NIH Announces the Availability of HIV/AIDS Funds for Competitive Revision Applications (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, R37) for HIV/AIDS-related Research through the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-036

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.213, 93.242, 93.279, 93.393, 93.394, 93.396, 93.839, 93.855, 93.856, 93.865, 93.989

Key Dates
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Application Due Date: May 7, 2010
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: April 7, 2010

(See instructions below to determine appropriate application forms and submission process.)

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Purpose

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the opportunity for investigators and institutions/organizations with relevant active NIH-supported research project grants (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/33, and R37) to submit competitive revision applications (formerly termed competitive supplements) to accelerate, expand, and/or strengthen basic behavioral and social sciences research (b-BSSR) relevant to HIV/AIDS risk, prevention, disease progression, and treatment. Competitive revision applications should support a significant expansion of the scope or research protocol approved and funded for the “parent” award on which the revision application is based. 

This Notice is issued as one of the inaugural activities of the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet). OppNet’s mission is to pursue opportunities for strengthening b-BSSR across the NIH while innovating beyond existing investments (for further information, see http://oppnet.nih.gov). Competitive Revision applications should support a significant expansion of the scope or research protocol of approved and funded projects. Congruent to the mission of OppNet, applications submitted in response to this Notice must incorporate new b-BSSR research objectives and aims that are outside the scope of the approved parent grant. This significant expansion can be accomplished by either: (1) extending the scope of extant b-BSSR by adding a fundamentally different b-BSSR objective or aim; (2) supplementing applied research in the behavioral and social sciences with b-BSSR; or (3) incorporating b-BSSR into biological, clinical, or translational research.

OppNet encourages prospective investigators to consult the NIH definition of b-BSSR. Basic research in the behavioral and social sciences involves both human and animal studies and spans the full range of scientific inquiry, from processes “under the skin” to mechanisms “outside the skin” that explain individual, group, community, and population-level patterns of collective behavior. Research studies on behavioral and social processes, interactions between biology, behavior, and social processes; and/or methodology and measurement will be encouraged. Projects proposed for these funds will need to address fundamental mechanisms and patterns of behavioral and social functioning relevant to the Nation’s health and well being.

Parent projects may include aims and objectives already related to HIV/AIDS or they may be in areas readily extended to HIV/AIDS-relevant work (e.g., reproductive health, substance use, viral hepatitis). HIV/AIDS provides a useful context for investigating basic behavioral and social science because its prevention and clinical course provide opportunities to study processes of human judgment and decision making, social behavior, social norms and cultural context, as well as biopsychosocial processes and cognition. Moreover, there is a continuing need to improve measurement of risk factors such as substance use, indictors of treatment adherence and daily functioning, neurocognitive and psychophyiological deficits, provide underlying individual/social mechanisms that facilitate more efficient recruitment of often hard-to-reach populations and provide new methods for collecting unbiased sensitive information, including qualitative and quantitative tools, and for better capturing social dynamics that may contribute to the incidence of new HIV infections in the population. 

OppNet Funding Opportunities in FY 2010

This notice is the only fiscal year (FY) 2010 OppNet funding opportunity announcement that invites applications for NIH funding from its standard annual appropriation. OppNet thanks its member organization for providing this additional FY 2010 funding. NIH will obligate up to $2 million of Congressionally-appropriated funds for HIV/AIDS-related research by September 30, 2010, to support requests submitted in response to this notice. OppNet expects to make 5 to 10 competitive revision awards in FY 2010, pending the availability of funds and the number and quality of applications that respond to this notice.

All other FY 2010 OppNet FOAs rely on $10 million in funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act/ARRA). All OppNet funding opportunities invite applications consistent with OppNet’s mission to accelerate, expand, and/or strengthen basic behavioral and social sciences research. One ARRA-related competitive revision notice (NOT-OD-10-032) invites investigators and United States institutions/ organizations with relevant active NIH-supported research program grants (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, and R37) to submit competitive revision applications. A second notice (NOT-OD-10-033) invites investigators and United States institutions/ organizations with relevant active NIH-supported HIV/AIDS research program grants (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, and R37) to apply for the ARRA-related funds. The third notice (NOT-OD-10-034) invites investigators and United States institutions/organizations with active NIH-supported Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program grants (R41/R42 and R43/R44) to submit competitive revision applications to accelerate, expand, and/or strengthen basic behavioral and social sciences research. 

A fourth FOA (RFA-OD-10-003) solicits applications for short-term mentored career development (K18) awards from three months to one year in duration to support the development of research capability in b-BSSR among established mid-career and senior investigators. 

Funding decisions and awards will be issued on or prior to September 30, 2010 for applications submitted in response to this notice.

The deadline for receipt of these revision applications is May 7, 2010.

Please see NIH’s current policy regarding resubmissions: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-003.html.

Background

OppNet is a trans-NIH initiative to expand the agency’s funding of b-BSSR. All NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) share the mission of supporting b-BSSR. A consortium of 24 ICs and five program offices within the NIH Office of the Director will integrate existing NIH efforts, target research challenges best met collectively, and collaborate on new research initiatives in complementary scientific areas. OppNet will develop a plan for focused multi-year programs across ICs to advance priority topics within b-BSSR.

Up-to-$2 million in HIV/AIDS-specific funding and $10 million in Recovery Act funds will support the first year of OppNet activities, which will focus on short-term activities to develop existing programs’ capacity for conducting b-BSSR. Starting in FY 2011, OppNet will be supported through shared IC resources. Additional information about the goals, mission, and structure of OppNet can be found on the NIH Web site at http://oppnet.nih.gov.

The priority of OppNet is to build upon the existing body of knowledge regarding the nature of behavior and social systems by supporting initiatives that focus on basic mechanisms of behavior and social processes that are relevant to the missions and public health challenges addressed by multiple NIH institutes, centers, and offices (ICOs). It is anticipated that the stimulation of innovative, new projects in the basic behavioral and social sciences will advance the mission of NIH by ultimately leading to significant advances in health- and lifecourse-related research.

Basic behavioral and social science research includes research on behavioral and social processes, interactions between biology, behavior and social processes, and/or methodology and measurement as described below.

1. Research on behavioral and social processes
 
Research on behavioral and social processes involves the study of human or animal functioning at the level of the individual, small group, institution, organization, community, or population. At the individual level, this research may involve the study of behavioral factors such as cognition, memory, language, perception, personality, emotion, motivation, and others. At higher levels of aggregation, it includes the study of social variables such as the structure and dynamics of small groups (e.g., couples, families, work groups, etc.); institutions and organizations (e.g., schools, religious organizations, etc.); communities (defined by geography or common interest); and larger demographic, political, economic, and cultural systems. Research on behavioral and social processes also includes the study of the interactions within and between these two levels of aggregation, such as the influence of sociocultural factors on cognitive processes or emotional responses. Finally, this research also includes the study of environmental factors (both natural and human created) such as climate, noise, environmental hazards, residential and other built environments, and their effects on behavioral and social functioning.

2. Research on interactions between biology, behavior, and social processes

Research on interactions between biology, behavior, and social processes involves the study of the interactions of biological factors with behavioral or social variables and how they affect each other (i.e., the study of bi-directional multilevel relationships).

3. Research on methodology and measurement in the behavioral and social sciences

Research on methodology and measurement encompasses the development of new approaches to research design, data collection, measurement, and data analysis. This research is designed to develop research tools that could be used in the behavioral and social sciences or in biomedical research or their interaction.
Competitive Revision applications are not expected to focus on all these areas; an application may focus on only one of these three categories and be responsive to this opportunity.

Competitive Revision applications proposed in response to this FOA are expected to have a well defined potential impact on our understanding of basic mechanisms of behavior or social processes, as articulated in the research objectives and scope. Applicants should consult the NIH definition of basic behavioral and social sciences research to determine the appropriateness of their research aims to the intent of this announcement. Applicants must specify a set of specific aims that extends the scope of the parent grant to a fundamentally different area of basic behavioral and social sciences research.

In addition, applications should include an explicit discussion of the potential for the research to advance the goals of OppNet. The proposed project expansions must be relevant to building the collective body of knowledge about the nature of behavior and social systems and to deepening our understanding of basic mechanisms of behavioral and social processes. The potential of the proposed project expansion to advance the targeted domain of basic social and behavioral sciences and to produce knowledge and/or tools of potential relevance to multiple domains of health- and lifecourse-related research should be clearly articulated.

Applicants also should include an explicit discussion of the relevance of the specific aims proposed in the revision application to risk, prevention, disease progression, or treatment of HIV/AIDS. The parent grant need not have aims and objectives already related to HIV/AIDS; however, the proposed project expansion must produce knowledge and/or tools of demonstrated or potential relevance to areas directly relevant to HIV/AIDS as well as to basic behavioral and social science research.

Competitive Revision applications involving human and/or animal populations are encouraged. Relevance to individual or social human behavior should be discussed in the Research Strategy section of the application.

It is anticipated that the mission of NIH will be advanced by the stimulation of innovative, new projects in the basic behavioral and social sciences that ultimately lead to significant advances in health- and lifecourse-related research. 

Eligibility

This announcement is for competitive revision applications to active NIH Research Grants that have potential relevance to HIV/AIDS risk, prevention, and treatment for the following activity codes: R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, and R37.

To be eligible, the “parent” award on which the revision application is based must be active at the time the revision application is submitted, and the research proposed in the revision application must be accomplished within one (1) year. The project period of the competitive revision may not extend that of the “parent” award. If a no-cost extension is needed to complete the work to be proposed in the revision, the no-cost extension must be in place before the application is submitted. 
 
Competitive revision applications must be for costs to support new research objectives and aims outside of the scope of the approved “parent” award. A request for funds to support work within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the “parent” award are not eligible.

For all revision applications, the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) must be the same as the PD/PI on the parent award. For Multiple PD/PI parent awards, the Contact PD/PI must be the PD/PI listed on the revision request. Revisions allow a change in the Multiple PD/PI team as well as a conversion from a single PD/PI to multiple PD/PI. However, applicants must include a multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan with the revision application.

NIH encourages the participation of individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the project in order to take advantage of opportunities that would increase the value of the project goals and objectives or to accelerate the rate of discovery of scientific research. Revision applications are not appropriate when the sole purpose is to restore awards to the full Scientific Review Group-recommended level if they were administratively reduced by the funding agency. In addition, NIH likely will not consider requests which are solely to restore previously applied budget adjustments to a project nor to supplant institutional commitments supporting individuals and other costs previously committed to projects.

Support for revision applications is contingent on availability of funds and eligibility is restricted to currently-funded Principal Investigators/Project Directors awarded one of the research project grant activity codes listed in this Notice.

Budget and Funding Information

Funding for competitive revisions to existing “parent” awards will be available in FY2010. Due to the limited, one-year nature of these funds, competitive revision applications may be requested only for one (1) year; therefore the scope and budget of the requested revision must reflect aims and goals that can be accomplished within that limited timeframe.

Applicants must submit a budget using the same budget format as was used for the parent award.

The requested budget must not exceed $150,000 direct costs per year for a maximum of one (1) year and must not exceed the average annual budget (in direct costs) of the “parent” award (whichever cap is lower) over one (1) year; and should be reasonable, commensurate with project needs, and appropriate for the work being performed.

Equipment/technology acquisition cannot exceed $75,000 direct costs and such costs are included in the $150,000 direct cost maximum dollar limit on the budget request.

Requests in response to this Notice may be made in excess of programmatic cost limitations or ceilings associated with a program or activity code (e.g., direct costs stipulated for Small Research Grants [R03], Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) [R15], or Exploratory/Developmental Grants [R21]).

Note: All budget requests must be commensurate with the scope of the programmatic request and will be subject to a cost analysis prior to award.  In addition, NIH will ask peer reviewers to comment on the requested budget and period of support.

This Notice uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budget formats (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).

Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

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 ICO staff to estimate and plan for the potential review workload.

The letter of intent is due on April 7, 2010.

Send letters of intent to:

William N. Elwood, Ph.D.
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
Office of the Director
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
31 Center Drive, Suite B1-C19 (MSC 2027)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2027
Telephone: 301-402-0116
Fax: 301-402-1150
Email: william.elwood@nih.hhs.gov

How to Apply

The due date for revision applications is May 7, 2010.

Applicants interested in applying for revision support must submit the application through Grants.gov, using the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that was used for the parent grant. Or, if this FOA is no longer active, use the Parent FOA that matches the program (activity code) of the award.

NOTE: Applicants submitting an R37 revision in response to the R01 Parent FOA will receive the following warning from eSubmission: “The mechanism of the prior submission (referenced by the Federal Identifier on the SF 424 RR Cover page) does not match the mechanism of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).  Please check the Federal Identifier provided for your application to ensure you are including the correct prior information and the FOA to ensure you are submitting to the correct opportunity.  This application will be processed but there may be a delay in referral.” Please ignore this warning.

Activity Code   Program                                                                                                                  FOA
R01                  Research Project Grant (Parent R01)                                                                PA-10-067
R03                  NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03)                                          PA-10-064
R15                  Academic Research Enhancement Award (Parent R15)                                PA-10-070
R21                  NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21)     PA-10-069

For ALL applications:

Follow the instructions as noted below. Note: All applications submitted for due dates January 25, 2010 and beyond, must utilize the current forms and instructions (or if using a Parent FOA because the original FOA expired).

The following page limits are required:

Page Limits

Activity Code

Introduction

Specific Aims

Research Strategy

R01

1

1

12

R03

1

1

6

R15

1

1

12

R21

1

1

6

R21/R33

1

1

12

R37

1

1

12

    1.  Budget for the revision with a justification that details the items requested, including Facilities and Administrative costs and a justification for all personnel and their role in this project. The budget provided for the revision application must match the budget provided in the “parent” application. For instance, if the “parent” application was submitted using the Modular budget component, then the revision application must also use the Modular budget component.
    2. Biographical Sketch for PD/PI and all new Senior/Key Personnel (those who are additions on the revision project). You will need to include an updated biographical Sketch for the PD/PI and new Senior/Key Personnel, using the forms, which are available as MS Word (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/biosketch.doc) or PDF (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/biosketch.pdf). There is no need to repeat information previously provided for other Senior/Key Personnel.
    3. Human Subjects/ Vertebrate Animal documentation (if applicable). Include a current Human Subjects/IRB or Vertebrate Animals/IACUC approval letter, if available. Otherwise, this will be required at the time of funding. All appropriate IRB and IACUC approvals must be in place prior to a revision award being made. Any differences in the involvement or use of human subjects or specimens, or use of vertebrate animals, between the administrative revision activity and the “parent” grant should be noted. When appropriate, details should be provided on the protection of human subjects and inclusion of women, children, and minorities. Additional guidance on Human Subjects Research and Vertebrate Animals is provided under Part II of the PHS 398 instructions (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html).

For electronic applications (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, R37): Use the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide available at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424_RR_Guide_General_Adobe_VerA.doc  (MS Word [3.5 MB]) or http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424_RR_Guide_General_Adobe_VerA.pdf  (PDF [4.5 MB]).

Application Review Process

The mission of the NIH is to support science in pursuit of knowledge about the biology and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. As part of this mission, applications submitted to the NIH for grants or cooperative agreements to support biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

For funding considerations, revision applications will be assigned to the IC through which the “parent” grant was funded. Applications that are complete and responsive to this Notice will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by appropriate scientific review groups convened by the Center for Scientific Review in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/) using the review criteria stated below. Applicants will be notified of the review outcome.

As part of the scientific peer review process, all applications will:

Overall Impact. Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority 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 standard review criteria, and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

When reviewing a revision application, the committee will consider the scientific merit of the new work proposed and the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident. Additionally, the committee will consider the feasibility of accomplishing the specific aims of the revision application within the one (1) year project period.

Scored Review Criteria. The standard review criteria for research grant applications and cooperative agreements will be used by reviewers for evaluating the scientific and technical merit of all applications as outlined in this Notice: NOT-OD-09-025.

Additional components of the Significance criteria applicable to all applications submitted in response to this Notice include: Are the proposed aims fundamentally different from the aims of the “parent” award and relevant to OppNet goals and mission? Does the project identify a significant opportunity to advance knowledge about the nature of behavior and/or social systems and/or deepen our understanding of basic mechanisms of behavioral and social processes? Does the project have the potential to inform biological, clinical, or translational sciences relevant to the Nation’s health and well-being? If animal studies are proposed, does the application articulate relevance to individual or social human behavior?

Additional Review Criteria. As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider the following additional items in the determination of scientific and technical merit, but will not give separate scores for these items: Protections for Human Subjects; Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children; Vertebrate Animals; and Biohazards.

Additional Review Considerations. As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will address each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority score: Budget and Period Support; Select Agent Research; and Resource Sharing Plans.

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 NIH eRA Commons.

Selection Process

Applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity will compete for available HIV/AIDS-specific funds with all other recommended applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

Award Notices

If the application is considered for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

Terms of Award

In addition to the standard NIH terms of award, all awards will be subject to the HHS Standard Terms and Conditions.

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.

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

Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit separate financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. This will be in addition to any annual progress report required for the parent grant.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.

Inquiries

Inquiries and discussion of plans for responding to this Notice are strongly encouraged.

For scientific or technical questions relating to research that would be supported by this solicitation, contact the OppNet Coordinating Committee Liaison at the primary IC assigned to the “parent” award. Refer to the OppNet Web site for contact information.

For administrative questions related to this solicitation, contact the Grants Management Specialist noted on the Notice of Award for the parent grant.


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