Frequently Asked Questions for PAR-11-203: Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research (Interagency U01)
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Q: What makes this FOA different from other computational FOA’s that promote multiscale modeling?
A: Applications to PAR-11-203 must identify a compelling multiscale problem or approach that is currently not being addressed - that is, beyond current practice - and address its impact on the field. The proposed multiscale model must incorporate substantial representations of the underlying biological or behavioral mechanisms from at least two scales and at least one linkage between scales. Investigators are encouraged to think “outside the box” and present a unique multiscale modeling solution that may lead to higher risk approaches (as described in the guidelines).
Q: What are the requirements of this FOA?
A: Applications to PAR-11-203 must include: 1) Partnership Plan to describe the proposed partnership, and 2) a Multiscale Modeling (MSM) Consortium Plan. All awardees from this cooperative agreement FOA will be required to participate in the Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG) MSM Consortium to contribute to the greater multiscale modeling community, http://www.imagwiki.org/mediawiki.
- The MSM Consortium Plan and the Partnership Plan are two separate entities. They are not the same plan.
- The MSM Consortium Plan is submitted as a separate page and placed into the SF424 (R&R) Other Project Information Component
- If and when you receive an award from this FOA, your project automatically is placed in the MSM Consortium and you become one of the MSM Participants.
- The MSM Consortium plan is an opportunity for the investigators to address unmet needs or challenges of a field through a community driven environment. The plan should detail the efforts you would like to engage in together with the larger research community through the MSM Consortium. You can consider developing new activities in addition to the activities currently in the MSM Consortium.
- Applications without a MSM Consortium Plan will be returned without peer review.
- The Partnership Plan is written in the 12 page research plan and does not require you to partner with existing MSM Consortium Participants
- The Partnership Plan describes the partnership/collaborations that you have formed for this research proposal (not partnerships you will develop with the MSM Consortium).
- The partnership should be unique and highly complementary.
- In either plan, you do not propose to collaborate with IMAG (IMAG is the group government program officers coordinating the MSM Consortium). IMAG program officers will be working with your project post-award.
Section I of the guidelines, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-11-203.html describes the overall goals, and requirements of this FOA.
Q: Do I need to form partnerships with existing MSM Consortium Participants?
A: No, your U01 team, described in your Partnership Plan does not need to include existing MSM Consortium participants. This FOA, however, specifically encourages highly interactive partnerships that strongly integrate truly diverse expertise to further increase the impact of multiscale models in the broader research and policy community. Please see list of examples in Section I, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-11-203.html. We encourage the formation of new partnerships through this FOA.
Q: Are Letters of Intent required?
A: No, Letters of Intent (LOI) are not required; however the investigators are strongly encouraged to contact program officials and send a LOI 30 days prior to sending the grant application. Investigators are strongly encouraged to send the project’s Specific Aims when contacting a program officer. Program contacts are listed in the guidelines at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html#SectionVII. If the investigators intend to contact more than one program officer, please copy all program officers on the same email inquiry.
Q: I am currently funded through the PAR-08-023. May I respond to this PAR as a competitive renewal?
A: If you currently have or will be completing an existing NIH R01 grant project (from any initiative), you must apply to this PAR as a NEW application since it is a change of mechanism. The reviewers will not have access to the previous summary statement. Revisions (competitive supplements) to funded awards under PAR-08-023 are not allowed for this FOA. Revisions to U01 awards funded under this FOA are allowed.
Q: Can foreign institutions apply to this PAR? Can they be a contractor or subcontractor?
A: Yes, foreign organizations are eligible to apply in the same way as U.S. institutions.
Foreign (non-US) organizations must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign organizations described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide,
IMAG recognizes that there may be unique expertise and/or resources in other countries that may contribute greatly toward the development of accurate predictive models across multiple biological scales. IMAG encourages team science approaches nationally and globally to develop models and collect good quality data that can be shared, reused, and validated.
Q: Can commercial entities apply to this PAR?
Q: Do I need to identify which agency I want my application to go to?
A: No, You will not apply to a specific agency. All agencies will work together to get the best applications funded. If you wish for NSF to consider your application, please include the Broader Impacts Statement in your application as described in, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-11-203.html.
Q: Do I need to complete the NSF Broader Impact statement if my application is for the NIH?
A: If there are components of your grant of interest to the NSF, it never hurts to include the Broader Impact statement – this allows your application to be considered by NSF for funding or co-funding.
Q: I am only interested in DOE funding. When should I apply?
A: If you are only interested in DOE funding, you can apply on any of the receipt dates of this FOA, however the September receipt dates will have the shortest turnaround time. DOE makes funding decisions only once a year, whereas the NIH makes funding decisions three times a year.
Q: What should I do if I receive errors during my grants submission?
A: We recommend you submit your proposal well before the submission/receipt date, to allow time to correct for errors and contact Grants.gov for unresolved errors. We recommend you correct your error immediately. If you continue to receive the error, you should contact Grants.gov as soon as possible. If an application is not submitted by the receipt date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed. Additional information is found in Section 3.C. Application Processing in the FOA guidelines (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html).
Q: Why is this grant a U01 grant and what are the differences compared to a R01 grant?
A: The research portion for this U01 mechanism is the same as the R01 grant mechanism. The U01, however also facilitates researchers to participate and contribute to the larger community activities through the Multiscale Modeling (MSM) Consortium. It also justifies the additional program interaction from the agency end (IMAG).
Applicants should follow the specific submission instructions in Section IV of the FOA guidelines, (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-11-203.html.
Q: What are the community activities that I am required to participate in as part of the U01?
A: In this application you are required to propose a MSM Consortium Plan, which describes how you and your collaborators will participate within the MSM Consortium (please take a look at the wiki link, www.imagwiki.org/mediawiki) and contribute to the broader community. It provides you with a funded mandate to participate and contribute to the larger investigator community. You may suggest to lead a working group one year, or activities involving the larger community. Your proposed efforts do not need to be directly related to your project.
Q: How many pages are allowed in the research plan?
A: The page limit for the research plan is 12 pages with extra pages for the MSM Consortium Plan and the NSF Broader Impacts Criterion.
The MSM Partnership Plan should be included in the research plan section.
Q: Is a PI required for each site of a project?
A: No, Multiple PIs are not required.
Q: What is the maximum yearly award, and does it apply to all project sites?
A: The maximum yearly award is $500,000 in direct costs, which includes direct costs of any subcontracts.
Q: How will the review be conducted for this PAR?
A: A single special emphasis panel will be organized for this FOA. All participating funding agencies will be working together to get all the best applications funded.
Reviewers will follow the review criteria described in Section V of the FOA guidelines, (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-11-203.html
Q: Do I need to develop a new model, or can I use this FOA to further develop an existing model? How will the reviewers judge this?
A: Please remember the main goal of this initiative is to address a compelling multiscale question that requires the development of a multiscale model. The bulleted list in Section I of the guidelines of this FOA provides examples of the multiscale modeling challenges we wish the community to address. We encourage you to start with this list to determine the compelling multiscale question you would like to address. The question should then direct you to determine whether to develop a new model, or further build on an existing model. Whether you choose to develop a new model, or expand upon an existing one, you should clearly state the INNOVATION in the work. Additionally, you should discuss how it fills a gap or improves upon existing work in the area (e.g. through the bulleted challenges). Reviewers are instructed to judge INNOVATION on how well you address the compelling multiscale question.
Q: For DOE applications that do not fit in the NIH, how will they be reviewed?
A: As long as the application fits within the interests of the participating funding components as described in the FOA, we will review it accordingly (even if it is only in the purview of the DOE).
Q: Could you clarify the review criteria for Model Sharing? Which criteria will receive a priority score, which will only be considered after scoring is complete?
A: A specific objective of this PAR is to develop models that can be explicitly shared with other modelers. The development of shareable models will be scored, while the plans for sharing will not be scored..
(In the Approach criteria)
- To what degree does the project include the development of models that can be explicitly shared with other modelers?
- To what degree do the proposed model architecture, model components or modules, modeling parameters and associated datasets facilitate model sharing?
The following review considerations will not be factored in the priority score, but will be discussed by the reviewers:
(In the Model and Software Sharing Plan Considerations)
MODEL AND SOFTWARE SHARING PLAN:
- Does the project include data, model and software sharing plans to collaborate with others who are not on the investigative team? If yes, to what degree?
- Is the plan for sharing the model components or modules, modeling parameters and associated datasets conducive to successful sharing?
- Do the sharing plans include minimum requirements for model documentation, parameter estimation, model building, model validation, and the use of effective software engineering where appropriate (i.e., evidence of open, collaborative, software development process that will lead to quality software)? If yes, to what degree?
- Will the sharing plans adequately allow others to test, validate, reuse and extend the proposed models? If yes, to what degree?
Q: How can I make sure reviewers with appropriate expertise are reading my proposal to this PAR?
A: It is strongly recommended that principal investigators include a cover letter listing areas of scientific expertise needed to review the application and how the expertise should be balanced (please do not include names). Investigators are encouraged to contact program officials with specific concerns.
Q: My work is mostly computational. Would this fit at the NIH?
A: Yes, the NIH welcomes computation applications.
Q: Will there be a R01 PAR as well?
A: No, the U01 is in place of the R01 to encourage collaborations within the MSM Consortium.
For further information contact:
Grace C.Y. Peng, Ph.D.
Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG) (http://www.nibib.nih.gov/Research/IMAG)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 200, MSC 5477
Bethesda, MD 20892-5477
Last Updated On 05/21/2012