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 Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), (http://nccam.nih.gov)
National Cancer Institute (NCI), http://www.cancer.gov/ 

Title:  Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness Studies of CAM Using Existing Practice-based Research Networks (R21)

Announcement Type
New

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-07-291

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers
93.213, 93.393, 93.226  

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: January 11, 2007
Opening Date:  March 10, 2007 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable
NOTE: On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application Submission/Receipt Dates:  April 10, 2007; April 10, 2008; April 10, 2009 (Changed to November 19, 2007; November 19, 2008 per NOT-AT-07-004)
Peer Review Dates: June - July, 2007, 2008, 2009
Council Review Dates: October, 2007, 2008, 2009 
Earliest Anticipated Start Dates: December, 2007, 2008, 2009
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: April 11, 2009 (Extended to November 20, 2008 per NOT-AT-07-004)

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary  

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. Submitting an Application Electronically 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
    A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
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

Purpose

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM/NIH), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI/NIH) invite applications for research investigating both clinical and patient-oriented outcomes associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) care provided in existing practice-based research networks (PBRNs) using health services research (HSR) methodology.  Also of interest are studies of the costs and cost-effectiveness of CAM therapies.    

Many PBRNs have characteristics that could yield considerable information regarding CAM research.  Members are oriented to community care; have access to large, stable, and diverse patient populations; many members have successfully implemented research programs that incorporate the perspectives of the patient or consumer, and many also have implemented a wide range of data systems with a rich potential for research.  Some PBRNs are able to take advantage of existing integrated databases with extensive patient health and healthcare utilization information.  Examples of the types of projects this initiative could support include case-control studies, retrospective observational studies, secondary analyses of existing data, and prospective studies, consistent with the funding limits of the NCCAM R21 mechanism.  Clinical trials are NOT permitted under this FOA, and will be considered unresponsive and returned without review.

Background

Although studies increasingly provide information on patterns of and results of CAM use in the general population, little research has been conducted regarding CAM as it is actually used and outcomes of such use in either primary-care settings or in integrated health systems. 

Health Services Research (HSR) examines the organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare with attention to the cost of care, the quality of care and outcomes of care.  NCCAM has identified HSR on CAM as a high-priority area in its Strategic Plan, Expanding the Horizons of Health Care:  Strategic Plan 2005 – 2009 (http://nccam.nih.gov/about/plans/2005/index.htm).  This plan includes recommendations for studies to:  1) discover if well-characterized CAM services with some indication of efficacy add to or reduce the costs of conventional treatments; 2) use a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, as a vehicle for collecting data on costs, cost offsets, and cost effectiveness; 3) measure outcomes of integrated health care delivery models with respect to quality of care and cost.  Some NCCAM-funded trials contain specific HSR components (e.g., The NIH Trial of EDTA Chelation Therapy (TACT; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00044213?order=2, and the acupuncture osteoarthritis trial; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00010647?order=4) or HSR-related outcome measures (e.g., quality of life, and patient centered outcomes), but there currently is little funded “outcomes research” on CAM using HSR methodology, particularly as it is practiced in community settings. 

A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States, (http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4829/24487.aspx), recognized gaps in knowledge regarding CAM use and recommended use of PBRNs as a component of the proposed solution to increase the knowledge base regarding CAM use in real world settings.  In addition, the IOM report recommended collecting a range of HSR information regarding CAM including outcomes and costs (alone and in combination with conventional care) and cost-effectiveness, noting that PBRNs offer an opportunity to “study CAM treatments in the manner in which they are practiced.” 

Some members of PBRNs already provide CAM services to their enrollees, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, hypnosis, guided imagery, massage therapy, meditation, and yoga.  In addition, a common goal of these networks is to identify patient, treatment, and delivery system factors that affect health outcomes for specific conditions.  For these reasons, existing PBRNs offer an opportunity to expand the collection of HSR data regarding CAM

Many networks, including those funded by NIH are listed on the Inventory and Evaluation of Clinical Research Networks Website (https://www.clinicalresearchnetworks.org/srchnet.asp).  NCCAM and NCI seek to leverage Federal investments in these research resources and interests and also collect information regarding the effects of CAM use, utilizing data from individual member databases or the data resources of large integrated health systems. 

Research Objectives

The overall goal of this initiative is to assess whether data collected at PBRNs can be used to increase scientific knowledge about CAM through the application of HSR methodology.  Research funded by this FOA will take advantage of existing PBRNs, which may cover large patient populations in diverse patient care settings 

Some networks have access to a fully integrated electronic data entry and management system.  In many cases, the research objectives can be accomplished by applicants using data already being collected by the member sites within the networks through automated data systems, conventional medical record systems, newly emerging electronic medical records, and web-based medical communication systems currently in place

Types of Research Being Sought

Several types of data may contribute to a better understanding of patterns and results of CAM use – enrollment data, administrative claims or encounter data, and provider data.  While some of these data sets may not have been intended initially for use within a research context, they potentially are rich sources of information that can illuminate a wide range of research questions and policy-related topics.  Because of the lack of information regarding either the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of CAM, NCCAM encourages analyses of previously collected data sets as an efficient way of increasing the knowledge base and informing the research agenda on these issues.  The characteristics of the data sets will determine which questions can be answered and it may not be possible to address each of the issues below. 

This FOA specifically encourages studies of how CAM therapies function in actual health care settings, where patients may have multiple problems and utilize multiple therapies, as well as studies comparing CAM and conventional care.  

Clinical trials are NOT permitted under this FOA, and will be considered unresponsive and returned without review.

Examples of Research Topics

Listed below are examples of research that would be considered responsive to this FOA. This list is illustrative and not exhaustive. In addition, information on NCCAM’s current research priorities periodically is updated at http://nccam.nih.gov/research/priorities/index.htm#5.  Although secondary data analyses of CAM use have been identified by NCCAM as areas subject to a short “pause” in new funding, the “pause” does not apply to this FOA.   

Primary Aims (All applications in response to this FOA must address one or more research questions falling under Primary Aims)

Preliminary data are not required as a prerequisite for submission in response to this FOA, but may be included if available.  If the data/results have been made public, it may be in the best interest of the applicant to include the information.  Preliminary data, if included, will be evaluated.  A clear rationale must be provided for the research question(s), design, type of intervention, dose, dosing schedule, etc.  In addition, applicants should describe their future research plans as they relate to how the results of this exploratory/developmental research will advance the science of CAM.

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 Announcement (FOA) will use the NCCAM R21 award mechanism.  The applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information 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).

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 3 years. Although the size of award may vary with the scope of research proposed, it is expected that applications will stay within the budgetary guidelines for an exploratory/developmental project.  Direct costs are limited to $400,000 over a three-year period, with no more than $250,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year.  Applicants may request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up to the total direct costs limitation of $400,000 for the combined three-year award period.  NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation.  See NOT-OD-05-004, November 2, 2004.  

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit an application(s) if your institution/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 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

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

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

An applicant needs to provide evidence of membership in an existing practice-based research network (PBRN), or, if the applicant is not a member of an existing PBRN, then the applicant needs to provide evidence that collaborative linkages have been established with an existing PBRN.  Letters of support from senior leadership of the PBRN should accompany the application.  Applications submitted without evidence of PBRN collaboration or membership will not be considered appropriate for this FOA and returned without review.  

Applicants may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct.

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:

PDs/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.

Both the PD/PI(s) and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.  

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 for this FOA through Grants.gov/APPLY.

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 “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, 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
PHS398 Modular Budget or Research & Related Budget, as appropriate (See Section IV.6., “Special Instructions,” regarding appropriate required budget component.)  

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS  

Applications with Multiple PDs/PIs

When multiple PDs/PIs are proposed, NIH requires one PD/PI to be designated as the "Contact” PI, who will be responsible for all communication between the PDs/PIs and the NIH, for assembling the application materials outlined below, and for coordinating progress reports for the project. The contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status in the same way as other PDs/PIs, but has no other special roles or responsibilities within the project team beyond those mentioned above.

Information for the Contact PD/PI should be entered in item 15 of the SF424(R&R) Cover component. All other PDs/PIs should be listed in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component and assigned the project role of “PD/PI.” Please remember that all PDs/PIs must be registered in the eRA Commons prior to application submission. The Commons ID of each PD/PI must be included in the “Credential” field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component. Failure to include this data field will cause the application to be rejected.

All projects proposing Multiple PDs/PIs will be required to include a new section describing the leadership of the project.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, a new section of the research plan, entitled “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” (section 14 of the PHS398 Research Plan component), must be included. The governance and organizational structure of the research project should be described, including communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, allocation of resources, publications, intellectual property issues, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program should be delineated for the PDs/PIs and other collaborators.

If budget allocation is planned, the distribution of resources to specific components of the project or the individual PDs/PIs should be delineated in the Leadership Plan.  In the event of an award, the requested allocations may be reflected in a footnote on the Notice of Award.

Applications Involving a Single Institution

When all PDs/PIs are within a single institution, follow the instructions contained in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Applications Involving Multiple Institutions 

When multiple institutions are involved, one institution must be designated as the prime institution and funding for the other institution(s) must be requested via a subcontract to be administered by the prime institution. When submitting a detailed budget, the prime institution should submit its budget using the Research & Related Budget component. All other institutions should have their individual budgets attached separately to the Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form. See Section 4.8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the subaward budget form. 

When submitting a modular budget, the prime institution completes the PHS398 Modular Budget component only. Information concerning the consortium/subcontract budget is provided in the budget justification. Separate budgets for each consortium/subcontract grantee are note required when using the Modular budget format. See Section 5.4 of the Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates

Opening Date:  March 10, 2007 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not Applicable
Application Submission/Receipt Dates:   April 10, 2007; April 10, 2008; April 10, 2009 (Changed to November 19, 2007; November 19, 2008 per NOT-AT-07-004)
Peer Review Dates: June - July, 2007, 2008, 2009
Council Review Dates: October, 2007, 2008, 2009 
Earliest Anticipated Start Dates: December, 2007, 2008, 2009

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

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

3. B. Submitting an Application Electronically 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. 

In order to expedite the review, applicants are requested to notify the NCCAM Referral Office by email (birkled@mail.nih.gov) when the application has been submitted.  Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

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. 

Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check periodically on their application status 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.

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 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.

6. Other Submission Requirements

PD/PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)

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 “Registration FAQs – Important Tips -- Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

Organizational DUNS

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 “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

Warning: Please be sure that you observe the direct cost, project period, and page number limitations specified above for this FOA. Application processing may be delayed or the application may be rejected if it does not comply with these requirements.

Research Plan Component Sections

While each section of the Research Plan component needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component 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.   

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide are to be followed, incorporating "Just-in-Time" information concepts, and with the following requirements for NCCAM R21 applications:

R21 applications will use the modular budget format and “Just-in-Time” concepts, with direct costs requested in $25,000 modules, up to the total direct costs limitation of $400,000 over a period of up to three years. 

No more than $250,000 in direct costs will be allowed in any single year.

Items 2-5 of the Research Plan of the R21 application may not exceed 20 pages, including tablets, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts.

The “Introduction” (required for resubmission application) is limited to three pages.

Preliminary data are not required but may be included if available.

Appendix Materials

The following materials may be included in the Appendix:

Stop SignIMPORTANT NOTE: NIH has published new limitations on grant application appendix materials to encourage applications to be as concise as possible while containing the information needed for expert scientific review.

Applicants must follow the specific instructions on Appendix materials as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan component. An application that does not observe the required page limitations may be delayed in the review process.

Note: While each section of the PHS398 Research Plan component needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to monitor better 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.

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.

All applicants must include a plan for sharing research data in their application. The data sharing policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing. All investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data sharing is not possible.

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will 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 expects 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/NIHGPS_Part7.htm#_Toc54600131). 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 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). 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 that are complete and responsive to the FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NCCAM 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 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.

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?  Are health services research methods appropriate to address the identified specific aims?  If the application involves more than one site, describe mechanisms of communication between sites, methods of data transfer, and measures to assure data security.  For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, does the Leadership Plan ensure that there will be sufficient coordination and communication among the PDs/PIs?  Are the administrative plans for the management of the research project appropriate, including plans for resolving conflicts? 

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 principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?  
Describe the nature and extent of investigators’ experiences with primary-care practice based research and with health services research.

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?
Is the research experience of the participating PBRNs and their capacity to provide the necessary data adequate?.

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:

Resubmission Applications (formerly “revised/amended” applications): Are the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group adequate? Are the improvements in the resubmission application appropriate?

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: 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 will 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 presence of a data sharing plan will be part of the terms and conditions of the award. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy.

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  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part7.htm#_Toc54600131). 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.

Program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources.

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), 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 PD/PI will be able to access his/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  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities.

The following terms and conditions will be incorporated into the NoA and will be provided to the PD/PI and the appropriate institutional official at the time of award.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually 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:

Richard Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Division
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
Telephone: (301) 496-7801
Fax:  301-480-3621
Email:  nahinr@mail.nih.gov

Martin Brown, Ph.D.
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
EPN - 4005
6130 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892-7344

Telephone: (301) 496-5716
Fax:  301-435-3710
Email:  mb53o@nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Martin Goldrosen, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
Telephone: (301) 594-2014
Fax:  (301) 480-2419:
Email:  goldrosm@mail.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

George Tucker, MBA
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
Telephone: (301) 594-9102
Fax: 301-480-1552
Email: tuckerg@mail.nih.gov

Although the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is not participating in this Funding Opportunity Announcement, it does have an interest in this subject area.  Specficially AHRQ is interested in supporting research that (1) identifies and explores facilitators and barriers to communication between patients and their conventional primary care clinicians about the use of CAM therapy, (2) measures the effect of CAM usage on patient safety and other domains of health care quality, or (3) identifies best methods of using health information technology to provide conventional clinicians and their patients with evidence-based information on CAM at the point of care.  AHRQ encourages applicants to take advantage of publicly available information related to the use of CAM services in the U.S. that is included in the AHRQ-supported Medical Expenditures Panel Survey database (http://www.ahrq.gov/data/mepsweb.htm)

For inquiries regarding AHRQ programmatic issues, contact:

David Lanier, M.D.
Center for Primary Care, Prevention and Clinical Partnerships
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: (301) 427-1567
Fax:  (301) 427-1595
Email:  david.lanier@ahrq.hhs.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) 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.

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 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 funding opportunity 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.
 
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) application; 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.

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.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 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 HHS 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. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, internet addresses (URLs) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles.  Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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 FOA 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 Part 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.

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% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two 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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