NIAID Funding Available for Biocontainment Facility Improvements

Funding News Edition: April 06, 2022
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NIAID supports Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Infrastructure as a key component of our mission to safely and effectively develop new and improved diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments for diseases caused by infectious agents. For example, the NIAID-funded National Biocontainment Laboratories and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories offer biocontainment facilities up to biosafety level 4 (BSL4) and biosafety level 3 (BSL3), respectively.

Now, through a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Emergency Awards: Biocontainment Facility Improvements and Building System Upgrades To Support Pandemic Preparedness (G20, Clinical Trial Not Allowed), NIAID will sponsor facility improvements and building systems upgrades at existing BSL3 or BSL4 laboratories engaged in research on RNA viruses of pandemic potential.

To be eligible, an institution must serve multiple individual investigators, each with demonstrated experience over the past five years covering at least one RNA virus family relevant under the NIAID Pandemic Preparedness Plan and Antiviral Program for Pandemics efforts. The cumulative experience of the investigators must cover at least two relevant viral families.

Allowed and Unallowed Activities

Actions that are encouraged under this FOA include:

  • Repair, renovation, and modernization of building systems to enhance functions and operations of existing research facilities, e.g., renovating space and finishes or updating the facility’s HVAC, plumbing, or electrical systems
  • New fixed equipment connected to building systems that modernizes, streamlines, or improves efficiencies of the facility’s operations and novel nonfixed scientific equipment or advanced tools which directly support the BSL3 or BSL4 laboratory
    • Allowable equipment includes autoclaves, cage washing equipment, ventilated animal caging, biosafety cabinets, cell sorters/flow cytometry, and polymerase chain reaction equipment.
    • Equipment not considered allowable is typical laboratory nonfixed equipment such as refrigerators, incubators, and centrifuges.
  • Building automation systems related to functioning of the facility

Conversely, NIAID will consider your application nonresponsive and not review it if you propose any of the following:

  • Construction, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement
  • Operational costs
  • Clinical trials

Most importantly, your institution must meet the eligibility criteria in terms of housing an existing BSL3 or BSL4 laboratory that serves multiple experienced investigators.

Refer to Frequently Asked Questions for RFA-AI-22-019 for additional guidance. NIAID staff will continue to make updates on that page as we receive recurring questions from prospective applicants.

Application Requirements

We anticipate most applicants will request budgets of $3 million to $7.5 million in annual direct costs. Your proposed budget cannot exceed $7.5 million in annual direct costs.

The award covers only direct costs associated with the proposed project. No facilities and administrative (indirect) costs are allowed.

The project period is 18 months.

Act quickly! Applications are due by April 19, 2022, at 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization.

Direct questions about the FOA to Gary Zackowitz, NIAID’s scientific/research contact for the initiative, at or 240-627-3397. For questions pertaining to peer review, reach out to Dr. Brenda Lange-Gustafson at or 240-669-5047.

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