Questions and Answers for RFA-AI-23-023

International Research in Infectious Diseases (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NIH published this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) RFA-AI-23-023, International Research in Infectious Diseases (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) on April 14, 2023. 

NIAID will host an informational webinar about this NOFO on Friday, July 7, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Be sure to Register for the Webinar in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information and instructions for joining the meeting on July 7, 2023.

Updated June 7, 2023. We updated the webinar information above.

Each time we add new questions or revise, we will revise the dated note shown at the top of this page to describe the latest update.

The overall goal of this program is to support high-priority, regionally relevant infectious disease research by international investigators in resource-constrained countries. The scope of the program is sufficiently broad to cover the full range of infectious disease research topics including (but not limited to) tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, parasitic diseases, vectors and vector-borne diseases, drug resistance (antimicrobial and/or insecticide), zoonoses with public health consequences, and other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that are of public health significance. Such studies may be proposed on any aspect of infectious diseases research (except clinical trials), including (but not limited to): basic biological studies of pathogens and vectors; the epidemiology, natural history, pathogenesis, immunopathogenesis of infectious diseases; epidemiologic studies to define the incidence, clinical presentations, and outcomes of diseases; identification of resistance mechanisms and patterns; characterization of susceptible cohorts for a particular pathogen; pilot and feasibility studies in preparation for larger studies; studies focused on the effects of climate change on the incidence, prevalence and severity of infectious diseases.

Applicants proposing HIV/AIDS studies must address NIAID Division of AIDS Priorities.

Note: While clinical studies are allowed, NIH-Defined Clinical Trials are not.

NIAID intends to commit an estimated $1.364 million to fund 7 or 8 awards in fiscal year 2024, contingent upon NIH appropriations and depending on the number of meritorious applications.

Only non-domestic (non-U.S.) institutions are eligible to apply. The applicant organization must be headquartered in a foreign (non-U.S.) resource-constrained country (low, lower-middle and upper middle income economies) by World Bank Country and Lending Groups at the time of application submission. The PD/PI must have an official appointment with the applying institution. Applicant organizations headquartered in low- and lower-middle income economy countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

No. Investigators who currently serve as PD/PI on existing NIH R01-equilvalent grants (other than an expiring or current International Research in Infectious Diseases (IRID) award made through PAR-20-108 or PAR-17-142) or contracts are not eligible to apply.

You may request up to $125,000 per year in direct cost (minus consortia facilities and administrative costs) over a five-year project period. Costs and project period should be determined by the actual needs and scope of the project. For additional information, go to the Facilities and Administrative Costs section of the Receiving and Spending Money for International Grants page.

Yes. You should apply with a budget in line with the scope of research that you propose in the application.

A detailed budget for all years is required. In general, you should include goods and services that are reasonable, necessary, and that can be directly assigned to the grant including costs for personnel, equipment, supplies, travel, and certain other expenses. Learn how to Create a Budget and find more information on Receiving and Spending Money for International Grants.

No. A detailed budget for each year is required for foreign institutions.

Yes. NIH provides a detailed How to Apply—Application Guide with information on the parts of an application and methods for applying. In addition, NIAID provides Apply for a Grant guidance, including Sample Applications & More. While these sample applications may have a different focus than those in response to this NOFO, they can be used as a general guide for overall application structure.

Yes. Institutions and all senior/key personnel on a grant application must have valid eRA Commons accounts to apply. Check Understanding eRA Commons Accounts for additional information.

Yes. All applications must be submitted electronically. You may use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit, and track your application online. Learn more about Submitting an Application.

Resubmission applications in response to RFA-AI-23-023 will be allowed. However, all applications submitted for the first receipt date (August 2, 2023) must be new. For example, if you submitted an application in response to PAR-20-108 that was not funded, you may use the critiques contained in the summary statement as a guide as you craft your new application. However, the application must be new and should not include any reference to the previously reviewed application.

While a letter of intent is not required, it is strongly encouraged as it helps NIAID estimate the number of applications to be reviewed and plan accordingly. Find general information about Letters of Intent.

In the letter of intent, you should include the following:

  • Descriptive title of the proposed research
  • General information about the PI(s):
    • Name, address, email, etc.
  • General information about the participating institutions:
    • Name, address, etc.
  • Title and number of the funding opportunity announcement:
    • International Research in Infectious Diseases (IRID)—RFA-AI-23-023

Submit the letter of intent by email at least 30 days prior to the application due date to:

Soheyla Saadi, Ph.D.
Telephone: 240-669-5178
Email: saadisoh@nih.gov

Applications proposing non-AIDS related research are due by 5:00 p.m. local time on August 2, 2023.

Applications proposing AIDS-related research are due by 5:00 p.m. local time on August 2, 2023.

Note: Local time refers to the time at your institution.

Find subsequent deadlines in the Key Dates section of the NOFO.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to allow for adequate time to correct any errors found in the application during the submission process.

All requested funds, including the budget in the application, must be stated in U.S. dollars. NIH funds foreign grant recipients using direct deposits through the Payment Management System (PMS). When the recipient draws funds from PMS, the system converts the amount from U.S. dollars using the most current exchange rate. Check the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information. Recipients should contact the Payment Management System (PMS) regarding drawdown requests, cash management rules, and disbursement of funds.

1-877-614-5533 (PMS Help Desk)
301-443-8362 (fax)
Email: PMSSupport@psc.gov

No. U.S. collaborators are encouraged, but a collaboration is not required to apply.

Yes. Collaborators are allowed and encouraged. However, if a collaborator is at an institution located in a high-income economy country (including the U.S.), no more than 20 percent of the budget (direct costs) in any one year may be subcontracted. All subcontracts combined to such institutions should account for no more than 20 percent of the budget (direct costs).

Yes. Multiple-PD/PI applications are allowed. However, when proposing multiple PDs/PIs, all PDs/PIs must have primary appointment at an institution/organization in an eligible country. For example, a U.S.-based investigator may serve as collaborator, but could not be proposed as PD/PI on a multiple PD/PI application. Find general NIAID guidance on Multiple Principal Investigators.

No. All funds will be distributed to the primary awardee institution. It will then be the responsibility of the awardee to distribute funds to all subaward organizations.

Awards to foreign institutions are paid through the Payment Management System.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) institutions are provided a flat rate of 8 percent of modified total direct costs (all requested costs except for tuition and related fees, direct expenditures for equipment, and subawards over $25,000).

Indirect costs for U.S.-based sub-awardees will be paid at the federally negotiated indirect cost rate.

Learn more about expenses and indirect costs in the Facilities and Administrative Costs section of the Receiving and Spending Money for International Grants page. Also learn the Difference Between Allowable Direct Costs and Allowable F&A Costs.

NIH-Defined Clinical Trials are not allowable under this NOFO. However, research involving human subjects is allowable.

Yes. All institutions proposing human subjects research must have an active FWA number prior to award. For human subjects research, an institutional review board (IRB) or independent ethics committee (IEC) act to ensure protection of human subjects involved in clinical research. Check Institutional Review and Federal Wide Assurance for additional information.

Institutions proposing vertebrate animals research must include a Vertebrate Animals Section (VAS) in the grant application. The PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires that an approved Animal Welfare Assurance (AWA) be on file at the time of award for all organizations receiving support for research using live vertebrate animals. Before award, domestic institutions must have IACUC approval and foreign institutions must comply with the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals. Check Research Using Vertebrate Animals and Foreign Assurance for additional information.

Key personnel are individuals who contribute intellectually and substantively to the research program. They contribute to the scientific development and/or execution of a project. Key personnel contribute a specified level of effort (in contrast to other significant contributors), even if no salary is requested.

PD/PI(s) are always considered senior/key personnel and are always named in the Notice of Award (NoA).

Note: All senior and key personnel need an eRA Commons ID to apply. Check NOT-OD-21-109, Expanding Requirement for eRA Commons IDs to All Senior/Key Personnel for additional information.

A panel of reviewers composed of experts in relevant fields will consider each of the following review criteria:

  • Significance
  • Investigator(s)
  • Innovation
  • Approach
  • Environment

The reviewers will also consider other NOFO-specific questions that may apply specifically to this NOFO as outlined in Section V, including the following:

  • Significance: Does the application adequately demonstrate that the scientific question is of interest to the region in which the research will be conducted and important from a global health perspective?
  • Investigator(s): Is the research team, as proposed, likely to increase scientific capacity in the country/region related to the proposed subject area?
  • Approach: If proposed, are plans for collaboration sufficiently developed? Is there likelihood that proposed collaborations will advance the development of local scientific expertise or increase collaborative research capacity at the local site?

Find more general information at Understand the Review Process.

Check Section VII of the NOFO for NIH scientific/research, peer review, and financial/grants management contacts.
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