most other known forms of acute and chronic liver disease but can also vary substantially with a single agent. Thus, at present, there is no objective ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing DILI and its identification largely relies on excluding other more common causes of liver disease and having a ‘compatible’ time of onset and evolution. Drug-induced liver disease is challenging because of the ever-increasing number of drugs used in the management of diseases and the growing number of individuals who take medications.

Furthermore, the literature on drug-induced liver disease, often as short reports or letters to the editor whose validity is difficult to assess, is large and dispersed in many disciplines – including hepatology, gastroenterology, pharmacology, internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery. For this reason, it is a challenge to keep abreast of the literature on drug-induced liver disease, and literature searches to specific medications are often incomplete.

For many of these reasons, the Liver Disease Research Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in collaboration with the National Library of Medicine and the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network developed a web site dedicated to providing up-to-date, comprehensive clinical information on drug-induced liver disease for both the general physician and the subspecialist (http://livertox.nih.gov/).

It is noteworthy that since inception of the DILIN in 2003, the number of enrolled cases of Herbal and Dietary supplements (HDS) induced liver injury have steadily increased. HDS products now account for more than 20% of cases of DILI reported in DILIN. Furthermore, the liver injury from these products can be severe and lead to need for emergency liver transplant (in 13% of cases).

This FOA seeks to continue the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network objectives in four main areas:

1. Clinical, biochemical, histologic and biologic characterization of DILI, including acute and chronic disease; HDS-induced liver injury, ethnic and racial differences, genetic studies, cytokines and immunological profiling.

These areas can be enhanced by seeking enrollment of cases (and controls when justified) from a wide demographic and geographic distribution. The network should make efforts to capture cases of DILI both from pediatric and adult populations, and particularly from underrepresented minority populations from their own sites and from collaborating centers by engaging minority investigators and pediatricians from academic and community clinical medical centers serving underserved population in the US willing to identify and capture cases of DILI, using an online case report system developed by the DILIN investigators.

Developing means of identifying and enrolling patients into DILIN at an early stage during drug-induced liver injury, on whom accurate and complete clinical information combined with serially collected specimens of serum, plasma, urine, and liver tissue can be obtained, is essential to support mechanistic studies of the pathogenesis of the drug- or HDS-induced liver injury, in addition to genetic studies.

Continuation of the HDS repository of products associated with liver injury repository is an important tool to characterize the epidemiology, clinical presentation and outcomes of drug- and HDS-induced liver injury. The DILIN Data Coordinating Center will seek collaboration with a qualified laboratory with expertise in comprehensive analysis of Herbal and Dietary Supplements. A better characterization of the chemical components of herbal mixtures and dietary supplements implicated in cases of liver injury may provide insights into the nature of the injury, suggest innovative approaches to mechanistic studies and ultimately provide means of prevention or treatment.

2. Ancillary studies and collaborations that would investigate basic mechanisms of liver injury due to specific drugs and provide insights into pathogenesis of DILI and potential targets for prevention and treatment.

These ancillary studies might be supported by outside funds of the investigator or by applications for NIH grant funding in the area, or by other Federal Agencies involved in drug-induced liver injury research [such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Veterans Administration (VA), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]. Alternatively, such ancillary studies might be supported by nonprofit foundation funds in support of liver disease research or be negotiated as industry collaborative studies. Collaborations with foreign registries and databases of drug-induced liver injury might also be pursued. Emphasis should be given to innovative, advanced research approaches such as genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, the microbiome and pharmacogenomics and dynamics.

3. Pilot/feasibility studies that would lay the groundwork for future studies on treatment of severe DILI including acute as well as chronic symptomatic cases.

During the last grant cycle, the DILIN investigators have established the feasibility of enrolling acute DILI cases and obtaining serial biospecimens during and after the acute injury. These facts along with the significant morbidity attributed to DILI, with up to 20 % of subjects having continued liver injury 6 months after presentation, established the feasibility and need to explore studies that would lay the groundwork for future randomized controlled trials, possibly in life threatening acute or chronic symptomatic DILI cases.

4. Pharmacovigilance of HDS and recently approved prescription medications (collaboration with FDA) and public resource for accurate information on DILI (DILIN centers and LiverTox)

It’s expected that applicants to this RFA, will participate in ongoing interactions and collaborations with the FDA, both the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Experts in hepatotoxicity from the FDA serve as ad hoc members of the DILIN steering committee providing input to the Network but also collaborate exchanging information on the prevalence and patterns of DILI, particularly of recently approved medications for which the full spectrum and incidence of their potential to cause liver injury may not be known. Another important area of shared interest and importance is HDS induced liver injury and collaboration with the CSFAN, which should be pursued to aid in identification of potential hepatoxic dietary supplements.

The DILIN investigators in collaboration with investigators from Europe have developed a computer-based, reliable instrument for the diagnosis of drug-induced liver injury that can be used broadly by the medical community. The Revised Electronic Causality Assessment Method (RECAM) instrument is simple but detailed enough to provide an accurate assessment of the likelihood that the liver injury is due to the suspected medication, herbal or dietary supplement. The DILIN database of well characterized cases of drug-induced liver injury can be used to further develop and validate this diagnostic instrument and demonstrate its reliability (sensitivity, specificity) across a wide range of medications and types of injury. Applicants, using their expertise and the DILIN database will contribute to the refinement of the RECAM

As a public resource for accurate information on DILI, the DILIN centers will continue to expand and support LiverTox (http://livertox.nih.gov/) as an authoritative, complete and updated internet web site for drug-induced liver injury. The accuracy and completeness of LiverTox is important in supporting its role in education and stimulation of research into mechanisms of drug and HDS-induced liver injury. The applicants may be called upon to serve as reviewers of new content and updates of chapters in LiverTox and may serve on the expert review panel that supervises the LiverTox website.

Applications focused on basic and animal studies of DILI will not be considered responsive to this FOA.

Organization of the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network

The Drug Induced Liver Injury Network will continue in its current format. The organization will be a cooperative network of the following entities: the NIDDK, several Clinical Centers (CCs), a Data Coordinating Center (DCC), an Executive Committee, a Steering Committee and its subcommittees, a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), and other committees as needed. The responsibilities of each entity of the Network are described in the Terms and Conditions of Award.

The NIDDK Central Repository will be used as the specimen repository for the Network. This repository is not part of the FOA and is funded independently.

Governance

Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be the main governing body of the DCC (see the Terms and Conditions of Award). The Steering Committee will be composed of the Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) of each CC in the Consortium, the PD/PI of the DCC, the NIDDK Project Scientists and the NIDDK Program Official. Study Co-Chairs will be selected by the Steering Committee, in consultation with the NIDDK Program Official. The Steering Committee will have primary responsibility for the general organization of the DILIN, and approval of publications and ancillary studies. The Steering Committee will be responsible for the conduct and monitoring of studies and reporting study results. Topics for investigational and treatment protocols will be proposed and prioritized by the Steering Committee. Other subcommittees of the Steering Committee will be established and will operate as necessary, such as publications, ancillary, protocol, pathology and radiology. Most committee meetings can be held by teleconference or videoconference. All face to face Steering Committee meetings and other necessary in person or virtual meetings requiring the presence of NIDDK personnel will be held in the Washington, DC/Baltimore metropolitan area or other suitable venue.

Executive Committee. An Executive Committee will be comprised of Study Co-Chairs, the PD/PI of the DCC, the NIDDK administrative staff, and NIDDK Project Scientist and Program Official. The Executive Committee Chairperson will be selected by the Study Co-Chairs, the PD/PI of the DCC and they should seek consultation with the NIDDK Program Official to provide any feedback regarding concerns of potential for bias or conflict of interest or lack of required expertise prior to their selection. The Executive Committee will be convened to effect management decisions required between Steering Committee meetings, as required for the function of the Consortium. Other NIDDK and DCC personnel, as deemed necessary by the Project Scientists and Program Official, may also be included.

Data and Safety Monitoring Board. An independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) will be established by the NIDDK and ad hoc members from other NIH institutes, as necessary, to review protocols and monitor patient safety and performance of each study. As a part of its responsibilities, the DSMB will submit recommendations to the NIDDK regarding safety and ethical issues, data quality concerns, and the continuation of each study. The DSMB will be responsible for final approval of the Data and Safety Monitoring Plan developed by the DCC. All protocols or changes to protocols will be approved by Institutional Review Boards, the Steering Committee, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, and the NIDDK before initiation.

Other Special Performance Requirements

The DILIN will continue to be a collaborative effort that will require frequent interactions of recipients among themselves and with the NIDDK. Applicants are expected to:

• Participate in Steering Committee meetings (expected to occur in person 3-4 times a year in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area or other suitable venue), and as monthly (or as needed) teleconference, site visits as required by the NIDDK and regular subcommittee telephone or video conference calls;

• Cooperate with other recipients in the development and design or modification of research protocols, and cooperate with other recipients in carrying out approved research protocols and disclose to the Steering Committee any applicant institutional specific clinical studies that may overlap with the clinical activities of the DILIN;

• Abide by common definitions; common methods for patient selection and enrollment; and common protocols, procedures, tests, and reporting forms as chosen by majority vote of the Steering Committee;

• Actively seek to implement each consortium-wide protocol approved by the DSMB and the NIDDK that the site is selected for participation;

• Comply with all study policies and quality assurance measures approved by the Steering Committee;

• Agree to oversight of the study by a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB);

• Transmit study data to the Data Coordinating Center in a timely and accurate manner (Clinical Centers and subsites only);

• Report all adverse events in accordance with procedures established by the Steering Committee, and NIDDK and FDA policies;

• Cooperate with other recipients in the publication of study results and the eventual release to the scientific community of study procedures and other resources;

• Serve on and chair subcommittees and protocol committees as assigned by the steering committee or the NIDDK; and

• Accept the “Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award” in Section VI.2.A “Award Administration Information".

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

Investigators proposing NIH-defined clinical trials may refer to the Research Methods Resources website for information about developing statistical methods and study designs.

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New

Renewal applications from RFA-DK-17-509

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

Clinical Trial?

Optional: Accepting applications that either propose or do not propose clinical trial(s).

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to commit $1,800,000 in Fiscal Year 2023 to fund up to 5 awards.

Award Budget

The awards to each Clinical Center will be up to $250,000 in direct costs. Patient Care Cost should not be included in the application as it will be administered and provided by the DCC for all the CCs. Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project. 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.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is five years.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

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

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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

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

For-Profit Organizations

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

Local Governments

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

Federal Governments

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

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
Foreign Institutions

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

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

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

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

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

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

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

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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

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

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

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

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

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, 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 FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

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:

John F. Connaughton, Ph.D.
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-7797
Email: NIDDKLetterofIntent@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

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

R&R or Modular Budget

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

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Research Strategy: The Research Strategy section should include:

  • A discussion of the significance of the problem being studied, the need for the study, and the potential impact of the results of the study, as well as how the study will test the hypothesis(es) proposed. A description of and rationale for the proposed study design;
  • A discussion of progress made during previous funding periods (if applicable); A concise description of the overall strategy, methodology and analyses to be used to accomplish the goals and specific aims of the study in the next funding period;
  • A discussion of strategies to enhance enrollment of underrepresented minorities and pediatric cases diagnosed with DILI;
  • A description of the protocol(s) to be followed, including a discussion of potential biases or challenges in the protocol and how they will be addressed. Applications must discuss (1) exclusion and inclusion criteria for selecting samples as cases or controls (when appropriate); and (2) discuss procedures for acquiring samples and obtaining clearances from State and regulatory authorities, including those from an institutional review board (IRB);
  • A brief acknowledgement of responsibilities as part of a multi-center, collaborative project.


The PD/PI should describe willingness to work collaboratively with other members of the Network, the Data Coordinating Center (DCC), the Data Safety Monitoring Board and the NIDDK Central Repository. Applicants (including subcontract sites) should describe how they will be able to submit data to the DCC and biospecimens to the NIDDK Repositories (supported by an independent contract from NIDDK) and to central laboratories and biological cores as approved by the Steering Committee. CCs must show how they will work in collaboration with the DCC to implement procedures for uniform data collection, handling and transmittal of data, as well as data audits and other data quality control procedures, as established by the study protocol. CCs must also provide information regarding future plans for involvement with operational committees of the Consortium (e.g. Recruitment, Publications, etc.) and the establishment of uniform procedures and policies.

In addition, applicants may propose protocols and or ancillary studies to be carried out by the consortium. If protocols or ancillary studies are proposed, the applicant should describe the unique scientific expertise available at their site that is suited to the mission of DILIN.

. Applicants proposing a collaboration with the private sector must submit a plan for the collaboration.

Applicants must document the ability to recruit patients, both during the acute and subacute phase of DILI, and describe retention optimized plans to contribute to the long-term follow-up of patients. They should describe plans to procure specimens prospectively, collect epidemiological and clinical data using previously developed Common Data Elements, and to process specimens.

An organizational structure for the CC should be set forth, delineating specific personnel available to carry out the approved protocols. The PD/PI should state his/her general support of collaborative research and interaction with the NIDDK, the other CCs, and the DCC through the Network concept.

A centralized IRB will  oversee the  clinical study protocols. Investigators are encouraged to express willingness to consider this model or comment on barriers to implementation of centralized IRB review and ongoing oversight at their individual institutions.

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

The following modifications also apply:

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

Appendix:

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

  • No publications or other material, with the exception of blank questionnaires or blank surveys, may be included in the Appendix.

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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

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

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

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

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

4. Submission Dates and Times

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

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

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

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

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

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

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

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

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

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

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit 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 FOA 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 SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

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

Use of Common Data Elements in NIH-funded Research


Many NIH ICs encourage the use of common data elements (CDEs) in basic, clinical, and applied research, patient registries, and other human subject research to facilitate broader and more effective use of data and advance research across studies. CDEs are data elements that have been identified and defined for use in multiple data sets across different studies. Use of CDEs can facilitate data sharing and standardization to improve data quality and enable data integration from multiple studies and sources, including electronic health records. NIH ICs have identified CDEs for many clinical domains (e.g., neurological disease), types of studies (e.g. genome-wide association studies (GWAS)), types of outcomes (e.g., patient-reported outcomes), and patient registries (e.g., the Global Rare Diseases Patient Registry and Data Repository). NIH has established a “Common Data Element (CDE) Resource Portal" (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/cde/index.html) to assist investigators in identifying NIH-supported CDEs when developing protocols, case report forms, and other instruments for data collection. The Portal provides guidance about and access to NIH-supported CDE initiatives and other tools and resources for the appropriate use of CDEs and data standards in NIH-funded research. Investigators are encouraged to consult the Portal and describe in their applications any use they will make of NIH-supported CDEs in their projects.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

A proposed Clinical Trial application may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative but address important questions or unmet needs. Additionally, the results of the clinical trial may indicate that further clinical development of the intervention is unwarranted or lead to new avenues of scientific investigation.

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.

 

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial to test the proposed hypothesis or intervention well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms? For trials focusing on clinical or public health endpoints, is this clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy? For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance scientific understanding?

 

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

With regard to the proposed leadership for the project, do the PD/PI(s) and key personnel have the expertise, experience, and ability to organize, manage and implement the proposed clinical trial and meet milestones and timelines? Do they have appropriate expertise in study coordination, data management and statistics? For a multicenter trial, is the organizational structure appropriate and does the application identify a core of potential center investigators and staffing for a coordinating center?

Specific to this FOA: How well the additional scientific personnel provides unique expertise that is suited to the scientific mission of DILI? Have the additional scientific personnel demonstrated an ongoing record of scientific accomplishments that are aligned with the DILIN scientific objectives?

 

 

 

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the design/research plan include innovative elements, as appropriate, that enhance its sensitivity, potential for information or potential to advance scientific knowledge or clinical practice?

 

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable

Study Design

Is the study design justified and appropriate to address primary and secondary outcome variable(s)/endpoints that will be clear, informative and relevant to the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study based on previously well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Given the methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, is the study design adequately powered to answer the research question(s), test the proposed hypothesis/hypotheses, and provide interpretable results? Is the trial appropriately designed to conduct the research efficiently? Are the study populations (size, gender, age, demographic group), proposed intervention arms/dose, and duration of the trial, appropriate and well justified?

Are potential ethical issues adequately addressed? Is the process for obtaining informed consent or assent appropriate? Is the eligible population available? Are the plans for recruitment outreach, enrollment, retention, handling dropouts, missed visits, and losses to follow-up appropriate to ensure robust data collection? Are the planned recruitment timelines feasible and is the plan to monitor accrual adequate? Has the need for randomization (or not), masking (if appropriate), controls, and inclusion/exclusion criteria been addressed? Are differences addressed, if applicable, in the intervention effect due to sex/gender and race/ethnicity?

Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate? Is there a plan to obtain required study agent(s)? Does the application propose to use existing available resources, as applicable?

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions? Are the procedures for data management and quality control of data adequate at clinical site(s) or at center laboratories, as applicable? Have the methods for standardization of procedures for data management to assess the effect of the intervention and quality control been addressed? Is there a plan to complete data analysis within the proposed period of the award?

Specific to this FOA:

Collaboration with the DCC: Have the CC showed their willingness and an approach to work collaboratively with the DCC to implement procedures for uniform data collection, handling and transmittal of data, as well as data audits and other data quality control procedures, as established by the study protocol?

Operational involvement to execute the objectives of the DILIN: Have the CC described their willingness and methos to establish uniform procedures and policies? Have the CC described means to collaboratively engage in the functioning of the DILIN’s committees?

Interactions with private sector: If appropriate, have the CC clearly described the terms of a proposed collaboration with a private sector entity?

 

Future Patient Enrollment Potential: How appropriate are the CC patient recruitment, enrollment, and retention plans to contribute to the long-term follow-up of patients? How well have the applicant described an appropriate and feasible strategy to optimize retention and follow-up of the ongoing DILIN registry and planned ancillary studies? How well have the clinical center demonstrated a strategy to identify potential DILI patients during the acute phase of the injury?


Data and Sample Management: Have the applicant demonstrated an adequate plan to ensure accurate collection and timely transmission of study data to the DCC and patient samples as required by the approved DILIN protocols?

 

 

 

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?

In addition, for applications involving clinical trials

If proposed, are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers, appropriate for the trial proposed?

Does the application adequately address the capability and ability to conduct the trial at the proposed site(s) or centers? Are the plans to add or drop enrollment centers, as needed, appropriate?

If international site(s) is/are proposed, does the application adequately address the complexity of executing the clinical trial?

If multi-sites/centers, is there evidence of the ability of the individual site or center to: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; (3) collect and transmit data in an accurate and timely fashion; and, (4) operate within the proposed organizational structure?

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.

 

Specific to applications involving clinical trials

Is the study timeline described in detail, taking into account start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment? Is the projected timeline feasible and well justified? Does the project incorporate efficiencies and utilize existing resources (e.g., CTSAs, practice-based research networks, electronic medical records, administrative database, or patient registries) to increase the efficiency of participant enrollment and data collection, as appropriate?

Are potential challenges and corresponding solutions discussed (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

Not Applicable

 

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.

 

Not Applicable

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

Not Applicable

 

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).

 

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

 

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.

 

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 NIDDK, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

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

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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

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

Recipients must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

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

Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain “applicable clinical trials” on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that all 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.

Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

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: Generaland Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

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

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

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

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of the award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, 2 CFR 200, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies. The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the recipients is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH's purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility reside with the recipients for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the recipients and the NIH as defined below.

The Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

1. Developing the research design and study protocol, including the definition of objectives and approaches, sample size and power calculations, and establishing procedures for participant recruitment and follow-up, data collection, quality control, interim data, and safety monitoring, final data analysis, and interpretation, and publication of results.

2. Establishing a Steering Committee to implement, coordinate and manage the project(s). Recipient(s) will name investigators to serve as members on a Steering Committee and other subcommittees, as appropriate, meeting periodically. Recipients will be required to accept and implement the common protocol(s) and procedures approved by the Steering Committee.

3. Designating Protocol Chairs. The Program Directors/Principal Investigators (for studies involving multiple protocols) shall designate a single Protocol Chairperson (if the Program Director/Principal Investigator does not assume this role) for each protocol to be carried out by the study group. The Protocol Chairperson shall function as the scientific coordinator for the protocol and shall assume responsibility for obtaining approval to implement the protocol from the Steering Committee and for developing and monitoring the protocol. Significant modifications to approved protocols must be approved by the Steering Committee.

4. Implementing collection of data specified by the study protocol. For a multi-center study, each recipient/site is required to ensure that data will be submitted expeditiously to the Data Coordinating Center. Additionally, individual investigators/sites must demonstrate the ability to implement the strategy specifically designed for their individual study population.

5. Establishing procedures for data quality, completeness, and security. Recipients are responsible for ensuring accurate and timely assessment of the progress of each study, including development of procedures to ensure that data collection and management are: (1) adequate for quality control and analysis; (2) for clinical trials, as simple as appropriate in order to facilitate cooperation/referral of study participants by physicians to avoid unnecessary expense; and (3) sufficiently staffed across the participating institutions. For research involving multiple sites, a plan for analysis of pooled data will be developed by the Steering Committee.

6. Submitting interim progress reports, when requested or agreed upon by both parties, to the NIDDK Program Official including as a minimum, summary data on protocol performance. For coordinated multiple awards or a multi-site single award, the NIDDK Program Official may require additional information from individual recipients/sites. Such reports are in addition to the required annual noncompeting continuation progress report.

7. Reporting of the study findings. Recipients will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies. The recipient must also be adherent to the Study Publication and Presentation Policy. The NIDDK will have access to and may periodically review all data generated under an award. NIDDK staff may co-author publications of findings with recipients consistent with NIH and study policies.

8. Any third-party collaboration (including but not limited to interactions with organizations from industry, academia, and nonprofit institutions) should be governed by a research collaboration agreement (e.g., Clinical Trial Agreement, Research Collaborative Agreement, etc.) or any third-party contract mechanism(s) with terms that ensure the collaboration is conducted in accordance with the Cooperative Agreement, applicable NIH/NIDDK policies and procedures, and with written approval from NIDDK Program staff. Any relevant proposed third-party agreements related to the network studies between the recipient and third party will be provided to the NIDDK Program staff and NIDDK Technology Advancement Office for review, comment, and approval to assure compliance with NIH/NIDDK policies and network policies. Further, at the request of the NIDDK Program staff, any other network-relevant third-party agreements must be shared with NIDDK. Failure to comply with this term may prompt action in accordance with NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 8.5 titled: “Special Award Conditions and Remedies for Noncompliance (Special Award Conditions and Enforcement Actions”, and Section 8.5.2, titled: “Remedies for Noncompliance or Enforcement Actions: Suspension, Termination, and Withholding Support”, noncompliance with the terms and conditions of award will be considered by the funding IC for future funding and support decisions and may result in termination of the award.”

9. Any involvement of a third-party (including but not limited to industry, academia, and nonprofit institutions) in the study and network activities that includes access to any network-generated resources (i.e., data and biosamples), or study results that are not publicly available, or using the name of the network or study or the name of the NIH or NIDDK, is permitted only after written permission by the NIDDK Program staff who will consult with others at NIH and NIDDK Technology Advancement Office.

10. Study investigators are required to publish and to release publicly and disseminate results and other products of the study, in accordance with study protocols, steering committee policies on publications, and the NIDDK approved sharing plan.

11. Maintaining confidentiality of information: The recipient(s) will maintain the confidentiality of the information developed by the investigators (i.e., protocols, data analysis, conclusions, etc.) as well as proprietary information of an individual company or other entity collaborating with the study. Any exception requires written approval from NIDDK Program staff.

12. Data Management and Sharing Plan: In accordance with the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (NIH NOT-OD-21-013), the NIDDK approved plan will become a term and condition of award, be routinely monitored during the award period, and compliance may factor into future funding decisions. By the end of the funding or proprietary period, an recipient or study group may not continue to use or share study generated resources until those resources are available to the public via an NIDDK approved repository per the NIDDK approved sharing plan. The NIDDK has established a Central Repository to support the receipt, storage, and distribution of data, biosamples, and other resources generated in clinical studies funded by the NIH/NIDDK. When the NIDDK Central Repository is to be utilized, prior to enrolling participants, the PI or his/her designee will coordinate with the NIDDK Program and Central Repository staff to prepare for the eventual archiving and distribution of the study generated resources that are to be maintained in the Central Repository. All resources transferred to the Central Repository will be under the custodianship of the NIDDK. The study’s leadership will have proprietary control of and exclusive access to the resources per the NIDDK approved sharing plan. Subsequently, these resources will be available to the wider scientific community in accordance with the NIH policy on Data Sharing (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/ and, https://grants.nih.gov/policy/sharing.htm, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm), as well as the NIDDK policy for resource sharing, NIDDK Data Sharing Policy.

13. Study investigators are required to comply with NIH Policy on the Dissemination of NIH Funded Clinical Trial Information as stated at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/understanding/nih-policy.htm. Per policy, the recipient is responsible for meeting the expectations of this policy. Refer to additional information at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm.

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

An NIDDK Project Scientist with substantial involvement will:

1. Serve as the contact point for all facets of the scientific interaction with the recipient (s). As required for the coordination of activities and to expedite progress, NIDDK may designate additional NIDDK staff to provide advice to the recipient on specific scientific and/or analytic issues. Such staff may include another Project Scientist or Project Coordinator, who will provide direct technical assistance to the recipients to optimize the conduct and/or analysis of the study; or who may assist in the coordination of activities across multiple sites.

2. For multi-center studies, participate in the Steering Committee that oversees study conduct. The NIDDK Project Scientist or Project Coordinator will be a full participant and voting member of the Steering Committee and, if applicable, subcommittees.

3. Serve as a resource to study investigators with respect to other ongoing NIDDK activities that may be relevant to the study to facilitate compatibility with the NIDDK missions and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.

4. Have substantial involvement assisting in the design and coordination of research activities for recipients as elaborated below:

a. Assisting by providing advice in the management and technical performance of the investigations, coordinating required regulatory clearances for investigational agents used in the study, which are held by NIDDK. The NIDDK may reserve the right to cross-file or independently file an Investigational New Drug Application or an Investigational Device Exemption form with the FDA.

b. The NIDDK Project Scientist or Project Coordinator may coordinate activities among recipients by assisting in the design, development, and coordination of a common research or clinical protocol and statistical evaluations of data; in the preparation of questionnaires and other data recording forms; and in the publication of results.

c. Reviewing procedures for assessing data quality and study performance monitoring.

d. The NIDDK Project Scientist or Project Coordinator may be co-authors on study publications. In general, to warrant co-authorship, NIDDK staff must have contributed to the following areas: (a) design of the concepts or experiments being tested; (b) performance of significant portions of the activity; (c) participation in analysis and interpretation of study results and (d) preparation and authorship of pertinent manuscripts.

The NIDDK Program Official identified in the Notice of Award will:

1. Interact with the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) on a regular basis to monitor study progress. Monitoring may include: regular communications with the Program Director/Principal Investigator and staff, periodic site visits, observation of field data collection and management techniques, quality control, fiscal review, and other relevant matters; as well as attendance at Steering Committee, data safety and monitoring board, and related meetings. The NIDDK retains, as an option, a periodic review of progress by researchers not involved with the study.

2. Review and approve protocols prior to implementation to insure they are within the scope of peer review, for safety considerations, as required by Federal regulations.

3. The NIDDK Program Official will monitor protocol progress, and may request that a protocol study be closed to accrual for reasons including: (a) accrual rate insufficient to complete study in a timely fashion; (b) accrual goals met early; (c) poor protocol performance; (d) patient safety and regulatory concerns; (e) study results that are already conclusive; (f) low likelihood of showing a benefit of the intervention (futility); and (g) emergence of new information that diminishes the scientific importance of the study question. The NIDDK will not permit further expenditures of NIDDK funds for a study after requesting closure except as specifically approved by the NIDDK.

4. Make recommendations for continued funding based on: a) overall study progress, including sufficient patient and/or data accrual; b) cooperation in carrying out the research (e.g., attendance at Steering Committee meetings, implementation of group decisions, compliance with the terms of award and reporting requirements); and/or c) maintenance of high quality of research, which will allow pooling of data and comparisons across multiple cooperative agreement awards for common data elements.

5. Appoint an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as appropriate for Phase III clinical trials or other high-risk studies, or an Observational Study Monitoring Board (OSMB) for observational/epidemiologic studies; these Boards will review study progress, safety data, and interim results, as appropriate, and provide guidance to the NIDDK. The NIDDK Program Official or their Project Coordinator will serve as the Executive Secretary and/or NIDDK program representative on the DSMB/OSMB.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

In addition to the interactions defined above, NIDDK Project Scientist and Recipients shall share responsibility for the following activities:

Steering Committee

A Steering Committee organized by the study investigator(s) will be the main governing body of the study.

The Steering Committee has primary responsibility to design research activities, establish priorities, develop common protocols and manuals, questionnaires and other data recording forms, establish and maintain quality control among recipients, review progress, monitor patient accrual, coordinate and standardize data management, and cooperate on the publication of results. Major scientific decisions regarding the core data will be determined by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will document progress in written reports to the NIDDK Program Official, and will provide periodic supplementary reports upon request.

The Steering Committee will be composed of all Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s), (including those of data coordinating /statistical centers, if any) and co-investigators as deemed necessary, and the NIDDK Project Scientist. The final structure of the Steering Committee and voting procedures will be established at the first meeting. The NIDDK Project Scientist will have voting membership on the Steering Committee, and as appropriate, its subcommittees. The frequency of Steering Committee meetings will be dictated by a vote of the members of the Steering Committee.

A Chairperson will be selected by the Steering Committee. The Chairperson provides leadership to the Committee by conducting the Steering Committee meetings, and by interacting closely with the recipients during protocol development and implementation. The NIDDK Program Official should be consulted regarding the selection of the Chairperson to provide any feedback regarding concerns regarding the potential for bias or conflict of interest or lack of required expertise.

Dispute Resolution

Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the scope of the award), between award recipients and the NIDDK may be brought to dispute resolution. A dispute resolution panel will be composed of three members --one selected by the recipient (or the Steering Committee, with the NIDDK member not voting), a second member selected by NIDDK, and the third member elected by the two prior selected members. These special dispute resolution procedures in no way affect the recipient's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 16.

.

3. Reporting

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

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

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

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

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

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

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

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

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Jose Serrano M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-8871
Email: jose.serrano@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Maria Elena Bloom, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-7637
Email:davilabloomm@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

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

Phone: 301-480-6785

Email: kaitaia.fu@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200.

NIH Office of Extramural Research Logo
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page
Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
USA.gov - Government Made Easy
NIH... Turning Discovery Into Health®


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.