Department of Health and Human Services


Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Funding Opportunity Title

Revision Applications to P50 Awards for Research on Imaging and Biomarkers for Early Cancer Detection (P50)

Activity Code

P50 Specialized Center

Announcement Type

Reissue of PAR-13-174

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-13-318

Companion Funding Opportunity

PAR-13-189, R01 Research Project Grant
PAR-13-177, R01 Research Project Grant
PAR-13-176, U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements
PAR-13-317, P01 Program Project Grant         

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.394

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites revision applications from currently funded SPORE or ICMIC Specialized Centers using the NCI P50 grant mechanism. Revision applications are expected to focus on combined imaging and biomarker approaches to improve screening, early cancer detection and diagnosis by integrating multi-modality imaging strategies and multiplexed biomarker methodologies. Studies proposed in the revision applications must correspond to an additional project expanding the scope of the entire parent P50 award.

Key Dates
Posted Date
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

November 11, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days before the due date  

Application Due Date(s)

December 11, 2013; July 10, 2014; December 11, 2014; July 10, 2015; December 11, 2015, 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)

December 11, 2013; July 10, 2014; December 11, 2014; July 10, 2015; December 11, 2015, 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.

Scientific Merit Review

February-March 2014; October-November 2014; February-March 2015; October-November 2015; February-March 2016  

Advisory Council Review

May 2014; January 2015; May 2015; January 2016, May 2016  

Earliest Start Date

July 2014; April 2015; July 2015; April 2016; July 2016

Expiration Date

December 12, 2015  

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

** ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRED**

NIH’s new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is available for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications to this FOA must be submitted electronically; paper applications will not be accepted. ASSIST replaces the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities and provides many features to enable electronic multi-project application submission and improve data quality, including: pre-population of organization and PD/PI data, pre-submission validation of many agency business rules and the generation of data summaries in the application image used for review.

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) and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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.

You will be sent to ASSIST to prepare and submit your application. Problems accessing or using ASSIST should be directed to the eRA Commons Help Desk.
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

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites revision applications from currently funded SPORE or ICMIC Specialized Centers using the NCI P50 grant mechanism. Depending on the context and focus of the parent P50 award, studies proposed in the revision application must correspond to an additional project that expands the scope of the entire parent P50 award while maintaining relevance to the overall focus of the parent grant. Revision applications are expected to focus on combined imaging and biomarker approaches to improve screening, early cancer detection and diagnosis by integrating multi modality imaging strategies and multiplexed biomarker methodologies. The purpose of this FOA is to stimulate and support cancer imaging and biomarker research to develop, optimize and clinically validate novel methods to: 

These goals can be met by a research strategy involving preclinical and clinical investigations to improve early cancer detection and diagnosis where validated cancer biomarkers can be combined with experimental imaging methods, or conversely, where established clinical imaging methods can be combined with experimental biomarkers. It is also possible that experimental imaging and biomarker integration strategies may be combined in such a manner that a clear path to direct clinical application is maintained. In these instances, an established reference standard or gold standard will be required for verification and validation of the proposed approach. Studies proposed in the revision applications must correspond to a new research project expanding the scope of the parent P50 award.

Background

Clinical Needs:  While early stage cancers that were heretofore undetectable can now be detected by screening, many lesions detected by imaging or biomarkers are not cancer and many of the detected cancers are not life threatening. Simply stated, although it is possible to detect early stage cancers with greater frequency, one does not always know which lesions are cancer and cannot always distinguish cancers that are life threatening from those that are not.

Overdiagnosis is the term used when the diagnosis of a disease is correctly made, but the disease does not give rise to symptoms during the patient's lifetime or have lethal potential for the patient. False positive is the term used when the test for disease in a patient is "positive" when the disease is not present. Our inability to differentiate lethal from indolent cancer (frequently over diagnosed), particularly at an early stage, and to differentiate benign disease from cancer (false positives) is a significant clinical problem.

The goal of this FOA is to develop improved methods for the early detection of cancer by managing overdiagnosis, reducing false positives and identifying lethal cancers from non-lethal disease using strategies aimed at effective integration and validation of imaging and biomarkers. In the context of this FOA, a biomarker is defined as a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes or a biological response that could be used for early cancer detection. Imaging is also included in this definition, however, for the purpose of this FOA, imaging refers to visual representation of cancer cells and cellular features and molecular analytes (genomic, proteomics, metabolomics, and other 'omics') for the purpose of medical diagnosis or data collection, using any of a variety of radiographic, sonographic, and other technologies to create a graphic depiction of the cancer cell and its surrounding in question. Both imaging and biomarkers can be derived from tissue, cancer cells, serum, plasma, urine or other bodily fluids.

Two clinical examples are provided below to illustrate possible revision applications appropriate to this FOA:

EXAMPLE #1: Validated Biomarker(s) + Investigational Imaging Approach

Prostate Cancer: Aberrant biomarker results trigger subsequent imaging: Currently, prostate specific antigen (PSA) is used to screen men for prostate cancer, but the rates of both overdiagnosis and false positives are unacceptably high. The biomarker prostate cancer antigen-3 (PCA3) has recently been approved by the FDA as a urine test for predicting prostate cancer on second biopsy. The FDA has also recently approved pro prostate specific antigen (proPSA) as a serum biomarker for prostate cancer. While these biomarkers are superior to PSA alone, the number of false positive and extent of overdiagnosis are still too high.

The successful integration and validation of imaging and biomarker approaches might be used to help guide and better define criteria used for clinical decisions. The need for better pathologic, molecular, genetic, and imaging predictive markers as well as the evaluation of their validity and reliability is critical for advancing of our understanding the natural history of prostate cancer and for establishing guidelines to be used for active surveillance in the management of men with localized prostate cancer and for managing overdiagnosis.

A specific example for combining a known biomarker with an investigational imaging method is when screening results from a validated biomarker are abnormal and consistent with prostate cancer. Subsequent biopsy of the prostate suggests a moderate grade cancer (Gleason grade 5-7). A decision regarding treatment or active surveillance needs to be made. In such cases, the application of a functional imaging test might be used to determine cancer extent and assess cancer aggressiveness.

EXAMPLE #2: Established Imaging + Investigational Biomarker(s) Approach

Lung Cancer: Indeterminate lesion on imaging triggers subsequent biomarker(s) study: The results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) of high risk current and former smokers found that low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) decreased lung cancer mortality by 20%. Data from the NLST suggest that a reduction in mortality of more than 23,000 per year could be achieved by population screening for lung cancer in people who currently use tobacco. However, 25% of the subjects in the CT arm of NLST demonstrated abnormalities and 95% of those lesions were determined to be false-positives. Lesions thought to be malignant on imaging often require additional diagnostic procedures resulting in increased radiation exposure, needle biopsy or other invasive procedures such as thoracotomy. Potentially serious complications can result from these procedures and delay treatment of aggressive cancer.

While diagnostic imaging based strategies to address this problem are ongoing, many questions remain given the high false positive rate of CT. The ability to better stratify patients at risk and to determine which CT or X-ray detected lung nodules truly represent aggressive lung cancer in a safe, cost effective manner could facilitate early treatment and thereby improve lung cancer outcomes while minimizing complications from diagnostic procedures performed on patients without lung cancer.

A specific example for combining a known imaging method with an investigational biomarker is that after a positive CT for lung cancer, a biomarker or panel biomarkers with very high sensitivity for cancer and even modest specificity (high negative predictive value) could be subsequently used to eliminate a large fraction of false positive nodules and unnecessary follow up procedures.

Specific Research Objectives

This FOA will support collaborative research focused on the integration of imaging and biomarker(s) applied specifically toward improving current clinical methods used for cancer screening, early cancer detection and diagnosis.

Scientific areas appropriate for Revision Applications under this FOA

Applicable clinical research directions could include, but not be limited to, the following:

Appropriate strategies used to optimize the performance of imaging and biomarker approaches for ultimate clinical validation include:

The optimization, application and validation of emerging imaging or biomarker approaches targeted specifically for clinical application are appropriate and can include:

NCI has a rich history of support for collaborative networks, resources, archives and biorepositories including, but not limited to:

While there is no requirement that investigators submitting applications to this FOA incorporate existing NCI collaborative networks, resources, archives or biorepositories into their experimental design, it is expected that the research funded through this FOA will take advantage of, whenever possible and appropriate, currently available NCI resources, expertise and collaborations. 

Research projects that are not appropriate for this FOA

This FOA will NOT support the development of new imaging technology or approaches aimed at biomarker discovery.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

Revision applications from currently funded SPORE or ICMIC Specialized Centers (P50)

Resubmission (only of Revision applications originally submitted in response to this FOA and  PAR-13-174)

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

The budget may not exceed $150,000 Direct Costs per year.

Award Project Period

Applicants may request support for up to 2 years, not to exceed the remaining number of years on the parent grant. The parent grant must be active when the application is submitted. If a no-cost extension is needed on the parent grant, it must be in place before the revision application is submitted.  

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.

The parent grant must be an active P50  PORE or ICMIC Specialized Centers grant. There must be at least two years (24 months) remaining on the project when the application is submitted. The PD(s)/PI(s) on the revision must be the same as the PD(s)/PI(s) on the parent grant.  

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 can access 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.

Most applicants will use NIH’s ASSIST system to prepare and submit applications through Grants.gov to NIH. Applications prepared and submitted using applicant systems capable of submitting electronic multi-project applications to Grants.gov will also be accepted.

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 and where instructions in the Application Guide are directly related to the Grants.gov downloadable forms currently used with most NIH opportunities. 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:

Richard Mazurchuk, Ph.D.
Cancer Biomarkers Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention
National Cancer Institute
9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 3100
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: 240-276-7126
Email: richard.mazurchuk@nih.gov

Page Limitations

Component Types Available in ASSIST

Research Strategy/Program Plan Page Limits

Overall

6

Project (Use for Research Project)

12


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

Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and should be used for preparing a multi-component application.

The application should consist of the following components:

Overall Component

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Overall’.

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Overall)

Complete entire form.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement  (Overall)

Note: Human Embryonic Stem Cell lines from other components should be repeated in cell line table in Overall component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Overall)

Follow standard instructions.

Project/Performance Site Location(s) (Overall)

Enter primary site only.

A summary of Project/Performance Sites in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)

Include only the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and any multi-PDs/PIs (if applicable to this FOA) for the entire application.

A summary of Senior/Key Persons followed by their Biographical Sketches in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons will be generated upon submission.

Budget (Overall)

The only budget information included in the Overall component is the Estimated Project Funding section of the SF424 (R&R) Cover.

A budget summary in the Overall section of the assembled application image in eRA Commons compiled from detailed budget data collected in the other components will be generated upon submission.

PHS 398 Research Plan          (Overall)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission and Revision applications, an Introduction to Application is required in the Overall component.

Specific Aims: Outline the Specific Aims of the entire P50 Program including the proposed new project.

Research Strategy: The application should first state very concisely the overall goals of the ongoing P50 and summarize the progress made in each funded project and shared resource core. The application should contain sufficient information about the ongoing program activities to permit an adequate evaluation of the requested expansion of the overall P50. The Research Plan should emphasize the rationale for adding the proposed new project, providing strong justification for the proposed new work and explaining how it will affect the overall theme, goals, objectives, aims, and research strategy of the ongoing program. Include the relevance of the newly proposed research project to the entire P50; and how the funds will influence the specific aims, research design, and methods of the current grant.

Letters of Support: Include letters of support/agreement for any collaborative/cooperative arrangements, subcontracts, or consultants.  For program activities to be conducted off site, i.e., at an institution other than the applicant institution, a letter of assurance or comparable documentation, signed by the collaborator as well as the off-site institutional officials, must be submitted with the application. 

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 modification:

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.

Research Project

When preparing your application in ASSIST, use Component Type ‘Project.’

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

SF424 (R&R) Cover (Research Project)

Complete only the following fields:

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (Research Project)

Enter Human Embryonic Stem Cells in each relevant component.

Research & Related Other Project Information (Research Project)

Human Subjects: Answer only the ‘Are Human Subjects Involved?’ and 'Is the Project Exempt from Federal regulations?’ questions.

Vertebrate Animals: Answer only the ‘Are Vertebrate Animals Used?’ question.

Project Narrative:  Do not complete.

Project /Performance Site Location(s) (Research Project)

List all performance sites that apply to the specific component.

Note: The Project Performance Site form allows up to 300 sites, prior to using additional attachment for additional entries.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Research Project)

Budget (Research Project)

Budget forms appropriate for the specific component will be included in the application package.

Note: The R&R Budget form included in many of the component types allows for up to 100 Senior/Key Persons in section A and 100 Equipment Items in section C prior to using attachments for additional entries. All other SF424 (R&R) instructions apply.

PHS 398 Research Plan          (Research Project)

Introduction to Application: For Resubmission and Revision applications, an Introduction to Application is allowed for each component

Specific Aims: Outline the Specific Aims of the proposed project

Research Strategy: Revision applications are expected to focus on combined imaging and biomarker approaches to improve screening, early cancer detection and diagnosis by integrating multi modality imaging strategies and multiplexed biomarker methodologies. Studies proposed in the revision applications must correspond to a new research project expanding the scope of the parent Specialized Center P50 grant. The purpose of this FOA is to stimulate and support cancer imaging and biomarker research to develop, optimize and clinically validate novel methods to:

These goals can be met by a research strategy involving preclinical and clinical investigations to improve early cancer detection and diagnosis where validated cancer biomarkers can be combined with experimental imaging methods, or conversely, where established clinical imaging methods can be combined with experimental biomarkers. It is also possible that experimental imaging and biomarker integration strategies may be combined in such a manner that a clear path to direct clinical application is maintained. In these instances, an established reference standard or gold standard will be required for verification and validation of the proposed approach. Studies proposed in the revision applications must correspond to a new research project expanding the scope of the parent grant.

Address rationale, significance, and approach of the proposed new project following the standard guidelines for research strategy. Multidisciplinary efforts are encouraged to foster new collaborations between investigators with expertise, which includes, but not limited to imaging and biomarkers for early cancer detection.

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 modification:

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  (Research Project)

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 (Research Project)

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) using ASSIST or other electronic submission systems. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application 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.

For information on how your application will be automatically assembled for review and funding consideration after submission go to: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Electronic_Multi-project_Application_Image_Assembly.pdf.

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) and component Project Leads 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.

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 (SAM). 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, NIH. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

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

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact - Overall

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 - Overall

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?

Specific to this FOA: If the aims of the project are achieved, how will the combined imaging and biomarker approach increase our understanding and help to overcome current clinical challenges associated with screening and early cancer detection?      

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?

Specific to this FOA: Do the investigators have complementary experience in imaging and biomarkers as applied to the cancer problem?     

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?

Specific to this FOA: Does the research scope address innovative methods in imaging or biomarker(s)? NOTE: In the context of this FOA it should be emphasized that applications including an established imaging method with an investigational biomarker, or an established biomarker with an investigational imaging approach would necessarily be considered innovative.    

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? 

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

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Specific to this FOA: Do the PDs/PIs and assembled collaborative research team have the appropriate resources, such as specimen banks of clinically annotated samples of normal and cancer cases, and mode of detection to successfully complete the proposed aims of the project, e.g., are screen-detected and interval detected cancers included for lung cancer projects?   

Additional Review Criteria - Overall

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

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.

Additional Review Considerations - Overall

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 NCI, 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:

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines, to the NCI . 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 National Cancer Advisory Board . 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

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

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)
Phone: 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 Center Phone: 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)

For issues related mainly to early cancer detection and biomarkers, please contact:

Richard Mazurchuk, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-7126
Email: richard.mazurchuk@nih.gov

For issues related mainly to imaging, please contact:

Keyvan Farahani, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-5921
Email: farahank@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Referral Officer
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-6390
Email: ncirefof@dea.nci.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Samantha Farrell, M.H.S.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-6295
Email: samantha.farrell@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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