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 Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), (http://www.niaid.nih.gov)

Title: NIAID Clinical Trial Planning (R34) Grants

Announcement Type
This is a modification of PAR-05-112 which was previously released May 19, 2005.  

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

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PAR-06-384

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.856, 93.855

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: May 3, 2006
Opening Date:   May 3, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
NOTE:  On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of applicant institution/organization).
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable
Application Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details, beginning with June 1, 2006
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details, beginning with September 1, 2006 applications
Peer Review Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details
Council Review Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: New Date January 8, 2010 (per issuance of NOT-AI-09-020); (now May 8, 2009 per NOT-OD-07-093); Original Date: May 2, 2009

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

NIAID will support clinical trials planning (R34) grants for complete planning and design of, and documentation for, investigator-initiated Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials. A clinical trial is defined by NIH as “a prospective biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (drugs, treatments, devices, or new ways of using known drugs, treatments, or devices). Clinical trials are used to determine whether new biomedical or behavioral interventions are safe, efficacious, and effective. Behavioral human subjects research involving an intervention to modify behavior (diet, physical activity, cognitive therapy, etc.) fits this definition of a clinical trial. Human subjects research to develop or evaluate clinical laboratory tests (e.g. imaging or molecular diagnostic tests) might be considered to be a clinical trial if the test will be used for medical decision making for the subject or the test itself imposes more than minimal risk for subjects.”

The R34 planning grant is designed to:  (1) permit early peer review of the rationale for the proposed clinical trial; (2) permit assessment of the design/protocol of the proposed trial in an early form; (3) provide support for the development of a complete study protocol and associated documents including a manual of operations and (4) support the development of other essential elements of a clinical trial. Completion of the required products of an R34 grant is a prerequisite for submission of a clinical trial implementation (U01) application.

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 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. 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

As announced in Notice NOT-AI-05-021 ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AI-05-021.html), NIAID will support investigator-initiated clinical trials through a two part grant process: (1) clinical trial planning (R34) grant followed by (2) clinical trial implementation (U01) cooperative agreement. This program announcement, NIAID CLINICAL TRIAL PLANNING (R34) GRANTS addresses the R34 grant; a companion PAR, NIAID CLINICAL TRIAL IMPLEMENTATION (U01) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT, (PAR-05-113) addresses the clinical trial implementation cooperative agreement.

Overview of the NIAID policy for investigator-initiated clinical trials

Part 1. Clinical Trial Planning (R34) Grant. NIAID will support clinical trials planning (R34) grants for complete planning and design of, and documentation for, investigator-initiated Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials. A clinical trial is defined by NIH as “a prospective biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (drugs, treatments, devices, or new ways of using known drugs, treatments, or devices). Clinical trials are used to determine whether new biomedical or behavioral interventions are safe, efficacious, and effective. Behavioral human subjects research involving an intervention to modify behavior (diet, physical activity, cognitive therapy, etc.) fits this definition of a clinical trial. Human subjects research to develop or evaluate clinical laboratory tests (e.g. imaging or molecular diagnostic tests) might be considered to be a clinical trial if the test will be used for medical decision making for the subject or the test itself imposes more than minimal risk for subjects.” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/instructions2/p2_human_subjects_definitions.htm ). The R34 grant will provide up to one year of support. Pre-approval from NIAID is required for submission of an R34 application. R34 applications will be peer reviewed by NIAID study sections. For R34 awardees who, based on the results of the planning effort, propose to implement the trial, the product of the R34 will be a cooperative agreement grant application for clinical trial implementation (details are presented in PAR-05-113). As a result of the planning effort, a decision may be made not to proceed to an application for clinical trial implementation (U01) cooperative agreement.

Part 2. Clinical Trial Implementation (U01) Cooperative Agreement. NIAID will accept, peer review, and consider for funding applications for implementation of investigator-initiated clinical trials from R34 awardees only.  (See PAR-05-113.) The material in the implementation grant application must be sufficient to allow the applicant to initiate study staff training followed by study subject recruitment in an agreed-upon timeframe with NIAID upon award of an implementation cooperative agreement. This material will be developed using the R34 funding. An applicant who can demonstrate that all the work for submission of a clinical trial implementation award (U01) proposal has been completed, may request an exemption from the prerequisite of holding an R34 award prior to submitting a clinical trial implementation (U01) proposal.

The R34 Grant

The R34 grant will provide support to include, but is not limited to, the establishment of the research team, the development of tools for data management and oversight of the research, the definition of recruitment strategies, and the development of the protocol and Investigator’s Brochure (or equivalent) and all essential elements of the study such as a manual of operations/procedures for the clinical trial. (See Scope for more detail.) The Clinical Trial Planning Grant is not designed for the collection of preliminary data (clinical or pre-clinical) or the collection of prospective data to support the rationale for a clinical trial.

It is expected that receipt of an R34 grant will lead to the timely submission of an application for support of the clinical trial, incorporating the elements developed under the planning grant.  Prospective applicants should note that funding of a Clinical Trial Planning Grant does not guarantee or imply funding for a subsequent application.

Background

Most clinical trials supported by NIAID are conducted by research networks awarded as cooperative agreements under NIAID Requests for Applications (RFAs) and contracts under NIAID Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Information about NIAID supported clinical trials can be found at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/clintrials/. The networks are composed of coordinating centers, statistical units, data centers, central laboratories, clinical centers, and other specialized resources. Additionally, the networks are provided with assistance from NIAID staff. This combination of collaborating organizations and specialists ensures that all elements of the planning and design of clinical trials can be addressed and fully documented before a decision is made to implement a trial.

NIAID has determined that any investigator-initiated clinical trial it supports should be developed with the same rigor in planning, design, and documentation. Further, NIAID will base the decision to support the implementation of the trial(s) on the products of this planning, design, and documentation effort.

Investigators considering submission of an investigator-initiated research grant application for clinical trial(s) will generally not have the resources to complete this rigorous planning, design, and documentation process without support from NIAID.

NIAID issued an NIH Guide notice concerning the conduct of clinical trials (Notice AI-02-032 on July 8, 2002). Standard NIAID Terms and Conditions of Award for clinical studies and trials were updated. Awardees are required to comply with these Clinical Terms of Award. The details can be found at the following locations: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/pdf/clinterm.pdf and http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/pdf/clintermguidance.pdf.

The implementation of the clinical terms of award has ensured that the conduct of the clinical trial meets widely-accepted standards, including guidance and regulations (e.g., GCP-Good Clinical Practice). The requirements imposed by the clinical terms of award have often meant additional time and effort that had not been planned for or reflected in the grant research plan and budget. 

NIAID believes that a two part grant process that separates clinical trials planning and design from clinical trials implementation will remedy these issues. The R34 grants will give the investigators the time and funds necessary to complete detailed clinical trial planning and design to meet NIAID standards and regulatory requirements.

Scope

The R34 planning grant process is designed to:

Activities supported by the R34 include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

Information on resources to support clinical trials that may be available during clinical trial implementation can be obtained from NIAID program staff. Information about NIAID resources is available at the following and related websites: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/clinresearch/default.htm
http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/research/resources/  

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

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This funding opportunity will use the NIH Clinical Trial Planning Grant (R34) award mechanism. As an applicant, you will be responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

The Clinical Trial Planning Grant is for new projects only; competing continuation applications will not be accepted. Each Clinical Trial Planning Grant will support planning for one clinical trial only.   

This FOA uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular budget formats (see the “Modular Applications and Awards” section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs), use the PHS398 Modular Budget component provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (see specifically Section 5.4, “Modular Budget Component,” of the Application Guide).

All foreign applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the Research & Related Budget component found in the application package for this FOA. See NOT-OD-06-096.

2. Funds Available

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 Institutes and Centers (ICs) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 1 year. It is expected that applications will stay within the guidelines of a clinical trial planning grant (R34). Direct costs for the planning and design of, and documentation for, a Phase I clinical trial is $75,000. Direct costs for the planning and design of, and documentation for, a Phase II, Phase III, or Phase IV clinical trial is $150,000.  This announcement does not reflect availability of additional funds, but is simply a change in process.  

NIH grants policies as described in the NOT-OD-05-004.  

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:

Institutions must be in compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and DHHS and NIH policies in effect at the time of grant award and during the period of performance.

1. B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization 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 support.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Not applicable. This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

You must obtain written approval from the appropriate NIAID Division Director or designee before submitting an R34 grant application. This letter must be included when submitting the application. Contact the appropriate program officer in the NIAID Division of AIDS (see http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/findingpeople/daids.htm for staff contacts), Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (see http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/findingpeople/dait.htm for staff contacts), or Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (see http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/findingpeople/dmid_staff.htm for staff contacts) to initiate the approval process.

Applicants may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct. However, the NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


To download a SF424 (R &R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PD/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant institution/organization can submit an electronic application, as follows:

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Started

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

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

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF).

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. There are fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components that, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
PHS398 Modular Budget

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

Note: Both budget components are included in the SF424 (R&R) forms package. Only applications from foreign (non-U.S) institutions should use the research and related budget; all other applications must use the PHS 398 Modular budget.

Minimum Application Requirements for an R34 Grant are the following:

Include the following items in the PHS398 Research Plan:

Foreign Organizations

Several special provisions apply to applications submitted by foreign organizations:

Proposed research should provide special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States or that augment existing U.S. resources.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date:   May 3, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable
Application Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details, beginning with June 1, 2006
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details, beginning with September 1, 2006 applications
Peer Review Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details
Council Review Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm for details

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.

3.B. Specific Submission Requirements

Pre-application approval by NIAID is required for submission of a clinical trial planning grant (R34) application:

1) Contact NIAID program staff at least 10 weeks before anticipated application due date. In order that NIAID can make an informed decision concerning acceptance of a planning grant application, please be prepared to describe the scientific basis for, and clinical significance of, the proposed clinical trial; analysis of the need and potential impact on healthcare; comparison with competitive therapies and degree of similarity with other clinical trials; and relevance of the proposed clinical trial to outcomes desired by the target patient population.
(See http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/clinical/R34-submit.htm.)

2) Obtain written approval from NIAID indicating acceptance of your application for consideration for award. Include this letter with the application in the PHS Cover letter PDF file.

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically.  PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application submission/receipt date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the receipt date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two business days to view the application image.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit 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 an application already reviewed with substantial changes, but such application must include an “Introduction” addressing the previous critique. Note such an application is considered a "resubmission" for the SF424 (R&R).

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 (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 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.

6. Other Submission Requirements

The NIH requires the PD/PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component. The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

Note: While each section of the Research Plan needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.   

The following materials may be included in the Appendix:

Up to five publications, manuscripts (accepted for publication), abstracts, patents, or other printed materials directly relevant to the proposed project. Do not include manuscripts submitted for publication. Applicants should refer to instruction guides and specific Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to determine the appropriate limit on the number of publications that may be submitted for a particular program. Note that not all grant mechanisms allow the inclusion of publications.

Applicants are cautioned not to use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan. An application that does not observe the relevant policies and procedures may be delayed in the review process.

Applicants are reminded to review specific FOAs for any additional program-specific guidance on Appendix material and other application requirements.

Plan for Sharing Research Data
 
Not applicable to clinical trial planning grants; however, must be addressed in any subsequent clinical trial implementation application (See PAR-05-113).

Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable to clinical trial planning grants; however, must be addressed in any subsequent clinical trial implementation application (See PAR-05-113).

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria (Update: Enhanced review criteria have been issued for the evaluation of research applications received for potential FY2010 funding and thereafter - see NOT-OD-09-025).

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

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate review group convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in accordance with the review criteria stated below.
 
As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

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

The NIH R34 is designed to support planning activities in preparation for a full-scale clinical trial.  These activities are primarily logistical, conceptual, and/or technical in nature. They do not involve the collection of data typical of research-related activities supported by the traditional NIH research project grant.  As such, the evaluation of R34 applications will focus on the justification of or need for the proposed trial along with the appropriateness of the proposed planning activities and qualifications and completeness of the proposed team.

REVIEW CRITERIA

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?

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?  

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?

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 PD/PI and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

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 item 6 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

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 item 7 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. Is the effort listed for the PD/PI appropriate for the work proposed? Is each budget category realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods?

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Not applicable

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable

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 PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the NIH eRA Commons

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.

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.

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. See 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 NoA. 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/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.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/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

3. Reporting

Clinical trial planning (R34) grants have a maximum duration of one year. To meet reporting requirements, awardees must submit either a clinical trial implementation application or a final grant report.

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:

Martin Gutierrez
Division of AIDS
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, DHHS
6700B Rockledge Drive
Room 4258
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7620
Phone: (301) 451-2703
Fax:     (301) 402-1505
Email:   mgutierrez@niaid.nih.gov

Josiah Wedgwood, MD, Ph.D
Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Room 3019, MSC-6601
6610 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-6601
Telephone: (301) 496-7104
FAX:  (301) 480-1450
Email:  JWedgwood@niaid.nih.gov

Elizabeth Hollomon
Nurse Consultant, Office of Clinical Research Affairs
Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health
6610 Rockledge Drive, Room 6051, MSC 6603
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-6603
P: 301-402-8339
F: 301-480-0728

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Priti Mehrotra, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Room 3138, MSC-7616
6700-B Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7616 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)
Telephone:  (301) 435-9369
FAX:  (301) 480-2408
Email:  PMehrotra@niaid.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Laura Eisenman
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Room 2120, MSC-7614
6700-B Rockledge Drive 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7614
Telephone: (301) 402-5541
Fax: (301) 480-3780
Email: leisenman@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

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).

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 SF424 (R&R); 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.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://PublicAccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/publicaccess_manual.htm).

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/ in the following citations: No. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation Research and No. 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, 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 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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