Limited Submission: Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Grant Program (S10 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Summary

The Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Grant Program encourages applications from groups of NIH-funded investigators to purchase or upgrade scientific instruments necessary to carry out animal experiments in all areas of biomedical research supported by the NIH. Applicants may request clusters of commercially available instruments configured as specialized integrated systems or as series of instruments to support a thematic well-defined area of research using animals or related materials. Priority will be given to uniquely configured systems to support innovative and potentially transformative investigations.

This FOA supports requests for state-of-the art commercially available technologies needed for NIH-funded research using any vertebrate and invertebrate animal species.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) does not support requests for single instruments. At least one item of the requested instrumentation must cost at least $50,000, after all applicable discounts. No instrument in a cluster can cost less than $20,000, after all applicable discounts. There is no maximum price requirement; however, the maximum award is $750,000 of direct costs.

Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

Applications will be accepted for commercially available instruments only. At least one item of the requested instrumentation must cost at least $50,000, after all applicable discounts. No instrument in a cluster can cost less than $20,000, after all applicable discounts. There is no upper limit on the cost of each instrument, but the maximum award is $750,000 of direct costs. Since the cost of the various instruments will vary, it is anticipated that the amount of the award will also vary. S10 awards do not allow indirect costs.

Eligibility

 The PD/PI chosen for this application should have documented (in the biographical sketch) technical expertise directly related to the type of the chosen instrument. The PD/PI does not need to have an NIH research grant or any other research support but is expected to be an expert on the requested instrument. The PD/PI may be a core director, tenured, or non-tenured faculty member of the applicant organization.

Three Major Users who have substantial need for the instrument must be identified. Each of these Major Users must be a PD/PI on a distinct active NIH research award in an area of basic, translational, or clinical research. (The requirement is one award per investigator, with more awards per investigator allowed. An award given to multi-PDs/PIs is counted only once towards the fulfillment of this requirement.) NIH training or fellowship grants (i.e., T and F mechanisms), other non-research and SBIR/STTR grants, and OT awards cannot be counted towards the fulfillment of this requirement. Once the eligibility requirement of three Major Users with NIH-funded research projects has been met, additional users with active research awards from NIH or other sources may be added as Major or Minor Users.

Selection Criteria

Justification of Need: Is the need for the instruments clearly and adequately justified? Is the equipment essential and appropriate? Is the thematic area of animal research well-defined and well-served by the requested instruments? Are all specific features, special accessories, and software configuration of the requested instruments well justified; in particular, by their need of Major Users? Does the requested set-up offer innovative experimental solutions and does it advance animal research? Is the placement of the instrument well-justified to facilitate the complementary and synergetic use of the instruments? Is Accessible User Time (AUT) well defined and explained? Is AUT reasonable? Justification of selection of the proposed instrument may include but is not limited to comparison with other commercially available instruments of similar function.

Technical Expertise: Does the institution have the technical expertise to make effective use of the requested instruments? How well-qualified are the participating investigators or other assigned personnel to operate and maintain the instruments, conduct the projects, and evaluate the research results, including analysis and interpretation of data? How will new users be trained? How will biosafety procedures be implemented?

Research Projects: Will research with the requested instruments advance the knowledge and understanding of the proposed projects? Will animal research be strengthened and enhanced? How will the research projects of individual Users be enhanced? Do Users adequately justify the requested instruments for the needs of their specific projects? Do at least three Major Users require the entire configuration for their research projects at the level of at least 35% AUT?

Administration: Is the plan for the management and maintenance of the requested instruments appropriate? Is the membership of the Advisory Committee broadly based to oversee the use of the instruments for the appropriate range of biomedical investigators, to balance interests of different users, and to resolve disputes, if they arise? How will research time be allocated among the projects? Are the sharing arrangements equitable? If needed, are the policies to manage projects which have animals or biohazards adequate? Is the financial plan for the instruments for five years or the expected lifetime of the instruments reasonable and secured, balancing anticipated expenditures and anticipated income? Is the expected usable lifetime of the instruments reasonable? Are there adequate plans in place to document the use and scientific benefits of the instrument by citations and acknowledgments of the S10 grant in the scientific publications?

Institutional Commitment: Does the institution commitment letter provide support in the event of a shortfall of income? Is the institutional commitment to back-up the financial plan provided for a time period consistent with the expected effective lifetime of the requested instruments? Is the management of the awarded S10 instruments adequate (based on the data in the table of Previously Awarded S10 Instruments in the institutional Letter of Support)? Does the Institution provide adequate infrastructure support for the requested instruments including space to house the instrument and site for sample preparation, if needed?


Limitation Details

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:
  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
  • A maximum of three pages describing both need and rationale for the instruments to be purchased or upgraded, including estimated total cost
  • Curriculum vitae
Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by the internal deadline listed above.

Questions?

Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact program officer, Willie McCullough at 301-435-0772 or SIG@mail.nih.gov.


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