Limited Submission: Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program (S10 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Summary

The Shared Instrument Grant (SIG) Program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instruments or integrated systems. The minimum award is $50,000 of direct costs. There is no maximum price limit for the instrument; however, the maximum award is $600,000 of direct costs. Types of instruments supported include, but are not limited to: X-ray diffractometers, mass spectrometers, nuclear magnetic resonance, spectrometers, DNA and protein sequencers, biosensors, electron and light microscopes, cell sorters, and biomedical imagers.

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to continue the Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program administered by ORIP. The objective of the Program is to make available to institutions expensive research instruments that can only be justified on a shared-use basis and that are needed for NIH-supported projects in basic, translational or clinical biomedical and bio-behavioral research. The SIG Program provides funds to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, state-of-the-art, specialized, commercially available instrument or an integrated instrumentation system. An integrated instrumentation system is one in which the components, when used in conjunction with one another, perform a function that no single component could provide. The components must be dedicated to the system and not used independently.

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

Award Amount

Applications will be accepted that request a single, commercially available instrument or an integrated system. The minimum award is $50,000 of direct costs. There is no upper limit on the cost of the instrument, but the maximum award is $600,000 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

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

 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. The PD/PI must be affiliated with the applicant organization and must be registered on eRA Commons.

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 instrument clearly and adequately justified? Is the equipment essential and appropriate? Are all specific features, special accessories, and the software configuration of the requested instrument well justified, in particular, by their need by Major Users? Is Accessible User Time (AUT) well defined and explained? Is AUT reasonable for the requested technology/instrument type? Is AUT reasonable in the context of the managerial plan? 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 equipment? How well-qualified are the participating investigators or other assigned personnel to operate and maintain the instrument, 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 instrument advance the knowledge and understanding of the proposed projects? How will the research projects of individual Users be enhanced? Do Users adequately justify the requested instrument for the needs of their specific projects? If accessories are requested for the instrument, do at least three Major Users require each of the accessories for their research projects?

Administration: Is the plan for the management and maintenance of the requested instrument appropriate? Is the membership of the Advisory Committee broadly based to oversee the use of the instrument 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 human subjects, animals or biohazards adequate? Is the financial plan for the instrument for five years or the expected lifetime of the instrument reasonable and secured, balancing anticipated expenditures and anticipated income? Is the expected usable lifetime of the instrument 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 institutional 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 instrument? Is the management of 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 instrument 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 instrument 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 the program officer, Alena Horska, at 301-435-0772 or SIG@mail.nih.gov.


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