Internal Deadline: March 15, 2024
LOI: 30 days prior.
External Deadline: May 29, 2024
Recurring Deadlines: January 28, 2025; May 28, 2025; January 27, 2026
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 4-6
Anticipated Award Amount: While applications may request research program budgets of up to $1.5 million direct costs per year, it is anticipated that most awards will be between $700,000-$900,000 direct costs. Annual inflationary increases are not allowed. The requested budget should be consistent with the number of PDs/PIs and the complexity and needs of the proposed program. An additional $250,000 direct costs per year may be requested for optional developmental funds to support the addition of ESIs to the program in years 2-5.
Who May Serve as PI:
The application is required to be submitted as a multiple PD/PI application, with three to six PDs/PIs. All PDs/PIs must have an appointment at a domestic institution. Scientists employed solely by foreign institutions may not serve as one of the PDs/PIs of the multiple PD/PI team, although they may be included in the application as collaborators/co-investigators, consultants, or other significant contributors. See the multiple PD/PI Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, and the Grant Policy Statement on Multiple Principal Investigators. Minimum allowed efforts by the PDs/PIs are described in the R&R Budget instructions in Part 2. Section IV.2.
Any eligible scientists with the interest and ability to develop a team science program to address an important research question are welcome to apply.
- NIGMS encourages the participation of early career investigators as part of the multiple PD/PI team as appropriate.
- Note that ESIs and new investigators who participate as a PD/PI will lose their ESI or new investigator status for future NIH applications.
- ESIs supported by developmental funds in future years are not designated as PDs/PIs and will not lose ESI status.
- PDs/PIs who have an active NIGMS R35 award can participate as a RM1 PD/PI. Their RM1 effort will be part of the 51% research effort on their current R35 award but may not receive additional funds .
- Applicants with substantial unrestricted research support may receive funding from this award as their one NIGMS grant award, or may participate in an unfunded advisory or consulting role without loss of their ability to receive one funded NIGMS grant, consistent with NIGMS funding policies.
Link to Award: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-23-077.html
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII) Application Portal: https://rii.usc.edu/oor-portal/. Use the template provided here:
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Two-Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 2-page limit will be excluded from review. You must use the template linked above.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
Complex and challenging research questions benefit from the integrated efforts of teams/labs employing complementary approaches with multiple areas of expertise. Team-based efforts can converge on high-impact discoveries, such as creating new disciplines, resolving longstanding or intractable problems, or defining new areas that challenge existing paradigms.
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages Collaborative Program Grant applications from institutions/organizations that propose projects addressing complex and challenging biomedical problems within the mission of NIGMS. Multidisciplinary research teams must have a highly integrated approach for each of their project goals. The Collaborative Program Grant is designed to support research in which funding a team of interdependent investigators to achieve a unified scientific goal offers significant advantages over supporting individual research project grants.
Features of successful applications include:
- Each PD/PI is committed to team science and willing to devote a major part of their research effort to the team project.
- Achieving the goal(s) requires a team approach.
- Each biological question posed requires a cohesive team with an integrated approach.
- A team management structure is developed for achieving program goals.
NIGMS recognizes that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse scientific workforce, including fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations participate in, and benefit from, research and enhancing public trust. To support the best science, NIGMS encourages inclusivity in research. Examples of structures that promote diverse perspectives include but are not limited to:
- Engagement from different types of institutions and organizations (e.g., research-intensive, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, community-based).
- Individual applications and partnerships that enhance geographic and regional engagement.
- Investigators and teams composed of researchers at different career stages.
- Participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce (see NOT-OD-20-031), such as underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women.
- Project-based opportunities to benefit early- and mid-career investigators.
This FOA requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) as part of the application (see Section IV.2 SF424(R&R) Other Project Information. Other Attachments). For further information on the Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), please see https://braininitiative.nih.gov/about/pedp-key-elements-and-examples.
Applications may address any area of science within the NIGMS mission. NIGMS supports generalizable, foundational basic research that increases understanding of biological processes at a range of levels, from molecules and cells, to tissues, whole organisms, and populations. NIGMS also supports research in a limited number of clinical areas that affect multiple organ systems. Truly new interdisciplinary ideas for approaching significant biological problems are encouraged. Applications that bridge the research interests of more than one area of science supported by NIGMS are also encouraged but must remain within the NIGMS mission.
Research with the overall goal of gaining knowledge about a specific organ or organ system, or the pathophysiology, treatment, or cure of a specific disease or condition will, in most cases, be more appropriate for another Institute or Center. Consultation with NIGMS staff (see below) prior to preparing an application is strongly encouraged.
Projects outside the NIGMS mission will be rejected without review.
Applicants for smaller projects with one or two PD/PIs should consider submitting a multi-PD/PI application to the “NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01)” FOA (see the Parent Announcement website for the current issuance of that FOA), or if they are current NIGMS R35 MIRA awardees, they could consider collaborating as part of the 51% research effort on their current R35 award (note they will not receive additional funds from the RM1).
Applications that are mainly focused on the creation, expansion, and/or maintenance of community resources, or on infrastructure development, are not appropriate for this FOA. Although Collaborative Program Grants may include some technology development, applications with a central focus on the creation of new technologies would not be considered for funding as a Collaborative Program Grant and are more appropriate for the other NIGMS mechanism for funding technology research and resources.
Applications that employ specific cells or tissues to address a fundamental biomedical question are appropriate. However, applications that focus solely on a specific organ or disease state and that are within the mission areas of other NIH Institutes and Centers would not be appropriate for this FOA.
Research involving human subjects is permitted in the Collaborative Program Grant. Clinical research must be completely within the context of the NIGMS clinical areas (anesthesiology, clinical pharmacology, sepsis, injury, and critical illness). Mechanistic clinical trials are permitted when the mechanistic study is an essential part of the research program. Clinical trials that are designed to test safety and efficacy of interventions (Phase I, Phase II, Phase III) for the purpose of future clinical treatment and/or regulatory approval are not permitted. Potential applicants are encouraged to confer with the NIGMS Scientific/Research staff (in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this FOA) before submitting an application that includes clinical research. NIGMS does not intend to fund applications that contain clinical research within the missions of other Institutes and Centers at NIH or other federal agencies.
Applications submitted to this FOA are expected to propose a single, well-integrated research plan of sufficient scope, complexity, and impact to justify the investment of significant resources. Applicants are expected to describe a cohesive program with a single set of specific aims sufficient to accomplish program objectives that can be achieved within a maximum of ten years (one five-year program with one five-year competitive renewal). Program objectives that are not likely to be achieved within ten years are not appropriate for this FOA.
Applications that propose extrapolations of a single line of research or propose parallel but independent advancement of different areas are not appropriate for this FOA.
Applicant teams should be nimble to incorporate new knowledge and techniques to achieve program objectives and tackle unanticipated challenges. The application may include early-stage investigtor (ESI)-led development projects in future years to investigate new, but related, lines of research.
Team Management and Optional Activities
An RM1 must be a multiple PI application. Therefore, applicants must include a MPI leadership plan as required by the NIH. In addition, applications are expected to develop a comprehensive team management plan that addresses the following:
- Appropriate organizational structure and team composition
- Shared leadership, contributions, and distributed responsibility for decision making
- Resource allocation
- Plans for professional development
- Conflict resolution
Applicants may wish to address how they will develop trust and a shared vision, as well as how shared responsibilities, interpersonal interactions, and professional credit will be managed. Additionally, applicants may consider a scientific project manager or program coordinator as part of the management plan.
Collaborative Program Grant applications may propose the use of optional future year developmental funds to support ESIs at domestic institutions whose availability was unknown and/or who can bring new ideas and expertise to the program that was not initially conceived to be relevant at the time of application. Developmental funds are in addition to the base grant budget and will be made available after the first year of the award, subject to NIGMS staff approval and availability of funds. See Section VI. Award Administration Information. Prior Approval for Use of Developmental Funds.
The proposed new work that ESIs will pursue must be well aligned with the aims of the original grant.
If the application requests developmental funds for studies directed by ESIs, plans must be included for selecting the ESIs and for leveraging existing resources for appropriate mentoring, including the effective conduct of multidisciplinary team science, as described in Part 2. Section IV.2 of this FOA.
ESIs supported by developmental funds will be able to seek and receive independent funding. A review criterion and funding consideration for any subsequent Renewal application will be evaluation of the outcomes of the ESI mentoring and support, including whether ESIs successfully obtained independent funding. Note that a plan for the use of developmental funds to support ESIs is an optional activity.
Prior Consultation with IC staff
NIGMS intends to fund a limited number of applications. Therefore, consultation with relevant staff at least 10 weeks prior to the application due date is strongly encouraged. Once applicants have identified overall program objectives and PD/PI participants, NIGMS staff may be able to advise applicants whether the proposed research strategy meets the goals and mission of the Institute, whether it addresses one or more high priority research areas, and whether it is appropriate for a Collaborative team program. A collaborative program that is closely related to the goal of a PD/PI’s existing NIGMS-funded research might require that funding be relinquished to avoid scientific overlap. Institute staff will not evaluate the technical and scientific merit of the proposed program in advance; technical and scientific merit will be determined during peer review using the review criteria indicated in this FOA. During the consultation phase, if the proposed research strategy does not meet NIGMS’ programmatic needs, is not appropriate as a Collaborative Program Grant, or is outside the NIGMS mission, applicants will be encouraged to consider other funding opportunities.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.