NCRR SHARED INSTRUMENTATION GRANT (SIG) PROGRAM

RELEASE DATE:  December 3, 2003
                                             
PA Number:  PAR-04-029 (This PAR has been reissued, see PAR-05-028)

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
 
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 (http://www.nih.gov)

COMPONENT OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
 (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov)

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER  93.389

APPLICATION RECIEPT DATE:  March 19, 2004

EXPIRATION DATE:  March 20, 2004

THIS PAR CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o   Purpose of this PAR
o   Research Objectives
o   Mechanism of Support
o   Eligible Institutions
o   Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o   Where to Send Inquiries
o   Submitting an Application
o   Supplementary Instructions
o   Peer Review Process
o   Review Criteria
o   Award Criteria
o   Required Federal Citations
 
PURPOSE 
 
The purpose of this Program Announcement (PAR) is to continue the competitive 
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) Shared Instrumentation Grant 
(SIG) Program initiated in Fiscal Year 1982.  Results of the most recent study, 
“The National Survey of Academic Research Instruments and Instrumentation,” 
published in 1997 identified bioanalytical equipment of the type provided 
through this Program as the top most priority.  The objective of the program is 
to make available to institutions expensive research instruments that can only 
be justified on a shared-use basis and for which meritorious research projects 
are described.  The SIG Program provides a cost-effective mechanism for groups 
of NIH-supported investigators to obtain commercially-available, 
technologically sophisticated equipment costing more than $100,000.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

This program is designed to provide for the acquisition or updating of 
expensive shared-use instrumentation not generally available through other NIH 
mechanisms, such as the regular research project, program project, or center 
grant programs. Proposals for research on advancing the design or for the 
development of new instrumentation will not be considered. 
 
Types of instrumentation supported include, but are not limited to, nuclear 
magnetic resonance systems, electron and confocal microscopes, mass 
spectrometers, protein and DNA sequencers, biosensors, x-ray diffractometers 
and cell sorters. Support will not be provided for general purpose equipment or 
purely instructional equipment, personal computers, personal workstations, 
printers, and Ethernet interfaces. Proposals for "stand alone" computer systems 
will only be considered if the instrument is solely dedicated to the research 
needs of a broad community of NIH-supported investigators.

For purpose of eligibility, a major user group of three or more investigators 
must be identified.  A minimum of three major users must be Principal 
Investigators on NIH peer reviewed research grants at the time of the 
application and award.  For purposes of this program, research grants are 
defined as those grants awarded with the following activity codes:  P01, R01, 
U01, R35, and R37.

The application should also show a clear need for the instrumentation by 
projects supported by multiple NIH peer review research grants (including, but 
not limited to those listed above) and demonstrate that these projects will 
require at least 75 percent of the total usage of the instrument.  Major users 
can be individual researchers, or a group of investigators within the same 
department or from several departments at the applicant institution.  NIH 
extramural awardees from other nearby institutions may also be included.

If the major user group does not require total usage of the instrument, access 
to the instrument should be made available to other users upon the advice of 
the internal advisory committee (see below). These users need not be NIH 
awardees, but priority should be given to NIH-supported scientists engaged in 
biomedical/behavioral research. To promote cost effectiveness, to encourage 
optimal sharing among individual investigators, research groups and 
departments, and to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the 
instrument should be integrated into a central core facility, whenever 
possible.
 
Each applicant institution must propose a Principal Investigator who can assume 
administrative/scientific oversight responsibility for the instrumentation 
requested. This person need not be an NIH grantee. An internal advisory 
committee must be named to assist the Principal Investigator in administering 
the grant and overseeing the responsibility for the instrument.  The membership 
of this committee should be broadly based and include members without a 
conflict of interest who can resolve disputes if they arise.  The Principal 
Investigator and the advisory committee are responsible for the development of 
guidelines for:

o   Maximum utilization of the instrument, including time allocation.

o   A detailed plan for the day-to-day management of the instrument.

o   A financial plan for the long term operation and maintenance of the 
instrument during the post award period.

During the post award period, the Principal Investigator will also be 
responsible for obtaining appropriate no-cost extensions of the project period 
if needed.  Ninety days following the end of the project period, a final 
progress report is required that describes the instrument purchased, and a list 
of all users and description of the value of the instrument to the 
investigators and to the institution as a whole. The Principal Investigator and 
the advisory committee are also responsible for the relocation of the 
instrument within the institution if the major user group is significantly 
altered.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This (PAR) will use the SIG mechanism (S10). SIG provides support for expensive 
state-of-the-art instrumentation utilized in both basic and clinical research.  
Applications are limited to instruments that cost at least $100,000 per 
instrument or integrated instrument system.  The maximum award is $500,000.  
Since the nature and scope of the instruments that may be requested will vary, 
it is anticipated that the size of an award will vary also.  Awards will be 
made for the direct costs only.  The institution must meet those costs (not 
covered in the normal purchase price) required to place the instrumentation in 
operational order as well as the maintenance, support personnel, and service 
costs associated with maximum utilization of the instrument.  There is no upper 
limit on the cost of the instrument, but the maximum award is $500,000.  Grants 
will be awarded for a period of one year and are not renewable.  Supplemental 
applications will not be accepted.  The program does not provide facilities and 
administrative (F&A) costs or support for construction or alterations and 
renovations.  Cost sharing is not required.  If the amount of funds requested 
does not cover the total cost of the instrument, the application should 
describe the proposed source(s) of funding for the balance of the cost of the 
instrument.  Documentation of the availability of the remainder of funding, 
signed by an appropriate institutional official, must be presented to NCRR 
prior to issuance of award.
 
Applicants proposing purchase of an instrument that the institution is planning 
to lease prior to award are urged to consult with their institutional sponsored 
projects office regarding applicable NIH policy prior to executing the leasing 
agreement.  If the leasing agreement was executed more than one year prior to 
submission of the SIG application, the applicant must provide strong 
justification for the requested Federal funds. Further, the instrument must be 
considered state-of-the-art at the time of submission of the SIG application. 
Award adjustments may be necessary. Execution of a purchase order or agreement, 
making a down payment or other formal commitment to purchase the equipment 
prior to award must be in compliance with NIH policy regarding pre-award cost 
authority [see NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev.3/01), Allowability of 
Costs/Activities, Preaward (Preagreement) Costs, page 96].  Non-compliance with 
this policy automatically eliminates an applicant from eligibility for an 
award.

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS

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

o   Non-profit organizations
o   Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, and 
hospitals.
o   Domestic institutions/organization

Under the general research support authority of Section 301(a)(3) of the Public 
Health Service Act, Shared Instrumentation Grant awards are made to public and 
non-profit domestic institutions only. These institutions include health 
professional schools, other academic institutions, hospitals, health 
departments, and research organizations. Note that Federal institutions, 
foreign institutions, and for-profit institutions are not eligible to apply. A 
Federal institution is defined by the NIH as a Cabinet-level department or 
independent agency of the executive branch of the Federal Government or any 
component organization of such a department or agency.
 
To be eligible to apply, three or more NIH funded investigators (Principal 
Investigators of active P01, R01, U01, R35 or R37 research grants) who will be 
users of the requested instrument must be identified.
 
Applications will be accepted that request a single, commercially-available 
instrument or integrated instrument system which costs at least $100,000. There 
is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit to 
the SIG program each year provided the applications request different types of 
equipment. However, if two or more applications are submitted for similar 
equipment (for example, two 600 MHz NMR spectrometers) from the same 
institution, documentation from a high level institutional official must be 
provided stating that this is not an unintended duplication, but part of a 
campus wide institutional plan. An application requesting more than one type of 
instrumentation (for example, a mass spectrometer and a confocal microscope) 
will not be considered responsive to this PAR and will be returned.

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 their 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 inquiries concerning this PAR and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two areas:  
scientific/research, and financial or grants management issues:

o   Direct your questions about programmatic or scientific issues to:

Marjorie A. Tingle, Ph.D.
Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
National Center for Research Resources
6701 Democracy Blvd, Bldg 1, Room 958
MSC 4874
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874 (courier service 20817)
Telephone:  (301) 301-435-0772
Fax:  (301) 480-3659
Email: SIG@mail.nih.gov

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

Ms. Jenelle D. Wiggins
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
6701 Democracy Blvd. Bldg 1, Room 1038
MSC 4874
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874 (courier service 20817)
Telephone: (301) 435-0843 
Fax: (301) 480-3777
Email:  JanelleW@mail.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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS:

Follow the PHS 398 instructions with the following special instructions below.  
Do not use the format for Modular or Just-in-Time applications.  Other Support 
pages are required (see below).  This requirement supercedes the instructions 
for the Other Support pages in the PHS 398.

1.    Form Page 1 (Face Page)

Item 1. Name the type of instrument requested.
 
Item 2. Check the box marked “YES” and enter the number and title of this PAR.
 
Item 4. Not applicable
 
Item 5. Not applicable
 
Item 6. The dates should be 04/01/05 through 03/31/06.
 
Items 7A and 7B, 8A and 8B. Use these blocks to give the total amount requested 
from NCRR for this instrument or system. The direct costs and total costs for 
the budget period and project period must be the same. 
 
2.   Form Page 2. Complete the abstract as directed. Under “Key Personnel,” give 
the data on the Principal Investigator and the major user group as required. 
 
3.   Form Page 3. Complete. Insert page number(s) for user and accessory table(s) 
(see Research Projects) 
 
Form page 4. Describe the instrument requested including manufacturer and model 
number. Use a continuation page(s) as necessary. The model chosen should be 
justified by comparing its performance with other available instruments where 
appropriate. Specific features and any accessories should be justified, both in 
this section and in the description of research projects. Provide a detailed 
budget breakdown of the main equipment and accessories requested including tax 
and import duties, if applicable. An itemized quote from a vendor should be 
included. If a project involves a potential biohazard, funds for accessory 
containment equipment for the instrument or instrument system may be included 
in the requested budget.

Form page 5. Budget Estimates for All Years.  Not applicable; do not 
complete.
 
Modular Budget Format Page. Not applicable
 
Biographical Sketch Format Page.  In addition to the personnel listed 
on page 2, include a biographical sketch of the person(s) who will be in 
charge of maintenance and operation of the instrument and a brief statement of 
the qualifications of the individual(s).
 
Resources Format Page. Not applicable
 
Checklist Form Page. Check all that apply.
 
Personal Data Form Page. Complete
 
Other Support Format Page.  Provide the requested information for each major 
user. 
 
Personnel Report Format Page. Not applicable
 
Targeted/Planned Enrollment Format Page. Not applicable
 
Enrollment Format Page. Not applicable
 
Research Plan

If this is a revised application, note the special instructions on page 15 in 
the PHS 398 instructions regarding completion of this section of the 
application. Do not include what would normally be in Items a-d of the Research 
Plan but provide information relative to the points identified under criteria 
for review including:
 
Justification of Need 
 
Describe the instrument requested. Inventory similar instruments existing at 
the applicant institution, neighboring research institutions, or otherwise 
accessible; describe why they are unavailable or inappropriate for the proposed 
research. Provide a clear justification why new or updated equipment, including 
accessories, is needed. Include specific documentation on the current usage and 
downtime of existing instruments and a realistic estimate of the projected 
usage for the requested instrument.  Be specific and quantitative.
 
Research Projects
 
Give a brief description of the major users projects. Since the projects have 
been previously peer reviewed, the project descriptions should be concise and 
focus on the benefit of the instrument to the research objectives of each user. 
Sufficient technical detail (preliminary data and/or supplemental information) 
should be included within the research plan to evaluate whether the instrument 
is appropriate, would be effectively employed, and would provide advantages 
over other methods. The need for special features and accessories must be 
justified. If possible, each user should highlight those publications that 
demonstrate the user's expertise in using the requested instrumentation. If the 
number of projects is large and broadly diversified, select out a smaller 
representative group. Use a table to list the names of the users, brief titles 
of the projects, the NIH grant numbers and the estimated percentage of use. 
Make a separate table to indicate the user’s needs for the requested 
accessories. List the page number of each table under Table of Contents (Form 
Page 3). For minor users, only include a very brief (one-paragraph) summary of 
the research related to the need for the instruments. The combined project 
descriptions of the user groups should not exceed 25 pages.

Technical Expertise

Describe the technical expertise present at the institution to set up, run and 
maintain the instrument. Specify who will operate the instrument and train new 
users.
 
Organizational / Management Plan
 
Describe the organizational plan to administer the grant. Include how the 
instrument will be utilized, how requests are made, how time will be allocated 
among major and minor users and plans for attracting new users. List the names 
and titles of the members of the local advisory committee to oversee instrument 
use. Indicate the role and responsibility of the advisory committee in 
developing and implementing policies and procedures to assure equitable use of 
the instrument.
 
Submit a specific financial plan for long-term operation and maintenance of the 
instrument. Explain how the costs to place the instrument in operational order 
as well as the maintenance, support personnel, and service costs associated 
with effective use of the instrument will be met. 
 
Institutional Commitment
 
Describe the institutional infrastructure available to support the 
instrumentation. Provide documentation (e.g., separate letters signed by 
appropriate institutional officials) specifically describing the required 
institutional commitment (in dollars) in support of the proposed plan.
 
Overall Benefit

Explain how the instrument will impact NIH funded research and contribute to 
the institution’s long- range biomedical research goals.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of the 
application, including the Checklist, and four 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)

Also submit one copy to:

Marjorie A. Tingle, Ph.D
Program Director
NCRR Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
6701 Democracy Blvd, Bldg. 1
Room 958-MSC 4874
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

Do not send applications for different instruments in the same package.

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received by March 19, 2004.  If 
an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the 
applicant without review.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this PAR 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 substantial revisions of 
applications already reviewed, but such applications must include all 
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 8 weeks.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NCRR.   Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications 
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the PAR will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by specially convened initial review groups of 
the CSR in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  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 will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o   Receive a written critique
o   Receive a second level review by the National Advisory Research Resources 
Council (NARRC).

REVIEW CRITERIA 

o   Justification of Need:
Is the need for the instrument clearly and adequately justified?  Is the 
equipment essential and appropriate?

o   Technical Expertise:
Does the institution have the technical expertise to make effective use of the 
requested equipment?  How well qualified are the participating investigators to 
operate and maintain the instrument, conduct the projects, and evaluate the 
research results?  How will new users be trained?

o   Research Projects:
Will research with the requested instrument advance the knowledge and 
understanding of the proposed projects?  How would the research project of each 
major user be enhanced?

o   Administration:
Is the plan for the management and maintenance of the requested instrument 
appropriate?  Is the membership of the advisory committee broadly based to 
oversee the use of the instrument for a wide range of biomedical investigators?  
How will research time be allocated among the projects?  Are the sharing 
arrangements equitable? Is the financial plan for long-term operation and 
maintenance of the instrument reasonable?

o   Institutional Commitment:
What is the evidence of institutional commitment for continued support of the 
utilization and maintenance of the instrument? Is there appropriate 
documentation (letters from institutional officials)?

o   Overall Benefit:
Will the instrument requested benefit the overall research community and have a 
significant impact on NIH-funded research?  

RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHELDULE

Applications must be received by March 19, 2004.  Approximately half of the 
applications will be reviewed at the September 2004 NARRC meeting and the 
remainder at the NARRC meeting in January 2005. Funding decisions on all 
applications received for the March 19, 2004, deadline will not be made until 
the program receives an appropriation for FY 2005. The Council date will not 
affect the likelihood of funding. 

AWARD CRITERIA

In making funding decisions, the NCRR will give consideration to ensure program 
balance among various types of instruments supported and geographic 
distribution of awards.

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

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS

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.  Potential 
applicants may obtain a copy of “Healthy People 2010” at 
http://www.healthypeople.gov.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance No.93.371, Biomedical Technology. Awards will be made under 
authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 
78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered 
under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR 
Part 74. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review 
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.  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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