Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Eye Institute (NEI)

Funding Opportunity Title

NEI Center Core Grant for Vision Research (P30)

Activity Code

 P30 Center Core Grants

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-13-269

Related Notices
  • June 4, 2014 - Notice NOT-14-074 supersedes instructions in Section III.3 regarding applications that are essentially the same.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-14-232

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.867 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

An NEI Center Core Grant combines three or more Resource and/or Service Cores for a group of R01 investigators to enhance their research, consolidate resources, avoid duplication of efforts, and/or contribute to cost effectiveness by providing a service with lower cost or higher quality than could be attempted for independent projects by several individual Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s)).  Shared resources and facilities that are accessible to a group of independently funded investigators lead to greater productivity for the separate projects, and can provide instrumentation and facilities that are too costly to be maintained by an individual investigator.  The design and purpose of each Center Core may vary in how it serves its users.  This program is designed to enhance an institution's environment and capability to conduct vision research and to facilitate collaborative studies of the visual system and its disorders.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

May 19, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

August 30, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

September 30, 2014; September 30, 2015; September 30, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

January 2015, January 2016, January 2017

Advisory Council Review

May 2015, May 2016, May 2017

Earliest Start Date

July 2015, July 2016, July 2017

Expiration Date

October 1, 2016

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

NIH’s new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is available for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications to this FOA must be submitted electronically; paper applications will not be accepted. ASSIST replaces the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities and provides many features to enable electronic multi-project application submission and improve data quality, including: pre-population of organization and PD/PI data, pre-submission validation of many agency business rules and the generation of data summaries in the application image used for review.

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts) and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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.


You will be sent to ASSIST to prepare and submit your application. Problems accessing or using ASSIST should be directed to the eRA Commons Help Desk.
Table of Contents

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

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose

An NEI Center Core Grant combines three or more Resource and/or Service Cores for a group of R01 investigators to enhance their research, consolidate resources, avoid duplication of efforts, and/or contribute to cost effectiveness by providing a service with lower cost or higher quality than could be attempted for independent projects by several individual PDs/PIs.  Shared resources and facilities that are accessible to a group of independently funded investigators lead to greater productivity for the separate projects, and can provide instrumentation and facilities that are too costly to be maintained by an individual investigator.  The design and purpose of each Center Core may vary in how it serves its users.  This program is designed to enhance an institution's environment and capability to conduct vision research and to facilitate collaborative studies of the visual system and its disorders. 

An NEI Center Core Grant should increase the productivity and impact of research in eligible projects of the Core users, and should create a collaborative environment to increase scientific interactions.  A strong research base of funded projects is an eligibility requirement and a major factor in obtaining an NEI Center Core Grant award.  Any institution or consortium applying for an NEI Center Core Grant must have an active, established program in basic, epidemiological, biomedical or behavioral research in one or more of the NEI mission areas described at http://www.nei.nih.gov/funding/nprp.asp.

Specific Areas

NEI-supported Center Cores should consist of discrete units or Cores, each devoted to a specific activity that would be impractical or less efficient to support on an individual research project grant.  The purpose of each Core is to support a resource or service that enhances or facilitates the research efforts of a group of independent investigators, each having NEI funding.  Cores may involve the purchase and maintenance of shared instruments.  Sharing of NEI Center Core Grant resources and services with other NIH-funded collaborators and with investigators new to vision research is encouraged.

The Administrative Core supports the overall management of the Center Core which includes an organizational structure sufficient to coordinate and integrate the activities of the Resource and Service Cores, and to determine the distribution and utilization of funds. 

Resource Cores facilitate the production of materials for research, or support the purchase, maintenance, and technical support of shared equipment.  Examples may include, but are not limited to: confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, tissue and cell culture services, genotyping, microarray analysis, mass spectrometry, high throughput sequencing, database management, hybridoma production, laboratory animal resources, image analysis, and brain and eye imaging.   Resource Cores may also help support computer experts, biostatisticians, and other individuals who can assist or collaborate with participating investigators in conducting vision research. 
Service Cores support essential laboratory or technical services provided by one or more highly skilled persons.  Examples of this type of core include, but are not limited to, electronics shop, machine shop, and photography services.

Studies involving human subjects are not allowed. However, Core resources and services can be accessed for secondary studies that use human specimens, cell lines, or data provided that these have been stripped of identifiers and appropriate approvals have been obtained through the individual research grants that support collection of human subject material. 

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal
Resubmission

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) 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.

Award Budget

The NEI will provide direct costs of up to $2,000,000 over a five-year period in support of a Core Grant to institutions having 8 to 19 eligible grants.  Institutions having 20 or more eligible grants may receive direct costs of up to $2,500,000 over a five-year period.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 5 years.  

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.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Institutional Eligibility Criteria

Institutions applying for an NEI Center Core Grant must hold a minimum of eight funded R01 NEI grants on the due date of the application.  Grant applications in administrative extensions, with or without additional funds, are not eligible.  Administrative supplements, revisions, and sub-contracts cannot be counted toward eligibility. Eligibility will be confirmed by NEI staff prior to the meeting of the Scientific Review Group (SRG).

For a specific Core to be funded, it must be used to a "moderate" or "extensive" degree by at least three investigators from institutions with 19 or fewer eligible grants and five investigators from institutions with 20 or more eligible grants.  

Foreign Institutions

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.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code. NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons.If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

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.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.

NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants can access 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.

Most applicants will use NIH’s ASSIST system to prepare and submit applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications prepared and submitted using applicant systems capable of submitting electronic multi-project applications to Grants.gov will also be accepted.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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.

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

6

Admin Core (use for Administrative Core)

6

Core (use for Resource/Service Core)

6


Additional page limits described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

The application should consist of the following components:

  • Overall: required
  • Administrative Core: required
  • Resource/Service Core: minimum of 3 required
Overall Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.  Describe and give examples of institutional commitment and support of the goal of fostering vision research.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application.

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan          (Overall)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is required in the Overall component.

Specific Aims:  List the outcomes that are expected to be achieved with this Center Core     

Research Strategy:  Describe the overall Center Core structure.  Include the following:  Background, Table of eligible R01 grants, and Institutional Commitment. 

Background:  Describe how the Center Core would be used to enhance the capabilities of participating NEI-funded investigators and the institution for conducting vision research.  If pertinent, describe how Center Core resources and services would be used to help initiate or to continue collaborative studies, and/or to help attract scientists to research on the visual system.

Table:  The table should include only grants that are eligible.  The table should list NEI-supported R01s that will count towards eligibility. Eligible grants are defined as NEI-supported R01s. The table should include the complete grant number, title, and PD/PI. No other mechanisms or source of research support will be considered in determining eligibility. Do not include R01s in administrative extensions, administrative supplements, revisions, and sub-contracts. 

Letters of support:  Documentation confirming and describing institutional commitment and contribution should be included in the Overall Component.

Resource Sharing Plan: 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) Application Guide,

Generally, Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Appendix may include additional material not requested in the Research Strategy such as maps, floor plans, questionnaires and examples of sign-in sheets. Information such as publication lists, person lists or biographical sketches are not acceptable appendix material.

Administrative Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Admin Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Administrative Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
  • Proposed Project Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Administrative Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Administrative Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions. The NEI Center Core Grant does not allow the use of Human Subjects.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Administrative Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Administrative Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Administrative Core Director’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
    • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are working in the component.
    • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
    • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used.
    • The PD/PI of the overall NEI Center Core Grant should be also named as the Director of the Administrative Core.  This individual need not hold a qualifying R01.

Budget (Administrative Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

  • Administrative Core Director:  salary support may not exceed 0.6 person months. 
  • Secretarial and Administrative staff:  support may be requested to the extent that it relates directly to the management of Center Core activities. 
  • Costs for all secretarial and administrative activities (including support for the Core Director) may not exceed 15% of the total direct costs of a Core Grant award in any year.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan          (Administrative Core)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims:  List the goals of the Administrative Core  

Research Strategy:  Describe the integration, coordination and evaluation of the activities of the Service/Resource Cores. Include the establishment of priorities, allocation of resources and the scheduling for use of a Core among participating investigators.    

Resource Sharing Plan: 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) Application Guide

Generally, Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

Planned Enrollment Report  (Administrative Core)

Not Applicable

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report (Administrative Core)

 Not Applicable

Resource/Service Core

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Core.’

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Resource/Service Core)

Complete only the following fields:

  • Applicant Information
  • Type of Applicant (optional)
  • Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Core
  • Proposed Core Start/Ending Dates

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Resource/Service Core)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Resource/Service Core)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’

 The NEI Center Core Grant does not allow the use of Human Subjects.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete. Note: ASSIST screens will show an asterisk for this attachment indicating it is required. However, eRA systems only enforce this requirement in the Overall component and applications will not receive an error if omitted in other components.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Resource/Service Core)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Resource/Service Core)

  • In the Project Director/Principal Investigator section of the form, use Project Role of ‘Other’ with Category of ‘Core Director’ and provide a valid eRA Commons ID in the Credential field.
  • In the additional Senior/Key Profiles section, list Senior/Key persons that are using the core.
  • Include a single Biographical Sketch for each Senior/Key person listed in the application regardless of the number of components in which they participate. When a Senior/Key person is listed in multiple components, the Biographical Sketch can be included in any one component.
  • If more than 100 Senior/Key persons are included in a component, the Additional Senior Key Person attachments should be used. 
  • Resource/Service Cores should be directed by an NEI-funded, independent investigator who has the expertise to supervise its use.  Resource/Service Core Directors should have an active NEI R01 grant.  Other arrangements may be proposed, but must be well justified.

Budget (Resource/Service Core)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Resource/Service Core Director: Salary support may not exceed 0.4 person months. 

Technical Support Personnel:  Salary may be requested.

Equipment:  Requests for shared equipment are allowed.

Supplies:  Consumable supplies may be requested if they are directly related to the operation of the Cores (photographic supplies, electronics parts, machine shop stock, tissue culture media, etc.).

Travel:  Not allowed.

Patient Care Costs:  Not allowed.
Other Expenses:  Equipment maintenance, computer time, and lease of computer lines are examples of the many types of allowable costs. 

Human subject's reimbursement, animal care per diem charges (boarding), and costs associated with seminars, conferences, workshops, etc. are not allowed.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Resource/Service Core)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component.

Specific Aims:    List the goals of the Resource/Service Core

Research Strategy:  For the individual Resource/Service Core, describe how the Core resources or services will enhance the research activities and accomplishments of the projects using this Core. Include how the Resource/Service Core will provide increased or innovative capabilities, facilitate increased productivity or effectiveness through sharing expertise or centralizing labor-intensive tasks, foster collaborative or new research directions, bridge basic and clinical research, or attract new investigators into vision research. Methodologies already in use at the institution may be described briefly.  Methodologies new to the institution need to be described in detail and strategies delineated for successful implementation.

Resource/Service Core Use and Impact:  Describe how this Resource/Service Core will enhance the research capabilities of investigators using it citing some specific examples.  Characterize the extent to which the Resource/Service Core will be used by each investigator, employing the terms "limited," "moderate," or "extensive".  This information should be summarized in a table labeled with (Resource/Service name) Core Usage.

Resource Sharing Plan: 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) Application Guide

Generally, Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and GWAS Sharing Plan) are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Appendix may include additional material not requested in the Research Plan such as maps, floor plans, questionnaires and examples of sign-in sheets. These must be specific for the Core otherwise they should be included in the appendix of the Overall Component.  Information such as publication lists, person lists or biographical sketches are not acceptable appendix material.

Planned Enrollment Report  (Resource/Service Core)

 Human Subjects are not allowed. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

(Resource/Service Core)

Human Subjects are not allowed.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. 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 before the due date 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) Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

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 only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

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.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) and component Project Leads must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI 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 System for Award Management (SAM). Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) 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.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

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.

Overall Impact - Overall

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the Center Core 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 Center Core proposed).

Scored Review Criteria Overall

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 Center Core that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the Center Core address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the Center Core 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 Center Core provide resources and/or services to meet the scientific needs of the research base?  Will the Center Core be used by multiple investigators? What is the likelihood that the Center Core will increase efficiency, accelerate progress and promote new research directions and scientific collaborations among the Senior Persons and other users? 

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the Center Core? 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/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  

Innovation

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?  Does the Center Core use innovative ways to communicate or integrate activities among the Resource/Service Cores, or across basic and clinical research? Are there innovative methods for allocating resources or promoting new cross-departmental or multi-disciplinary collaborations?  

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the Center Core? 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 managed? 

If the Center Core involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  Are there plans to establish and maintain communication and cooperation among Senior Persons and other users? Are there adequate management plans for the Research and Service Cores, including implementation, allocation, user prioritization, quality control, and utilization of the Cores? How well does the management plan address accountability, flow of authority, dispute resolution, evaluation and integration with the institution's fiscal and academic administrations?  

Environment

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 arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support for this Center Core?  

Additional Review Criteria Overall

As applicable for the Center Core proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Protections for Human Subjects

Not Applicable

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

Not Applicable

Vertebrate Animals

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.

Biohazards

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.

Resubmissions

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.

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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 score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

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.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by the National Eye Institute in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • Will receive a written critique.

Applications will be assigned  to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Eye Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

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.      

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

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. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

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. 

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)

Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html

TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726

Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Ellen Liberman, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020
Email: libermane@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Anne Schaffner, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020
Email: schaffnera@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

William Darby
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020
Email: darbyw@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

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.

Authority and Regulations

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.

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