ENDOMETRIAL CELL FUNCTION

RELEASE DATE:  February 3, 2004

PA NUMBER:  PA-04-056

January 3, 2007 - Effective with the February 5, 2007 submission date, 
all R01 applications must be submitted through Grants.gov using 
the electronic SF424 (R&R) application. Accordingly, the R01 portion 
of this funding opportunity expires on January 3, 2007.  Unsolicited 
or investigator-initiated R01 electronic SF424 (R&R) applications may 
be submitted through the Research Project Grant (Parent R01) announcement.

March 2, 2006 (NOT-OD-06-046) – Effective with the June 1, 2006 submission date, 
all R03, R21, R33 and R34 applications must be submitted through Grants.gov using 
the electronic SF424 (R&R) application. This announcement will stay active for 
only the May 1, 2006 AIDS and AIDS-related application submission date for these 
mechanisms. The non-AIDS portion of this funding opportunity for these mechanisms 
expires on the date indicated below. Other mechanisms relating to this announcement 
will continue to be accepted using paper PHS 398 applications until the stated 
expiration date below, or transition to electronic application submission. Parent 
R03 (PA-06-180) and R21 (PA-06-181) funding opportunity announcements have been 
issued for the submission date of June 1, 2006 and submission dates for AIDS and 
non-AIDS applications thereafter. Applications relating to R33 and R34 activities 
must be in response to NIH Institute/Center (IC)-specific announcements.

EXPIRATION DATE for R03 Non-AIDS Applications: March 2, 2006
EXPIRATION DATE for R03 AIDS and AIDS-Related Applications: May 2, 2006 
EXPIRATION DATE for R01 Non-AIDS Applications: November 2, 2006
EXPIRATION DATE for R01 AIDS and AIDS-Related Applications: January 3, 2007

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 (http://www.nih.gov) 

COMPONENT OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION: 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) 
 (http://www.nichd.nih.gov/)

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER(S):  93.865

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanisms of Support
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA

The purpose of this program announcement is to solicit applications for 
support of basic pre-clinical research to enhance our understanding of 
etiology, and to improve treatment and prevention, of endometriosis.  Special 
emphasis is placed on studies of cellular and molecular aspects of endometrial 
cell functions and their regulatory mechanisms.  This PA is intended to  
increase our knowledge of:  (1) how the sloughed endometrial fragments in 
menstrual flow become adhesive, invasive, and proliferate in ectopic sites; 
(2) what molecules are involved in adhesion, invasion, and proliferation of 
endometrial cells at ectopic sites; and (3) what function of ectopic 
endometrial tissues results in pain and other adverse effects including 
infertility.   

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Progress of research on endometriosis is slow.  The recent NIH workshop 
entitled "Endometriosis: Emerging Research and Intervention Strategies," held  
in April 2001, revealed that we have little basic cell biological knowledge of 
endometrial cells.  In order to understand etiology, and to improve treatment 
and prevention of endometriosis, we must have fundamental knowledge of the 
functions of endometrial cells and their regulatory mechanisms.  NICHD 
supports a small number of investigator-initiated research projects on the 
basic aspects of endometriosis, despite the fact that a large number of 
patients are suffering from this disease.  Little is known about how the 
endometrial fragments detach from the uterine lining and retrograde into the 
abdominal cavity and become adhesive, invasive, and proliferate in the extra-
uterine sites.  In order to prevent its occurrence, to treat this disease 
properly, it is essential to understand the basic functions of the endometrial 
cells in ectopic and eutopic sites.  What are the molecules produced by these 
cells that are responsible for adhesion and attachment of these cells to the 
surfaces of the peritoneal cavity?  What are the cellular mechanisms involved 
in invasion of the surface epithelium of the abdominal wall and other tissues 
by these endometrial cells?  How can we prevent attachment of endometrial 
cells to the extra-uterine sites?  We need additional basic information to 
provide answers that will impact the management of this disease. 

Research Scope

Investigators submitting applications in response to this PA are encouraged to 
address a basic function of endometrial cells pertaining to endometriosis.  
Specific research topics responsive to this announcement include, but are not 
limited to, the following: 

(1) identification and characterization of molecules that facilitate 
endometrial fragment attachment to other epithelial surface such as 
intercellular adhesion molecules, or coupling by ligand-receptor interactions; 

(2) identification of the regulatory mechanisms that facilitate expression of 
the genes of these molecules, such as hormones, growth factors, Ca ion, etc.,  
and inhibition of the gene expression that may prevent endometriosis; 

(3) characterization of the mechanism of invasion by endometrial fragments of 
the epithelium to determine whether endometrial fragments invade in a similar 
way as cancer metastasis or blastocyst implantation into the endometrium; 

(4) characterization of proliferation of endometrial tissue in ectopic sites 
to determine if there is similarity to decidualization or if there is any 
specific behavior in their cell division; 

(5) analysis of ectopic endometrial cell function that results in pain, to 
determine if this is this due to production of prostaglandins or any other 
factors; 

(6) clarification of the effect of endometriotic lesions on fertility.  Does 
endometriotic tissue produce extra amounts of estrogen that alter the normal 
hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis feedback mechanism or does endometriotic 
tissue produce any other substance(s) that affect normal function of the 
eutopic endometrium? 

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the NIH Research Project Grant (R01) and Small Grant (R03) 
award mechanisms. As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, 
directing, and executing the proposed project.

Applicants for the NIH Small Grant (R03) should follow the guidelines 
published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-03-108.html.  

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the modular as well as the 
non-modular budgeting formats (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).  Specifically, if 
you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 
or less, use the modular format.  Otherwise follow the instructions for non-
modular research grant applications.  This program does not require cost 
sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_i_1.htm.

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS

You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following 
characteristics: 

o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments 
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic or foreign  

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research is invited to work with his/her institution 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 programs.   

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two  
areas:  scientific/research and financial or grants management issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:  

Koji Yoshinaga, Ph.D.
Program Director, Reproductive Endocrinology 
Reproductive Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone: (301) 496-6515
FAX: (301) 480-2389
Email:  yoshinak@mail.nih.gov 

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:  

Kathy Hancock
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone: (301) 496-5482
FAX: (301) 402-0915
Email: kh246t@nih.gov 

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a Dun and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/. The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 398 
is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an 
interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 
(301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The title and number of this program announcement must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines, which are 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application deadlines 
are also indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS:  Applications requesting 
up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in a modular grant 
format.  The modular grant format simplifies the preparation of the budget in 
these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail.  Applicants 
request direct costs in $25,000 modules.  Section C of the research grant 
application instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-by-step 
guidance for preparing modular grants.  Additional information on modular 
grants is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATIONS REQUESTING $500,000 OR MORE PER YEAR: 
Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must 
include a cover letter identifying the NIH staff member within one of NIH 
institutes or centers who has agreed to accept assignment of the application. 

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 must carry out the following steps: 

1) Contact the IC program staff at least six weeks before submitting the 
application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study; 

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your application 
for consideration for award; and,

3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member and 
IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), competing 
continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or revised version 
of these grant application types.  Additional information on this policy is 
available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 19, 2001 at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html.  

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one 
package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be mailed on or before the receipt 
dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm. 

The CSR will not accept any application in response to this PA that is 
essentially the same as one currently pending initial review unless the 
applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any 
application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does 
not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an application 
already reviewed, but such application must include an Introduction addressing 
the previous critique.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within eight weeks.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of 
established PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review group 
convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures 
(http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate applications for scientific 
and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a written critique
o Receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory council 
or board.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research 
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals:

o Significance
o Approach
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment 

The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria 
in assigning the application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate 
for each application.  The application does not need to be strong in all 
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus 
deserve a high priority score.  For example, an investigator may propose to 
carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential 
to move a field forward.

SIGNIFICANCE:  Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims of 
the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  What 
will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this 
field?

APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

INNOVATION:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods?  
Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing 
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

INVESTIGATOR:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to 
carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level 
of the Principal Investigator and other researchers (if any)?

ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done 
contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments take 
advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful 
collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, the following 
items will be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the 
priority score:

PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FROM RESEARCH RISK:  The involvement of human 
subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in 
the proposed research will be assessed.  (See criteria included in the section 
on Federal Citations, below).

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH:  The adequacy of 
plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and 
subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research will be assessed.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on 
Federal Citations, below.)

CARE AND USE OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN RESEARCH: If vertebrate animals are to 
be used in the project, the five items described under Section f of the PHS 
398 research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) will be assessed.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS 

SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Applicants requesting more than $500,000 in direct 
costs in any year of the proposed research are expected to include a data 
sharing plan in their application.  The reasonableness of the data sharing 
plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the 
reviewers.  However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan 
into the determination of scientific merit or priority score.

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of 
support in relation to the proposed research.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available funds 
with all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds
o Relevance to program priorities

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION:  Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that 
applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with 
reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against 
these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and 
others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained  
(http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm). 
   
SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Starting with the October 1, 2003 receipt date, 
investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct 
costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or 
state why this is not possible 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).  Investigators should seek 
guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies, 
local IRB rules, as well as local, state and Federal laws and regulations, 
including the Privacy Rule.  Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but 
will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the 
priority score.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH:  It is the policy of 
the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations 
must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a 
clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the 
research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines 
for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - 
Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 
on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html);
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm.  
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical 
research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB 
standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical 
trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that:  a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and 
b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 
differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS:  
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 
21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt 
dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in 
research involving human subjects that is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm.

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS:  NIH 
policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for 
all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT:  The 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited 
publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has 
the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  
It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this 
amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public archive, 
which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an 
indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should include a 
description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information 
about this in the budget justification section of the application.  In 
addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent 
statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider 
use of data collected under this award.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES:  All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. 
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Furthermore, we 
caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly 
access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010:  The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA 
is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  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 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  All 
awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other 
considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH Grants 
Policy Statement can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.  

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, Public 
Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain 
facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or 
routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood 
development services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the 
PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the 
American people.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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