Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NIH), (http://www.niehs.nih.gov)

Title: Environmental Sensors for Personal Exposure Assessment (SBIR [R43/R44])

Announcement Type
New

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide. 

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-ES-07-001

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.113

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date:  November 22, 2006
Opening Date:  January 22, 2007 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): January 22, 2007.
NOTE: On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization). 
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): February 20, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): April 2007
Council Review Date(s): August 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 2007
Additional Information To Be Available Date (URL Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date:  February 21, 2007

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
 1. Request Application Information
 2. Content and Form of Application Submission
 3. Submission Dates and Times
   A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
     1. Letter of Intent
   B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
   C. Application Processing
 4. Intergovernmental Review
 5. Funding Restrictions
 6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
 1. Criteria
 2. Review and Selection Process
   A. Additional Review Criteria
   B. Additional Review Considerations
   C. Sharing Research Data
   D. Sharing Research Resources
 3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
 1. Award Notices
 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
 1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
 2. Peer Review Contact(s)
 3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations


Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

Nature of the research opportunity

Background

Substantive evidence exists to support the concept that common human diseases/dysfunctions, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, infertility, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, result from a complex interplay between genes and environmental factors, including chemical toxicants and biological toxins.  Population studies aimed at investigating the role of gene-environment interaction in human health and disease have been hampered by the lack of precise measurement tools for assessing a person’s exposure to these agents.  Typically, these studies rely on exposure data derived from questionnaire and from stationary monitoring devices to assess levels of specific compounds in the general environment where a person works or lives.  Less often, they include personal monitoring devices such as portable or wearable sensor badges, clothing, or backpacks to assess levels of specific compounds at the point of contact with the body, such as at the breathing zone or skin, or biomonitoring assays which assess levels of specific analytes in a sample of blood or urine. 

Existing methods of human exposure assessment provide little information about changes in exposure levels over time, and most have technology problems concerning sensitivity, specificity, portability, throughput, automation, and functionality to measure multiple analytes with a single device.  In addition, most of the available methods require laboratory-based analysis as opposed to in-field analysis, limiting their application in large-scale population studies.  New methods are critically needed for near real-time monitoring of environmental exposures to multiple toxicants simultaneously and in a non-obtrusive manner. 

A growing number of new sensing modalities have emerged from the nanotechnology and nanoengineering, medical diagnostic, and biodefense arenas.  The purpose of this FOA is to promote technology development through the adaptation of existing or emerging sensing modalities to improve the assessment of personal exposure to airborne chemical and biological agents.  The NIH and other Government Agencies have supported a number of activities both in the academic and for-profit research communities to develop fundamental technologies to enable multiplex detection of specific chemical and biological analytes.  Several of the available technologies were discussed at a 2003 evaluation by the World Technology Evaluation Center (http://www.wtec.org/biosensing/proceedings/) and at a 2006 NIH Exposure Biology Workshop hosted by the NIEHS and NHGRI in Greensboro, NC (http://www.gei.nih.gov/exposurebiology/meetings/exposurebiology06/).  Workshop participants identified the need to capitalize on significant improvements in the accessibility and quality of existing and emerging sensing modalities for development of improved technologies for human exposure assessment.  The development of new tools will be of tremendous benefit to the study of gene-environment interaction in human disease.

Everyday stressors from one’s environment modulate physiological pathways leading to transient and permanent biological changes.  Some stressors, such as lead exposure, have deleterious effects on key pathways, which can affect cognitive development in utero and early life.  In contrast, some stressors, such as dietary antioxidants, have positive or protective effects on health, which may protect against DNA damage associated with carcinogenesis.  Exposure to stressors can lead to alterations in nuclear, cellular or organ system function and/or structure. These changes can be characterized at molecular, cellular, or physiologic levels and measured grossly in target tissues. This initiative will stimulate research to determine if these changes can be reliably measured in easily accessible specimens including buccal cells, finger prick, exhaled breath, urine or saliva. 

Panels of biomarkers are needed that can quantify the presence or absence of an exposure and the response to exposure in key physiologic pathways of human disease.  Markers that can track response over a relevant time course are highly desirable.  For the purposes of this FOA, a biomarker is an indicator of a biologic response to an environmental stressor that is objectively measured.  In order to adequately define a response, multiple markers may be necessary to characterize the full response of the pathway to the stressor. A panel of markers, which includes those at the physiologic, cellular and molecular level, are likely to be more valuable than a single marker. For these projects, pathways known to be perturbed by environmental stressors and disease are of greatest interest.  These include inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA damage, mitochondrial perturbations, endocrine disruption, xenobiotic biotransformation, immune activation, and epigenetic regulation. Technology that could be applied to the development of biomarkers derived from studies of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, comparative biology, systems biology, protein-protein interaction, protein trafficking, molecular imaging, and computational or in-silico analyses. A goal of this product development program is to invest in assays that can be scaled up for high-throughput application to large populations quickly and efficiently.

Scientific Knowledge to be Achieved

The goal of the trans-NIH Genes and Environment Initiative is to determine the etiology of common diseases by focusing on the interaction of genetic and environmental factors that increase the risk of these diseases.  The Exposure Biology component of the GEI will develop new methods to assess personal exposure to stressors in the environment and the response to these stressors in key biological pathways involved in the pathogenesis of common diseases.

Objectives of This Research Program

The purpose of this funding opportunity is threefold: (1) to support research to develop functional, portable, self-contained, easy-to-use sensing devices for simultaneous multi-analyte measurement of point-of-contact exposures to priority environmental chemical/biological agents; (2) to support research into the development of sensors for monitoring environmental exposures in readily available biosamples; and (3) to develop and refine panels of biomarkers of biological response to priority environmental exposures.  The projects supported under this FOA will adopt a product-driven approach to the development, small-scale field testing, and functional validation of new sensing technology, especially those with potential for scale up for use in large population studies as part of the GEI. 

For purposes of this FOA, priority environmental exposures include:

Diesel exhaust

The new tools developed through this initiative will address current limitations in personal exposure assessment by providing quantitative, precise, reliable, reproducible, mulitplexed measurement of environmental exposures with a high level of temporal resolution.  Sensing devices refer to technologies that have the capacity to measure continuously in a closed format, requiring little user intervention for field deployment and data capture. 

The sensors developed under this FOA should be capable of measuring simultaneously, and in near real time, multiple agents within a single exposure class (e.g., multiple types of metals, multiple size fractions of particulate matter, multiple components of diesel exhaust) or multiple agents across more than one exposure class.

This FOA will support the development of new sensing devices through the adaptation of existing or emerging technologies including, but not limited to, electrical, mechanical, chemical or optical sensing modalities. To the extent feasible and appropriate, new technologies will capitalize on the emerging properties of nanotechnology and nano-engineered devices, and integrate information technology components to create systems capable of near real-time telemetry for remote data capture and reporting to centralized, managed systems operators.  The development of information technologies to support the real-time reporting of external exposure information is appropriate if such development can be completed within the context of the physical device engineering being conducted by the applicant and within the budgetary and time limitations of this solicitation. 

Sensors for Measuring Point-of-Contact Exposures

This FOA focuses on the need for field-deployable or wearable sensors that provide quantitative measurement of external exposure to priority chemical and biological agents at the point of contact with the body at the nose, at the breathing zone as inhaled or exhaled breath, or on the skin.  The sensing devices will address priority chemical and biological agents that have been shown to cause, or are suspected to be causative factors for, common human diseases such as respiratory disease, neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, and cancer. 

Sensors for Measuring Internal Dose and Activity

This FOA addresses the need for accurate internal assessment of internal dose and/or activity of priority environmental exposures in real time or via continuous measurement. Measures of internal dose and activity should be developed using readily accessible biosamples (blood, urine, saliva, buccal samples or exhaled breath).  The sensors should have the ability to measure single or multiple agents within a single class of exposure (e.g., pesticides, metals), or multiple agents across more than one exposure class.  Throughput will be an important component of these devices to ensure utilization in future large-scale population studies.

Sensors for Measuring Biological Response Indicators

With regard to the development of biomarkers of response, three phases of research define an experimental paradigm that permits researchers to leverage existing biomarker studies and that encourages new biomarker discovery. Researchers may work at any phase in this continuum and work in a forward or reverse direction in order to meet their goals.

Research may include the use of animal models to characterize response to environmental stressors in key pathways to agents of choice in target and peripheral tissues or identification and characterization of a suite of biomarkers in clinical specimens.

Research conducted under this  part of the FOA could include use of technologies such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and more precise quantification of DNA damage products coupled with clinical biochemistry, histology, or physiologic markers (such as pulmonary function or cardiac activity) should be considered in the assessment of patterns of response due to environmental stressors and incorporated into biomarker development.

Research could include any of the following: the study of clinical samples from persons who are exposed to environmental stressors and controls, persons who display interesting and relevant clinical manifestations of pre-clinical or clinically apparent disease, or the study of animal model systems or other cell culture systems.  

An example of one approach to the development of a biomarker that would accurately define a person’s response to the complex mixture of chemicals found in cigarette smoke is described. It may be possible to characterize the molecular changes resulting from tobacco smoke exposure in multiple ways using different technologies (i.e., gene expression changes, proteomic signatures, DNA adducts, methylation changes, microsatellite instability, or changes in oxidant state.)  For example, by using lung tissue and blood samples in a gene expression array, a signature of genetic response to the chemicals in cigarette smoke can be defined and compared to results in non-smokers.  If a defined panel of genes is identified with exposure and these genes are not expressed in non-smokers, then this marker defines components of the genetic response to cigarette smoke exposure.  This marker should be compared to traditional measures of cigarette smoke:  smoker/non-smoker status, frequency of use, recentness of exposure, (gathered by questionnaire) and cotinine level to determine if the marker categorizes smokers and non-smokers adequately. Learning about the interrelation of these patterns, and developing multiple biomarkers to define response will be helpful in identifying a useful suite of markers to characterize these responses. 

Examples of research that would be relevant for the development of biomarkers of exposure portion of this FOA include, but are not limited to:

Development or adaptation of biomarkers of response to environmental stressors in order to clearly define a pattern of response at a single level (i.e., a molecular signature) or at multiple levels (i.e., molecular, cellular and/or physiological responses).

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This funding opportunity will use the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR [R43/R44] grant mechanisms. Applications may be submitted for support as Phase I, Phase II, or Fast-Track grants as described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.

Applicants may not simultaneously submit identical/essentially identical applications under both this funding opportunity and another Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) FOA, including the current SBIR or STTR Parent FOAs.

Phase II applications in response to this funding opportunity will only be accepted as competing renewals (formerly “competing continuations”) of previously funded Phase I SBIR awards. The Phase II must be a logical extension of the Phase I research but not necessarily as a Phase I project supported in response to this funding opportunity.

The applicant small business concern (SBC) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. Future unsolicited, competing renewal applications based on this project will compete with all SBIR applications and will be reviewed according to the customary peer review procedures. Applications that are not funded in the competition described in this FOA may be submitted as NEW applications through
Grants.gov/Apply using the standard NIH, CDC, and FDA SBIR submission dates of April 5, August 5, and December 5 (or January 2, May 1, and September 1 for NIH AIDS and AIDS-related SBIR applications).

This funding opportunity uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts. The modular budget format is no longer accepted for SBIR grant applications. Applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Budget component found in the application package attached to this FOA in Grants.gov/Apply.

2. Funds Available

The SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide indicates the statutory guidelines of funding support and project duration periods for Phase I and Phase II SBIR awards. For this funding opportunity, budgets up to $300,000 total costs per year and time periods up to two years for Phase I may be requested. Budgets up to $750,000 total costs per year and up to two years may be requested for Phase II. Total costs include direct costs, Facilities & Administrative (F&A)/indirect costs, and fee.

NIEHS intends to commit approximately $3 million total costs in FY 2007 to fund 6-8 Phase I and/or Phase II or fast track applications under the SBIR set-aside funding mechanism.

Although the financial plans of the participating organizations provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this FOA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. At this time, it is not known if competing renewal applications will be accepted and/or if this FOA will be reissued.  

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

Only United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit SBIR applications. A small business concern is one that, at the time of award for both Phase I and Phase II SBIR awards, meets all of the following criteria:

1.       Is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in the field of operation in which it is proposing, has a place of business in the United States and operates primarily within the United States or makes a significant contribution to the US economy, and is organized for profit.

2.       Is (a) at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, or (b) for SBIR only, it must be a for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by another for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States.

3.       Has, including its affiliates, an average number of employees for the preceding 12 months not exceeding 500, and meets the other regulatory requirements found in Title 13 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121. Business concerns are generally considered to be affiliates of one another when either directly or indirectly, (a) one concern controls or has the power to control the other; or (b) a third-party/parties controls or has the power to control both.

Control can be exercised through common ownership, common management, and contractual relationships. The term "affiliates" is defined in greater detail in 13 CFR 121.103. The term "number of employees" is defined in 13 CFR 121.106.

A business concern may be in the form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust, or cooperative. Further information may be obtained at http://sba.gov/size, or by contacting the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Government Contracting Area Office or Office of Size Standards.

One of the circumstances that would lead to a finding that an organization is controlling or has the power to control another organization involves sharing common office space and/or employees and/or other facilities (e.g., laboratory space). Access to special facilities or equipment in another organization is permitted (as in cases where the awardee organization has entered into a subcontractual agreement with another organization for a specific, limited portion of the research project). However, research space occupied by an SBIR awardee organization must be space that is available to and under the control of the SBIR awardee for the conduct of its portion of the proposed project.

Title 13 CFR 121.3 also states that control or the power to control exists when “key employees of one concern organize a new concern ... and serve as its officers, directors, principal stockholders, and/or key employees, and one concern is furnishing or will furnish the other concern with subcontracts, financial or technical assistance, and/or other facilities, whether for a fee or otherwise.” Where there is indication of sharing of common employees, a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis of whether such sharing constitutes control or the power to control.

For purposes of the SBIR program, personnel obtained through a Professional Employer Organization or other similar personnel leasing company may be considered employees of the awardee. This is consistent with SBA’s size regulations, 13 CFR 121.106 – Small Business Size Regulations.

All SBIR grant applications will be examined with the above eligibility considerations in mind. If it appears that an applicant organization does not meet the eligibility requirements, NIH will request a size determination by the SBA. If eligibility is unclear, NIH will not make an SBIR award until the SBA provides a determination.

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research 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.

Under the SBIR program, for both Phase I and Phase II, the primary employment of the PD/PI must be with the small business concern at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed project. Primary employment means that more than one half of the PD/PI’s time is spent in the employ of the small business concern. Primary employment with a small business concern precludes full-time employment at another organization. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur. Such deviations must be approved in writing by the grants management officer after consultation with the NIH SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator.

As defined in 42 CFR 52, the PD/PI is the “single individual designated by the grantee in the grant application … who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the project.” When the proposed PD/PI clearly does not have sufficient qualifications to assume this role, the application is not likely to receive a favorable evaluation.

If the application has the likelihood for funding, the awarding component will require documentation to verify the eligibility of the PD/PI, if at the time of submission of the application, the PD/PI is a less-than-full-time employee of the small business concern, is concurrently employed by another organization, or gives the appearance of being concurrently employed by another organization, whether for a paid or unpaid position.

If the PD/PI is employed or appears to be employed by an organization other than the applicant organization in a capacity such as Research Fellow, Consultant, Adjunct Professor, Clinical Professor, Clinical Research Professor, or Associate, a letter must be provided by each employing organization confirming that, if an SBIR grant is awarded to the applicant small business concern, the PD/PI is or will become a less-than-half-time employee of such organization and will remain so for the duration of the SBIR project. If the PD/PI is employed by a university, such a letter must be provided by the Dean's office or equivalent; for other organizations, the letter must be signed by a corporate official.

This requirement applies also to those individuals engaged currently as the PD/PI on an active SBIR project. All current employment and all other appointments of the PD/PI must be identified in his or her “Biographical Sketch” required as part of the application. Be certain that correct beginning and ending dates are indicated for each employment record listed.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

The NIH will accept as many "different" applications as the applicant organization chooses. However, the NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization. This includes derivative or multiple applications that propose to develop a single product, process or service that, with non-substantive modifications, can be applied to a variety of purposes. Applicants may not simultaneously submit identical/essentially identical applications under both this funding opportunity and any other HHS FOA, including the current SBIR or STTR Parent FOAs.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PDs/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant SBC can submit an electronic application, as follows:   

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Started

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations. 

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance contact GrantsInfo: Telephone 301-435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all SBIR applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide (MS Word) or PDF) instructions.

The SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. There are fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components that, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/ APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
Research & Related Budget
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
SBIR/STTR Information

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A. for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates

Opening Date:  January 22, 2007  (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): January 22, 2007
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): February 20, 2006
Peer Review Date(s): April 2007
Council Review Date(s): August 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 2007

3.A.1. Letter of Intent
 
Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

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 Institute and Center (IC) staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed in Section IV.3.A.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

RoseAnne McGee
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive
Building Number 4401, Room Number 3175
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone: (919) 541-0752
Fax: (919) 541-2503
Email: mcgee1@niehs.nih.gov

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

Applications in response to this FOA may only be submitted to Grants.gov through Grants.gov/Apply.
PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

In order to expedite the review, applicants are requested to notify the NIEHS Referral Office by email (mcgee1@niehs.nih.gov) when the application has been submitted.  Please include the FOA number and title, and PD/PI name and title of the application.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application submission/receipt date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the receipt date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two business days to view the application image.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.  

4. Intergovernmental Review
 
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. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing renewal award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing renewal award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Investigators funded from this FOA will be considered part of the Exposure Biology Program and as such may be invited to grantee meetings to discuss their research progress. Funds to support travel of key investigators to attend up to two meetings a year should be included in the application budget.

Commercialization Plan:  Proposed projects should be focused on coupling new technology development with assessment needs and opportunities for specific priority environmental agents.  The applicant should describe (1) the criteria for selecting the analytes to be measured by the proposed technology, (2) whether a current technology exists for the detection or quantification of these analytes, and (3) how the proposed device will be an improvement over the current technology.

The Commercialization Plan for Fast-Track or phase II applications  should describe how the functional validation phase will effectively assess sensor function in real-time, and relate the sensor output to environmentally and physiologically relevant values.  Applicants should describe the algorithms used to relate sensor measurements to these parameters.  It is expected that any devices developed through this FOA will be available for application to population studies at the end of the funding period.

 As a critical aspect of the application, applicants should describe how the new sensing device or system (point of contact, internal dose, or biomarker of response) will address the following technology specifications:

The products developed under this FOA should be either entirely field-deployable or wearable devices for individual exposure assessment (point of contact, internal dose, or biomarker of response) or combined field-deployable capture devices dependent on laboratory-based analyses; provided these devices meet the above criteria.  Applications to develop exclusively laboratory-based technologies will not be considered responsive.  Applicants are not required to achieve all specifications for a single device or system, but will be judged on their ability to address as many of these specifications as possible.  Applicants should provide a rationale as to why a given specification cannot be met within the proposed application and what steps would be needed to address the specification.

The development of sensing devices and systems is a complex process involving engineers, basic researchers, manufacturers, end users, and information technologists.  It is expected that individual applications will involve collaborations between experts in several of these core disciplines in order to cover the full spectrum of research activities needed to support the facets of technology development from conceptualization to field testing and functional assessment.  Applicants should include a section within the application that identifies entities with which partnerships will be established, and their respective role on the project with regard to the identification and adaptation of existing or emerging sensing modalities, manufacture of prototype devices, and the small-scale field testing and functional validation of the prototypes.  Research partners might include engineering centers with expertise in component integration, clinical or basic research networks, user-based networks, industry researchers or manufacturing centers.

The NIH requires the PD/PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component. The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information,  see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide (MS Word or PDF) are to be followed, with the following requirements.

SBIR Phase I applications:

SBIR Phase II applications:

SBIR Fast-Track applications:

Warning: Please be sure that you observe the total cost, project period, and page number limitations specified above for this FOA. Application processing may be delayed or the application may be rejected if it does not comply with these requirements.

Note: While each section of the Research Plan component needs to eventually be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits.

Plan for Sharing Research Data

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year should include a brief one paragraph description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data-sharing is not possible. The specific nature of the data to be collected will determine whether or not the final dataset may be shared. If the final data are not amenable to sharing, for example, if they are proprietary, this must be explained in the application. The Small Business Act requires NIH to protect from disclosure and nongovernmental use all SBIR and STTR data developed from work performed under an SBIR and STTR funding agreement for a period of four (4) years after the closeout of either a Phase I or Phase II grant unless NIH obtains permission from the awardee to disclose these data. The data rights protection period lapses only upon expiration of the protection period applicable to the SBIR and STTR award, or by agreement between the small business concern and NIH. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their data-sharing plan with the Institute/Center (IC) staff likely to accept assignment of their application.

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data may be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. For more information on data sharing see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/.and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm. (See FAQ #13.)

Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy expects that grant recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part7.htm#_Toc54600131). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a plan for sharing research resources addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590), See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to this funding opportunity will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIEHS in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

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

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

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. 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.

All SBIR Applications

Significance: Does the proposed project have commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service that will further development of biomarkers of response to environmental stressors that have a significant public health burden? Does this study address an important problem? What may be the anticipated commercial and societal benefits that may be derived from the proposed research? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does the application lead to enabling technologies (e.g., instrumentation, software) for further discoveries? Will the technology have a competitive advantage over existing/alternate technologies that can meet the market needs?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Is there evidence of the feasibility of incorporating the produced tools in population studies to measure risk factors for a wide range of diseases and disorders?  Is the proposed plan a sound approach for establishing technical and commercial feasibility? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies? Are the milestones and evaluation procedures appropriate?

Innovation: Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area? Is there evidence that the proposed technology or sensors will produce field deployable tools by the end of the funding period (phase II or fast track only)?

Investigator: Is the PD/PI appropriately trained and capable of coordinating and managing the proposed SBIR? Are the investigators well suited to carry out this work? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the PD/PI and other researchers, including consultants and subcontractors (if any)? Are the relationships of the key personnel to the small business and to other institutions appropriate for the work proposed?

Environment: Is there sufficient access to resources (e.g., equipment, facilities)? Does the scientific and technological environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

Phase II Applications
In addition to the above review criteria:

1. How well did the applicant demonstrate progress toward meeting the Phase I objectives, demonstrating feasibility, and providing a solid foundation for the proposed Phase II activity?

2. Did the applicant submit a concise Commercialization Plan that adequately addresses the specific areas described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide and the SBIR/STTR Information component?

3. Does the project carry a high degree of commercial potential, as described in the Commercialization Plan?

Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Application Review Criteria

For Phase I/Phase II Fast Track applications, the following criteria also will be applied:

1. Does the Phase I application specify clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II?

2. Did the applicant submit a concise Commercialization Plan that adequately addresses the specific areas described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide and the SBIR/STTR Information component?
3. To what extent was the applicant able to obtain letters of interest, additional funding commitments, and/or resources from the private sector or non-SBIR/STTR funding sources that would enhance the likelihood for commercialization?

4. Does the project carry a high degree of commercial potential, as described in the Commercialization Plan?

Phase I and Phase II Fast-Track applications that satisfy all of the review criteria will receive a single rating.

For Fast-Track applications, the Phase II portion may not be funded until a Phase I final report and other documents necessary for continuation have been received and assessed by program staff that the Phase I milestones have been successfully achieved.  Items 2-5 of the Research Plan may not exceed 25 pages. That is, the combined Phase I and Phase II plans for a Fast-Track application (for Items 2-5) must be contained within the 25-page limitation.

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to 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 item 6 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

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 item 7 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under item 11 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R) will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. Is the number of person months listed for the effort of the PD/PI appropriate for the work proposed? Is each budget category realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods?

2.C. Sharing Research Data

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data may be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm. (See FAQ #13.)

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy expects that grant recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part7.htm#_Toc54600131). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a sharing research resources plan addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

Program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. Program staff may negotiate modifications of the data and resource sharing plans with the awardee before recommending funding of an application. The final version of the data and resource sharing plans negotiated by both will become a condition of the award of the grant. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each Non-Competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3., “Reporting.”

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable.

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his/her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

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. See also Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”     

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.

3. Reporting

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts


We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management issues:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Jerrold J. Heindel, PhD
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Building Number4404, Room Number 3413
79 TW Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709
Telephone: (919) 541-0781
Fax:  (919-541-5064
Email: heindelj@niehs.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

RoseAnne McGee
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive
Building Number 4401, Room Number 3175
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone: (919) 541-0752
Fax: (919) 541-2503
Email: mcgee1@niehs.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Dwight Dolby
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive
Building Number 4401, Room Number 3418
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: (919)541-7824
Fax: (919) 541-2860
Email: dolby@niehs.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) 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).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (Phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (“NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring,” NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing Research Data:
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 and 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 scientific merit or the priority score.

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The OMB Circular A-110 has been revised to provide 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 the 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 funding opportunity 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.

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time, the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement). Beginning October 1, 2004, all investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

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” (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 SF424 (R&R); 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 Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.

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” (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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for Federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process, please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a Federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR Website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, internet addresses (URLs) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles.  Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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 FOA 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 Part 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 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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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