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Writing a Winning Grant Proposal
Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.866 Aging Research

FEDERAL AGENCY:

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

AUTHORIZATION:

Public Health Service Act, Title III, Part A, Section 301, Title IV, Part C, Sections 444, 445, and 445 A-F, Part F, Section 487, as amended; Public Laws 78-410, 99-158, 100-607, 42 U.S.C. 241; 42 U.S.C. 285; 42 U.S.C. 288; Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992, Public Law 102-564.
OBJECTIVES: Click here for help!
To encourage biomedical, social, and behavioral research and research training directed toward greater understanding of the aging process and the diseases, special problems, and needs of people as they age. The National Institute on Aging has established programs to pursue these goals. The biology of aging program emphasizes understanding the basic biological processes of aging. The geriatrics program supports research to improve the abilities of health care practitioners to respond to the diseases and other clinical problems of older people. The behavioral and social research program supports research that will lead to greater understanding of the social, cultural, economic and psychological factors that affect both the process of growing old and the place of older people in society. The neuroscience and neuropsychology of aging program fosters research concerned with the age-related changes in the nervous system as well as the related sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes associated with aging. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program: To expand and improve the SBIR program; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; to increase small business participation in Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation. Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program: To stimulate and foster scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research development carried out between small business concerns and research institutions; to foster technology transfer between small business concerns and research institutions; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Research grants are intended to support the direct costs of a project in accordance with an approved budget, plus an appropriate amount for indirect costs. Grantees must agree to administer the grant in accordance with the regulations and policies governing the research grants program of the Public Health Service. National Research Service Awards (NRSA) (Individual) are made directly to approved applicants for research training in specified biomedical shortage areas. In addition, National Research Service Awards (Institutional) may be made to institutions to enable them to make NRSAs to individuals selected by them. Each individual who receives a NRSA is obligated, upon termination of the award, to comply with certain service and payback provisions. Regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations and 42 CFR, Part 66. SBIR Phase I grants (of approximately 6 months' duration) are to establish the technical merit and feasibility of a proposed research effort that may lead to a commercial product or process. SBIR Phase II grants are for the continuation of the research initiated in Phase I and that are likely to result in commercial products or processes. Only Phase I awardees are eligible to apply for Phase II support. STTR Phase I grants (normally of 1- year duration) are to determine the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed cooperative effort that has potential for commercial application. Phase II funding is based on results of research initiated in Phase I and scientific and technical merit and commercial potential on Phase II application.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   Grants: Universities, colleges, medical, dental and nursing schools, schools of public health, laboratories, hospitals, State and local health departments, other public or private institutions (both for-profit and nonprofit), and individuals. National Research Service Award: Individual NRSAs may be made for postdoctoral training to applicants who hold a professional or scientific degree (M.D., Ph.D., D.D.S., D.O., D.V.M., Sc.D., D.Eng., or equivalent domestic or foreign degree). Institutional NRSAs may be made for both predoctoral and postdoctoral research training. Predoctoral awardees must have a baccalaureate degree. Applicants must be citizens of the United States or admitted for permanent residency. Individual NRSA awardees must be nominated and sponsored by a public or private nonprofit institution having staff and facilities suitable to the proposed research training. Nonprofit domestic organizations may apply for the Institutional NRSA. SBIR grants can be awarded only to domestic small businesses (entities that are independently owned and operated for profit, are not dominant in the field in which research is proposed, and have no more than 500 employees). Primary employment (more than one-half time) of the principal investigator must be with the small business at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed project. In both Phase I and Phase II, the research must be performed in the U.S. or its possessions. STTR grants can be awarded only to domestic small business concerns (entities that are independently owned and operated for profit, are not dominant in the field in which research is proposed and have no more that 500 employees) which "partner" with a research institution in cooperative research and development. At least 40 percent of the project is to be performed by the small business concern and at least 30 percent by the research institution. In both Phase I and Phase II, the research must be performed in the U.S. and its possessions. To be eligible for funding, a grant application that exceeds $50,000 in direct costs must be approved for scientific merit and program relevance by a scientific review group and a national advisory council. If the direct cost of a grant approved by a scientific review group does not exceed $50,000, it may be funded without approval by a national advisory council.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Any nonprofit or for-profit organization, company, or institution engaged in biomedical research.

Credentials/Documentation:   Grants: A research grant application, PHS 398, (Rev. September 1991) is to be submitted to the Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892. All required forms specified in the application kit are to be completed by the applicant and submitted with the application package. National Research Service Awards: Individual Award: The applicant's record, research experience, citizenship, and institution sponsorship should be documented in the application. Institutional Award: The applicant organization must show the objectives, methodology and resources for the research training program, the qualifications and experience of directing staff, the criteria to be used in selecting individuals for awards, and a detailed budget and justification for the amount of grant funds requested. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. For-profit organizations' costs are determined in accordance with Subpart 31.2 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations. For other grantees, costs will be determined by HHS Regulations 45 CFR, Part 74, Subpart Q. For SBIR and STTR grants, applicant organization (small business concern) must present in a research plan an idea that has potential for commercialization and furnish evidence that scientific competence, experimental methods, facilities, equipment, and funds requested are appropriate to carry out the plan. Grant forms PHS 6246-1 and PHS 6246-2 are used to apply for SBIR Phase I and Phase II, respectively. Grant forms PHS 6246-3 and PHS 6246-4 are used to apply for STTR Phase I and Phase II, respectively.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   Not applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Grants: The standard application forms, as furnished by PHS and required by 45 CFR, Part 92 for State and local governments, must be used for this program. Consultation is available from Institute staff for all award mechanisms. Applicants for multi-project awards are strongly encouraged to consult program staff before applying. Prior to making formal application to the NRSA programs, individual NRSA applicants must be nominated and sponsored by a Federal, public or nonprofit institution having staff and facilities appropriate to the proposed research training program. An application form, PHS-398 (Rev. May 1995), may be requested from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910. Telephone 301/435-0714; e-mail: ASKNIH@odrockml.od.nih.gov and should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 when completed. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit, evaluation of applicant qualifications, adequacy of the research environment, and significance of the proposed problem to be studied. NRSAs: Application forms and information concerning current areas of science being supported are available from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, (see address above) and should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 when completed. This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR, Part 92 for State and local governments and OMB Circular No. A-110 for nonprofit organizations. SBIR and STTR Grant Solicitations and SBIR Contract Solicitation may be obtained electronically through the NIH's "Small Business Funding Opportunities" home page at http://www.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir.htm on the World Wide Web. A limited number of hard copies of these publications are produced. Subject to availability, they may be obtained by contacting the NIH support services contractor: phone: (301) 206-9385; fax: (301) 206-9722; e-mail: a2y@cu.nih.gov. The Solicitations include submission procedures, review considerations, and grant application or contract proposal forms. SBIR and STTR grant applications should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710, Bethesda, MD 20892-7710.

Award Procedure:   Grants and Institutional NRSAs: Each application receives an initial scientific review by non-NIH scientists and a secondary review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. Individual NRSAs do not receive a secondary review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. Awards are issued by the NIA to the grantee institution. All accepted SBIR/STTR applications are evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate scientific peer review panel and by a national advisory council or board. All applications receiving a priority score compete for available SBIR/STTR set-aside funds on the basis of scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the proposed research, program relevance, and program balance among the areas of research.

Deadlines:   Research grants, career development awards, and conference grants (for new grant applications): February 1, June 1, and October 1. Renewal and Supplemental research grant, career development award, and conference grant applications: March 1, July 1, and November 1. New and competing continuation program project and center applications: February 1, June 1, and October 1. Individual NRSAs; April 5, August 5, and December 5. Institutional NRSAs: January 10, May 10, and September 10. SBIR and STTR Grants: April 1, August 1, and December 1.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   Grants: From 6 to 9 months. National Research Service Awards: From 6 to 9 months. SBIR/STTR: About 7-1/2 months.

Appeals:   A principal investigator (P.I.) may question the substantive or procedural aspects of the review of his/her application by communicating with the staff of the Institute. A description of the NIH Peer Review Appeal procedures is available on the NIH home page www.nih.gov/grants/guide/1997/97.11.21/n2.html.

Renewals:   Grants: Renewal applications are accepted. National Research Service Awards: Awards may be made for 1, 2, or 3 years. No individual may receive NIH fellowship support at the postdoctoral level for more than 3 years.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Grant Awards are usually made annually and usually with project periods not to exceed 5 years in length. National Research Service Awards: Institutional awards may be made for up to 5 years, and individual awards may be made for as many as 3 years. SBIR: Normally, Phase I awards are for 6 months; normally, Phase II awards are for 2 years. STTR: Normally, Phase I awards are for 1 year; normally, Phase II awards are for 2 years.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   Grants: Annual progress reports and reports of expenditures are required. National Research Service Awards: Institutional awards require that a statement of appointment for each trainee selected by the Program Director be submitted to the NIA for each year of training. Reports are required after termination of the awards to ascertain compliance with the service and payback provisions for each institutionally selected trainee. Individual awards require reports upon award expiration to determine compliance with the service and payback provisions.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspection and audits by DHHS and other Federal government officials.

Records:   Expenditures and other financial records must be retained for 3 years from the day on which the grantee submits the last expenditure report for the report period.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:   75-0843-0-1-552.

Obligations:   (Grants) FY 01 $606,860,000; FY 02 est $685,454,000; and FY 03 est $744,661,000. (NRSA) FY 01 $19,390,000; FY 02 est $21,084,000; and FY 03 est $21,990,000. (SBIR grants) FY 01 $18,050,000; FY 02 est $20,220,000; and FY 03 est $21,705,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:   Awards vary in range depending on the particular activity codes. Individual fellowships range from $42,000 to $55,000 and average about $46,000. Research grants have much larger ranges - from $75,000 to several million dollars. Average costs of research grants are around $400,000. All costs are shown on a single year basis. Awards may be for up to five years.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
In fiscal year 2001, 1,271 competing and noncompeting research project grants were funded. A total of 1,500 competing research project grant applications were reviewed and 484 were awarded. For the SBIR/STTR program, there were 34 Phase I awards and 33 Phase II awards. Approximately 1,606 competing research project grant applications are expected in fiscal year 2002 and 1,720 in 2003. Estimated competing research project grant awards for fiscal year 2002 are 438 and 436 in fiscal year 2003. In fiscal year 2001, approximately 80 applications for NRSAs were reviewed and 36 competing NRSAs were funded. It is estimated that competing NRSA applications to be reviewed for both fiscal years 2002 and 2003 will be 80. An estimated 31 competing NRSAs will be funded in fiscal year 2002 and 39 in fiscal year 2003.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

42 CFR 52; 42 CFR 66; 45 CFR 74; 45 CFR 92; Grants will be available under the authority of and administered in accordance with the PHS Grants Policy Statement and Federal regulations at 42 CFR 52 and 42 U.S.C 241; Omnibus Solicitation of the Public Health Service for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant and Cooperative Agreement Applications. Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant Applications.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:   Not applicable.

Headquarters Office:   Robin A. Barr, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute on Aging, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C218, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 Email: rb42h@nih.gov Phone: (301) 402-7715 Fax: (301) 402-2945.

Web Site Address:  
http://www.nia.nih.gov/

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: Examples may be selected by accessing the NIH Reporter site: http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm and choosing NIA as the Agency/Institute/Center. Fiscal Year 2017: Examples may be selected by accessing the NIH Reporter site: http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm and choosing NIA as the Agency/Institute/Center.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

The major elements in evaluating proposals include assessments of: the scientific merit and general significance of the proposed study and its objectives; the technical adequacy of the experimental design and approach; the competency of the proposed investigator or group to successfully pursue the project; the adequacy of the available and proposed facilities and resources; the necessity of the budget components requested in relation to the proposed project; and the relevance and importance to announced program objectives. The following criteria will be used in considering the scientific and technical merit of SBIR/STTR Phase I grant applications: (1) The soundness and technical merit of the proposed approach; (2) the qualifications of the proposed principal investigator, supporting staff, and consultants; (3) the technological innovation of the proposed research; (4) the potential of the proposed research for commercial application; (5) the appropriateness of the budget requested; (6) the adequacy and suitability of the facilities and research; and (7) where applicable, the adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for (a) safeguarding human or animal subjects, and/or (b) protecting against or minimizing any adverse effect on the environment. Phase II grant applications will be reviewed based upon the following criteria: (1) The degree to which the Phase I objectives were met and feasibility demonstrated; (2) the scientific and technical merit of the proposed approach for achieving the Phase II objectives; (3) the qualifications of the proposed principal investigator, supporting staff, and consultants; (4) the technological innovation, originality, or societal importance of the proposed research; (5) the potential of the proposed research for commercial application; (6) the reasonableness of the budget requested for the work proposed; (7) the adequacy and suitability of the facilities and research environment; and (8) where applicable, the adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for (a) safeguarding human or animal subjects, and/or (b) protecting against or minimizing any adverse effect on the environment.

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