Guidelines for PAR-13-220 Center for Excellence in Research on CAM (CERC)—Request for Permission to Apply
NCCAM Funding Opportunity Announcement: PAR-13-220
Rationale—Requests of $500,000 or More for Direct Costs in Any Year
Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year (excluding consortium facilities and administrative [F&A]) must contact NIH program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application and follow the Policy on the Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request $500,000 or More in Direct Costs as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide. This policy applies to all CERC applications including new, renewal, and resubmission.
Date to Submit Request for Permission to Apply
Although a written "Request for Permission to Apply" (RPA) is due at least 6 weeks prior to the application receipt date, NCCAM strongly encourages investigators to submit the RPA much earlier in the cycle (e.g., 4–5 months prior to the receipt date). NCCAM reviews the RPA on a rolling basis and will inform investigators within approximately 4 weeks of receipt of an RPA whether they will be allowed to submit a CERC application.
Information to Include in the Request
The RPA does not require any forms and should be submitted as a single PDF document (11 point font, ½" margins all around), which contains the following:
- Overall CERC title; names of project director(s)/principle investigator(s) (PDs/PIs) and co-investigators and their institutional affiliations; proposed submission date, start date, and duration (1 page).
- Center description (abstract) (maximum 1 page).
- Summary of the overall center that includes/addresses the following: i) the unifying scientific theme; ii) background, rationale, significance of the application; and iii) overview of the scientific design. A statement should be included on how this proposal would address one or more of the priority research areas identified in the NCCAM Strategic Plan, and how the synergy among the projects and cores will move the field forward. If the application is a renewal, the summary should provide specific examples of accomplishments of the projects (maximum 3 pages).
- Specific aims for each individual project and core (maximum 1 page each), including:
- For any proposed human subjects research: Estimated sample size and its rationale, estimate of study population availability, as well as general statistical assumptions for the study design and analysis
- For any proposed natural product-based research: Description of the products (e.g., source/manufacturer, genus, species, strain, and isomers to be used) and if the product would be delivered to human subjects, summary of the current investigational new drug (IND) status and related plans.
- Biosketches (including other research support) of all the project and core leaders. No form is required, but if desired, you may use the NIH Biosketch form (2 pages per biosketch).
- Draft budget—Provide a draft budget for the entire center (i.e., all projects and cores). No form is required and this can be a table; although you may use PHS 398 budget forms if desired. Draft justifications are not required, but relevant, concise information may be helpful, particularly for key personnel and equipment (1 page).
- For competitive renewal applications: Provide specific examples of collaboration during the prior award (e.g., how work in one project has catalyzed research progress in other projects and how results, expertise, and resources are shared among projects and cores) and a list of publications that derived from the P01 grant (1 page).
Review Criteria for Request for Permission to Apply
The following criteria, also stated in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), will be used in the administrative staff review of these requests:
- Relevance to NCCAM: How is the unifying central theme important to the NCCAM mission?
- Programmatic priority: How will the proposed research significantly advance the mission of NCCAM? Does it address an area of high research priority as described in the NCCAM Strategic Plan?
- Programmatic balance: How does the proposed research relate to currently funded research by NCCAM, by NIH at large, and by the investigative team?
- Grant mechanism: Are there three or four discrete, R01-level projects and if research cores are proposed, would the core(s) serve at least two projects? Is the proposed work appropriate for the P01 grant mechanism?
Where to submit the Request
The RPA should be e-mailed (as a single PDF document) to the scientific contact for the FOA.
The decision on whether to allow submission of an application in response to PAR-13-220 is made by the Division of Extramural Research at NCCAM (and not by an individual program officer). Investigators will be informed of the decision, and if the RPA is approved, the NCCAM communiqué to that effect should be included with the cover letter that is submitted with the grant application.