Department of Health and Human Services


Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Funding Opportunity Title

United States Renal Data System (USRDS) Special Study Centers (U01)

Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

  • August 21, 2013: Removed reference to ASSIST in section IV.3, since ASSIST is currently only available for multi-project applications.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DK-13-008

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

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

93.487

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases (DKUHD) wishes to fund approximately two or three Special Studies Centers (SSCs) that will work with United States Renal Data System (USRDS) to carry out biomedical or economic studies in late stage Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or dialysis patients. Each SSC will design, pilot, and conduct at least one special study during the grant period and also analyze existing datasets. The USRDS Coordinating Center will assume the overall project coordination and registry data construction functions. This initiative will be undertaken through the joint efforts of the NIH/NIDDK Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and in close collaboration with the United States nephrology and renal transplant communities and the major specialty organizations.

Key Dates
Posted Date

May 22, 2013

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

June 25, 2013

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

June 25, 2013

Application Due Date(s)

July 25, 2013, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

October/November 2013

Advisory Council Review

January 2014

Earliest Start Date

April 2014

Expiration Date

July 26, 2013

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


Purpose

The overall goal of the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support Special Study Centers (SSCs) to collect and analyze new epidemiologic data on very late stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage renal disease (ESRD).  These centers will coordinate their activities with the coordinating center for the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) and incorporate data into the USRDS database.

Background

ESRD is a major public health problem, causing significant morbidity and mortality in the U.S. population, and leading to enormous financial and personal costs.  A similar problem is encountered in other Western countries.  Over the past 15 years, studies using the USRDS data base have shown that, while the incidence rate of ESRD has stabilized, the number of new patients continued to increase due to population growth and aging, and that mortality from ESRD exceeds 20 percent per year.  Other studies have found that certain racial/ethnic groups, especially Blacks and Native Americans, are disproportionately represented in the ESRD patient population, and seem to be particularly vulnerable to certain disease entities such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension that ultimately lead to CKD and ESRD.

NIDDK has supported the USRDS through contract mechanisms since 1989.  The USRDS Coordinating Center will be awarded under a separate contract mechanism.

This Special Study Center FOA is seeking applications for innovative epidemiologic or observational clinical studies that address important clinical questions in the care of subjects who require dialysis or kidney transplantation. All applications may use existing USRDS data, but must generate new data that will be added to the USRDS database. Topics might include, for example: 

1. Quality of care/rehabilitation:  The Medicare ESRD program was initiated on the premise that renal replacement therapy (RRT) would result in rehabilitation of persons receiving these therapies.  Rehabilitation remains an elusive goal for a number of reasons, including the changing demographics of the ESRD population to an increasingly elderly and debilitated population.  Should options other than RRT be explored as enhancement of quality of life?

2. Nutrition/malnutrition:  Despite improvements in the care of patients on dialysis, patient “wasting” and long term nutritional deficiency remain a major concern in dialysis patients. Trends in treatment patterns and outcomes need to be studied further as well as the patient characteristics and mechanisms of “wasting”.

3. Cardiovascular Disease: Heart disease remains the principal cause of death in the dialysis population.  Although treatment with ACE/ARB pharmaceuticals has improved in recent years, there are still concerns about the lack of progress in such areas as post-acute myocardial infarction mortality rates.  In particular, “sudden death” among dialysis patients, even in the pediatric age range, is largely unexplained and needs further study.  Are there correlations with lack of adherence with medications or dialysis treatments?

4. Vascular Access:  Vascular access is often referred to as the “Achilles Heel” of dialysis due to high failure rates and costly interventions needed to maintain blood access for maintenance dialysis.  Although arteriovenous fistulas are considered to be the gold standard for vascular access, the U.S. trails most countries in the use of fistulas.  Fistula use has increased markedly in recent years, due to the “Fistula First” initiative sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) but concerns remain about unacceptably high continued use of central venous catheters (even higher in children than adults, with its myriad complications), high costs of interventions to maintain fistula rates, and very high levels of catheter use (80%) at initiation of dialysis.  Could placement of AV grafts decrease the use of catheters in patients who have had difficulty in the construction of an AV fistula?

5. Anemia treatment:  Anemia is a constant threat to dialysis patients’ well-being and survival.  The use of erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) over the past 20 years has largely eliminated the problems of severe anemia.  However, there continues to be issues relating to appropriate dosing of ESAs, as well as outcomes of ESA treatment. There are additional concerns about ESA use in children, who are generally without the adult primary cardiovascular co-morbidities.

6. Modality selection and outcomes:  A primary goal of the USRDS since its inception has been the delineation and analysis of trends in treatment modalities.  For a number of years, this has been limited to transplantation (both from deceased and living donors) and major categories of dialysis including in-center hemodialysis, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis.  Whereas home hemodialysis was moderately common in the early days of the Medicare ESRD program, its use declined markedly during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  Since that time there has been increased interest in variations in standard 3 times per week in-center dialysis.  More frequent dialysis, up to 5 to 6 times per week has been tried in the home setting due to more user friendly dialysis machines.  Another variation in dialysis is nocturnal dialysis, which can be done from 3 to 6 times per week.  Nocturnal dialysis can be done in either the home setting or in-center dialysis facilities.  The USRDS has, heretofore, not been able to track the progress of these emerging therapies.  Variations and trends in the use of these therapies, as well as outcomes associated with these therapies need to be addressed.

7. Transplantation access and outcomes:  Transplantation remains the treatment of choice for renal replacement therapy.  The number of available organs, either through deceased donor or living donor sources, has not kept pace with the continued high demand for this therapy.  Newer forms of living donation, such as paired exchange, unrelated directed, non-directed donation and living-deceased exchange hold promise for increasing access but have yet to live up to the promise of greater transplantation rates.  Another continuing problem in the transplant area is the disproportionate lack of access among non-white ESRD patients.  African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic ESRD patients all have lower rates of kidney transplantation than do white patients on dialysis.  Although much study has been done in this area, the lack of access to kidney transplantation remains a continuing source of concern.

8. Initiation of dialysis:  ESRD is defined by the initiation of renal replacement therapy, primarily dialysis but about 2 percent of ESRD incident cases each year receive a preemptive kidney transplant.  As noted above, about 80 percent of dialysis patients start dialysis with a catheter.  In addition, less than one-third have been under the care of a nephrologist for a year prior to dialysis, many do not receive adequate counseling on modality options, and many are not adequately treated for anemia prior to starting on dialysis.  Since 1996 there has been a trend to earlier start of dialysis, as measured by calculated estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) measurements.  More recently, questions have been raised about the utility of early dialysis start on patient outcomes, particularly among the elderly.

9. Termination of dialysis/ end of life treatments:  In recent years there has been a 25 percent reduction in the mortality rate in the dialysis population.  Still, the overall mortality remains at near 20 percent per year.  For persons aged 75 and over the annual mortality rate is nearly 33%.  Voluntary withdrawal from dialysis occurs in 5 percent of patients, and is over 10 percent in the 75 and over population.  Given this reality, further study is needed in the area of quality of life and palliative care for dialysis patients.

10. Transition from late stage Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) to ESRD.    The entire process of moving from chronic (or acute) kidney disease to RRT needs further study. The USRDS was originally designed to be a registry of ESRD patients.  In recent years that mandate was expanded to include persons with CKD.  Much less is known about the 20 million or more patients with CKD.  Although it is known that progression to ESRD is greater among younger patients than among the elderly, renal disease progression, treatments, and outcomes need to be studied further.  The role of acute kidney injury (AKI) in the transition phase needs to be assessed as well.

The first three listed above have been previously investigated by special study centers. In addition to the list above, investigators are encouraged to offer alternative issues for exploration, with suitable justification for the importance of the areas for the field of renal epidemiology. Investigators may propose more than one subject area to study during the term of award. 

The awardee is expected to provide all necessary materials to conduct the special study(ies).  This includes overall study design, sample size calculations, plans for data collection, data form construction, and implementation, IRB approvals, and data extraction and cleaning.  Data collection must include sufficient personal identifiers to enable accurate linking with the master USRDS data base.  To the extent possible, and scientifically appropriate, the special study centers will coordinate across the various special study centers. 

The special studies will result in final cleaned data sets that will be used for publications in professional journals, as well as contributions to the USRDS Annual Data Report.  After initial publications, but no later than one year after data collection, the data will be linked with the USRDS master files and archived for use by outside researchers.  In following years, the coordinating center will update the linkage with mortality, hospitalization, transplant and cost data, as has been done with special studies from previous contract cycles.  Access to these data will follow the same procedures as all standard analysis files.

The awardee will participate in other activities related to the USRDS.  These include attendance at 2 to 3 site visits per year, at least one of which will be at the coordinating center.  The awardee will be expected to contribute analyses to the Annual Data Report. The ADR contribution can be material from the original data collection from the special study, or related analyses using extant data from standard analysis files provided by the coordinating center.  The awardee is also expected to participate in the USRDS presentations at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology.

The NIDDK will convene an External Expert Panel (EEP) to advise the NIDDK and USRDS on research directions.  The special study centers are expected to participate and report to the EEP.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New

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

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The NIDDK intends to commit approximately $1.2 million in Fiscal Year 2014 to fund two to three awards. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Application budgets should match the amount of work proposed and are expected to approximate total costs of $400,000 and $600,000 per year (the direct cost limitations are $200,000 and $400,000 per year respectively).

Replace example text with appropriate text for activity code. If reporting a dollar value, please use direct costs rather than total costs. Total costs are permissible, but may disadvantage some institutions because indirect costs vary.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period.  The maximum project period is 5 years.  

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants


Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

For-Profit Organizations

Governments

Other

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs)

All PDs/PIs must have an eRA Commons account and should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate an existing account with the applicant organization’s eRA Commons account. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.   

2. Cost Sharing

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

3. Additional Information on Eligibility


Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed within the past thirty-seven months (as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement), except for submission:

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent                 

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

The letter of intent, preferably by email, should be sent to:

Francisco O. Calvo, Ph.D.
Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases
6707 Democracy Boulevard
Room 752, MSC 5452
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-5452
Bethesda, Maryland 20817 (for courier service)
Telephone: (301) 594-8897
Fax: (301) 480-3505
Email:  fc15y@nih.gov

Page Limitations

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

Required and Optional Components

The forms package associated with this FOA includes all applicable components, required and optional. Please note that some components marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this FOA. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate “optional” components.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Letter

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

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

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans (Data Sharing Plan, Sharing Model Organisms, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)) as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov, the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.  

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIDDK Referral Office by email at fc15y@nih.gov  when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-10-115.

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

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

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?  

Investigator(s)    

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?   

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?   

Approach

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

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

Does the application include adequate plans to interface with the USRDS Coordinating Center, and other special study centers? If applicable, are plans for statistical power and subject recruitment adequate?

Are there adequate plans for coordinating data collection, analyzing data, matching of special study patients with the master USRDS list of patients, and inclusion of study results in the Annual Data Report? 

Environment

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

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.   

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

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

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.   

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the NIDDK, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council (NDDKAC). The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

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

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.      

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

1. Developing the research design and study protocol, including definition of objectives and approaches, sample size and power calculations, and establishing procedures for participant recruitment and follow-up, data collection, quality control, interim data and safety monitoring, final data analysis and interpretation, and publication of results.

2. Establishing a Steering Committee to implement, coordinate and manage the project(s). Awardee(s) will name investigators to serve as members on a Steering Committee and other subcommittees, as appropriate, meeting periodically. Awardees will be required to accept and implement the common protocol(s) and procedures approved by the Steering Committee.

3. Designating Protocol Chairs. The Principal Investigators (for studies involving multiple protocols) shall designate a single Protocol Chairperson (if the Principal Investigator does not assume this role) for each protocol to be carried out by the study group. The Protocol Chairperson shall function as the scientific coordinator for the protocol and shall assume responsibility for obtaining approval to implement the protocol from the Steering Committee and for developing and monitoring the protocol. Significant modifications to approved protocols must be approved by the Steering Committee.

4. Implementing collection of data specified by the study protocol.  For a multi-center study, each awardee/site is required to ensure that data will be submitted expeditiously to the Data Coordinating Center. Additionally, individual investigators/sites must demonstrate the ability to implement the strategy specifically designed for their individual study population.

5. Establishing procedures for data quality and completeness. Awardees are responsible for ensuring accurate and timely assessment of the progress of each study, including development of procedures to ensure that data collection and management are: (1) adequate for quality control and analysis; (2) for clinical trials, as simple as appropriate in order to facilitate cooperation/referral of study participants by physicians to avoid unnecessary expense; and (3) sufficiently staffed across the participating institutions. For research involving multiple sites, a plan for analysis of pooled data will be developed by the Steering Committee.

6. Submitting interim progress reports, when requested, to the NIDDK Program Director including as a minimum, summary data on protocol performance. For coordinated multiple awards or a multi-site single award, the NIDDK Program Director may require additional information from individual awardees/sites. Such reports are in addition to the required annual noncompeting continuation progress report.

7. Establishing procedures, where applicable, for all participating institutions in coordinated awards to comply with FDA regulations for studies involving investigational agents or devices and to comply with the requirements of 45 CFR Part 46 for the protection of human subjects, and the NIH policy requirements for the inclusion of women, minorities and children.

8. Reporting of the study findings.  Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.  The awardee must also be adherent to Study Publication and Presentation Policy.  The NIDDK will have access to and may periodically review all data generated under an award. NIDDK staff may co-author publications of findings with awardees consistent with NIH and study policies.

9. Support or other involvement of industry or any other third party in the study -- e.g., participation by the third party; involvement of study resources or citing the name of the study or NIDDK support; or special access to study results, primary data/summary information, or resources -- may be advantageous and appropriate. However, except for licensing of patents or copyrights, support or involvement of any third party is permitted only after concurrence by NIDDK.

10.  Study investigators are encouraged to publish and to release publicly and disseminate results and other products of the study, in accordance with study protocols and steering committee policies on publications.

11.  Maintaining confidentiality of information:  The awardee(s) will maintain the confidentiality of the information developed by the investigators (i.e., protocols, data analysis, conclusions, etc.) as well as proprietary information of a company collaborating with the study.

12. The NIDDK has established Central Biosample, Genetic, and Data Repositories for the

archiving and storage of data and biosamples collected in large, multi-site studies funded by NIDDK. The PI or his/her designee will coordinate with the NIDDK Data Repository to prepare the collected data for eventual archiving and distribution. In addition, if applicable, the PI or his/her designee will work with the NIDDK Biosample Repository to coordinate procedures for coding, shipping, processing, receipt, and storage of study samples that are to be maintained in the Repository. All samples and data transferred to the Repositories will be under the custodianship of the NIDDK, although the study’s Steering Committee will have proprietary control of and exclusive access to the samples and data for an agreed-upon period of time. Subsequently samples and data will be available to the wider scientific community in accordance with the NIH policy on Data Sharing   (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/ and, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_guidance.htm#goals, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm).

13.  The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA or US Public Law 110-85) was passed on September 27, 2007. The law requires mandatory registration and results reporting for certain clinical trials of drugs, biologics, and devices. If trials conducted under this grant are applicable clinical trials subject to FDAAA, the sponsor or his/her designee will perform the mandatory study registration and reporting of study results to ClinicalTrials.gov. For more information about this law and requirements for sponsors and/or investigators, visit the PRS and U.S. Public Law 110-85 Information Page at http://prsinfo.clinicaltrials.gov/fdaaa.html. In addition, grantees should be aware that clinical trials not covered by FDAAA may still require registration in an approved registry in order to be published, according to the guidelines issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org/publishing_10register.html).

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

An NIDDK Project Scientist with substantial involvement will:  

1. Serve as the contact point for all facets of the scientific interaction with the awardee (s). As required for the coordination of activities and to expedite progress, NIDDK may designate additional NIDDK staff to provide advice to the awardee on specific scientific and/or analytic issues. Such staff may include another Project Scientist or Analyst, who will provide direct technical assistance to the awardees to optimize the conduct and/or analysis of the study; or who may assist in the coordination of activities across multiple sites.

2. For multi-center studies, participate in the Steering Committee that oversees study conduct. The NIDDK Project Scientist or designee will be a full participant and voting member of the Steering Committee and, if applicable, subcommittees.

3. Serve as a resource to study investigators with respect to other ongoing NIDDK activities that may be relevant to the study to facilitate compatibility with the NIDDK missions and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.

4. Have substantial involvement assisting in the design and coordination of research activities for awardees as elaborated below:

a. Assisting by providing advice in the management and technical performance of the investigations, coordinating required regulatory clearances for investigational agents used in the study, which are held by NIDDK. The NIDDK may reserve the right to cross file or independently file an Investigational New Drug Application or an Investigational Device Exemption form with the FDA.

b. The NDDK Project Scientist or designee may coordinate activities among awardees by assisting in the design, development, and coordination of a common research or clinical protocol and statistical evaluations of data; in the preparation of questionnaires and other data recording forms; and in the publication of results.

c. Reviewing procedures for assessing data quality and study performance monitoring.

d. The NIDDK Project Scientist or designee may be co-authors on study publications. In general, to warrant co-authorship, NIDDK staff must have contributed to the following areas: (a) design of the concepts or experiments being tested; (b) performance of significant portions of the activity; (c) participation in analysis and interpretation of study results and (d) preparation and authorship of pertinent manuscripts.  

The NIDDK Program Official identified in the Notice of Award will:

1. Interact with the principal investigator(s) on a regular basis to monitor study progress. Monitoring may include: regular communications with the principal investigator and staff, periodic site visits, observation of field data collection and management techniques, quality control, fiscal review, and other relevant matters; as well as attendance at Steering Committee, data safety and monitoring board, and related meetings. The NIDDK retains, as an option, periodic review of progress by researchers not involved with the study.

2. Review and approve protocols prior to implementation to insure they are within the scope of peer review, for safety considerations, as required by Federal regulations.

3. The NIDDK Program Official will monitor protocol progress, and may request that a protocol study be closed to accrual for reasons including: (a) accrual rate insufficient to complete study in a timely fashion; (b) accrual goals met early; (c) poor protocol performance; (d) patient safety and regulatory concerns; (e) study results that are already conclusive; (f) low likelihood of showing a benefit of the intervention (futility); and (g) emergence of new information that diminishes the scientific importance of the study question. The NIDDK will not permit further expenditures of NIDDK funds for a study after requesting closure except as specifically approved by the NIDDK.

4. Make recommendations for continued funding based on: a) overall study progress, including sufficient patient and/or data accrual; b) cooperation in carrying out the research (e.g., attendance at Steering Committee meetings, implementation of group decisions, compliance with the terms of award and reporting requirements); and/or c) maintenance of a high quality of research, which will allow pooling of data and comparisons across multiple cooperative agreement awards for common data elements.

5. Appoint a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as appropriate; the NIDDK Program Official or their designee will serve as the Executive Secretary and/or NIDDK program representative on the DSMB.

Joint Responsibilities

In addition to the interactions defined above, NIDDK Project Scientist and Awardees shall share responsibility for the following activities:

1. Steering Committee

A Steering Committee organized by the study investigator(s) will be the main governing body of the study.

The Steering Committee has primary responsibility to design research activities, establish priorities, develop common protocols and manuals, questionnaires and other data recording forms, establish and maintain quality control among awardees, review progress, monitor patient accrual, coordinate and standardize data management, and cooperate on the publication of  results. Major scientific decisions regarding the core data will be determined by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will document progress in written reports to the NIDDK Program Official, and will provide periodic supplementary reports upon request.

The Steering Committee will be composed of all Principal Investigator(s), (including those of data coordinating /statistical centers, if any) and co-investigators as deemed necessary, and the NIDDK Project Scientist. The final structure of the Steering Committee and voting procedures will be established at the first meeting. The NIDDK Project Scientist will have voting membership on the Steering Committee, and as appropriate, its subcommittees. The frequency of Steering Committee meetings will be dictated by a vote of the members of the Steering Committee.

A Chairperson of the Steering Committee, other than the NIDDK Project Scientist, will be selected by the NIDDK. The Chairperson provides leadership to the Committee by conducting the Steering Committee meetings, representing the study group to the External Oversight Committee established by the NIDDK (see item D2 below) and by interacting closely with the awardees during protocol development and implementation.

2. External Study Oversight

An independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board will be established by the NIDDK for Phase III clinical trials or other high risk studies as appropriate. An Observational Study Monitoring Board (OSMB) will be established for observational/epidemiologic studies. These Boards will review study progress, safety data and interim results, as appropriate, and provide guidance to the NIDDK.

Dispute Resolution

Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the scope of the award), between award recipients and the NIDDK may be brought to dispute resolution. A dispute resolution panel will be composed of three members --one selected by the awardee (or the Steering Committee, with the NIDDK member not voting), a second member selected by NIDDK, and the third member elected by the two prior selected members. These special dispute resolution procedures in no way affect the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CR Part 16.

3. Reporting

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

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

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

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Phone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Web ticketing system: https://public.era.nih.gov/commonshelp
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726

Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Paul Eggers, Ph.D.
Director, Kidney and Urology Epidemiology
Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone:  301-594-7717
Email:  eggersp@extra.niddk.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Francisco O. Calvo, Ph.D.
Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-8897
Email:  fc15y@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Amanda Linehan
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-4749
Email: linehana@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.


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