Department of Health and Human Services


Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Funding Opportunity Title

Redefining Pulmonary Hypertension through Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics:  Data Coordinating Center (DCC) (U01)

Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-HL-14-030

Companion Funding Opportunity

RFA-HL-14-027, U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.838  

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to invite applications to participate in a new NHLBI Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics Program (hereafter referred to as "PVDOMICS").  Teams of investigators will perform comprehensive, deep phenotyping across the current World Health Organization (WHO)-classified pulmonary hypertension (PH) clinical Groups 1 through 5 (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pah/types.html), which will lead to novel subclassifications of patients with pulmonary vascular-right ventricular disease, based on molecular and radiographic as well as clinical characteristics, which can be associated with specific molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis. This research is intended to lead to identification of both endophenotypes of lung vascular disease and biomarkers of disease that may be useful for early diagnosis or for assessment of interventions to prevent or treat this condition. This FOA solicits applications for the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) and runs in parallel with a separate FOA that solicits applications for the Clinical Centers (CCs) (RFA HL-14-027). The common phenotyping protocol will be aimed at:

(1) identifying subsets of PH patients that are similar with regard to the molecular basis of pulmonary vascular disease regardless of WHO clinical classification;

(2) defining novel, clinically-relevant indices of therapeutic responsiveness to be useful as intermediate outcomes in clinical trials;

(3) identifying biomarkers of disease risk and progression that can be used for early detection or as outcome measures in prevention trials.

PVDOMICS will create a program-wide cohort of approximately 1,500 PH subjects and controls. A Steering Committee will be organized by the DCC to develop the study-wide protocol and monitor study operations.    

Key Dates
Posted Date

November 25, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

December 29, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

December 29, 2013

Application Due Date(s)

January 29, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

June-July 2014  

Advisory Council Review

August 2014

Earliest Start Date

September 2014

Expiration Date

January 30, 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


Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to invite applications to participate as the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) in a new NHLBI Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics Program (PVDOMICS). This initiative is designed to advance our understanding of genetic, pathobiologic, hemodynamic, and clinical commonalities and differences among the clinical classifications of pulmonary hypertension (PH) through phenotyping, which calls for measuring and integrating genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, cell biology and tissue functioning, imaging, and other traits deemed necessary to fully describe the pulmonary vascular disease phenotype.  A multidisciplinary team of investigators will be assembled to design and conduct the state-of-the-art phenomics protocol.

PVDOMICS will enroll and phenotype PH subjects as well as collect and process biospecimens for biomarker analyses. The DCC will be expected to support and coordinate the activities of up to five clinical centers (CCs).  A Steering Committee of all the Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) involved with the project will be organized to develop the necessary protocols and monitor study operations. This is a one-time funding opportunity to support PVDOMICS for a five-year project period.

This FOA runs in parallel with a separate FOA that solicits applications for PVDOMICS Clinical Centers (RFA-HL-14-027).

Background

Current classification of PH is based on a relatively simple combination of patient characteristics and hemodynamics as follows:

Group 1 – Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)

Group 2 – PH with left heart disease

Group 3 – PH associated with lung diseases and/or hypoxemia

Group 4 – PH attributed to chronic thrombotic and/or embolic disease (CTEPH)

Group 5 – Miscellaneous

However, this clinical classification scheme is based on clinical presentation only, dictated by available treatment options, and is not tied to any molecular or cellular pathobiological mechanism. Pulmonary Hypertension is a complex, vascular remodeling disease, targeting lung vascular and interstitial cells, and involving blood- and bone marrow-derived cells as well as right ventricular myocytes and microvasculature. Furthermore, recent studies have revealed: the involvement of underlying systemic metabolic derangements, such as insulin resistance; heterogeneity of disease across individuals even with the same genetic mutations; increased prevalence of lung vascular disease in left heart failure and chronic airways diseases; and an increased number of hospitalizations and deaths among women, African-Americans, and older adults.

Rapid advances in the mechanistic understanding of the disease, improved imaging techniques, "omics" technologies, and methods for biomarker discovery now provide an opportunity to re-define PH on the basis of these measures. A modern classification of PH should integrate clinical and molecular features to stratify the condition by pathobiology, rather than clinical presentation. The systemic features of the disease, the basis for disease susceptibility, and the therapeutically amenable features of the disease should also be incorporated into the phenotypes.

Many benefits may accrue from a better understanding of PH phenotypes. First, more sensitive measures of disease may be found, allowing earlier diagnosis of disease and enabling trials of interventions intended to prevent or forestall early disease. These may also suggest disease risk.  Second, endophenotypes may be identified, allowing clinical trial enrollment of cohorts that respond more uniformly to mechanism-based therapies.  Third, measures of disease severity that include biomarkers as well as clinical characteristics may prove useful as surrogate outcome measures in clinical trials.  In particular, outcome measures that are more sensitive and specific than the 6-minute walk distance are urgently needed to improve the efficiency and fidelity of clinical trials. Overall, a more precise classification of lung vascular disease will foster novel biological concepts and catalyze innovative research for preventing lung vascular disease development and lead to developing more efficacious, precision approaches to individual therapy.

Research Objectives

This initiative will support collaborative, protocol-driven, comprehensive phenotyping across the currently classified Groups 1–5 PH patient populations in order to define and then refine novel pulmonary vascular disease phenotypes. To accomplish the scientific objectives, a multi-center, multidisciplinary, academic research consortium will be supported. The consortium will consist of up to five Clinical Centers (CCs) (RFA-HL-14-027), one DCC, a Steering Committee (SC), and an NHLBI Project Scientist (PS). Under SC guidance and coordination through the DCC, PVDOMICS will develop a common protocol, which will be used to define novel pulmonary vascular disease phenotypes. Comprehensive analysis of lung tissue, systemic vascular biomarkers, blood and marrow cells, right ventricular indices, and molecular traits in PH patients will be obtained and integrated with robust clinical measures and imaging to derive the pulmonary vascular disease phenotypes.

The DCC will have primary responsibility for developing bioinformatic resources; facilitating the conduct of "omics" studies; designing and implementing a strategy for data collection and analysis to identify phenotypes and outcome measures; training CC staff; managing study data; providing overall management and oversight of the study; operating and/or managing a repository of biospecimens (possibly through a subcontract); and disseminating study results. The DCC will also enable the performance and productivity of the consortium by identifying synergies and points of leverage with other federally-sponsored projects or resources (e.g., CTSAs, clinical consortia, and other NIH-supported projects or entities), as well as with outside organizations such as the Pulmonary Hypertension Association,  American Heart Association, and American Thoracic Society.

The DCC will:

1.  Provide expertise in genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses as well as lung vascular disease research.

2.  Provide expertise in bioinformatics, including development of controlled vocabularies and metadata elements that could provide the basis for ontology development.

3.  Provide biostatistical support for study design and protocol development, including sample size calculations or simulations.

4.  Analyze the study data.

5.  Provide administrative support and oversight for the study as a whole.

6.  Process and handle storage of biospecimens collected at the CCs.

7.  Coordinate, plan, make arrangements for, and participate in meetings of the study committees and boards.

8.  Develop and maintain web sites for study investigators.

9.  Establish and maintain a computer system and software needed for the storage and analysis of study data.

10.  Prepare and distribute periodic technical and statistical reports of study activities and progress.

11.  Coordinate and track the reporting of adverse events and coordinate Observational Study Monitoring Board (OSMB) activities.

DCC staff must possess strong scientific qualifications related to bioinformatics, biostatistics, genetics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. The DCC must have pulmonary and cardiology medical expertise; experience in the supervision of complex, multi-center clinical studies; and experience in the statistical analysis of high volume genetic, genomic, proteomic, and phenotypic data.

The DCC will be expected to work closely with the CCs to participate intellectually in all aspects of the consortium, including developing consortium procedures and subcommittees, writing protocols and sample informed consent, protocol cost development, and recruitment.

In addition to the funds awarded directly to the DCC for conducting DCC responsibilities, funds to conduct the phenotyping protocol will be part of the DCC’s grant award and will be distributed by the DCC as capitation to the CCs in accordance with protocol budgets (see RFA-HL-14-027).

While CCs will be responsible for the planning and collection of high-quality biospecimens that will permit the longitudinal molecular analysis of disease pathogenesis and response to therapy, the DCC will be responsible for performing, or overseeing, analyses on these samples. As directed by the Steering Committee, the DCC may make samples available to the wider scientific community for mechanistic work conducted under other funding mechanisms.  Samples will be stored at a central laboratory repository at the DCC or at a facility subcontracted to the DCC. Data and samples may be transferred to NHLBI BioLINCC (https://biolincc.nhlbi.nih.gov/home/) at the conclusion of the study.

Research Topics

The field of “phenomics” pursues the systematic measurement and analysis of qualitative and quantitative traits (clinical, biochemical, imaging, etc.) for the refinement and characterization of phenotypes, some of which may be shared between different disease states. Research activities supported by this initiative may include, but are not limited to, the following general approaches:

1.  Deep phenotyping - measuring and integrating genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, cell biology and tissue functioning, and imaging and whole organism measurements to achieve a more complete description of the normal and pathophysiologic processes which are themselves traits of the organism, therefore comprising the phenotype. The goal for deep phenotyping is the identification of as many contributing individual factors or traits as possible which comprise the pulmonary vascular disease phenotype.

2.  Dynamic phenotyping - incorporating multiple measurements over time and after provocation (e.g., after drug exposure in a clinical trial or after exercise), so that both variability over time and individual responses can be measured and catalogued. This approach can be used to get a complete picture of a patient with pulmonary vascular disease or, on a smaller scale, to get a complete description of a pulmonary artery endothelial cell from that patient.

3.  Intermediate phenotypes (or endophenotypes) - clinical entities associated with the disease but  closer to the biologic underpinnings of the disease. Endophenotypes may be more objectively defined than the disease diagnosis and may contribute to a wide spectrum of diseases, potentially linking conditions together. The ideal endophenotype is reliably-assessed and stable over time, is associated with the disease of interest, and is at least as heritable as the disease itself. For example, levels of oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, and mitochondrial dysfunction are potential endophenotypes. 

The research activities supported in PVDOMICS will be determined by input from all CCs selected to participate, and in collaboration with a DCC, assisted by input from the steering committee, such that the collective activities will involve:

Anticipated Outcome of PVDOMICS

The research proposed for PVDOMICS should clearly result in any or all of the following:

1.  Definition of a precise lung vascular disease ontology to assist data integration across studies.

2.  Identification of novel biomarkers derived from deep and/or dynamic phenotyping that may be useful as intermediate or primary outcomes in future clinical trials.

3.  Identification of subpopulations of patients with lung vascular-right ventricular disease appropriate for targeted enrollment in clinical trials that:

a. Test novel, mechanistic-based therapeutics.

b. Test novel, phenotype-based management strategies.

4.  Identification of endophenotypes which may reflect preclinical disease or predict prognoses.

Activities or outcomes NOT supported:

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

NHLBI intends to commit $429,000 (total costs) in FY14 in order to fund one DCC.

NHLBI intends to commit an estimated $16,590,000 (total costs) over a 5-year period.

Award Budget

Data Coordinating Center application budgets are limited to $275,000 (Direct Costs) in the first year and a maximum of $1,300,000 (Direct Costs) for each of the subsequent years (years 2-5).

Budgets should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.  

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period.  The maximum project period should 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

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.

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

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account and should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate an existing account with the applicant organization’s eRA Commons account. 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.

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

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:

Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 (Express mail zip: 20817)
Telephone: 301-435-0270
Fax: 301-480-0730
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov  

Page Limitations

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

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, required 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.

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.  Also follow these additional instructions: 

The DCC is expected to assemble a team of experts in "omics," samples analyses, data management and interpretation, biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, biomedical informatics or other relevant area with experience in multicenter clinical research and statistical expertise. The investigators may be from either the same institution or different institutions. Applicants should have an established research program in the field and demonstrated leadership. Applicants should describe experience in coordinating multi-center studies and in novel observational study design and statistical analysis of data.

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.   Also follow these additional instructions:

The budget plan presented should contain two main components with a breakdown of these components provided in the justification:

1.  Operational budget:  A DCC Direct Costs budget of up to $275,000 for the first year and up to $500,000 per year for years 2-5, which includes, but may not be limited to, the following examples:

Travel costs (suggested travel commitments for planning purposes):

Year 1: 

Years 2-5:

Applicants should also include study protocol funds (total costs) in their budget request.  These study protocol funds will be awarded to the DCC to be available for distributing to the participating clincal centers at a maximum of $2,000,000 for each of years 2-5.

2.  Analyses budget: A Direct Costs budget to support high-throughput "omics" analyses and a central biospecimen lab.

Up to a maximum of $800,000 per year in Direct Costs (for each of years 2-5) is allowed for the "omics" portion of the budget. A budget should be proposed to include support for a central biospecimen lab.  This should include sufficient staff to establish procedures that meet quality standards of the NHLBI Biorepository (BioLINCC https://biolincc.nhlbi.nih.gov/home).  The budget should include costs for sample collection kits assuming several types of biospecimens that would be useful for molecular phenotyping (e.g., inflammatory and other biomarkers, expression analysis, and tissue analysis), shipping containers and shipping costs for the CCs, costs for storage at the CC biorepository, and costs for final shipping to the NHLBI biorepository.  Costs for quality assurance should be described.  This biospecimen collection plan will be finalized by the SC, but the DCC should present the envisioned biospecimen activities and budget for the biospecimen collection. A subcontract may be proposed for the biospecimen repository.

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:

Research Strategy: In lieu of a Research Strategy with the usual headings, the applicant should describe their plans for carrying out duties specified below and any duties needed to oversee a complex observational study network. Specified duties are to describe:

The DCC will have two additional roles that should be addressed:

The Research Strategy section should include any other information that the applicants deem important for determination of merit, particularly as relates to the expected outcomes of PVDOMICS, which include:

1.  Definition of a precise lung vascular disease ontology to assist data integration across studies.

2.  Identification of novel biomarkers derived from deep and/or dynamic phenotyping that may be useful as intermediate or primary outcomes in future clinical trials.

3.  Identification of subpopulations of patients with lung vascular-right ventricular disease appropriate for targeted enrollment in clinical trials (within a 5 year timeframe of PVDOMICS) that:

a. Test novel, mechanistic-based therapeutics.

b. Test novel, phenotype-based management strategies.

4.  Identification of endophenotypes which may reflect preclinical disease or predict prognoses.

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, with the following modifications:

Applicants should state their general support of collaborative research and their willingness to participate in a collaborative and interactive manner with the Clinical Centers and the NHLBI in all aspects of the PVDOMICS program.

The DCC will be responsible for coordinating the dissemination of PVDOMICS research findings and relevant protocol materials.

It is expected that PVDOMICS research resources, such as the Manual of Operations, study manuals, case-report forms, and phenotype ascertainment instruments will be made available to the public immediately after approval by the PVDOMICS SC and implementation into the study. The DCC applications are expected to include a plan for sharing these resources.

All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.

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 NHLBI, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

Activities NOT supported by PVDOMICS (and therefore constituting non-responsive applications):

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

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 PD(s)/PI(s) have experience supporting multi-site observational and/or clinical trials in cardiopulmonary disease or Groups 1-5 PH patients? Does the group include expertise in pulmonary medicine, cardiology, and biobanking and molecular phenotyping?   

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? 

Are the research activities proposed feasible from ethical, organizational, and budgetary perspectives?  

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?

Have innovative, cost-effective approaches to support observational study design, data collection, training, CC oversight, and information sharing been described?

Has a reasonable management distribution plan of protocol funds to the Clinical Centers been proposed?

Are rigorous metrics to provide continuous evaluation of all phases of the Clinical Centers’ performance and institute corrective action for under-performance proposed?

Are plans to enhance the performance and productivity of PVDOMICS by identifying synergies and points of leverage with other federally sponsored projects proposed and well-reasoned?   

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?  

Are facilities available for secure data and biospecimen storage?

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 NHLBI, 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:

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 NHLBI 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, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

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 following primary responsibilities:

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

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

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)

Web ticketing system: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact 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
TTY: 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Timothy M. Moore, M.D., Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0222
Email:   Tim.Moore@nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0270
Email:  nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Anthony Agresti
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0186
Email:  tony.agresti@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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