Internal Deadline: Friday, March 10th, 2023, 5pm PT
LOI: 30 days prior.
External Deadline: May 18, 2023
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 4
Anticipated Award Amount: $2 million. Application budgets are limited to $500,000 direct costs per year.
Who May Serve as PI: Standard NIH requirements.
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/.
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Single 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 1-page limit will be excluded from review.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs and Co-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.
The emphasis of the NIAMS Resource-based Centers Program is to improve access to critical research infrastructure, shared facilities, services, and resources. Each Center will contain one or more Resource Cores that serve a strong research community. For the purposes of this particular announcement, the research community is defined as those investigators (and their funded projects) who will use Center resources for research within the focus of the Center, which should be within the NIAMS mission. Successful Resource-based Centers are expected to expand the chosen field(s), provide new research opportunities, and increase the efficiency and impact of research due to resource access.
The focus of the Center is determined by the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and may encompass basic, translational, and/or clinical research. For this particular announcement, the Center focus is restricted to bone, muscle, and orthopaedic research areas within the NIAMS mission. The focus of the Center may be very broad (e.g., bone, muscle, and orthopaedic research in general) and serve a diverse group of investigators including individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences (NOT-OD-20-031) that share the need for critical common core services. Alternatively, a Center may have a narrow disease or biology focus or theme. In some cases, the relevant research community may share a highly specialized resource such as a well-defined patient cohort with associated patient data and biospecimens or may share a need for highly specialized technologies and services (e.g., advanced imaging, single cell analysis, or computational biology and machine learning). Potential PDs/PIs are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts early in the application planning process to discuss the NIAMS mission relevance and FOA responsiveness.
It has become increasingly common and feasible for investigators at different institutions to collaborate to achieve common goals. Therefore, to facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research, resources and investigators may be distributed at different institutions and different geographic regions, particularly for resources that do not need to be duplicated at every research site. Similarly, the research community may be defined at the national or regional level and may include foreign collaborators. Centers designed to serve a research community primarily at a single institution should include outreach plans to expand access to researchers from other institutions to maximize the value of the Center resources.
The NIAMS Resource-based Centers will provide support for
- One or more Resource Cores
- An Administrative Core that includes a Center Enrichment Program
Each Center must include one or more Resource Cores. A Resource Core is a facility or resource shared by or providing services to multiple research community investigators, enabling them to conduct their independently funded individual or collaborative research projects more efficiently and effectively. The selection of Resource Cores is left up to the PD/PI, but should be justified by the needs of the research community and should be appropriate for the focus of the Center, which should be within the NIAMS mission. Resource Cores may be located at multiple institutions separated geographically as long as the PI can justify the feasibility of such arrangement.
For the purpose of this FOA, examples of Resource Cores include, but are not limited to, Cores providing the following:
- A technology that lends itself to standardized procedures, automation, or preparation in large batches (e.g., histology, tissue culture, biobanking, high throughput sequencing, genotyping, and other genomic, epigenomic, proteomic, and microbiomic assays) or that requires complex instrumentation (e.g., electron microscopy, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, intravital microscopy, whole animal imaging, and mass spectrometry).
- Animal preparation (including transgenic, knockout, and other forms of genetic engineering/gene editing) and care.
- Highly specialized technologies, tools, and expertise such as genetics, medical informatics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, systems biology, computational biology and machine learning, and pharmacogenomics.
- Critical infrastructure to support broad sharing of accessible pre-existing patient cohorts and registries, including appropriately consented patient samples and associated clinical data.
A single Center may propose multiple Resource Cores offering different types of technologies, services, and critical resources. However, applications solely focusing on a clinical methodology core(s) supporting outcomes, epidemiology, clinical trials, and/or health services research exclusively are not responsive to this FOA and will not be reviewed. Prior consultation with the NIAMS Scientific/Research contact is strongly recommended.
Although the Cores themselves are not required to be innovative, they should be “state-of-the-art” and drive innovation within the research community. In addition, Cores are encouraged to support limited research focused on technology development or adaptation of technologies to meet the needs of the research community through new or unique state-of-the-art core services. Resource Core support may include personnel, equipment, supplies, services, and facilities. It is expected that the Resource Cores will be sustainable in their operation and receive some reimbursement for the cost of providing services or other resources through user fees, making the prospect of sustainability at the conclusion of NIAMS support feasible.
Cores are encouraged to leverage existing resources, such as registries, tissue banks, and cohorts, and to coordinate with other Cores at the same or nearby institutions, particularly if they provide similar or overlapping technologies and services. Cores may support existing service cores, but should add value beyond the normal use of a resource by fee-for-service or simple access. Whenever possible, generic services (e.g., histology, flow cytometry, genetically engineered animals), whether offered by new or existing Cores, should be customized to meet the needs of the research community. Examples of such customization include the provision of relevant reliable monoclonal antibodies (e.g., for immunostaining of cells and tissues, for flow cytometry, or for ChIP-seq) and tissue or cell type-specific promoters and cre-drivers for genetically engineered animal studies. All Cores are strongly encouraged to enhance the value of the resources they offer through education and training on technologies and other resources offered by the Core, as well as consultation on experimental design and data analysis and interpretation. Applicants from institutions that have a Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) funded by the NIH may wish to identify the CTSA as a resource for supporting the research community.
The Administrative Core has oversight responsibility for the entire Resource-based Center (P30) and also plans and carries out activities that promote the goals of the Center. These goals and activities are selected by the PD/PI of the application, but at the very least need to include outreach activities that promote use of the resources offered by the Center as well as enrichment activities that expand the research community or promote innovative research on the topic of focus of the Center and within the NIAMS mission. Outreach for Centers that have a research community at a single institution should extend beyond the borders of that institution in order to make Center resources more available wherever possible. The Administrative Core should have a Director, an Associate Director, and an Advisory Committee to coordinate the Center activities and to evaluate and improve the Center. The Director of the Administrative Core is also the Director of the overall Center. The Advisory Committee should include users of the scientific cores and experts outside the Center with expertise in the management of scientific core facilities. This Committee should help the Director and Associate Director to regularly evaluate and optimize strategies to meet the scientific needs of the research community over the course of the grant award.
The following are examples of additional goals that would be appropriate for a Resource-based Center. This list is neither mandatory nor inclusive. PDs/PIs are encouraged to propose other innovative goals.
- Provides leadership for research on the topic of focus by the Center
- Expands the research community by attracting new investigators and established investigators from other fields
- Enhances the research environment and promotes synergistic collaborations or interdisciplinary research
The Administrative Core must include an Enrichment Program that is designed to expand the research community and/or promote innovative research on the topic of focus of the Center. The Enrichment Program should include outreach activities for the Resource Core(s). Each Center may choose the activities that best suit the needs of the research community, but all activities should occur within the context of or with the involvement of the Resource Core(s). Through this Enrichment Program, the Administrative Core can utilize the Resource Cores to nurture the career development of new investigators, attract investigators from other research fields, enhance the biomedical research workforce by including investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented backgrounds (see, e.g., Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031), develop new technologies, or foster new collaborations with investigators who have not previously engaged in research within the focus of the Center. The Enrichment Program may include a Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) grant program, but this is optional. Innovative approaches to the Enrichment Program are encouraged.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.