Aging Research

To encourage biomedical, social, and behavioral research and research training directed toward greater understanding of the aging process and the diseases, special problems, and needs of people as they age.

The National Institute on Aging has established programs to pursue these goals.

The

credit: Flickr Hive Mind
biology of aging program emphasizes understanding the basic biological processes of aging.

The geriatrics program supports research to improve the abilities of health care practitioners to respond to the diseases and other clinical problems of older people.

The behavioral and social research program supports research that will lead to greater understanding of the social, cultural, economic and psychological factors that affect both the process of growing old and the place of older people in society.

The neuroscience and neuropsychology of aging program fosters research concerned with the age-related changes in the nervous system as well as the related sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes associated with aging.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program: To expand and improve the SBIR program; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; to increase small business participation in Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program: To stimulate and foster scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research development carried out between small business concerns and research institutions; to foster technology transfer between small business concerns and research institutions; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.
Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Studies of the cellular processes that may lead to impaired immune function in older people; (2) longitudinal studies of health, functional status, and health care expenditures in older Americans; (3) studies to identify "longevity assurance" genes in various animal models; (4) studies to identify genes associated with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurological diseases and conditions; (5) a major multi-center clinical studies of treatments of cognitive impairment and behavioral disorders associated with Alzheimer's disease; (6) a study that is developing improved diagnostic methods for the detection of Alzheimer's disease; (7) studies of the consequences of natural and man-made disasters on vulnerable groups; (8) a multi-site study of the biological and psychosocial aspects of menopause and subsequent health status of study participants; (9) a program of interdisciplinary care planning, family support, and activity for patients with moderate dementia; (10) studies of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical aspects of anemia in the elderly; (11) a community-based, epidemiological study for evaluating health disparities in socioeconomically and racially diverse populations in a major metropolitan area.


Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Website Address

http://www.nia.nih.gov


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories




Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, 1,545 competing and noncompeting research project grants were funded. A total of 2,140 competing research project grant applications were reviewed and 472 were awarded. For the SBIR/STTR program, there were 73 Phase I awards and awards. Approximately 2,240 competing research project grant applications are expected in fiscal years 2008 and 2009. Estimated competing research project grant awards for fiscal year 2008 are 446 and 518 in fiscal year 2009. In fiscal year 2007, 181 trainees and fellows were supported under competing NRSAs. It is estimated that approximately this same number of trainees and fellows will be supported under competing NRSA applications in both fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Research grants are intended to support the direct costs of a project in accordance with an approved budget, plus an appropriate amount for indirect costs.

Grantees must agree to administer the grant in accordance with the regulations and policies governing the research grants program of the Public Health Service.

National Research Service Awards (NRSA) (Individual) are made directly to approved applicants for research training in specified biomedical shortage areas.

In addition, National Research Service Awards (Institutional) may be made to institutions to enable them to make NRSAs to individuals selected by them.

Each individual who receives a NRSA is obligated, upon termination of the award, to comply with certain service and payback provisions.

Regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations and 42 CFR, Part 66.

SBIR Phase I grants (of approximately 6 months' duration) are to establish the technical merit and feasibility of a proposed research effort that may lead to a commercial product or process.

SBIR Phase II grants are for the continuation of the research initiated in Phase I and that are likely to result in commercial products or processes.

Only Phase I awardees are eligible to apply for Phase II support.

STTR Phase I grants (normally of 1- year duration) are to determine the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposedcooperative effort that has potential for commercial application.

Phase II funding is based on results of research initiated in Phase I and scientific and technical merit and commercial potential on Phase II application.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Grants: Universities, colleges, medical, dental and nursing schools, schools of public health, laboratories, hospitals, State and local health departments, other public or private institutions (both for-profit and nonprofit), and individuals.

National Research Service Award: Individual NRSAs may be made for postdoctoral training to applicants who hold a professional or scientific degree (M.D., Ph.D., D.D.S., D.O., D.V.M., Sc.D., D.Eng., or equivalent domestic or foreign degree).

Institutional NRSAs may be made for both predoctoral and postdoctoral research training.

Predoctoral awardees must have a baccalaureate degree.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States or admitted for permanent residency.

Individual NRSA awardees must be nominated and sponsored by a public or private nonprofit institution having staff and facilities suitable to the proposed research training.

Nonprofit domestic organizations may apply for the Institutional NRSA.

SBIR grants can be awarded only to domestic small businesses (entities that are independently owned and operated for profit, are not dominant in the field in which research is proposed, and have no more than 500 employees).

Primary employment (more than one-half time) of the principal investigator must be with the small business at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed project.

In both Phase I and Phase II, the research must be performed in the U.S.

or its possessions.

STTR grants can be awarded only to domestic small business concerns (entities that are independently owned and operated for profit, are not dominant in the field in which research is proposed and have no more that 500 employees) which "partner" with a research institution in cooperative research and development.

At least 40 percent of the project is to be performed by the small business concern and at least 30 percent by the research institution.

In both Phase I and Phase II, the research must be performed in the U.S.

and its possessions.

To be eligible for funding, a grant application that exceeds $50,000 in direct costs must be approved for scientific merit and program relevance by a scientific review group and a national advisory council.

If the direct cost of a grant approved by a scientific review group does not exceed $50,000, it may be funded without approval by a national advisory council.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any nonprofit or for-profit organization, company, or institution engaged in biomedical research.

Credentials/Documentation

The grants application submission process is currently in transition from a paper-based to an electronic format. A current transition-to-electronic-submission timeline for all grant mechanisms in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Extramural Research Program timeline can be obtained here: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/files/. NIH recently published a Notice to the NIH Guide to Contracts and Grants announcing a change to the transition schedule for the remaining grant programs still requiring the submission of paper applications. The URL to the Notice is: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-038.html.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

For grant programs still requiring submission of paper applications, the standard application forms, as furnished by the Public Health Service (PHS)and required by 45 CFR Part 92 for State and local governments, must be used. Consultation from institute staff is available for all grant progams. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Internet Web sites of the 27 institutes and centers at the NIH to obtain contact information for program staff. Applicants for multi-project awards are strongly encouraged to consult program staff before applying. Applicants may obtain forms and instructions for application preparation and submission at the following Internet Web site: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm When completed these applications should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. Applications are reviewed for scientific merit, evaluation of applicant qualifications, adequacy of the research environment, and significance of the proposed problem to be studied. The application form and instructions for the preparation and submission of applications to the National Research Service Awards Research Training Grants and Fellowships (NRSA) Program, PHS Form 416-1, can be obtained from the following URL (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/416/phs416.htm). Prior to making formal application to the NRSA programs, individual NRSA applicants must be nominated and sponsored by a Federal, public or nonprofit institution having staff and facilities appropriate to the proposed research training program. Information concerning current areas of science being supported by those institutes participating in the NRSA Program at the NIH is available on the individual institute Web sites. A complete list of institutes at NIH is available at: http://www.nih.gov/icd. In addition, information about each institute's NRSA research topics and information about the NRSA Program can be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, (see address above). The NRSA program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR Part 92 for State and local governments and OMB Circular No. A-110 for nonprofit organizations. The annual NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)-Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Omnibus Solicitation and SBIR-STTR Contract Solicitation may be obtained electronically by accessing the following URL: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir.htm. The solicitations include application preparation and submission guidelines and instructions, information about review considerations, and Internet hyperlinks to the SBIR-STTR application and/or or contract proposal forms. Applications to NIH's SBIR-STTR Programs must be submitted electronically through the U.S. Federal Government's Internet Web site, Grants.gov: www.grants.gov. Submission of SBIR-STTR applications through Grants.gov requires pre-registration, which typically takes 2-4 weeks to complete. Information about registration to submit applications through Grants.gov can be found at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm. Applicants are encouraged to read and refer to the extensive information on electronic submission of grant applications on the NIH Electronic Submission of Grants Applications Internet Web site at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt.

Award Procedures

Grants and Institutional NRSAs: Each application receives an initial scientific review by non-NIH scientists and a secondary review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. Individual NRSAs do not receive a secondary review by the National Advisory Council on Aging. Awards are issued by the NIA to the grantee institution. All accepted SBIR/STTR applications are evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate scientific peer review panel and by a national advisory council or board. All applications receiving a priority score compete for available SBIR/STTR set-aside funds on the basis of scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the proposed research, program relevance, and program balance among the areas of research.

Deadlines

Deadlines vary by type of award. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.

Authorization

Public Health Service Act, Title III, Part A, Section 301, Title IV, Part C, Sections 444, 445, and 445 A-F, Part F,Section 487, as amended; Public Laws 78-410, 99-158, 100-607, 42 U.S.C.241; 42 U.S.C. 285; 42 U.S.C. 288; Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992, Public Law 102-564.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Grants: From 6 to 9 months. National Research Service Awards: From 6 to 9 months. SBIR/STTR: About 7-1/2 months.

Appeals

A principal investigator may question the substantive or procedural aspects of the review of his/her application by communicating with the staff of the Institute. A description of the NIH Peer Review Appeal procedures is available on the NIH home page www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not97-232.html.

Renewals

Grants: Renewal applications are accepted. National Research Service Awards: Awards may be made for 1, 2, or 3 years. No individual may receive NIH fellowship support at the postdoctoral level for more than 3 years.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grant Awards are usually made annually and usually with project periods not to exceed 5 years in length. National Research Service Awards: Institutional awards may be made for up to 5 years, and individual awards may be made for as many as 3 years. SBIR: Normally, Phase I awards are for 6 months; normally, Phase II awards are for 2 years. STTR: Normally, Phase I awards are for 1 year; normally, Phase II awards are for 2 years.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Grants: Annual progress reports and reports of expenditures are required.

National Research Service Awards: Institutional awards require that a statement of appointment for each trainee selected by the Program Director be submitted to the NIA for each year of training.

Reports are required after termination of the awards to ascertain compliance with the service and payback provisions for each institutionally selected trainee.

Individual awards require reports upon award expiration to determine compliance with the service and payback provisions.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspection and audits by DHHS and other Federal government officials.

Records

Expenditures and other financial records must be retained for 3 years from the day on which the grantee submits the last expenditure report for the report period.

Financial Information

Account Identification

75-0843-0-1-552.

Obigations

(Grants) FY 07 $836,185,000; FY 08 est $829,825,000; and FY 09 est $828,635,000. (NRSA) FY 07 $23,111,000; FY 08 est $23,773,000; and FY 09 est $23,963,000. (SBIR grants) FY 07 $25,365,000; FY 08 est $25,500,000; and FY 09 est $25,500,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Competing Grants (FY 07): $20,521 to $2,149,730 average - $332,813. Individual NRSAs: Basic stipend (first year beyond the doctoral degree) of $36,996. The sponsoring institution will be provided with an allowance of up to $6,500 per year to help defray the cost of training. No dependency allowances. Competing institutional NRSAs: $83,624 to $691,724; average - $320,695. SBIR: Phase I awards may be made up to $100,000; Phase II awards may be made for amounts up to $750,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

42 CFR 52; 42 CFR 66; 45 CFR 74; 45 CFR 92; Grants will be available under the authority of and administered in accordance with the PHS Grants Policy Statement and Federal regulations at 42 CFR 52 and 42 U.S.C 241; Omnibus Solicitation of the Public Health Service for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant and Cooperative Agreement Applications. Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant Applications.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Program Contacts: For information on the biology of aging, contact: Dr. Felipe Sierra, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD 20892. Telephone: (301) 496-4996. For information on geriatrics and clinical research, contact Dr. Evan Hadley (same address). Telephone: (301) 496-6761. For information on behavioral and social research, contact: Dr. Richard Suzman (same address). Telephone: (301) 496-3136. For information on neuroscience and neuropsychology of aging research, contact: Dr. Marcelle Morrison-Bogorad (same address). Telephone: (301) 496-9350. For information on Small Business Innovation Research Program, contact: Dr. Robin Barr (same address). Telephone: (301) 496-9322. Grants Management Contact: Ms. Linda Whipp, Grants Management Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD 20892. Telephone: (301) 496-1472. Use the same numbers for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The major elements in evaluating proposals include assessments of: the scientific merit and general significance of the proposed study and its objectives; the technical adequacy of the experimental design and approach; the competency of the proposed investigator or group to successfully pursue the project; the adequacy of the available and proposed facilities and resources; the necessity of the budget components requested in relation to the proposed project; and the relevance and importance to announced program objectives. The following criteria will be used in considering the scientific and technical merit of SBIR/STTR Phase I grant applications: (1) The soundness and technical merit of the proposed approach; (2) the qualifications of the proposed principal investigator, supporting staff, and consultants; (3) the technological innovation of the proposed research; (4) the potential of the proposed research for commercial application; (5) the appropriateness of the budget requested; (6) the adequacy and suitability of the facilities and research; and (7) where applicable, the adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for (a) safeguarding human or animal subjects, and/or (b) protecting against or minimizing any adverse effect on the environment. Phase II grant applications will be reviewed based upon the following criteria: (1) The degree to which the Phase I objectives were met and feasibility demonstrated; (2) the scientific and technical merit of the proposed approach for achieving the Phase II objectives; (3) the qualifications of the proposed principal investigator, supporting staff, and consultants; (4) the technological innovation, originality, or societal importance of the proposed research; (5) the potential of the proposed research for commercial application; (6) the reasonableness of the budget requested for the work proposed; (7) the adequacy and suitability of the facilities and research environment; and (8) where applicable, the adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for (a) safeguarding human or animal subjects, and/or (b) protecting against or minimizing any adverse effect on the environment.



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