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NIDA Home > Recovery > NIH Director's Opportunity for Research in Five Thematic Areas

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: NIH Director's Opportunity for Research in Five Thematic Areas (RC4)
National Institute on Drug Abuse

This NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), supported by funds provided to the NIH under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("Recovery Act" or "ARRA"), Public Law 111-5, solicits through this limited competition applications from domestic (United States) institutions/organizations proposing to develop and implement critical research innovations in one or more of the following five thematic areas:

  1. Applying Genomics and Other High Throughput Technologies
  2. Translating Basic Science Discoveries into New and Better Treatments
  3. Using Science to Enable Health Care Reform
  4. Focusing on Global Health
  5. Reinvigorating the Biomedical Research Community

This program is a trans-NIH effort supported by Recovery Act funds from the Office of the Director. Applicants may propose to address either a specific disease- or technology-related research question relevant to the mission of one or more participating Institutes and Centers, or propose the creation of a unique infrastructure/resource designed to accelerate scientific progress in the future.

This initiative is one of several being offered to help fulfill the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help stimulate the economy through support of biomedical and behavioral research. Additional information the Recovery Act and related NIH opportunities is available through the Office of Extramural Research ( )

Additional Information:

This FOA is designed to provide investigators and institutions with the opportunity to address these unique challenges by engaging in new avenues of research where progress would produce a significant impact on growth and investment on biomedical or behavioral science and/or health research.

Applicants to the Program must clearly specify the thematic area that their research addresses in the Project Summary/Abstract Component of the application. Applicants must also clearly articulate how the proposed studies would significantly extend our understanding of biomedical or behavioral science and/or health as it relates to the thematic area.

Scope. This grants program is aimed at research endeavors that address one or more of the following five thematic areas:

  1. Applying Genomics and Other High Throughput Technologies: In the past, many basic biomedical science projects were limited in scope to some aspect of genetics, cell biology, or physiology. The revolution now sweeping the field is the ability to be comprehensive - for example, to define all of the genes of the human, model organisms or the human microbiota, all of the human proteins and their structures, or all of the major pathways for signal transduction in the cell. Technologies contributing to these advances, many of which became practical at scale only in the last few years, include DNA sequencing, microarray technology, nanotechnology, small molecule screening capabilities, new imaging modalities, and computational biology. These comprehensive approaches coupled with systems-level integration, analysis and mining of large datasets now hold the promise of major advances in the understanding of the mechanisms of diseases.
  2. Translating Basic Science Discoveries into New and Better Treatments: The opportunity is here for translational science to develop small molecule-based, gene-based, protein/peptide-based and cell-based therapies for common as well as rare diseases.
  3. Using Science to Enable Health Care Reform: Quality, affordable health care for all Americans cannot occur without significant advances in the underlying science that will enable effective and efficient disease prevention and diagnosis, as well as better and cheaper treatments to be identified. Clinical research targeted toward health disparities, social and behavioral factors, large-scale prospective population cohort analysis, comparative effectiveness, cost-effective prevention and personalized medicine, and pharmacogenomics will allow us to assess and mitigate disease risks, predict outcome and optimize treatment. Health services research that includes health information technology and health research economics will enhance the safety, quality and efficiency of the health care delivery system, as well as facilitate health promotion.
  4. Focusing on Global Health: This theme encourages a greater focus on global health and new emphasis on formulating prevention and intervention strategies to tackle a number of infectious and parasitic diseases, chronic non-communicable diseases and injuries, and other neglected diseases striking the developing world, with the goal to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases worldwide.
  5. Reinvigorating the Biomedical Research Community: This theme encourages investigators to cultivate new collaborations and to assemble multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary teams in conducting innovative research on the most challenging biomedical and behavioral areas. The goal is to strengthen our research capacity, to broaden our research base and to enhance cross-fertilization of disciplines by recruiting new investigators and new expertise into the research community, and by developing and retaining these talents in a collaborative environment that fosters creativity and exploration.

Requirements. Projects submitted in response to this FOA are expected to demonstrate the following:

  • The project addresses one or more of the five research themes.
  • The work cannot be reasonably expected to be carried out successfully without the requested support.
  • Specific outcomes of the proposed project promote and advance the mission of the NIH to improve health.
  • The project is ready to be deployed immediately upon funding.
  • A rapid infusion of significant funding will accelerate current and future research in the area of study and there are appropriate measurable outcomes to evaluate the short and long-term effects of the project.
  • The proposed project is something that no other entity is likely or able to do, and there is a public health benefit to having the results of the research in the public domain.
  • The project or generated results and resources can be expected to become integrated with other NIH and privately funded research within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Projects that would require funding beyond this timeframe should provide a detailed plan for maintaining the research efforts without any expectation of further financial assistance from the sponsoring IC or other NIH components. Applicants are expected to provide a list of outcomes and include plans to obtain long-term support for research endeavors carried out with this funding.

Key resources and data acquired with the support of this FOA will be expected to be shared rapidly with the public and the scientific community as described under the NIH Policy for Sharing of Data and the NIH Policy for Sharing Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (

Timeline. Applicants should construct the project timeline to include critical milestones, measurable outcomes, and mid-term and end of project results to be publicly shared as expeditiously as possible. Awards will be made for a three-year budget period.

Funding and Budget Information:

Contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications, approximately $80 million of ARRA funds will be obligated by September 30, 2010 to support requests submitted in response to this FOA.

Budget and Project Period. Only projects with a scientific scope that requires an annual budget greater than $500,000 in total costs are expected to be considered. The total cost amount for individual awards will vary and should be commensurate with the scope and complexity of the project. However, the duration of the awards issued under this FOA will be limited to three years.

The purpose of the Recovery Act is to stimulate the American economy through job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, and other means. Consistent with these goals, with the exception of projects submitted to address topics identified as included in the Focusing on Global Health theme, domestic (United States) institutions/organizations planning to submit applications that include foreign components should be aware that requested funding for any foreign component should not exceed 10% of the total requested direct costs or $25,000 per year (aggregate total for a subcontract or multiple subcontracts), whichever is less. Projects in response to the Focusing on Global Health theme could propose a larger foreign component. NIH will consider these requests in the context of the research being proposed and its potential for critically advancing research in global health.

Eligible Institutions: Consistent with the purposes of the Recovery Act (in particular, to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery in the United States, and to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health), applicants must be a domestic (United States) institution/organization. Foreign organizations/institutions are not permitted as the applicant organization.

Other Information:

  • A detailed statement addressing the scope and the requirements should be included as part of the application Research Plan and in summary form in the Letter of Intent.
  • More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PDs/PIs) may be designated on the application
  • This is a one-time-only solicitation, resubmissions are not permitted.
  • The Research Strategy component may not exceed 12 pages, including tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts.
  • Long Term Sustainability Plan: Applications requesting new infrastructure support must include a plan that describes how the infrastructure and services will be maintained and supported beyond the initial NIH funded period

Key Dates:

Letters of Intent Receipt Date: February 15, 2010
Application Due Date: March 15, 2010
Peer Review Date(s): June/July 2010
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 30, 2010
Expiration Date: March 16, 2010

Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Number and title of this funding opportunity.
  • Descriptive title of proposed research.
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the PD(s)/PI(s).
  • Names of other key personnel.
  • Participating institutions.
  • Description of the research areas, including any subprojects
  • Significance of the proposed research
  • Evidence that the project is ready for immediate implementation
  • Description of how the goal and outcomes of the project match the goals of the grants program and Recovery Act
  • Preliminary list of the expected project milestones.
  • Direct, contract F&A, and total costs for each year

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate and plan for the potential review workload.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Cathleen Cooper, Ph.D.
Chief, Oncology 1: Basic Translational (OBT) IRG
NIH/Center for Scientific Review
6701 Rockledge Drive, Rm 6196
Bethesda, MD 20892 (20817 for courier delivery)
Phone: 301-443-4512
Fax: 301-480-0287

Contact Information:

Program Contact(s):

Your NIDA PO or

Christine Colvis, PhD
Director, Program Integration
Neuroscience Center, Rm 5261
6001 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-443-6480

Grants Management Contact(s):

Carol Alderson
Office of Management
Grants Management Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard, 5th Floor, MSC 9560
Bethesda, MD 20892-9560
Phone: 301-933-6196
Fax: 301-594-6869

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