National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Funding Opportunity Title
Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development (SBIR [U44])
U44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Cooperative Agreement – Phase II and Fast-Track only
Reissue of PA-09-064
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
PAR-12-053, Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development (U01)
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to pursue translational and pilot clinical studies for neural prosthetics. The program will utilize the cooperative agreement mechanism to enable support for milestone-driven projects for the development and demonstration of clinically-useful neural prosthetic devices. Activities supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, preclinical safety and efficacy testing, design verification and validation activities, pursuit of regulatory approval for clinical study, and proof-of-concept or pilot clinical studies.
December 8, 2011
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
March 5, 2012
Letter of Intent Due Date
One month prior to application due date
Application Due Date(s)
Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
Scientific Merit Review
Standard dates apply
Advisory Council Review
Standard dates apply
Earliest Start Date(s)
Standard dates apply
January 8, 2015
Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Required Application Instructions
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information
Neural prosthetic devices restore or supplement function of the nervous system lost during disease or injury. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage applications for cooperative agreements (U44s) to pursue translational and pilot clinical studies for neural prosthetics. This program enables support for milestone-driven projects for the development, testing, and demonstration of neural prosthetic devices. Activities that can be supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, design verification and validation activities, demonstration of preclinical safety and efficacy, pursuit of regulatory approval for clinical study, and proof-of-concept or pilot clinical studies. Projects within this program will pursue the translation of bench-level neural engineering activities towards realization of clinically-deployable neural prosthetic devices and systems.
Note: Applicants are encouraged to look at the Advanced Neural Prosthetics Program Announcement Frequently Asked Questions (located at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/npp/faqs_advanced_neural_prosthetics_research_dev.htm) for a listing of common questions regarding the preparation and submission of applications to this program.
For over 40 years, the NIH has supported research and development through the Neural Prosthesis Program (NPP; http://www.ninds.nih.gov /research/npp/index.htm). The NPP has supported neural prosthetics research in topics including but not limited to biomaterials, cochlear implants, visual prosthetics, peripheral nerve interfaces, safety of electrical stimulation, microelectrode arrays, functional electrical stimulation (FES), cortical prosthesis, and spinal cord microstimulation. A major achievement of the NPP has been the development of the cochlear implant, a safe and effective implantable device that offers sound perception to some severely deaf individuals (http://report.nih.gov/NIHfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=83).
Progress has also been made in neural prosthetics for individuals with spinal cord injury, stroke, and locked in syndrome. FES devices are being developed for bladder function, upper/lower extremity control, and breathing/coughing. Recent efforts in brain machine/computer interfaces include real time cortical control of robotic limbs in non-human primates and the control of computer cursors by paralyzed individuals. There are opportunities to capitalize on advances in fundamental understanding of natural neuromuscular systems and in neural interfaces to develop new prosthetic limbs. For epilepsy, implantable devices that operate through closed-loop control to sense seizure onset and deliver targeted therapeutic stimuli or neuroactive compounds appear promising. At the bench, new techniques for interfacing with the damaged nervous system are emerging that involve novel materials, architectures, system designs, and modalities (e.g., optical stimulation). In spite of this promise, neural prosthetic device innovation needs to address issues concerning animal efficacy, safety, and biocompatibility tests. A significant milestone toward clinical usage is attainment of an investigational device exemption (IDE) from the FDA, which is typically required to pursue pilot/feasibility studies in humans. IDE approval is based upon an evaluation of whether or not the risks to the subject are outweighed by the anticipated benefits to the subjects and the knowledge obtained (see http//TBD for more information on the FDA regulatory process).
The Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development Program supports the development of clinical prototype devices leading to regulatory submission and potentially “first-in-human” demonstrations, including design verification and validation activities, demonstration of preclinical safety and efficacy, pursuit of regulatory approval for clinical study, and proof-of-concept or pilot clinical studies. This program is not intended to support definitive clinical trials of implanted devices. To be fully successful, partnerships between engineers, scientists, and clinicians will be required; these partnerships will likely span academia and the private sector.
For entry to the program, projects must have identified one or more clinically meaningful device outcomes based on input from both clinicians and patients. Ideally preliminary proof of concept data would be available, preferably obtained using in vivo animal model representative of the intended patient population. When projects do not include a representative animal model for efficacy testing, an acceptable alternative for entry to the program is efficacy data obtained through laboratory work and in vivo proof of concept demonstrated in normal animals. As preliminary proof of concept data are strongly recommended for entry into this program, innovation will in part be judged on presenting a credible path towards regulatory submission at the end of the project period.
There is increasing awareness among neurological disease/disorder communities that sufficient information must be available about study design, execution, analysis, and interpretation to assess the predictive value of preclinical research. Preliminary data should demonstrate rigor in the preliminary evaluation of device efficacy. Examples of the critical elements of a well-designed study are summarized on the NINDS website (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/transparency_in_reporting_guidance.pdf). Applicants are strongly urged to consider these elements when describing supporting data and designing the proposed studies.
Applications must include proposed annual milestones to be within program scope. Milestones toward clinical device development are goals that create yearly go/no-go decision points in the project and include quantitative success criteria (see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/npp/example_milestones_advanced_neural-prosthetics_research_dev.htm). Achievement of milestones will be evaluated by NINDS program staff, and funding of non-competing award years will depend on milestone accomplishment.
Efforts to develop neurotechnology for fundamental study of the nervous system are not within scope of this program. Likewise, fundamental basic/applied research projects related to neural prosthetics, such as the study of tissue-device interface, use of devices for studying sensorimotor integration, algorithm development for neural decoding, are outside the scope of the present FOA but may be within scope of the Bioengineering Research Grants and Partnerships program announcements (see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/bioengineering/). Finally, projects focused on neural prosthetic technologies for augmentation of healthy individuals are not within scope of this FOA.
Some examples of research projects that could be supported by this FOA include, but are not limited to:
The Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development Program is implemented with the U44 cooperative agreements mechanism, where specific milestones of progress established at the time of award must be met prior to funding of each subsequent budget period. NINDS program staff will have a significant, although not dominant, role in the planning and execution of the supported activities. In addition, NINDS program staff will examine the scope and relevance of the applications to the institute’s mission prior to review, promote collaborations within the program, and have a significant role in the development and annual assessment of milestones. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NINDS staff as plans for an application are being developed. Early contact provides an opportunity for program staff to discuss the program scope and goals, and to provide information and guidance on how to develop an appropriate milestone plan. Other aspects of an application that are unique to this program are also discussed. Consultations may include both an introductory call and a conference call with NINDS staff. The introductory call should be completed at least 10 weeks before a receipt date and the conference call at least 8 weeks before a receipt date.
For projects pursuing clinical demonstration or studies, the use of the Design Control process (http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/ucm070627.htm) is required. A key step in the Design Control process is the collection of Design Inputs that capture the needs of users (patients, clinicians, caregivers, customers); this initial step should be completed before application submission and will be evaluated for adequacy. Pre-IDE meetings with the FDA, intermediate steps in the Design Control process (design reviews, design verification, and design validation), and IDE submission should be represented in the annual milestones. Clinical considerations including but not limited to the tools and process for device targeting and interface with the nervous system and method for evaluating the functional integrity of the device must also be addressed in the milestones. Budgeting for consultants with expertise in the Design Control process and/or regulatory submission is permissible. In the design of studies with clinical components, applicants should consider Guidelines and Policies for Monitoring Clinical Research in the formation of a plan for data and safety monitoring: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/clinical_research/policies/dsm.htm .
Plan for Full Commercialization
All applicants are expected to describe a realistic plan (extending beyond the SBIR Phase II), which outlines how and when full commercialization can be accomplished. The long-term commercialization strategy should be presented as part of the 12-page Commercialization Plan. The full commercialization of the product/technology should be carried out with non-SBIR funds.
Since conducting the clinical trials needed commercialize these products may be capital-intensive, the FOA also aims to encourage business relationships between applicant SBCs and third-party investors/strategic partners who can provide substantial financing to help accelerate the commercialization of promising new products and technologies initiated with NIH SBIR funding. In light of these goals, the NINDS strongly encourages applicants to establish business relationships with investors and/or strategic partners that have appropriate prior experience in the commercialization of emerging biomedical technologies. The Commercialization Plan should include details on any independent third-party investor funding, from public or private institutions that have already been secured or are anticipated.
Application Types Allowed
New (Fast-Track - Phase I and II combined)
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide provide details on these application types.
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards
The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
According to statutory guidelines, total funding support normally may not exceed $150,000 for Phase I awards and $1,000,000 for Phase II awards. Applicants are encouraged to propose a budget that is reasonable and appropriate for completion of the research project. However, statutory guidelines may be exceeded based on scientific requirements to reach IDE or pilot clinical studies in the project period.
Award Project Period
Durations up to 2 years for Phase I and up to 3 years for Phase II may be requested.
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.
Only United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit applications for this opportunity. A small business concern is one that, at the time of award of Phase I and Phase II, meets all of the following criteria:
1. Is organized for profit, with a place of business
located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States
or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through
payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor;
2. Is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there can be no more than 49 percent participation by foreign business entities in the joint venture;
3. Is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, or it must be a for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by another for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, except in the case of a joint venture, where each entity to the venture must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States; and;
4. Has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.
SBCs must also meet the other regulatory requirements found in 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Business concerns, other than investment companies licensed, or state development companies qualifying under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 661, et seq., are affiliates of one another when either directly or indirectly, (a) one concern controls or has the power to control the other; or (b) a third-party/parties controls or has the power to control both. Business concerns include, but are not limited to, any individual (sole proprietorship) partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative. The SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide should be referenced for detailed eligibility information.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are
not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.
Applicant organizations must complete the following registrations as described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.
All Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.
All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least 4-6 weeks prior to the application due date.
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) 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.
Under the SBIR program, for both Phase I and Phase II, the primary employment of the PD(s)/PI(s) must be with the SBC at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed project. For projects with multiple PD(s)/PI(s), at least one must meet the primary employment requirement. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur..
The SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide should be referenced for specific details on eligibility requirements. For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PD(s)/PI(s), see Multiple Principal Investigators section of the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization. This includes derivative or multiple applications that propose to develop a single product, process, or service that, with non-substantive modifications, can be applied to a variety of purposes. Applicants may not simultaneously submit identical/essentially identical applications under both this funding opportunity and any other HHS funding opportunity, including the SBIR and STTR Parent announcements.
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. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
A Phase I awardee may submit a Phase II application either before or after expiration of the Phase I budget period, unless the awardee elects to submit a Phase I and Phase II application concurrently under the Fast-Track procedure. To maintain eligibility to seek Phase II support, a Phase I awardee should submit a Phase II application within the first six due dates following the expiration of the Phase I budget period.
In Phase I, normally, a minimum of two-thirds or 67% of the
research or analytical effort must be carried out by the small business
concern. The total amount of all consultant and contractual arrangements to
third parties for portions of the scientific and technical effort generally may
not exceed 33% of the total amount requested (direct, F&A/indirect, and
In Phase II, normally, a minimum of one-half or 50% of the research or analytical effort must be carried out by the small business concern. The total amount of consultant and contractual arrangements to third parties for portions of the scientific and technical effort generally may not exceed 50% of the total Phase II amount requested (direct, F&A/indirect, and fee).
The basis for determining the percentage of work to be
performed by each of the cooperative parties in Phase I or Phase II will be the
total of the requested costs attributable to each party, unless otherwise
described and justified in “Consortium/Contractual Arrangements” of the PHS398
Research Plan component of SF424 (R&R) application forms.
Additional details are contained in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.
It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.
For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
6001 Executive Blvd
North Bethesda, MD
The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.
All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:
Overall Plan for Neural Prosthetics Development
Projects submitted under the U44 award mechanism must include an overall plan for neural prosthesis development. This plan requires a clearly stated project timeline that includes practical, achievable goals, and annual project milestones. The overall plan for neural prosthetics development should be included in section 3 of the Research Plan.
Resource Sharing Plans
Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Note that Phase I SBIR/STTR Appendix materials are not permitted, unless requested specifically by NIH (and specified in this paragraph). The instructions for the Appendix of the Research Plan are described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:
Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit in
advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections
that might be necessary for successful submission.
Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.
Applicants are responsible for viewing their application in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.
Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
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 only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Instructions. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.
For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in
the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the
SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons
and to include a valid PD(s)/PI(s) Commons ID in the credential field will
prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.
The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
See more tips for avoiding common errors.
Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.
The following subsections should be included within the Commercialization Plan (within the 12-page limit), in addition to the requirements listed in the SF424 Application Guide:
SBIR/STTR Commercialization History
Applicants should provide an SBIR/STTR Commercialization History that addresses the questions listed below. The following questions should be addressed for all SBIR/STTR awards received from ANY Federal agency:
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.
Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.
Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.
Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does the proposed project have commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service? (In the case of Phase II, Fast-Track, and Phase II Competing Renewals, does the Commercialization Plan demonstrate a high probability of commercialization?)
Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD(s)/PI(s), do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses
well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success
presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the
strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be
If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangement?
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact/priority score, but will not give separate scores for these items.
Phase II Applications
For Phase II Applications, how well did the applicant demonstrate progress toward meeting the Phase I objectives, demonstrating feasibility, and providing a solid foundation for the proposed Phase II activity?
Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications
For Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications,
reviewers will consider the following:
1. Does the Phase I application specify clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II?
2. To what extent was the applicant able to obtain letters of interest, additional funding commitments, and/or resources from the private sector or non-SBIR/STTR funding sources that would enhance the likelihood for commercialization?
Protections for Human Subjects
For research that involves human subjects but does
not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR
Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human
subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their
participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to
subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the
subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data
and safety monitoring for clinical trials.
For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.
The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.
Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
Phase IIB Competing Renewals
For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact/priority score.
Select Agent Research
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Resource Sharing Plans
Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).
Budget and Period of Support
Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical
merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the Center for
Scientific Review, in accordance with NIH peer
review policy and procedures, using the stated review
criteria. Review assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons.
As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications . Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
After the peer review of the application is completed, the
PD(s)/PI(s) will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written
critique) via the eRA Commons.
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH
will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as
described in the NIH
Grants Policy Statement.
A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.
Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.
All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.
Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, CCR Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.
Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
The following special terms of award are in addition to, and
not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is
applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other
HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.
The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.
The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:
NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:
Areas of Joint Responsibility include:
Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16..
NIH requires that SBIR/STTR grantees submit the following reports within 90 days of the end of the grant budget period unless the grantee is under an extension.
Failure to submit timely final reports may affect future funding to the organization or awards with the same PD(s)/PI(s).
For details about each specific required report, see the section on “Award Guidelines, Reporting Requirements, and Other Considerations,” in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.
We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and
process, finding NIH grant resources)
eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons
registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Kip A. Ludwig, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).
Tijuanna E. DeCoster, MPA
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
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.
The SBIR Program is mandated by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219), reauthorizing legislation (P.L. 99-443) and P.L. 102-564 (Small Business Research and Development Act).The basic design of the NIH SBIR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Policy Directive.
Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
Office of Extramural
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
NIH . . . Turning Discovery Into Health
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