Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Funding Opportunity Title

Neuroscience Information Framework (U24) 

Activity Code

U24 Resource-Related Research Projects--Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DA-15-009

Companion Funding Opportunity

None   

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

93.279, 93.867, 93.866, 93.273, 93.286, 93.865, 93.173,  93.242, 93.853, 93.361, 93.213, 93.113, 93.121 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this FOA is to support the Neuroscience Information Framework Infrastructure and Search for Lacunas/Gaps in Knowledge About the Nervous System.     

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

July 16, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

August 26, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

August 26, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

September 26, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on  this date.

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

November 2014

Advisory Council Review

January 2015

Earliest Start Date

March 1, 2015

Expiration Date

September 27, 2014

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

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). 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.


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

The Neuroscience Information Framework, originally funded under a Broad Agency Announcement in 2008 by NIH Blueprint http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/resources_tools.htm  is a dynamic inventory of Web-based neuroscience resources: data, materials, and tools accessible via any computer connected to the Internet. An initiative of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, NIF advances neuroscience research by enabling discovery and access to public research data and research resources worldwide through an open source, networked environment.  The goals of the Neuroscience Information Work is to catalog resources and data to understand:  1) What types of resources (data, tools, materials, services) are available to the neuroscience community? 2) How many are there? 3) What domains do they cover and what domains do they not cover? 4) Where are they (websites, databases, literature, supplementary material, PDF files, desk drawers)?  5) Who uses these resources and data? and  6) Who creates them?    Without a catalog that uses identifiers searches are made difficult.

  • The functionalities of the Neuroscience Information Framework have enabled three levels of resource registration and discovery: 
  • The functionalities of the Neuroscience Information Framework have enabled search of the NIF inventory using high level vocabulary descriptors in a registration process that uses either a manual HTML form or direct posting via XML transfer.
  • The functionalities of the Neuroscience Information Framework have enabled automated or semi-automated discovery, updates, and indexing of the resource registry.
  • The functionalities of the Neuroscience Information Framework have enabled deep query of content across multiple databases through a single interface, and involve a registration process which maps data fields and content to the NIF vocabularies using both semi-automatic processes and human expertise and also creates a wrapper to allow remote NIF mediator query.
  • Through its novel and practical tools, NIF was able to assemble in a relatively short period of time the largest searchable collection of neuroscience data on the web.
  • Data sources include the NIF Registry, a curated database of over 6000 resources (databases,  software tools, materials and services).
  • The NIF data federation exposes the contents of over 180 independently maintained databases.        NIF ontologies, currently the largest available for neuroscience provide the semantic framework            for integrating across diverse independent sources, each created with their own custom terminology and domain focus.
  • The NIF thus provides a necessary adjunct to Google and Pub Med, providing the means to search information locked in databases or the “hidden web”.
  • NIF keeps these data updated by an innovative set of technologies that produce dynamic indices of data content including databases, web pages, text, xml etc.
  • NIF has an automated service to identify mentions of resources within the literature and to link resources to literature via NCBI’s Link Out service.
Objectives

The objectives of this FOA are to

  • Maintain the NIF Registry
  • Maintain the NIF Data Federation
  • Maintain the NIF ontologies
  • Support for the current NIF production and development environments
  • Support the operation of core services such as the systems utilized to perform regular data update releases and releases of updates to the core ontologies
  • Support for the upkeep of the portfolio of NIF applications (that includes: the NIF website, NIF discovery portal, NeuroLex Wiki, NIF Web Services and Developer Tools, OntoQuest, DISCO, Link Out Broker, Antibody Registry, NIF analytics and analysis pipelines, NIF Concept Mapper, NIF SPARQL endpoint)
  • Provide training and support on the use of NIF
  • Identify gaps in neuroscience knowledge and data by creating a neuroimaging-center heatmap using the Neuroscience Information Framework. 
Section II. Award Information

 

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New

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.

The participating components intend to commit $900,000 in FY 2015 to fund 1 award.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $900,000 total costs.

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 2 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)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • 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
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

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows.  The NIH will accept 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 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.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions 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.

Letter of Intent

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:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:  NIDALetterofIntent@mail.nih.gov.  

Applicants are encouraged to send the letter of intent by email to the email address above but as an alternative the letter may also be sent to:

Director - DA-15-009
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH/DHHS
6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4243, MSC 9550
Bethesda, MD 20892-9550

Page Limitations

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

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Specific Aims: State concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved. 

Research Strategy: The Research Strategy should address the following:

1. Data Resource Curation, Maintenance, and Support

Maintenance and upkeep of the NIF Registry
Provide a plan to curate and maintain the contents of the NIF registry.  This involves curation of new resources that have been identified by contributors, curation of resources that have been flagged by one of NIF’s validation pipelines, updates and fixes to resources based on user feedback and via communication with resource providers.  Thus, tasks only include support maintenance of existing data (replication, backup, and storage).

Maintenance and upkeep of the NIF Data Federation
Provide a plan to curate and maintain the data managed by the DISCO suite of tools.  This involves updates and fixes to data source interoperability and linkout descriptions, curation and maintenance of data source views and integrated views, troubleshooting problem data sources, and curation of prioritized data sources from the user community and NIH.

Maintenance and upkeep of the NIF ontologies
Provide a plan to curate the terminologies and ontologies used within NIF.  This includes curation and updates to terms and relations within NeuroLex, curation and maintenance of NIFSTD (which includes updates and replacement of core ontology modules that are imported into NIFSTD and updates and maintenance based on user feedback), and troubleshooting and bug fixes of the ontologies and terminologies (in their OWL/RDF representation and for ontology information returned from OntoQuest and related NIF services).

2. Infrastructure, Maintenance, and Support

Infrastructure maintenance

Detail a plan to support for the current NIF production and development environments.  This includes hardware support, maintenance contracts, and systems administration to maintain these environments.  This also covers necessary updates to system software and hardware configurations (which may also involve programming support). Support for the NIF databases (PostgreSQL and MySQL).

Maintenance Operation of production services
Explain how operation of core services such as the systems utilized to perform regular data update releases and releases of updates to the core ontologies will be supported.

Maintenance of NIF applications
Provide a plan to maintain the upkeep of the portfolio of NIF applications (that includes: the NIF website, NIF discovery portal, NeuroLex Wiki, NIF Web Services and Developer Tools, OntoQuest, DISCO, Link Out Broker, Antibody Registry, NIF analytics and analysis pipelines, NIF Concept Mapper, NIF SPARQL endpoint).  This support includes bug fixesfor support of updated browsers or updated versions of core software being used (e.g. Solr, Lucene, etc.), fixes and updates for prioritized requests from the user community and NIH, usability improvements, and performance improvements (e.g. in support of NIF web services).

3. Outreach, Training, and User Support

User support
Provide user support by responding to questions via forms (e.g. NeuroLex users), as well as direct contact with users and resource providers by appropriate staff to assist with any questions or problems they may have.

4.  Identify Lacunas of Knowledge in Neuroscience Using the NIF Platform

Develop a comprehensive web-based interactive meta-analytical map (heat map) of task fMRI activation foci across all human fMRI studies in the literature.  Thus create an “activity map” of the human brain based on functional brain imaging by creating a visualization that depicts:

1. The number of times that a given coordinate was reported as activated in ANY study

2. The number of times that a given coordinate was activated as a function of a particular task

3. The number of times (or a metric for level of relative activation) that a given coordinate was activated as a function of a particular task (or class of tasks) in a particular subject stratification

Requirements:

1.  Use Standard coordinate space for functional imaging results

2.  Conduct Text mining of the literature to extract results, if not available in a database

3.  Develop visualization that transcribes NIF’s heat map into coordinate space a. Could be either structure based or coordinate based

4.  Map the coordinates to anatomical structures

5.  Represent the entire brain in a way that has the benefits of a heat map (i.e. being able to see all the data in context) while also taking into account organizational or functional aspects of the brain

Use current tools available:

1. Standard coordinate space: Several, e.g., MNI, Talairach, ICBM,…

2. Translation tools for coordinate space: mni2tal, icbm2tal, tal2icbm,…

3. Visualization tools: Flatmaps, CARET, matrix, volumetric (e.g. Slicer, SPM, …)

4. Data sets:

a. NeuroSynth extracts activation foci from literature; does not place data in a standardized coordinate space

b. SUMSdb: manual curation of subset of papers

c. Brede: manual curation of subset of papers

d. BrainMaps: manual curation of subset of papers

5. Tools for structure labeling: Mindboggle, FreeSurfer,

The PD/PI is required to have skills in system installation, including extensions, migrations and bug correction as well as skills in UNIX administration and Java programming.  Investigators must demonstrate a track record in web portal administration, database administration, and familiarity with automated web discovery and search techniques, web services, and utilities provided by the National Center for Biomedical Information (NCBI) and NIH and other major data repositories.  The applicant   must demonstrated extensive domain knowledge of publicly available U.S. and international resources and data types associated with neuroscience and related areas of biomedical research across biological scales needed for implementing  and maintaining the Neuroscience Information Framework.  The applicant and their personnel must demonstrate the experience with, and knowledge of, ongoing advances in automated text analysis and mark-up, ontological development, engineering and semantic interoperability, including vocabulary implementations in OWL/RDF.  A demonstrated ability to exploit current emerging technologies to keep the Neuroscience Information Framework as a a scientific and dynamic system coping with rapid change. 

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.

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

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

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). 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. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

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.

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) 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. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

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. 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 and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive 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.

For this particular announcement, note the following. NIF is intended to be a scientifically and technical dynamic system, evolving to reflect current science and exploit emerging technologies.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact 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).

Scored Review Criteria

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.

Significance

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?  

Investigator(s)   

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/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Do the personnel needed include those with skills in system installation, including extensions, migrations and bug correction, as well as Unix administration and java programming?  Do the investigators and their personnel and collaborators have other skills needed to accomplish the goals to the project that include web portal administration, database administration, and familiarity with automated web discovery and search techniques, web services, and utilities provided by the National Center for Biomedical Information (NCBI) and NIH and other major data repositories?  Do the Investigator(s) and their personnel have extensive domain knowledge of publicly available U.S. and international resources and data types associated with neuroscience and related areas of biomedical research across biological scales needed for implementing NIF?  Do the investigator(s) and their personnel have the experience with, and knowledge of, ongoing advances in automated text analysis and mark-up, ontological development, engineering, and semantic interoperability, including vocabulary implementations in OWL/RDF?

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?   

Approach

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 managed? 

How well do the plans for the maintenance and upkeep of the NIF registry, the maintenance and upkeep of the NIF Data Federation, and the maintenance and upkeep of NIF ontologies achieve the objectives of providing data resource curation, maintenance and support the Neuroscience Information Framework?  How well do the plans for infrastructure maintenance, maintenance of operation, and maintenance of NIF applications achieve the goal of providing infrastructure, maintenance and support for the for NIF?  How well does the applicant address the problem of outreach, training and user support?   Is the plan for creating a comprehensive web-based interactive meta-analysis (heat map) of task fMRI activation foci across all human fMRI studies in the literature well developed and likely to succeed?

If the project 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?  

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?   

Additional Review Criteria

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 score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

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 Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

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

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

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 NIDA, 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:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

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 appropriate national Advisory Council or Board. 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 terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this 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

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:

The responsibility of the PD/PI shall be to:

1. Provide Data Resource Curation, Maintenance, and Support

Maintenance and upkeep of the NIF Registry
Curate and maintain the contents of the NIF registry so contents are current.  This involves curation of new resources that have been identified by contributors, curation of resources that have been flagged by one of NIF’s validation pipelines, updates and fixes to resources based on user feedback and via communication with resource providers.  Thus, tasks only include support maintenance of existing data (replication, backup, and storage).

Maintenance and upkeep of the NIF Data Federation
Curate and maintain the data managed by the DISCO suite of tools.  This involves updates and fixes to data source interoperability and linkout descriptions, curation and maintenance of data source views and integrated views, troubleshooting problem data sources, and curation of prioritized data sources from the user community and NIH.

Maintenance and upkeep of the NIF ontologies
Curate the terminologies and ontologies used within NIF.  This includes curation and updates to terms and relations within NeuroLex, curation and maintenance of NIFSTD (which includes updates and replacement of core ontology modules that are imported into NIFSTD and updates and maintenance based on user feedback), and troubleshooting and bug fixes of the ontologies and terminologies (in their OWL/RDF representation and for ontology information returned from OntoQuest and related NIF services).

2. Provide Infrastructure, Maintenance, and Support

  • Maintenance of Infrastructure
  • Support and maintain the current NIF production and development environments.  This includes hardware support, maintenance contracts, and systems administration to maintain these environments.  This also covers necessary updates to system software and hardware configurations (which may also involve programming support). Support for the NIF databases (PostgreSQL and MySQL).

Maintenance Operation of Production Services
Perform regular data update releases and releases of updates to the core.

Maintenance of NIF applications
Maintain the upkeep of the portfolio of NIF applications (that includes: the NIF website, NIF discovery portal, NeuroLex Wiki, NIF Web Services and Developer Tools, OntoQuest, DISCO, Link Out Broker, Antibody Registry, NIF analytics and analysis pipelines, NIF Concept Mapper, NIF SPARQL endpoint).  This support includes bug fixesfor support of updated browsers or updated versions of core software being used (e.g. Solr, Lucene, etc.), fixes and updates for prioritized requests from the user community and NIH, usability improvements, and performance improvements (e.g. in support of NIF web services).

3. Outreach, Training, and User Support

User support
Provide user support by responding to questions via forms (e.g. NeuroLex users), as well as direct contact with users and resource providers by appropriate staff to assist with any questions or problems they may have.

4.  Identify Lacunas of Knowledge in Neuroscience Using the NIF Platform

Develop a comprehensive web-based interactive meta-analytical map (heat map) of task fMRI activation foci across all human fMRI studies in the literature.  Thus create an “activity map” of the human brain based on functional brain imaging by creating a visualization that depicts:

1. The number of times that a given coordinate was reported as activated in ANY study

2. The number of times that a given coordinate was activated as a function of a particular task

3. The number of times (or a metric for level of relative activation) that a given coordinate was activated as a function of a particular task (or class of tasks) in a particular subject stratification

Requirements:

1.  Use Standard coordinate space for functional imaging results

2.  Conduct Text mining of the literature to extract results, if not available in a database

3.  Develop visualization that transcribes NIF’s heat map into coordinate space a. Could be either structure based or coordinate based

4.  Map the coordinates to anatomical structures

5.  Represent the entire brain in a way that has the benefits of a heat map (i.e. being able to see all the data in context) while also taking into account organizational or functional aspects of the brain

Use current tools available:

1. Standard coordinate space: Several, e.g., MNI, Talairach, ICBM,…

2. Translation tools for coordinate space: mni2tal, icbm2tal, tal2icbm,…

3. Visualization tools: Flatmaps, CARET, matrix, volumetric (e.g. Slicer, SPM, …)

4. Data sets:

a. NeuroSynth extracts activation foci from literature; does not place data in a standardized coordinate space

b. SUMSdb: manual curation of subset of papers

c. Brede: manual curation of subset of papers

d. BrainMaps: manual curation of subset of papers

5. Tools for structure labeling: Mindboggle, FreeSurfer,

NIH staff have substantial programmatic and scientific involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

NIDA Project Scientist. A designated NIDA Program Official(s) acting as a Project Scientist(s) will have the following responsibilities:

  • Serve as a resource for specific information on NIDA's programmatic intentions and priorities, and will help to foster collaborations among different data, research resources, and investigators
  • Play an active role in developing in integrating resources and data across websites
  • Identify relevant research questions and searches.
  • In instances where significant involvement in the design of studies and/or analysis of results has occurred, the NIDA Project Scientist may cooperate with awardees as coauthor in preparing publications of data resulting from the research. In this regard, he/she will be subject to the publication/authorship policies governing all participants. In addition, publications involving NIDA staff require internal clearances.

In addition, a NIDA program official will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice. The NIDA Program Official, who will not participate in the research or the preparation of publications, will be responsible for monitoring the conduct of the project. The Program Official carries primary responsibility for: (1) periodic review and monitoring and approval of the progress of the research plans in relation to their stated objectives, including consistent communication with the PI and requests for additional reports or documentation; and (2) making recommendations regarding continuance of the program. The Program Official will receive all required progress reports to determine that satisfactory progress is being made and will work collaboratively with the NIDA Grants Management Specialist to assure high quality business management of the program, including the most effective use of grant money provided through this cooperative agreement.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

None; all responsibilities are divided between awardees and NIH staff as described above.

Dispute Resolution:

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.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the annual Non-Competing Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) 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
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact CenterTelephone: 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
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Jonathan D. Pollock, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-435-1309
Email: jpollock@mail.nih.gov

Michael Steinmetz, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020
Email: steinmem@nei.nih.gov

Brad Wise, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9350
Email: wiseb@nia.nih.gov

John Matochik, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-451-7319
Email: jmatochi@mail.nih.gov

Vinay Pai, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone:  301-451-4781
Email: paiv@mail.nih.gov

Lisa Freund, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-6879
Email: freundl@mail.nih.gov

Janet Cyr, Ph.D.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Telephone: 301-402-3458
Email: cyrj@nidcd.nih.gov

John W. Kusiak, Ph.D.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-7984
Email: kusiakj@mail.nih.gov

Annette Kirshner, Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-0488
Email: kirshner@niehs.nih.gov

Greg Farber, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-435-0778
Email: farberg@mail.nih.gov

Yuan Liu, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-0012
Email: liuyuan@ninds.nih.gov

Lois Tully, Ph.D.
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone:  301-594-5968
Email: lois.tully@nih.gov

Partap Khalsa, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Telephone: 301-594-3462
Email: khalsap@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Mark Swieter, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-435-1389
Email: mswieter@mail.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Cheryl Nathaniel
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 202-526-0108
Email: nathanic@nida.nih.gov

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

Richard Proper
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-7735
Email: properr@mail.nih.gov

Judy Fox
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-4704
Email: jfox@mail.nih.gov

Katie Ellis
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone:  301-496-8521
Email: kellis@mail.nih.gov

Bryan Clark
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-435-6975
Email: clarkb1@mail.nih.gov

Chris Myers
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Telephone: 301-435-0713
Email: myersc@nidcd.nih.gov

Diana Rutberg, M.B.A.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research  (NIDCR)
Telephone: 301-594-4798
Email: rutbergd@mail.nih.gov

Barbara Gittleman
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-0585
Email: gittlemanbj@niehs.nih.gov

Tamara Kees
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-8811
Email: tkees@mail.nih.gov

Tijuanna DeCoster, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9231
Email: decostert@ninds.nih.gov

Randi Freundlich
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-594-5974
Email: freundlichr@mail.nih.gov

George Tucker
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Telephone:  301-594-9102
Email:  tuckerg@nccam.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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