Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Funding Opportunity Title

Standardization of C-Peptide and HbA1C (UC4)

Activity Code

UC4 High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure - Cooperative Agreement Programs

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DK-11-020

Companion FOA

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.847

FOA Purpose

This FOA invites applications for a Central Primary Reference Laboratory (CPRL) that will be responsible for improvement and standardization of HbA1c measurements and C-peptide measurements, important for care of diabetes.  The significance of HbA1c standardization program has recently been stressed by an international expert committee calling for improved measurement of HbA1c for the diagnosis of diabetes and the importance of C-peptide measurement is heightened based on increasing evidence that preservation of endogenous insulin production in Type 1 diabetes can provide significant long-term clinical benefits in subjects with recent onset Type 1 Diabetes.

Key Dates
Posted Date

August 9, 2011

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

October 20, 2011

Letter of Intent Due Date

October 20, 2011

Application Due Date(s)

November 17, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February/March 2012

Advisory Council Review

May 2012

Earliest Start Date(s)

July 1, 2012

Expiration Date

November 18, 2011

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (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

Objective

The primary objective of this cooperative grant is to improve and standardize HbA1c measurements and data interpretation across clinical systems and national harmonization programs as well as to standardize C-peptide measurements.  The reduction in complication risk with improved HbA1c  demonstrated in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) underscores the need to measure HbA1c with sufficient reliability such that clinical laboratory results can be directly related to these studies and, therefore, to the risk for development or progression of diabetes-related chronic complications. Because clinical care providers are adjusting medical therapy based on HbA1c measurement and excessive or inadequate therapy can harm patients, it is imperative that the accuracy of this key test as performed for clinical care continue to improve.  In the research sphere, the measurement of C-peptide used to monitor endogenous insulin production is the basis for identifying successful therapeutics to delay the progression of type 1 diabetes.  There is increasing evidence, including data from the DCCT study, that preservation of even a low level of endogenous insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes is associated with significantly fewer diabetes complications over the longer term. This Funding Opportunity Announcement will provide support for a Central Primary Reference Laboratory (CPRL) to standardize and improve the measurement of HbA1c and C-peptide.

Background

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder characterized by insulin deficiency, hyperglycemia, and high risk for development of complications of the eyes, kidneys, peripheral nerves, heart and blood vessels. The disease is highly prevalent, affecting nearly 26 million people in the U.S.  The disease comes in two major well characterized forms, type 1 diabetes, characterized by autoimmune-mediated destruction of insulin producing pancreatic beta cells, and occurring mainly in children and young adults, and type 2 diabetes, characterized by insulin resistance and associated with obesity, primarily in adults.   It is estimated that approximately 1 in every 7 health care dollars spent in the U.S. goes to diabetes care - mostly for treatment of the chronic complications which occur in both forms of the disease. In the U.S., diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in working age adults, kidney failure, and non-traumatic limb amputation.

The landmark nine-year Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), completed in 1993, showed conclusively that the risk for development and progression of the chronic complications in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus could be dramatically reduced with improved blood glucose control as assessed by serial glycohemoglobin (GHB or hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)) determinations.  HbA1chas been shown to be a reliable index of average blood glucose during the previous 2-3 months that is used routinely to monitor glycemic control in individuals with diabetes.   Based on the DCCT results, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other professional groups have developed a series of specific diabetes treatment guidelines using HbA1c as a measure of mean blood glucose.  However, lack of standardization of HbA1c assay methods among different laboratories prevented optimal use of the test in the clinical setting.  Efforts to reduce complications of diabetes through improved glycemic control required standardization of clinical HbA1c assays so that tests done for medical care of people with diabetes would comparable to the levels of HbA1c proven to reduce complications in the DCCT.  Subsequent studies showed the feasibility of standardizing HbA1c assays, and a candidate reference method for HbA1c was proposed.  Early efforts to standardize HbA1c values among clinical laboratories by using a "universal calibrator" proved feasible for some assay methods.  Later studies showed, however, that such an approach, although relatively simple, did not work for some methods currently in use in the clinic. Thus, it was decided that the best way to proceed with the standardization of the assay across clinical labs to the DCCT reference values was to start at the manufacturing level, with the verification of method standardization using fresh sample comparisons with the Reference Method.

HbA1c measurement standardization has become even more important in recent years.  There is increased use of the test, with rising rates of diabetes.  The FDA has utilized improvements in HbA1c as an outcome measure for approval of new therapies for diabetes.   In 2010, the ADA sanctioned the use of HbA1c as one option for diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Thus there is now a critical need for accuracy and precision near the normal range in addition to the clinical target range for diabetes treatment.

The DCCT established the importance of another key laboratory measurement in type 1 diabtes. C-peptide is a stable and detectable non-functional cleavage product of insulin found in serum.  Measurement of C-peptide is used to monitor endogenous insulin production in people with diabetes who are receiving exogenous insulin as therapy.  There is increasing evidence, including data from the DCCT study, that preservation of even a low level of endogenous insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes is associated with significantly fewer diabetes complications.   DCCT participants with measureable C-peptide were able to achieve better glycemic control with less risk of hypoglycemia and had fewer long term complications of diabetes. These data suggest that functional preservation of endogenous insulin production as assessed by C-peptide has clinical benefit.  Typically, the new onset type 1 diabetes patient can expect to see their endogenous insulin production (as measured by mixed meal-stimulated C-peptide) decline over the first 1-2 years after diagnosis, as residual insulin producing beta cells are lost to autoimmune destruction.  Therefore, recent trials of clinical interventions in new onset subjects are designed to delay progression of beta cell loss and preserve C-peptide production or to delay its decline over 1 to 2 years. Preservation of C-peptide production at 1 or 2 years as a clinical trial endpoint has been accepted by the FDA. 

Measuring C-peptide levels with highly sensitive and standardized methods is therefore important now to accurately implement and interpret clinical trials to identify therapeutic interventions capable of reversing or delaying progression of the disease at onset.  Improving, harmonizing, and standardizing C-peptide measurements could be even more important in the future as additional interventions and combination of agents are tested for clinical benefit.

To assist in C-peptide assay harmonization, an ADA endorsed C-peptide standardization committee was established and international C-peptide comparison studies were conducted.  As a result of many years of comparison studies using pure C-peptide standards and patient samples, the committee concluded that patient samples work best to improve comparability and calibration among assays, and to reduce variability.  More recently, a LC/MS reference method for C-peptide was developed and used to improve comparability of results (Clin Chem 2007;53:784-7/Clin Chem. 2008;54:1023-1026).  A second reference laboratory procedure is also underway to fulfill the requirements of manufacturer acceptability to list the reference method with the Joint Commission on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine.  

Scope:

a)    The laboratory is responsible for establishing and maintaining the DCCT primary reference method that analyzes HbA1c by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using Bio-Rex 70 resin

b)    The laboratory is responsible for establishing a network of reference laboratories, all of which maintain reference methods, or precise methods traceable to the reference method.

c)    The laboratory is responsible for monitoring the Network Laboratories

d)    The laboratory is responsible for interacting with manufacturers of HbA1c methods, providing assistance in standardizing their methods and then providing comparison data for certification of traceability to the DCCT.

e)    The laboratory is responsible for providing fresh whole-blood specimens, in the clinical range of 4-14% Hb1Ac, for use in comparison studies and monitoring laboratory performance for this project

f)     The laboratory is responsible for providing assessment of effectiveness of the program through evaluation of independent Proficiency Testing data from College of American Pathologists (CAP).

g)    The laboratory is responsible for providing data to validate and improve the use of HbA1c as an official diagnostic measure for diabetic disease.

h)    The laboratory is responsible for maintaining a public website providing information on the quality of HbA1c assays and methods as well as information on the suitability of assays and methods for particular populations (e.g. hemoglobin variants)

i)      The laboratory will foster continuous improvement in the accuracy and reliability of clinical HbA1c assays in use in the U.S.

j)     The laboratory will convene regular meetings to foster harmonization efforts in the U.S. with international efforts to improve and standardize HbA1c measurement.

k)    The laboratory is responsible for establishing and maintaining a C-peptide standardization program for select laboratories, particularly those serving major NIH supported clinical research projects.

l)      The laboratory is responsible for coordinating the establishment and maintenance of two reference method laboratories for C-peptide and conducting  the manufacturer re-calibration studies.

m)  The laboratory is responsible for external Quality Control (QC) and/or Proficiency Testing (PT)

n)    The laboratory is responsible for receiving, managing, and analyzing data obtained from the primary and secondary reference laboratories for HbA1c and C-peptide

o)    The laboratory PD/PI will be a member of the CPRL Steering Committee (SC). The SC is the main governing body of the network, and works with the NIDDK to oversee the implementation of the program. The laboratory will be working closely with all the other laboratories involved in a collaborative and interactive manner. 

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to commit 1.8 to 2 million dollars in FY 2012.

Award Budget

The requested budget may vary across years and may not exceed $350,000 per year. The total direct costs over a five year period should not exceed 1.5 million dollar direct costs, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed five 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

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

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

For-Profit Organizations

Governments

Other

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 must complete the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. Applicants must have a valid Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to begin each of the following registrations.

All Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) must also work with their institutional officials to register with the eRA Commons or ensure their existing eRA Commons account is affiliated with the eRA Commons account of the applicant organization.

All registrations must be completed by the application due date. Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to start the registration process at least four (4) weeks prior to the application due date.

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/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

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 SF 424 (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.

NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

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, 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:

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Francisco O. Calvo, Ph.D.
Chief, Review Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 752 
Bethesda, MD 20892-5452
(for express/courier service: Bethesda, MD 20817) 
Telephone:  (301) 594-8897
FAX: (301) 480-3505
Email: fc15y@nih.gov

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, mandatory and optional.  Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

Page Limitations

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

PHS 398 Research Plan Component

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

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.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications via Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) 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 SF 424 (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/PIs must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/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 Central Contractor Registration (CCR). 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 NIDDK, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the DK Referral Office by email at  fc15y@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application. 

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115,

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

Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

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/PIs, 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?   

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? 

If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? 

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/priority 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 Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and members of both genders, as well as the inclusion of children. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

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/priority 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 NIDDK, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Review assignments will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Applications will be assigned 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 NDDK Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

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, CCR 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

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:

1. Developing the research design and study protocol, including definition of objectives and approaches, sample size and power calculations, and establishing procedures for participant recruitment and follow-up, data collection, quality control, interim data and safety monitoring, final data analysis and interpretation, and publication of results.

2. Establishing a Steering Committee to implement, coordinate and manage the project(s). Awardee(s) will name investigators to serve as members on a Steering Committee and other subcommittees, as appropriate, meeting periodically. Awardees will be required to accept and implement the common protocol(s) and procedures approved by the Steering Committee.

3. Implementing collection of data specified by the study protocol, by the Steering Committee. For a multi-center study, each awardee/site is required to ensure that data will be submitted expeditiously to the Data Coordinating Center. Additionally, individual investigators/sites must demonstrate the ability to implement the strategy specifically designed for their individual study population.

4. Establishing procedures for data quality and completeness. Awardees are responsible for ensuring accurate and timely assessment of the progress of each study, including development of procedures to ensure that data collection and management are: (1) adequate for quality control and analysis; (2) for clinical trials, as simple as appropriate in order to facilitate cooperation/referral of study participants by physicians to avoid unnecessary expense; and (3) sufficiently staffed across the participating institutions. For research involving multiple awards, a plan for analysis of pooled data will be developed by the Steering Committee.

5. Submitting interim progress reports, when requested, to the NIDDK Program Official including as a minimum, summary data on protocol performance. For coordinated multiple awards or a multi-site single award, the NIDDK Program Official may require additional information from individual awardees/sites. Such reports are in addition to the required annual noncompeting continuation progress report.

6. Establishing procedures, where applicable, for all participating institutions in coordinated awards to comply with FDA regulations for studies involving investigational agents or devices and to comply with the requirements of 45 CFR Part 46 for the protection of human subjects, and the NIH policy requirements for the inclusion of women, minorities and children.

7. Reporting of the study findings. The awardee(s) will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data developed under these awards, subject to the Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS and NIH policies. The awardee must also be adherent to Study Publication and Presentation Policy.  The NIDDK will have access to and may periodically review all data generated under an award. NIDDK staff may co-author publications of findings with awardees consistent with NIH and study policies.

8. Support or other involvement of industry or any other third party in the study -- e.g., participation by the third party; involvement of study resources or citing the name of the study or NIDDK support; or special access to study results, primary data/summary information, or resources -- may be advantageous and appropriate. However, except for licensing of patents or copyrights, support or involvement of any third party is permitted only after concurrence by NIDDK.

9.  Study investigators are encouraged to publish and to release publicly and disseminate results and other products of the study, in accordance with study protocols and steering committee policies on publications.

10.  Maintaining confidentiality of information:  The awardee(s) will maintain the confidentiality of the information developed by the investigators (i.e., protocols, data analysis, conclusions, etc.) as well as proprietary information of a company collaborating with the study.

11. The NIDDK has established Central Biosample, Genetic, and Data Repositories for the archiving and storage of data and biosamples collected in large, multi-site studies funded by NIDDK.

The PI or his/her designee will coordinate with the NIDDK Data Repository to prepare the collected data for eventual archiving and distribution. In addition, if applicable, the PI or his/her designee will work with the NIDDK Biosample Repository to coordinate procedures for coding, shipping, processing, receipt, and storage of study samples that are to be maintained in the Repository. All samples and data transferred to the Repositories will be under the custodianship of the NIDDK, although the study’s Steering Committee will have proprietary control of and exclusive access to the samples and data for an agreed-upon period of time. Subsequently samples and data will be available to the wider scientific community in accordance with the NIH policy on Data Sharing   (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/ and, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_guidance.htm#goals, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm).

12. The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA or US Public Law 110-85) was passed on September 27, 2007. The law requires mandatory registration and results reporting for certain clinical trials of drugs, biologics, and devices. If applicable, the PI or his/her designee will perform the mandatory study registration and reporting of study results to ClinicalTrials.gov. For more information about this law and requirements for sponsors and/or investigators, visit the PRS and U.S. U.S. Public Law 110-85 Information Page at file://niddkb8na1.niddk.nih.gov/DEMHOME/D2/DEM/bll/CSWG/Cooperative%20Agreement%20Terms%20and%20Conditions%20final%20072710%20pike.doc#_Hlk285009725

Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

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

1. Serve as the contact point for all facets of the scientific interaction with the awardee (s). As required for the coordination of activities and to expedite progress, NIDDK may designate additional NIDDK staff to provide advice to the awardee on specific scientific and/or analytic issues. Such staff may include another Project Scientist or Analyst, who will provide direct technical assistance to the awardees to optimize the conduct and/or analysis of the study; or who may assist in the coordination of activities across multiple sites.

2. For multi-center studies, participation in the Steering Committee that oversees study conduct. The NIDDK Project Scientist or designee will be a full participant and voting member of the Steering Committee and, if applicable, subcommittees.

3. Serving as a resource to study investigators with respect to other ongoing NIDDK activities that may be relevant to the study to facilitate compatibility with the NIDDK missions and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.

4. Substantial involvement assisting in the design and coordination of research activities for awardees as elaborated below:

a.     Assisting by providing advice in the management and technical performance of the investigations, coordinating required regulatory clearances for investigational agents used in the study, which are held by NIDDK. The NIDDK may reserve the right to cross file or independently file an Investigational New Drug Application or an Investigational Device Exemption form with the FDA.

b.    The NIDDK Project Scientist or designee may coordinate activities among awardees by assisting in the design, development, and coordination of a common research or clinical protocol and statistical evaluations of data; in the preparation of questionnaires and other data recording forms; and in the publication of results.

c.     Reviewing procedures for assessing data quality and study performance monitoring.

d.    The NIDDK Project Scientist or designee may be co-authors on study publications. In general, to warrant co-authorship, NIDDK staff must have contributed to the following areas: (a) design of the concepts or experiments being tested; (b) performance of significant portions of the activity; (c) participate in analysis and interpretation of study results and (d) preparation and authorship of pertinent manuscripts. 

In addition, a separate NIDDK Program Official identified in the Notice of Award (NoA) will be responsible for the normal stewardship and monitoring of the award including review and approval of all progress reports and all budgetary decisions.  Additional responsibilities include: 

1. Interacting with the principal investigator(s) on a regular basis to monitor study progress. Monitoring may include: regular communications with the principal investigator and staff, periodic site visits, observation of field data collection and management techniques, quality control, fiscal review, and other relevant matters; as well as attendance at Steering Committee, data safety and monitoring board, and related meetings. The NIDDK retains, as an option, periodic review of progress by researchers not involved with the study.

2. Reviewing and approving protocols prior to implementation to insure they are within the scope of peer review, for safety considerations, as required by Federal regulations.

3. The NIDDK Program Official will monitor protocol progress, and may request that a protocol study be closed to accrual for reasons including: (a) accrual rate insufficient to complete study in a timely fashion; (b) accrual goals met early; (c) poor protocol performance; (d) patient safety and regulatory concerns; (e) study results that are already conclusive; and (f) emergence of new information that diminishes the scientific importance of the study question. The NIDDK will not permit further expenditures of NIDDK funds for a study after requesting closure except as specifically approved by the NIDDK.

4. Making recommendations for continued funding based on: a) overall study progress, including sufficient patient and/or data accrual; b) cooperation in carrying out the research (e.g., attendance at Steering Committee meetings, implementation of group decisions, compliance with the terms of award and reporting requirements); and/or c) maintenance of a high quality of research, which will allow pooling of data and comparisons across multiple cooperative agreement awards for common data elements.

5. Appointment of a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as appropriate; the NIDDK Program Official or their designee will serve as the Executive Secretary and/or NIDDK program representative on the DSMB.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

1. Steering Committee.

A Steering Committee organized by the study investigator(s) will be the main governing body of the study.

The Steering Committee has primary responsibility to design research activities, establish priorities, develop common protocols and manuals, questionnaires and other data recording forms, establish and maintain quality control among awardees, review progress, monitor patient accrual, coordinate and standardize data management, and cooperate on the publication of  results. Major scientific decisions regarding the core data will be determined by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will document progress in written reports to the NIDDK Program Official, and will provide periodic supplementary reports upon request.

The Steering Committee will be composed of all Principal Investigator(s), (including those of data coordinating /statistical centers, if any) and co-investigators as deemed necessary, and the NIDDK Project Scientist. The final structure of the Steering Committee and voting procedures will be established at the first meeting. The NIDDK Project Scientist will have voting membership on the Steering Committee, and as appropriate, its subcommittees. The frequency of Steering Committee meetings will be dictated by a vote of the members of the Steering Committee.

A Chairperson of the Steering Committee, other than the NIDDK Project Scientist, will be selected by the NIDDK. The Chairperson provides leadership to the Committee by conducting the Steering Committee meetings, representing the study group to the External Oversight Committee established by the NIDDK (see item D2 below) and by interacting closely with the awardees during protocol development and implementation.

2. External Study Oversight.

An independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board will be established by the NIDDK for Phase III clinical trials or other high risk studies as appropriate. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board will review interim results periodically and provide guidance to the NIDDK

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 Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) 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

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading or navigating forms)
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
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

eRA Commons Help Desk(Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, tracking application status, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Beena Akolkar, Ph.D.
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 6105
Bethesda MD 20892
Tel: 301-594-8812
Fax: 301-480-3503
Email: akolkarb@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Francisco Calvo, Ph.D.
Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 752
Bethesda, MD 20892-5452
Telephone: 301-594-8897
Email: fc15y@nih.gov ).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Christine Gill
Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch, NIDDK
Democracy Plaza II, Room 733
6707 Democracy Boulevard, MSC 5456
Bethesda, MD 20892-5456 (express zip: 20817)
Telephone: 301-435-2816
Fax: 301-594-9523
Email: gillc@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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