Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov/)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Cancer Institute (NCI), (http://www.nci.nih.gov/)
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (http://www.nia.nih.gov/)

Title: Stem Cells and Cancer

Announcement Type
New

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PA-05-086

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number
93.396 , 93.866

Key Dates
Release Date: April 12, 2005
Application Submission Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Peer Review Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Council Review Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Additional Information To Be Available Date (URL Activation Date): Not applicable
Expiration Date for R21 Non-AIDS Applications: March 2, 2006
Expiration Date for R21 AIDS and AIDS-Related Applications: May 2, 2006
Expiration Date for R01 Non-AIDS Applications: November 2, 2006
Expiration Date for R01 AIDS and AIDS-Related Applications: January 3, 2007

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Stem cells play a crucial role in all aspects of biology from the development of early embryos to the repair and maintenance of adult tissues. Embryonic stem cells can give rise to all the tissue types in the adult organism. Adult stem cells residing in a number of adult tissues are important to tissue self renewal and repair. These somatic stem cells are unique among adult cells, in that they can undergo self renewal divisions, although they have a limited capacity for multi-lineage differentiation. Examples of such stem cells are the hematopoietic stem cells that are crucial to the success of bone marrow transplantation in the therapy of cancer.

Recently, a new type of stem cell has been isolated and characterized from a number of solid and liquid tumors. These tumor stem cells are a rare population of tumor cells that can reconstitute a new tumor with all the cell types represented in the tumor of origin. These tumor stem cells are putatively responsible for the transplantability and metastatic properties of tumors. The cells are capable of self renewal and asymmetric cell division, as are normal adult and embryonic stem cells. The isolation of such tumor stem cells is important to more completely understand the progression of malignant disease, as well as to the development of improved specific therapies for cancer. Thus far, tumor stem cells have been isolated from only a small number of histological tumor types, and stem cells from a greater spectrum of tumors must be isolated and biologically characterized. In addition, more research is needed to understand the genetic and biochemical regulatory mechanisms that control the self-renewal phenotype, asymmetric cell division, and the role of the stem cell niche in regulating the biological properties of both normal and tumor stem cells.

The National Cancer Institute is interested in stimulating research on all aspects of stem cell biology, including research into the molecular and biochemical regulation of embryonic and adult stem cell behavior. We anticipate that the results of such research will ultimately improve the specificity and long-term effectiveness of cancer therapy, through the targeting of those cells most responsible for disease progression and metastasis. The Research Objectives section of this announcement will focus on the most recent research on tumor stem cells, because of the importance of these stem cells to understanding tumor biology. However, it should be emphasized that the purpose of this announcement is to encourage research on all aspects of stem cell biology.

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary form application to applications, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will vary.

This funding opportunity will utilize the R01 and R21 grant mechanisms.

Eligible Organizations include:

Eligible principle investigators include all those with the skills and knowledge to carry out the proposed studies.

There is no limit on the number of scientifically different applications to be submitted.

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo, Telephone: (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

 Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
   1. Research Objectives

 Section II. Award Information
   1. Mechanism(s) of Support
   2. Funds Available

 Section III. Eligibility Information
   1. Eligible Applicants
     A. Eligible Institutions
     B. Eligible Individuals
   2.Cost Sharing or Matching
   3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

 Section IV. Application and Submission Information
   1. Address to Request Application Information
   2. Content and Form of Application Submission
   3. Submission Dates and Times
     A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
      1. Letter of Intent
     B. Sending an Application to the NIH
     C. Application Processing
   4. Intergovernmental Review
   5. Funding Restrictions
   6. Other Submission Requirements

 Section V. Application Review Information
   1. Criteria
   2. Review and Selection Process
     A. Additional Review Criteria
     B. Additional Review Considerations
     C. Sharing Research Data
     D. Sharing Research Resources
   3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

 Section VI. Award Administration Information
   1. Award Notices
   2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
   3. Reporting

 Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
   1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
   2. Peer Review Contact(s)
   3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

 Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Objectives

Background:

The clonal nature of most malignant tumors is well established. Experiments spanning several decades have shown, however, that as many as one million murine or human tumor cells are required to transplant a new tumor from an existing one. Two theories have been developed to account for the observation that apparently not every tumor cell is a tumor initiating cell (T-IC). The stochastic theory predicts that every tumor cell can form an entirely new tumor; however, entry into the cell cycle is a stochastic event with low probability. Alternatively, tumor cells may exist in a hierarchical state in which only a small number of cells possess tumor initiating potential. If the stochastic model is correct then tumor cells are biologically homogeneous and genetic or epigenetic programs that allow for tumorigenesis are operative in the majority of cells that comprise a tumor. The hierarchical model, however, predicts the tumor cells possess a functional heterogeneity and that quantitatively the cells capable of tumorigenesis are a relatively minor population among the bulk of tumor cells.

Recent data from both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors have suggested that there are only minor populations of cells in each malignancy that are capable of tumor initiation. These T-ICs have the functional properties of tumor stem cells. They appear to be capable of asymmetric division and self renewal, are only a minor faction among the bulk of more differentiated cells in the tumor, and can reconstitute all the cell types in the tumor of origin.

Currently, tumor stem cells have been isolated and characterized in several hematologic malignancies and some solid tumors. One of the first tumors in which a stem cell was identified was acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this disease, the frequency of the leukemic stem cell (LSC) was approximately 1 per million AML blasts, establishing that not every AML cell had T-IC capacity. A CD34 positive/CD38 negative cell fraction representing 0.1 to 1 percent of the tumor cells possessed all the leukemia initiating activity in the NOD/SCID transplantation model. By contrast, the major fraction of the CD34 positive/CD38 positive cells and the majority of CD34 negative cells, which comprise most of the cells in the tumor, could not initiate leukemia. A multiple myeloma stem cell has also been characterized. Multiple myeloma cell lines and primary patient derived cells express the cell surface marker syndecan-1 (CD138). A population of cells representing less than 5 percent of the cells in the bulk population of multiple myeloma cells was found to be CD138 negative, and possessed in vitro clonogenic potential. These cells also engrafted successfully into Non-obese Diabetic/Severe Combined Immunodeficient (NOD/SCID mice), whereas CD138 positive cells did not engraft.

Recently, a mammary carcinoma stem cell has been isolated from primary mammary carcinomas using four cell surface markers (CD44; CD24; a mammary tumor marker, and epithelial specific antigen). The tumor initiating capacity of the cells was again verified in an in vivo NOD/SCID engraftment assay. The mammary tumor stem cells represented only 2 percent of the unfractionated bulk tumor cells.

Finally, a putative brain tumor stem cell has also been isolated. These cells appear to be between 0.3 to 25 percent of the cells in the brain tumors examined. They are positive for the neural stem cell marker CD133 and have a marked capacity for self renewal and differentiation. Transplantation of these putative neural tumor stem cells into the forebrains of NOD/SCID mice yields tumors phenotypically resembling the tumors from which the stem cells were isolated

Isolation of tumor stem cells from a larger spectrum of solid tumors and characterization of markers for such cells will be important in understanding how general the role of tumor stem cells are in the pathogenesis of cancer.

In addition to isolating and characterizing tumor stem cells themselves, it is also important to identify the genes and proteins that facilitate the self renewal phenotype that characterize all stem cells. The proteins involved in self renewal in embryonic and adult stem cells appear to be subverted in tumorigenesis to allow the tumor-initiating cells to maintain self renewal capacity. Two families of proteins related to self renewal, the polycomb gene Bmi-1 and the Wnt signaling pathway proteins, have been related to the maintenance of the tumor stem cell phenotype.

The polycomb genes have an essential role in embryogenesis, regulation of the cell cycle, and lymphopoieisis. These genes are transcriptional repressors that are essential for the silencing of other families of genes. Deletion of polycomb gene Bmi-1 in mice results in a progressive loss of all hematopoietic lineages. This loss results from the inability of the Bmi-1(-/-) stem cells to self renew. Introducing genes known to produce AML into Bmi-1(-/-) hematopoeitic stem cells (fetal liver cells), induced AML with normal kinetics; however, the Bmi-1(-/-) leukemic stem cells from primary recipients were unable to produce AML in secondary recipients. These results demonstrate that Bmi-1 is also required for self renewal of leukemic stem cells in the murine AML model.

Another group of genes involved in self renewal are those involved in the Wnt signal transduction cascade. The Wnt protein binds to a receptor called Frizzled and activates cell fate decisions during tissue development. Inhibitors of Wnt signaling produce inhibition of hematopoietic stem cell growth in vitro and reduce hematopoietic reconstitution in vivo. Activation of Wnt signaling in hematopoeitic stem cells leads to increased expression of Hox B4 and Notch-1 genes previously implicated in self renewal of hematopoietic stem cells. The Wnt signaling pathway is involved in both hematopoietic malignancy and colon carcinoma. Although the Wnt ligands themselves are only rarely involved in tumorigenesis, mutations mimicking Wnt receptor (Frizzled) activation induce a set of genes associated with repression of differentiation and potentiation of self renewal. In general, these mutations involve Wnt signal transduction proteins including the activation of beta- catenin and inactivation of the (APC) adenomatosis polyposis coli protein. In myeloid leukemia, non-phosphorylated beta_catenin accumulates in granulocyte-macrophage progenitors as they progress toward leukemia. These normally more committed progenitors can thus acquire self-renewal properties. A similar accumulation of unphosphorylated beta- catenin has also been observed in multiple myeloma cells. In colon cancer, the APC gene is mutated early in the development of about 90 percent of the colon carcinomas. Similarity in gene expression patterns between populations of colon cancer cells and colon epithelial stem cells has also been observed by DNA microarray analysis. It is possible that mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway maintain the program of stem cell genes in the transcriptionally active state.

Additional research on the important genes and proteins that function to maintain the stem cell phenotype could contribute to increasing the number of specific targets for which cancer therapeutic agents can be designed.

Recent studies of Helicobacter infection in mice have suggested that bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells can contribute to repopulating the gastric mucosal epithelium. These cells can progress, with time, to metaplasia, dysplasia, and cancer. The possibility of stable fusion between the bone marrow derived cells and the gastric mucosa was eliminated, suggesting the possibility of transdifferentiation of hematopoietic stem cells. Research aimed at establishing whether or not stem cells have the capacity to transdifferentiate is also encouraged.

Objectives and Scope:

This funding opportunity is intended to promote research on all aspects of tumor stem cell biology, and on the genes and proteins responsible for the tumor stem cell phenotype. Research studies on the characterization of tumor stem cells from the broad spectrum of solid and liquid tumors not already examined, on markers potentially shared by tumor stem cells and normal stem cells, and on the biochemical and molecular regulation of normal and tumor stem cell function are encouraged. Such research can and should include research on in vivo assays for the functional identification of such cells. Studies of the genes regulating self renewal, and studies of regulation of stem cell division by the stem cell niche and/or microenvironment are also encouraged. Investigators working on the cell and molecular biology of embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and tumor stem cells are encouraged to apply for support under this funding opportunity. The following questions illustrate areas of high interest, but other relevant innovative projects are also encouraged.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanisms of Support

This funding opportunity will use the R01 and R21 award mechanisms. As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This funding opportunity uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budget formats (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less, use the modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions. Otherwise, follow the instructions for non-modular research grant applications.

2. Funds Available

No set -aside funds are available for this funding opportunity. Applicants may request up to 5 years of support for R01 awards with costs appropriately tailored to the proposed work. An R21 applicant may request a project period of up to 2 years with a combined budget for direct costs of up $275,000 for the 2-year period. For example, the applicant may request $100,000 in the first year and $175,000 in the second year. The request should be tailored to the needs of the project. Normally, no more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the ICs provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-004.html.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

The most current Grants Policy Statement can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/nihgps_Part2.htm#matching_or_cost_sharing.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria
Not applicable

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance, contact GrantsInfo, Telephone: (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

For specific instructions on preparing R21 applications, see the link at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r21.htm.

3. Submission Dates and Times
See Section IV.3.C for details.

3.A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Application Submission Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Peer Review Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Council Review Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm

3.A.1. Letter of Intent
A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the research grant application forms found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research grant application. 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 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be submitted on or before the application receipt/submission dates described above (Section IV.3.A.) and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm. Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by CSR. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The NIH 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.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within 8 weeks.

4. Intergovernmental Review
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

Pre-award Costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part6.htm.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Specific Instructions for Modular Grant applications.

Applications requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in a modular budget format. The modular budget 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 at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-by-step guidance for preparing modular budgets. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. Additional information on modular budgets is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

Specific Instructions for Applications Requesting $500,000 (direct costs) or More per Year.

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must carry out the following steps:

1) Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study;

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your application for consideration for award; and,

3) Include a cover letter with the application that identifies the staff member and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or revised version of these grant application types. Additional information on this policy is available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 19, 2001, at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html.

Plan for Sharing Research Data

The precise content of the data-sharing plan will vary, depending on the data being collected and how the investigator is planning to share the data. Applicants who are planning to share data may wish to describe briefly the expected schedule for data sharing, the format of the final dataset, the documentation to be provided, whether or not any analytic tools also will be provided, whether or not a data-sharing agreement will be required and, if so, a brief description of such an agreement (including the criteria for deciding who can receive the data and whether or not any conditions will be placed on their use), and the mode of data sharing (e.g., under their own auspices by mailing a disk or posting data on their institutional or personal website, through a data archive or enclave). Investigators choosing to share under their own auspices may wish to enter into a data-sharing agreement. References to data sharing may also be appropriate in other sections of the application.

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 in direct costs in any year of the proposed research must include a plan for sharing research data in their application. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data may be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score.

Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy requires that grant awardee recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part7.htm#_Toc54600131). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a plan for sharing research resources addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications submitted for this funding opportunity will be assigned to the ICs on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines.

Appropriate scientific review groups 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:

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an 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, an investigator 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 this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

2. Approach. Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?

3. Innovation. Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?

4. Investigators. Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

5. Environment. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: 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 will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section F of the PHS Form 398 research grant application instructions will be assessed.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Data Sharing Plan: The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data may be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing.) Program Staff will be asked to assess the adequacy of the plan.

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy requires that grant awardee recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/part_ii_5.htm#availofrr and at http://www.ott.nih.gov/policy/rt_guide_final.html). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a sharing research resources plan addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. Program staff may negotiate modifications of the data and resource sharing plans with the awardee before recommending funding of an application. The final version of the data and resource sharing plans negotiated by both will become a condition of the award of the grant. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the Principal Investigator will also receive a written critique called a Summary Statement.

If the application is under consideration 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 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part4.htm).

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Grant Award (NGA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NGA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the Notice of Grant Award will be generated via e-mail notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 14 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not e-mail enabled, a hard copy of the Notice of Grant Award will be mailed to the business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NGA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the notice of grant award. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part4.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part9.htm).

2.A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
Not applicable

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

R. Allan Mufson, Ph.D.
Chief
Cancer Immunology Hematology Branch
Division of Cancer Biology
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, EPN Room 5062
Bethesda, MD 20892
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: 301-496-7815
Fax: 301-480-2844
E-mail: am214t@nih.gov

Jill Carrington, Ph.D.
Chief, Systems Branch
Director, Musculoskeletal Biology
Biology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C231, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone: 301-496-6402
FAX: 301-402-0010
Email: carringtonj@nia.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:
Not applicable

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Ms. Crystal Wolfrey
Grants Administration Branch
National Cancer Institute
6120 Executive Blvd., Suite 243
Bethesda, MD 20892
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Phone: 301-496-8634
Fax: 301- 496-8601

Ms. Linda Whipp
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2N212
Bethesda, MD   20892-9205
Telephone:  301-496-1472
FAX:  301- 402-3672
Email:  whippl@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).

Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local IRB rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004 receipt date, are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

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 "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is 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 Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

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 (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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available 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://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp 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 (http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, 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.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

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 at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. 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 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50 percent of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for 2 years to the research. For further information, please see http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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