NIAID Funding News - March 1, 2017

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities


Feature Articles

Where Are They Now? NIAID's Top Extramural Webpages

In September 2016, our NIAID Research Funding website content migrated into the NIAID website structure you see today. Have you found your favorite NIAID extramural webpages?

Here are the modern equivalents for the 10 most popular topics:

1. Sample Applications & More. Our most frequently visited page. We recently posted new R01 application samples and summary statements and plan to update other samples over the coming year.

2. Paylines & Funding. This section offers NIAID Paylines, the latest Salary Cap & Stipends, and more financial information.

3. NIAID Funding News. You're reading it right now. You can Subscribe to Email Alerts and see more ways to Stay Informed About Policy Changes & News.

4. All About Grants. The guidance we used to present as separate tutorials now fills the sections you find under the Grants & Contract tab on the NIAID website.

Old Tutorial Topic New Section Link
Strategy for NIH Funding Find this content by stage: Find a Funding Opportunity, Apply for a Grant, After You Submit an Application, and Manage Your Award
New Investigators Information for New Investigators
Multiproject Research Multiproject Research (P, U) Applications
Research Animals Research Using Vertebrate Animals

Human Subjects and
Clinical Trials

Research Using Human Subjects and Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trial Resources

Research Training and
Career Awards

Training and Career Development Grant Programs
SBIR and STTR Awards Small Business Programs and Small Business Grant Application Process
Foreign International Applications and Foreign Grants Management

5. Opportunities & Announcements. The funding opportunities list now features filter and search options. A second tab on that same page offers Special Announcements, NIAID-specific selections from the NIH Guide.

6. Understand Paylines and Percentiles. Find how NIH calculates percentiles and why it uses them.

7. Timelines & Due Dates. Get an overview of timing from application to award, an understanding of due dates and review cycles, and more.

8. Research Rules & Policies. Find our public Standard Operating Procedures here.

9. Contracts. See NIAID solicitations, rules for contracts, and contact information.

10. Respond to Pre-Award Requests ("Just-in-Time"). Learn how NIH and NIAID request information before award, what information to prepare, and how to send it.

If you'd like help finding a web resource, let us know at deaweb@niaid.nih.gov. In upcoming editions of Funding News, we will do a deeper dive into NIAID's extramural web content.


Opportunities and Resources 

Check Out New FOA on Treating Radiation Injuries

As part of its Radiation and Nuclear Countermeasures Program, NIAID issued a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA): Cellular Therapies for Treatment of Radiation Injuries (U01).

To meet the objectives of the FOA, projects should propose evaluating candidate cellular therapies to mitigate or treat Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) and/or Delayed Effects of ARS. 

Therapies to be evaluated should treat radiation-induced injuries in appropriate in vivo models that demonstrate desired endpoints for humans when administered 24 hours or more post-irradiation.

Here are a few examples of studies that may be included. For others, read the Guide announcement linked below.

  • Routes of administration: e.g., intravenous, subcutaneous, intramuscular, or topical delivery
  • Early-to mid-stage research and preclinical development of cell-based therapies to treat injuries to different organ systems
  • Characterization of cells to be transplanted, changes in signal transduction, inflammatory responses, innate and acquired immune responses as well as interactions with host cells, and predictors of transplantation outcome in in vitro or in vivo models

Do not include the following areas of study. If you do, your application will be considered nonresponsive and will not be reviewed.

  • Administration of a candidate cellular product at times earlier than 24 hours post-irradiation, including pre-irradiation exposure
  • Screening of multiple cellular products to determine a lead candidate
  • Development of a non-cell-based therapy
  • Proposing work in radiation dose ranges or exposure parameters that are not relevant to a radiation accident or attack: e.g., studies using fractionated radiation exposures, studies using very low dose/low dose rate exposures that do not elicit ARS
  • Human clinical trials; however, human subjects research is permitted
A Word About the Activity Code

This FOA uses the U01 activity code, which designates a cooperative agreement. To learn more, read Just for “U”: A Closer Look at Cooperative Agreements from our May 4, 2016 issue.

Budget, Project Period, Deadlines

NIAID intends to commit $4 million in fiscal year 2018 to fund four or five awards.

Application budgets are limited to $350,000 in direct costs each year and must reflect actual needs of the proposed project.

Scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period is five years. 

Optional letters of intent are due July 1, 2017, while the application deadline is a month later on August 1.

For complete details, read the February 8, 2017 Guide announcement.

Have Questions? 

Direct them to Dr. Carmen Rios, the scientific/research contact for the FOA.


NIAID Seeks a Functional Genomics Nonhuman Primate Core Laboratory 

Can your lab conduct and improve assays designed to generate specific quantitative genomic expression profiles and network diagrams from nonhuman primate (NHP) RNA samples? Then consider responding to a new request for proposals (RFP) from NIAID’s Division of AIDS (DAIDS). 

Under the contract, you will compile and analyze data generated from NHPs enrolled in priority Simian Vaccine Evaluation Unit protocols and DAIDS-supported investigator-initiated NHP studies. You will also use bioinformatics and biocomputing tools (e.g., unbiased hierarchical clustering methods, sophisticated network algorithms) to identify gene signatures that could define correlates of protection and predict vaccine efficacy.

All told, you will be responsible for:

  • Applying state-of-the-art high throughput microarray/transcriptomic platform/assay systems to generate specific gene expression profiles
  • Improving the systems as better technologies develop to increase sensitivity and reproducibility, improve standardization, achieve greater throughput, and lower costs
  • Complying with good clinical laboratory practices and biosafety level 2
  • Optimizing and validating assays
  • Compiling and analyzing gene expression data using appropriate bioinformatics and biocomputing tools

We plan to award one cost-reimbursement, term-type contract for a one-year base period with six one-year options, for a possible total period of performance of seven years beginning on or about March 30, 2018. The contract will support 2.70 full time equivalent personnel each year.

For complete details, including the RFP’s technical evaluation criteria, read the February 22, 2017 FedBizOpps.gov solicitation.


In The News 

Catch Up With Developments From Council’s January Meeting

If you missed the January 30, 2017 meeting of NIAID’s Advisory Council, you can watch a videocast of remarks from NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research Dr. Maureen Goodenow, as well as open subcommittee sessions. 

Budget and Paylines

While NIH operates under a continuing resolution through April 28, 2017, Dr. Fauci noted that NIAID’s budget remains flat, like that of most other institutes and centers.

He announced that under the Institute’s interim financial management plan, the payline is set at the 10 percentile for established investigators, with new investigators funded at the 14 percentile. No programmatic cuts are anticipated for noncompeting and competing grants, though budgets for competing research initiatives will be cut up to 10 percent.

Independent from NIAID’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriation, Congress approved $152 million in emergency supplemental funding to continue vital research for Zika vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Other Noteworthy Items 

Dr. Fauci reported that the new administration has asked Dr. Francis Collins to continue as NIH director, at least for the time being. 

At NIAID, key appointments include:

  • Dr. Emily Erbelding, director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
  • Dr. Martin MacPhee, director of the Clinical Research Operations Program, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation
  • Dr. Kenneth Santora, director of the Office of Extramural Research Policy and Operations, Division of Extramural Activities
  • Ms. Emily Linde, director of the Grants Management Program and chief grants management officer

Paying tribute to the late Dr. Donald “D.A.” Henderson, who led the global effort to eradicate smallpox, Dr. Fauci recounted career achievements of this outstanding figure in medicine and public health.

Turning to recent meetings and events, Dr. Fauci highlighted NIAID’s worldwide engagement with public health officials and investigators on mutual areas of scientific interest and potential cooperation, including ground-breaking discussions in Cuba on arbovirus research collaboration.

In legislative news, the 21st Century Cures Act, which reauthorizes NIH’s appropriation through FY 2020, was signed into law in December 2016. Dr. Fauci shared changes in the leadership of congressional committees involved in NIH issues and touched on congressional briefings by NIAID staff in areas such as HIV/AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, and Zika research. 

Considering the Future of HIV/AIDS Research 

Dr. Maureen Goodenow directs the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), which coordinates NIH’s annual investment of approximately $3 billion in HIV/AIDS research.
 
In her remarks, Dr. Goodenow stressed that despite treatments developed over the past 30 years, a cure remains elusive in a time of flat or declining resources. Taking a transdisciplinary approach, OAR will coordinate a transition from basic research discovery to translation and implementation in priority areas. Tune into the videocast linked above to watch Dr. Goodenow’s full remarks.

Subcommittee Synopses

During Council subcommittee meetings, NIAID scientific staff outline concepts, the earliest planning stage of potential research initiatives—requests for applications, program announcements, and solicitations. View the meeting videocasts below to explore these discussions.

Approved Concepts

Though not all concepts approved by Council become initiatives, they indicate our research priorities. 

See Concepts: Potential Opportunities for a list of approved concepts. Find our most recent concepts on the following pages:


Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes Seeks Feedback on Data Management

NIH’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which maintains the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), seeks public comment on dbGaP’s data submission, access, and management practices.

The request for information asks the research community to identify opportunities or challenges related to study registration, data submission, data access requests, the Data Access Committee review process, controlled access, and summary statistics.

NCBI’s overarching goal is to improve and streamline the processes for requesting and submitting data.

To submit a response, go to NIH Request for Information on Processes for database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) Data Submission, Access, and Management and complete the form by April 7, 2017.


News Briefs

Your Application Will Be Withdrawn if You Don’t Follow NIH’s Appendix Policy

As of January 25, 2017, NIH is enforcing the application Appendix materials policy announced in the August 12, 2016 Guide notice. That policy eliminated most previously accepted Appendix materials. 

Your application will be withdrawn and not reviewed if you include Appendix materials that are not specifically listed as allowed or required in either the Guide notice above or the funding opportunity announcement to which you’re applying.


Advice Corner 

Are You Proposing a Clinical Trial? 

As you plan your next application to NIAID, take a step back and consider whether any of your proposed research qualifies as a clinical trial and whether you followed NIAID's required process.

If not, your application could be rejected upon receipt, which some applicants have already experienced. These applicants either didn't realize that their research would count as a clinical trial or they didn't realize that NIAID has special requirements for clinical trials.

NIH's Definition of a Clinical Trial

First, confirm whether your research plans fit the NIH definition of a clinical trial:

A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.

NIH revised the definition and offered further explanation in an October 23, 2014 Guide notice. You can step through the definition using the Decision Tree for clinical trials. NIH offers additional information and tools on the Clinical Research Policy site.

Follow NIAID's Process for IICT Applications

Once you know that your research qualifies as a clinical trial, remember that NIAID has a required process and funding opportunity announcements to use. Get details on our Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trial Resources page and in the September 28, 2016 Guide notice.

We also strongly advise you to consult with NIAID staff at least 10 weeks before the deadline. Follow Requesting Prior Consultation: Clinical Trial Planning (R34) or Implementation (R01, U01, or U44) Application to prepare.

We hope this information helps you usher your clinical trial application onward for successful funding by NIAID.


Reader Questions 

You can ask us a question at deaweb@niaid.nih.gov. After responding, we may ask your permission to include your question in the newsletter. 

“When it comes to applying for NIH grants and scholarships, who qualifies as an underrepresented person?”—anonymous reader

NIH considers the following groups as underrepresented in biomedical research:

  • People with disabilities
  • Racial and ethnic groups such as blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders
  • For programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates, people from disadvantaged backgrounds:
    • Those whose annual family income is below established low-income thresholds, as described at Poverty Guidelines, Research, and Measurement
    • Those from a rural, inner-city, or other environment that has inhibited them from getting the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for a research career

Find additional details about underrepresented populations in the January 12, 2015 Guide notice. For more information, contact NIAID's Office of Research Training and Special Programs at AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov.

“Can my fellowship application include more than one sponsor?”—anonymous reader

Yes. Sometimes it is advisable to have a second sponsor, especially if your project requires special expertise.

Find additional advice and resources at Fellowship Grants (F).


New Funding Opportunities 

See other announcements at Opportunities & Announcements.​​

Content last reviewed on March 1, 2017