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ID#: PA-10-123     Posted: 16 Mar 2011
NIAID Advanced Technology SBIR (NIAID-AT-SBIR [R43/R44]) PA-10-123
Deadline: 5 Aug 2012
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Type of Grant: Research
Topics/Fields of Support: Adjuvants, Animal model studies, Clinical trial site challenges, Human genomics, Immune escape, Innate immunity, Mucosal immunity, Novel immunogens, inserts and vectors, Prevention strategies, Social, ethical, access and regulatory issues, T cell immunity, Vaccine concepts and design, Viral Diversity, Other
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, HHS

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. For more than 60 years, NIAID research has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies that have improved the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world. NIAID is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIH is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, please visit NIH (www.nih.gov).


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DETAILS

Research Objectives

  • The SBIR program was initiated as a means for government agencies to use small businesses to stimulate technological innovation and help agencies meet their research and development (R&D) needs. An additional provision of the SBIR program is the expected commercialization of the research. Many NIAID supported small business projects require clinical evaluation and FDA approval. To be successful, these types of projects often require longer periods for Phase I and Phase II and higher award amounts than those routinely awarded under the SBIR program. Despite the cost and the length of time required to move such products from the laboratory to the patient, these are precisely the products with potential to contribute significantly to the economy of the nation and to the improvement of public health. The intent of the NIAID-AT-SBIR is to support such R&D.
  • This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) for advanced technology projects that require a longer award period and greater award amount than those routinely allowed under the SBIR program.  For this FOA, "advanced technology" is defined as a “clearly identified” product or service that requires approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is within the mission of NIAID.
  • An example of a “clearly identified product” is a research project focused on a lead compound for an AIDS drug.  A research project focused on developing an assay to identify lead compounds does not have a clearly identified product and would not be appropriate for this FOA.
  • Only applications meeting the above “advanced technology” definition should be submitted in response to this FOA.
  • For this FOA, well-justified budgets up to $300 thousand total costs per year and time periods up to 2 years for Phase I may be requested.  Well-justified budgets up to $1 million total costs per year and time periods up to 3 years may be requested for Phase II. The number of awards made under this solicitation will depend on the overall scientific merit of the applications and the availability of funds.
  • Applications in response to this FOA must not contain clinical trials.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

See grant posting webpage on NIH website for application details.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility Information:

1. Eligible Applicants
1.A. Eligible Institutions

Only United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit SBIR applications. A small business concern is one that, at the time of award of SBIR Phase I and Phase II, meets all of the following criteria:

1.   Is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor;

2.   Is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there can be no more than 49 percent participation by foreign business entities in the joint venture;

3.   Is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, or it must be a for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by another for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, except in the case of a joint venture, where each entity to the venture must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States; and;

4.   Has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.

SBCs must also meet the other regulatory requirements found in 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Business concerns, other than investment companies licensed, or state development companies qualifying under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 661, et seq., are affiliates of one another when either directly or indirectly, (a) one concern controls or has the power to control the other; or (b) a third-party/parties controls or has the power to control both.

Control can be exercised through common ownership, common management, and contractual relationships. The term "affiliates" is defined in greater detail in 13 C.F.R. 121.3-2(a). The term "number of employees" is defined in 13 C.F.R. 121.3-2(t).

Business concerns include, but are not limited to, any individual (sole proprietorship), partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Small Business Administration Office of Size Standards (http://sba.gov/size).

One of the circumstances that would lead to a finding that an organization is controlling or has the power to control another organization involves sharing common office space and/or employees and/or other facilities (e.g., laboratory space). Access to special facilities or equipment in another organization is permitted (as in cases where the awardee organization has entered into a subcontractual agreement with another organization for a specific, limited portion of the research project). However, research space occupied by an SBIR awardee organization must be space that is available to and under the control of the SBIR awardee for the conduct of its portion of the proposed project.

Title 13 CFR 121.3 also states that control or the power to control exists when “key employees of one concern organize a new concern ... and serve as its officers, directors, principal stockholders, and/or key employees, and one concern is furnishing or will furnish the other concern with subcontracts, financial or technical assistance, and/or other facilities, whether for a fee or otherwise.” Where there is indication of sharing of common employees, a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis of whether such sharing constitutes control or the power to control.

For purposes of the SBIR program, personnel obtained through a Professional Employer Organization or other similar personnel leasing company may be considered employees of the awardee. This is consistent with SBA’s size regulations, 13 CFR 121.106 – Small Business Size Regulations.

Note: In determining size, SBA considers stock options, convertible securities, and agreements to merge (including agreements in principle) to have a present effect on the power to control a concern. SBA treats such options, convertible securities, and agreements as though the rights granted have been exercised. See http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2005/janqtr/pdf/13cfr121.103.pdf.

All SBIR grant applications will be examined with the above eligibility considerations in mind. If it appears that an applicant organization does not meet the eligibility requirements, NIH will request a size determination by the SBA. If eligibility is unclear, NIH will not make an SBIR award until the SBA provides a determination.

Note: An applicant organization that has been determined previously by SBA to be “other than small” for a size standard of not more than 500 employees or for purposes of the SBIR/STTR program, must be recertified by the SBA prior to any future SBIR/STTR awards.

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research 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.

More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PDs/PIs), may be designated on the application for projects that require a “team science” approach and therefore clearly do not fit the single-PD/PI model. Additional information on the implementation plans and policies and procedures to formally allow more than one PD/PI on individual research projects is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi. All PDs/PIs must be registered in the NIH electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons prior to the submission of the application (see http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm for instructions).

The decision of whether to apply for a grant with a single PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs  is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations and should be determined by the scientific goals of the project. Applications for grants with multiple PDs/PIs will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of required reports. For further information on multiple PDs/PIs, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.

As defined in 42 CFR 52, the PD/PI is the “single individual designated by the grantee in the grant application … who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the project.” When the proposed PD/PI clearly does not have sufficient qualifications to assume this role, the application is not likely to receive a favorable evaluation.

Under the SBIR program, for both Phase I and Phase II, the primary employment of the PD/PI must be with the small business concern at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed project. For projects with multiple PD/PIs, at least one must meet the primary employment requirement. That individual will serve as the Contact PD/PI. Primary employment means that more than one half of the PD/PI’s time is spent in the employ of the small business concern. Primary employment with a small business concern precludes full-time employment at another organization. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur. Such deviations must be approved in writing by the grants management officer after consultation with the NIH SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator.

If the application has the likelihood for funding, the awarding component will require documentation to verify the eligibility of the Contact PD/PI, if at the time of submission of the application, the Contact PD/PI is a less-than-full-time employee of the small business concern, is concurrently employed by another organization, or gives the appearance of being concurrently employed by another organization, whether for a paid or unpaid position.

If the Contact PD/PI is employed or appears to be employed by an organization other than the applicant organization in a capacity such as Research Fellow, Consultant, Adjunct Professor, Clinical Professor, Clinical Research Professor, or Associate, a letter must be provided by each employing organization confirming that, if an SBIR grant is awarded to the applicant small business concern, the Contact PD/PI is or will become a less-than-half-time employee of such organization and will remain so for the duration of the SBIR project. If the Contact PD/PI is employed by a university, such a letter must be provided by the Dean's office or equivalent; for other organizations, the letter must be signed by a corporate official.

All current employment and all other appointments of the Contact PD/PI must be identified in his or her “Biographical Sketch” required as part of the application. Be certain that correct beginning and ending dates are indicated for each employment record listed.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Applicants may submit a resubmission application, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous peer review critique (Summary Statement). Beginning with applications intended for the January 25, 2009 official submission due date (and any other due dates for FY2010 funding and beyond), all original new applications (i.e., never submitted) and competing renewal applications will be permitted only a single amendment (A1).  See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-003.html and NOT-OD-09-016

In Phase I, normally, a minimum of two-thirds or 67% of the research or analytical effort must be carried out by the small business concern. The total amount of all consultant and contractual arrangements to third parties for portions of the scientific and technical effort generally may not exceed 33% of the total amount requested (direct, F&A/indirect, and fee).

In Phase II, normally, a minimum of one-half or 50% of the research or analytical effort must be carried out by the small business concern. The total amount of consultant and contractual arrangements to third parties for portions of the scientific and technical effort generally may not exceed 50% of the total Phase II amount requested (direct, F&A/indirect, and fee).

The basis for determining the percentage of work to be performed by each of the cooperative parties in Phase I or Phase II will be the total of the requested costs attributable to each party, unless otherwise described and justified in “Consortium/Contractual Arrangements” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of SF424 (R&R) application forms.

Applicants may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct. The NIH will accept as many "different" applications as the applicant organization chooses. However, the NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization. This includes derivative or multiple applications that propose to develop a single product, process or service that, with non-substantive modifications, can be applied to a variety of purposes. Applicants may not simultaneously submit identical/essentially identical applications under both this SBIR funding opportunity and any other HHS FOA, including the current SBIR and STTR Parent FOAs.

Likewise, identical or essentially identical grant applications submitted by different organizations will not be accepted.  Applicant organizations should ascertain and assure that the materials they are submitting on behalf of the principal investigator are the original work of the principal investigator and have not been used elsewhere in the preparation and submission of a similar grant application. Applications to the NIH are grouped by scientific discipline for review by individual Scientific Review Groups and not by disease or disease state. The reviewers can thus easily identify multiple grant applications for essentially the same project. In these cases, application processing may be delayed or the application(s) may be returned to the applicant without review. 

It is unlawful to enter into contracts or grants requiring essentially equivalent work or effort. “Essentially equivalent work or effort” occurs when (1) substantially the same research is proposed for funding in more than one contract proposal or grant application submitted to the same Federal agency; (2) substantially the same research is submitted to two or more different Federal agencies for review and funding consideration; or (3) a specific research objective and the research design for accomplishing an objective are the same or closely related in two or more proposals or awards, regardless of the funding source. If there is any question concerning essentially equivalent work or effort, it must be disclosed to the soliciting agency or agencies before award.

Only one Phase II award may be made for a single SBIR/STTR project.

You may submit a Phase II application either before or after expiration of the Phase I budget period, unless you elect to submit a Phase I and Phase II application concurrently under the Fast-Track procedure. To maintain eligibility to seek Phase II support, a Phase I grantee organization should submit a Phase II application within the first six due dates following the expiration of the Phase I budget period.

SBIR Phase II awardees may submit an SBIR Phase II Competing Renewal application for projects that require extraordinary time and effort in the R&D phase and may or may not require FDA approval for the development of such projects.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH IC program staff prior to submitting SBIR Phase II Competing Renewal applications.

See grant posting webpage on NIH website for application details.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Agency Contact(s):

We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research (program), peer review, and financial or grants management issues:

Scientific/Research Contact:

Gregory Milman, Ph.D. 
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Room 2153, MSC-7610
6700-B Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7610 (US Mail)
Rockville, MD 20817-7610 (Delivery Services)
Telephone (301) 496-8666, Email: gm16s@nih.gov


Financial or Grants Management Contact:

Mr. Michael Wright
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Room 2118, MSC-7614
6700-B Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7614 (US Mail)
Rockville, MD 20817-7614 (Delivery Services)
Telephone: 301-451-2688, Fax: 301-493-0597
Email: mawright@mail.nih.gov