I. Description of the NCCAM CERC (P01) Grant
The basic criteria for a Center of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CERC) are:
- A clearly defined, unifying central theme to which each project relates and to which each investigator contributes. The CERC is directed toward a range of scientific questions having a central research focus, in contrast to the more narrow thrust of the traditional research project grant (R01). More information on grant mechanisms supported by NCCAM can be found at Grants and Funding.
- The inter-relationships of projects and collaborations among investigators that will yield synergy (i.e., results beyond those achievable if each project were to be pursued independently).
- A principal investigator/program director (PI/PD) who is an established research scientist and who has the experience, ability, and time commitment to ensure quality control, effective administration, and integration of all components of the Center. This person should be an investigator with a strong track record (which includes peer-reviewed research publications) in one or more research areas directly relevant to the focus of the proposed CERC, as well as a strong record of successful leadership of large research enterprises. Multiple PI/PDs are permitted. Refer to the following NIH Web site for details about requirements and leadership plans: grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi/.
- Leadership of each research project by an experienced investigator with an established record of productivity and independent funding. The participation of experts in several disciplines or several areas of one discipline should greatly enhance the goals of the CERC. All investigators must contribute to, and share in, the responsibilities of fulfilling the program objectives. Generally, it would be inappropriate to have a postdoctoral fellow or junior faculty (e.g., early-stage investigator) as a project leader.
- A minimum of three projects that are judged to have significant scientific merit, as well as being complementary and contributory to the central theme of the CERC. Although investigators are allowed to submit a project as an R01 application and as part of the CERC for review in the same review cycle, this practice is not encouraged. However, if such a project were to receive impact/priority scores that merit funding of both the R01 and P01 applications, funding of the project in the CERC will take precedence, and the R01 application will be inactivated administratively.
- One or more research core facilities that provide services to at least two research projects.
NCCAM has adopted the following policies to balance the needs of individual CERCs with the overall priorities of NCCAM:
- Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NCCAM while they are still early in the process of developing conceptual plans for an application (e.g., 5 months before the receipt date).
- Applications that request budgets that are more than $500,000 per year in direct costs (excluding indirect costs of subcontracts) must contact NCCAM program staff at least 8 weeks before submitting a new, renewal, or resubmission application.
- A 3-percent budget increase over the preceding year may be allowed for the noncompeting years.
- It is strongly recommended that applicants not request a budget of more than $1.25 million in direct costs per year.
- Minimum recommended levels of effort for the overall P01 application are three person-months for a single PI/PD or an aggregate of 3 months with multiple PI/PDs and 1.2 person-months for individual project leaders.
- Any P01 grant receiving a competing award in FY 2013 or later will be limited to one subsequent renewal. For example, if a P01 grant in its 10th year is successfully renewed in 2013, only one additional competing renewal will be allowed. New P01 grants are allowed one competing renewal for a maximum project duration of 10 years.