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
NIDDK Information Network Coordinating Unit: dkNET-CU (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-DK-17-010
Related Notices
  • November 30, 2022 - Notice of Pre-Application Webinar and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for RFA-DK-22-017 "NIDDK Information Network Coordinating Unit: dkNET-CU (U24 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)". See Notice NOT-DK-22-034
  • NOT-OD-23-012 - Reminder: FORMS-H Grant Application Forms & Instructions Must be Used for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2023 - New Grant Application Instructions Now Available
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-DK-22-017
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.847
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to continue development and expansion of the NIDDK Information Network (dkNET) under the direction of the dkNET Coordinating Unit (dkNET-CU). dkNET supports the NIDDK community’s needs in data science by providing an information portal that connects users to data, analytical tools, and other biomedical research resources. Additionally, dkNET supports researchers by providing a hub for data-driven hypothesis generation; a suite of tools that assist users in FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) practice, and in improving rigor and reproducibility in research; and a variety of programs to enhance community engagement and workforce development. The dkNET-CU will be responsible for providing the scientific direction, vision, and administrative management to advance dkNET goals.

Key Dates

Posted Date
November 23, 2022
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
February 28, 2023
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

February 28, 2023

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
March 31, 2023 March 31, 2023 Not Applicable July 2023 October 2023 December 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
April 01, 2023
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

Background

The NIDDK information network (dkNET) was originally conceived in 2011 (RFA-DK-11-030) in response to community needs as biomedical research entered the Big Data era. The initial focus was on facilitating sharing of research resources that include animal models, antibodies, research reagents, experimental protocols, datasets, and tools, and related information within the NIDDK research community. A Resources Information Network (RIN) was developed that registered and organized the resources, including those obtained from NIDDK large collaborative projects, through a unique identifier called the Research Resource Identifiers, ie RRID. The RRIDs allowed research resources to be found, tracked and evaluated, and greatly enhanced research rigor and reproducibility. An information discovery portal was established that allowed users to query the RIN and be connected to the right resources. The program was renewed in 2017 (RFA-DK-17-010) and expanded. The added features included tools for promoting rigor and reproducibility in research, and for adherence to the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability (FAIR) guiding principles, and a prototype platform facilitating data-driven hypothesis generation. A variety of community outreach, education and workforce development programs were also developed and integrated into the dkNET.

The community needs in finding, accessing, sharing, and reusing biomedical datasets, analytical tools, and other resources remain critical, along with needs in leveraging the emerging opportunities from data science. A significant fraction of data and resources of interest to the NIDDK community remain outside public databases or repositories, and information about them are difficult to find. Needs in handling many NIDDK-specific data types, such as glucose tolerance tests, calorimetric measures, and physiological and pathological phenotype measurements from diabetes technologies, are often not adequately addressed by NIH-wide data science programs. Public repositories and community standards for common data elements and metadata are frequently lacking for these data types. Individual investigators will also be navigating and complying to the latest NIH sharing guidelines and policies, such as the guideline for Rigor and Reproducibility in grant applications, and Data Management & Sharing Policy that will be enforced starting 2023.

Developing innovative strategies to enable sharing and utilization of data and research resources remains an important focus for NIDDK. While plans to invite and support sub-awards that may augment dkNET's outreach, community engagement, and workforce development functions are not requested in this announcement, additional funds may be made available at a later time to support and expand these activities.

Scope and Objectives

dkNET is a centralized, openly accessible data science resource for the NIDDK community to further research. The dkNET Coordinating Unit (dkNET-CU) will be responsible for providing the scientific direction, vision, and administrative management needed to advance dkNET goals. It will be expected to deliver services that address the NIDDK community needs in data science, assist a broad user base, and enhance the diversity of the NIDDK supported workforce. The goal of this initiative is to continue the dkNET program with the following objectives.

  1. Further develop and enhance the dkNET platform

To ensure the platform meeting the evolving community needs, the program will be responsible for developing and implementing the following:

  • A catalog of curated, up-to-date, and annotated research resources relevant to the NIDDK research community, including but not limited to datasets, analytical tools, animal models, research protocols and reagents.
  • A rigorous and sustainable indexing and tracking scheme for the resources; and searching capabilities that meet the needs of a diverse range of users, such as bench scientists, bioinformaticians, and the general research community.
  • Employing advanced data science technologies including but are not limited to, natural language processing (NLP), semantic technology, Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning (AI/ML), to enhance performance, and to ensure that the platform will scale efficiently and sustainably with both the growing data volume and complexity. Making the platform friendly for AI/ML applications.
  • Developing and/or integrating new and novel strategies to the platform for open science and cloud-computing.
  • Quality and usage metrics of the research resources cataloged by dkNET, and tools to assist users evaluating the values of query results.
  • Providing user-friendly interactive feedback to assist users navigating the dkNET web portal and identifying the most relevant information.
  • Communication channels to collect community input and feedback to define their NIDDK-specific needs, and to develop use cases for enhancing functionality, user experience, and usage of dkNET.
  • Engaging the community in enhancing current features, developing new functionalities, and defining metrics of success and evaluation strategies; and in developing and/or adopting data and metadata standards. Formalizing the decision-making process for new feature development and making this process transparent to the user community.
  • Promoting rigor and reproducibility in NIDDK funded research by encouraging adaptation of appropriate persistent unique identifiers, such as RRIDs, for new protocols, reagents, model systems, and software packages; and by assisting in the development of authentication reports for key biological and/or chemical resources.

NIDDK has made significant investments in generating high-value, high-quality biomedical datasets in the past decade. However, these datasets remain largely under-interrogated. dkNET will be responsible for developing a centralized resource that catalogues these datasets, and enables tracking, curating, harmonizing and integrating these datasets, and in sharing the datasets together with their associated analytical workflows. These datasets include those that consist of heterogeneous data types that may be stored in separate data repositories. dkNET will be responsible for further developing data-to-hypothesis capabilities that enable users to interrogate such datasets with advanced computational tools to generate novel hypotheses for problems in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases. In addition, dkNET is expected to facilitate cross disciplinary collaborations and experimental validation of novel hypothesis.

  1. Enhancing the Diversity of the Bioinformatics Workforce

Consistent with the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-20-031), NIDDK supports initiatives to enhance the diversity of the bioinformatics workforce. During the past funding cycle, dkNET organized summer student internships in data science, and supported a bioinformatics new investigator pilot funding initiative that was designed to recruit junior scientists seeking to apply innovative bioinformatics solutions to problems in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases. dkNET also established a seminar series, newsletters, discussion forums, and annual meetings to support NIDDK’s goals in bioinformatics workforce development. Developing more effective strategies for conducting outreach to students, trainees and young investigators from diverse backgrounds, and from under-represented and minority-serving institutions will be a priority.

  1. Partner with other NIDDK-funded programs

NIDDK supports centers including the Diabetes Research Centers (DRC), Centers for Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR); and both basic and clinical diabetes consortia, such as the Human Islet Research Network (HIRN), The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY), the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, The Type 2 Diabetes Knowledge Portal, Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network (RADIANT), and others. Most of these programs have data coordinating centers and/or analytics cores, and some have developed data archives and repositories, and knowledge portals. dkNET will partner with these programs, to directly and efficiently outreach to the NIDDK research community, and to enhance the community uptake of dkNET and dkNET’s impact.

dkNET may also form collaborations with NIDDK programs specifically designed to build a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases research. Examples of these programs include the F31/F32 Bioinformatics Interdisciplinary Fellowship, the K25 Mentored Quantitative Research Award, the New Investigator Gateway Award, the NIDDK Catalyst Award. Trans-NIH programs aimed at building a diverse workforce in data science, such as the AIM-AHEAD, are also of interest. These partnerships will allow dkNET to provide junior scientists not only opportunities to enter interdisciplinary biomedical research, but also an open and interactive community that supports their continued growth and development.

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

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

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

Application Types Allowed
New
Renewal

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

Clinical Trial?

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to commit $2M in FY 2024 to fund ONE award.

Award Budget
Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
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 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. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the 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
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) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Cover

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 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 application must be submitted as a multiple PD/PI application, with a minimum of 2 PDs/PIs that include at least one computational scientist and one diabetes researcher. The team should have a demonstrated track record in developing community resources such as biomedical data repositories and knowledge portals; expertise in developing and utilizing modern data science technologies and platforms; deep appreciation of the important research questions in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases; understanding of the unmet needs in data science of the NIDDK community; knowledge of the generation and utilization of NIDDK-specific data types; experiences in effectively communicating, outreaching, engaging with scientists from diverse backgrounds, including scientists from underrepresented groups; and familiarity with the NIDDK-funded programs. Applications should describe the following:

  • Plans to further develop the dkNET platform features and to enhance its performance by incorporating advanced data science technologies, and by developing and providing quality and usage metrics.
  • Strategies to define and address NIDDK community-specific needs, and to develop use cases.
  • Plans for community outreach and engagement activities.
  • Plans and strategies to recruit and sustain significant usage by the NIDDK research community and to build a robust userbase.
  • Strategies and an institutional commitment letter to continue and enhance the workforce development programs, and strategies to enhance the outreach to students/trainees and early-stage investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences, and from minority serving institutions not well represented in the NIH portfolio.
  • Plans to forge and maintain partnerships with NIDDK funded centers, consortia, and large collaborative projects with a focus of developing community resources.
  • A timeline and yearly milestones for achieving the project goals.

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 include 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.

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.

 

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

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

Specific to this FOA

How well does the application addess the importance of the proposed resource development to the NIDDK domains of science? How likely will successful completion of the aims bring about unique advantages or capabilities to the NIDDK research community?

 

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

Specific to this FOA

Is the dkNET CU to be led by an MPI team that includes at least one computational scientist and one diabetes researcher? How strong are the team's expertise and track records in the following:

  • Developing community resources including platforms for data and research resource sharing
  • Developing and/or incorporating advanced data science technologies
  • Researching the important research questions in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases; and addressing NIDDK community-specific challenges and needs.
  • Community outreach and engagement, including experience in communicating and collaborating with investigators from diverse backgrounds that may have varying levels of expertise in resource development and data utilization?
  • Enhancing the diversity of the bioinformatics workforce

 

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

Specific to this FOA

What is the level of innovation in the proposed strategies to promote finding, sharing and utilization of NIDDK resources and data, to improve the efficiency of searches and the interpretability of search results, and to evaluate the impact of the program on advancing NIDDK research objectives? What is the level of innovation in the proposed strategies to develop and integrate advanced computational and data science tools for data-driven hypothesis generation, and in the proposed technologies to support open science? What is the level of innovation in approaches to community engagement and workforce development?

 

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

Specific to this FOA

How appropriate and feasible are the plans for the dkNET platform, community outreach, workforce development and partnership? How efficient are the plans to critically articulate community needs, including the NIDDK-specific needs, and to assess dkNET’s performance in meeting the needs? How feasible are plans for dkNET to continuously develop and improve as new opportunities and challenges arise? How appropriate and feasible are the Milestones as they relate to the scope and objectives of the program?

 

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

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.

   

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.

 

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.

 

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 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 on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

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.

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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

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

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html 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 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 awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the recipients for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the recipients and the NIH as defined below.

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

  • Recipients will be primarily responsible for defining the objectives and approaches, planning, conduct, analysis, and publication of results, interpretations, and conclusions of studies conducted under the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement award.
  • The Principal Investigator/Program Director will assume responsibility and accountability to the applicant organization officials and to the NIH for the performance and proper conduct of the research supported under this Funding Opportunity Announcement in accordance with the terms and conditions of award, as well as all pertinent laws, regulations, and policies.
  • The recipients will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government policies regarding rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.
  • All staff of the recipients will maintain the confidentiality of the information developed by the investigations, including, without limitation, study protocols, data analysis, conclusions, as well as any confidential information received by third party collaborators.
  • All staff of the recipients will be required to participate in a cooperative and interactive manner with NIH staff.
  • Recipients will submit a list of milestones and project deliverables to the NIDDK.
  • Recipients must operate in accordance with processes and goals as delineated in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
  • Recipients must share data, tools, models, methods, information, and unique research resources that are generated by the projects in concordance with NIH and NIDDK policies. Recipients will be expected to collaborate; share novel findings, methods and models and resources; and share both positive and negative results that would help guide the research activities of other consortium members.
  • Recipients agree to establish agreements amongst themselves that address the following issues as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of this program:
    •  
    • Procedures for data sharing among consortium members and data sharing with industry partners;
    • Procedures for safeguarding confidential information, including without limitation, any data generated by the consortium as well as information and/or data received from external collaborators;
    • Procedures for addressing ownership of intellectual property that result from aggregate multi-party data; and
    • Procedures for reviewing publications, determining authorship, and industry access to publications.
  • Recipients agree that each industry collaboration should be governed by a research collaboration agreement (e.g. CTA, RCA, etc.) with terms that ensure the collaboration is conducted in accordance with the Cooperative Agreement, applicable NIH policies and procedures.
  • Recipients agree to the governance of the study through a Steering Committee:
    • The Steering Committee will be composed of the following voting members: PD(s)/PI(s) representing the U24 awards; and an NIDDK Project Scientist
    • The PD(s)/PI(s) will attend all meetings of the Steering Committee
    • Each full member will have one vote.
    • The recipient will be responsible for accepting and implementing the goals, priorities, procedures, protocols, and policies agreed upon by the Steering Committee and Subcommittees.
    • Recipients must serve on subcommittees as needed. Subcommittees will report progress at Steering Committee Meetings and/or lead discussions at the Annual Investigator’s Retreat.
  • Recipients may be asked to scientifically review applications for special opportunity pool funds, as it is deemed appropriate.
  • Upon completion or termination of the research project(s), the recipients are responsible for making all data, tools, products, and resources broadly available and making them accessible to the research community according to the NIH-approved data sharing and dissemination plan. This should be accomplished on timely manner and no later than the end of the study.

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

  • The NIDDK will designate program staff, including a Program Officer and a Grants Management Specialist, to provide stewardship and administrative oversight of the cooperative agreement. The Program Officer and Grants Management Specialist will be named in the Notice of Grant Award.
  • An NIDDK Project Scientist will be substantially involved in this project above and beyond the normal stewardship of an NIDDK Program Official as follows:
    • The NIH Project Scientist will coordinate and facilitate the research projects, participate in the bi-monthly call, attend the site visit, and act as a liaison between the recipient and the External Experts.
    • The NIH Project Scientist and Program Officer will review the scientific progress, cooperation in carrying out research, and maintenance of high quality research, and review the project for compliance with the stated goals and objective of this FOA. Based on this review, the Project Scientist in conjunction with the Program Officer may recommend to the NIH to continue funding, or to withhold or restrict support for lack of scientific progress or adherence to the objectives and goals of this FOA. Review of progress may include regular communications between the Principal Investigator/Program Director and NIH staff, additional site visits for discussions with recipient research teams, fiscal review, and other relevant matters. The NIH retains the option of organizing periodic external review of progress.
  • The NIDDK reserves the right to terminate or curtail any study or any individual award in the event of (1) substantial shortfall in data collection or submission, quality control, or other major breach, (2) substantive changes in a study protocol that are not in keeping with the objectives of the FOA, or (3) concerns related to human subject safety that prompt the need for premature termination.
  • The NIH may enlist additional scientific consultants as necessary from within the NIH whose function will be to assist the Project Scientist in carrying out the goals and aims of the approved studies.
  • The NIH Project Scientist will have substantial scientific programmatic involvement in research coordination and performance monitoring. The dominant role and primary responsibility for these activities resides with the recipient; however, specific tasks and activities in carrying out the studies will be shared among the recipients and the NIH Project Scientist.
  • The NIH Project Scientist serves as a resource with respect to facilitate interaction with other ongoing NIH activities.
  • The NIH Project Scientist or designee may coordinate activities among recipients by assisting in the design, development, and coordination of a common research protocol and statistical evaluations of data and in the publication of results.
  • The NIH Project Scientist may review procedures for assessing data quality and monitor study performance.
  • The NIH Project Scientist may be a co-author on study publications. In general, to warrant co-authorship, the NIH staff must have contributed to one or more of 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.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

After the award an initial face-to-face meeting between the Project Scientist, other relevant NIH staff, and the recipients will be scheduled. This meeting will have the main purpose of jumpstarting the project and evaluating and modifying as necessary the proposed milestones.

Expert Scientific Panel (ESP)

A panel of three to five independent scientific experts (ESP) will be appointed by the steering committee and meet at least once a year. The ESP will be updated on progress and give feedback to the steering committee on adjustments that might be needed in the research projects.

Dispute Resolution

Disagreements that may arise in scientific/technical matter or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIDDK may be brought to arbitration after first attempting to resolve the issue through the Steering Committee or its subcommittees, as appropriate. The arbitration panel will be composed of a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, , one NIH designee, and a third designee from the independent panel of review experts. This special dispute resolution procedures in no way affect the recipient's right to appeal an adverse action 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)

Xujing Wang, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: (301) 451-2862
Email: xujing.wang@nih.gov

Ashley Xia, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: (301) 480-9505
Email: ashley.xia@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Thomas A. Tatham, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-3993
Email: tathamt@niddk.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Christina Coriz
Telephone: 301-594-8848
Email: corizc@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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

Authority and Regulations

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

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