NHLBI INNOVATIVE RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM

RELEASE DATE:  October 28, 2002

PA NUMBER: PA-03-015

March 2, 2006 (NOT-OD-06-046) – Effective with the June 1, 2006 submission date, 
all R03, R21, R33 and R34 applications must be submitted through Grants.gov using 
the electronic SF424 (R&R) application. This announcement will stay active for 
only the May 1, 2006 AIDS and AIDS-related application submission date. The 
non-AIDS portion of this funding opportunity expires on the date indicated below. 
A Replacement R21 (PA-06-239) funding opportunity announcement 
has been issued for the submission date of June 1, 2006 and submission dates 
for AIDS and non-AIDS applications thereafter.

EXPIRATION DATE for Non-AIDS Applications: March 2, 2006
EXPIRATION DATE for AIDS and AIDS-Related Applications: May 2, 2006 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
 (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA

The overall goal of this program is to provide support for studies designed to 
provide preliminary results to demonstrate feasibility of novel approaches to 
heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders.  The program will provide 
limited support, not to exceed $100,000 in direct costs per year for up to two 
years, for such innovative research activities.  Applications are expected to 
focus on new research that is innovative and potentially of high impact.  
Studies must include human subjects and make use of existing data sets or 
biological specimen collections.  Awards made in this program may be used to 
support the addition and analyses of elements of existing data sets and specimen 
collections to the extent feasible within the time and dollar limits of the 
program.  Establishment of new collaborations is strongly encouraged.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The NHLBI supports laboratory and clinical research to better elucidate 
development and progression of cardiovascular, respiratory, blood, and sleep 
disorders through a variety of research support mechanisms.  The goal of this 
NHLBI program is to facilitate performance of short term projects that explore 
innovative approaches not readily supported by other funding mechanisms and that 
require the use of existing data sets or existing collections of biological 
specimens.  The program is intended to encourage investigation of exciting new 
ideas by relaxing the stringent need for preliminary data and demonstration of 
concept feasibility required by standard NIH research project (R01) reviews.  
The NHLBI Innovative Research Grant Program encourages both new and experienced 
investigators to explore new collaborations and approaches that address 
promising, yet underdeveloped, research topics and therapeutic approaches while 
employing existing data sets or existing biological specimen collections.

Typically NIH investigator-initiated research proposals require one, or more, 
revisions for investigators to obtain compelling enough preliminary data to 
merit support.  This program attempts to overcome this difficulty by relaxing 
the initial review requirements for preliminary data and by utilizing an 
expedited Council review process.

Research Scope

The NHLBI Innovative Research Grant Program focuses on support of research 
activities that are not easily, or currently, supported by other NIH funding 
mechanisms and that require use of existing data sets or existing biological 
specimen collections.  Activities that promote the formation of new research 
collaborations and explore new approaches and test imaginative new ideas while 
providing preliminary data to demonstrate concept feasibility are especially 
encouraged.

For the purposes of this Program Announcement, grant applications will be 
allowed in either of the two areas defined below as they relate to heart, lung, 
blood, and sleep research:

o Studies to analyze existing data sets to explore new hypotheses.

o Studies employing existing biological specimens to test new hypotheses.  As 
one example, investigators could propose collaborative feasibility studies 
between NHLBI-funded epidemiologic studies and investigators expert in genetic 
approaches to examine hypotheses significantly different from those of the 
original study.  The NHLBI Stored Genetics Sample Inventory Database 
(http://webdev.nhlbi.nih.gov/Genetics/) should help identify possible areas of 
new collaborative investigations.  The NHLBI Population Studies Database 
(http://apps.nhlbi.nih.gov/popstudies/) may also be useful in identifying 
sources of existing data sets or existing biological specimen collections.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This program will utilize the NIH R21 award mechanism.  As an applicant, you 
will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed 
project.  This PA is a time-limited solicitation (active through the October 01, 
2006 receipt deadline).  Future unsolicited, applications based on successful 
applications to this program will be reviewed as a standard research award 
application (R01); no competing-continuation applications will be accepted under 
this program.

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the modular budgeting format 
(see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).
 
ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following 
characteristics: 
   
o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and 
laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government 
o Domestic or foreign
o Faith-based or community-based organizations

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS 

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out 
the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to develop an 
application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic 
groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply 
for NIH programs.  Applications from new investigators are particularly 
encouraged.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

An applicant may not submit more than one application for this Program 
Announcement per receipt date, and a Principal Investigator cannot have more 
than one concurrent grant award under the aegis of this PA.  Replacement of the 
Principal Investigator on this award is not permitted.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two areas:  
scientific/research and financial or grants management issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

David A. Lathrop, Ph.D.
Division of Heart And Vascular Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 9186 (MSC 7940)
Bethesda, MD 20892-7940 (20817 for Courier)
Telephone: (301) 435-0504
FAX: (301) 480-1454
Email: LathropD@nhlbi.nih.gov

Phyliss Sholinsky, MSPH
Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 8168 (MSC 7934)
Bethesda, MD 20892-7934 (20817 for Courier)
Telephone: (301) 435-0703
FAX: (301) 435-1667
mail: SholinsP@nhlbi.nih.gov

John W. Thomas, Ph.D.
Division of Blood Diseases and Resources
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 10154 (MSC 7950)
Bethesda, MD 20892-7950 (20817 for Courier)
Telephone: (301) 435-0050
FAX: (301) 451-5453
mail: ThomasJ@nhlbi.nih.gov 

Carol E. Vreim, Ph.D.
Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 10120 (MSC 7952)
Bethesda, MD 20892-7952 (20817 for Courier)
Telephone: (301) 435-0233
FAX: (301) 480-3547
Email: VreimC@nhlbi.nih.gov

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

Robert Vinson
Grants Operations Branch
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7156, MSC 7926
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7926
Telephone: (301) 435-0171
FAX: (301) 480-3310
Email: VinsonR@nhlbi.nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, 
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS:  The Research Plan for R21 applications (Sections a-d 
of the 398 application kit), submitted in response to this PA, is limited to 10 
pages.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines, which are 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application deadlines are 
also indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS: Applications must be 
submitted in a modular grant format.  The modular grant format simplifies the 
preparation of the budget in these applications by limiting the level of 
budgetary detail.  Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules.  Section 
C of the research grant application instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 
at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-by-step 
guidance for preparing modular grants.  Additional information on modular grants 
is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of the 
application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one package 
to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed on or before 
the receipt dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.  The CSR will not 
accept any application in response to this PA that is essentially the same as 
one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the pending 
application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the 
same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of a 
substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such application 
must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of established 
PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review group convened in 
accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures 
(http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate applications for scientific 
and technical merit.  

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

o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a second level review by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
Advisory Council.
   
REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In the 
written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects of 
your application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research 
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals: 

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
  
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria in 
assigning your application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate for 
each application.  Your application does not need to be strong in all categories 
to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high 
priority score.  For example, you may propose to carry out important work that 
by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

(1) SIGNIFICANCE:  Does your study address an important problem? If the aims of 
your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge?  What 
will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this 
field?

(2) APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative 
tactics?

(3) INNOVATION:  Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? 
Are the aims original and innovative?  Does your project challenge existing 
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well suited to carry out 
this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to your experience level as the 
principal investigator and to that of other researchers (if any)?

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which your work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments take 
advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful 
collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your application 
will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

PROTECTIONS:  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or 
the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project 
proposed in the application.

INCLUSION:  The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all 
racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the 
scientific goals of the research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria included in the section 
on Federal Citations, below)

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of 
support in relation to the proposed research.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds 
o Relevance to program priorities

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

MONITORING PLAN AND DATA SAFETY AND MONITORING BOARD: Research components 
involving Phase I and II clinical trials must include provisions for assessment 
of patient eligibility and status, rigorous data management, quality assurance, 
and auditing procedures.  In addition, it is NIH policy that all clinical trials 
require data and safety monitoring, with the method and degree of monitoring 
being commensurate with the risks (NIH Policy for Data Safety and Monitoring, 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).  

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH: It is the policy of the 
NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be 
included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and 
compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate 
with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This 
policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public 
Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete 
copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm.  
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical 
research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB 
standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical 
trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or 
racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators 
must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, 
by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS: The 
NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the 
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. This 
policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates 
after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in 
research involving human subjects that is available at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm. 

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS: NIH policy 
requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all 
investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human subjects.  
You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 
Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of research on 
hESCs can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/stem_cells.htm and at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html.  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem 
Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see http://escr.nih.gov).   
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the official NIH 
identifier(s)for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research.  
Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without 
review. 

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide 
public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 
under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is 
supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and 
officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and 
effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  It is 
important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment.  NIH 
has provided guidance at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

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

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

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

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance No. 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839 and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems 
Agency review.  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of 
the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284)(or other 
authorizations) and administered under NIH grants policies described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and under Federal Regulations 42 
CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. 
      
The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, Public 
Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain 
facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or 
routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood 
development services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS 
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American 
people.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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