Frequently Asked Questions for the NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium

General Information

Q: Which RFAs are part of the NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium?
A: The RFAs are:

RFA-HL-09-004 NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium Research Hubs

Review of Hub Structure

Applications to form a Hub will be submitted as two to four clustered U01 applications, each with a budget of up to $750,000 direct costs per year for seven years. Each U01 application will be derived from a separate R03 award funded through HL08-012. All applications to form a Hub must have the same title; for each U01 application, 20 pages are allowed for the Research Plan. One of the applications must be designated as the lead PI application to provide NHLBI with a single contact point; this application will be allowed an additional 10 pages in the Background and Significance section for the Research Hub Plan, to address the Hub’s vision for the Consortium; the synergy between the Hub applications; and how the Hub fits with the vision for the Consortium. Applications for a Hub will be reviewed as a single package, and will all receive the same priority score. The applications in a Hub will stand or fall together; individual U01s from a Hub that does not score well will not be pulled out and funded separately.

Q: What commitment of effort do the PIs for the U01 applications need to make?
A: For the lead PI application, a commitment of 3 calendar months (CM) per year is required, or a combined commitment of 3 CM between multiple PIs if the multiple PI option is used. Similarly, for non-lead PI U01 applications, 2.4 CM for the PI or combined for multiple PIs is required.

Q: Is there a specified commitment for co-investigators on the U01 applications?
A: The effort committed for other investigators should be commensurate with the work proposed, but there is no specified requirement.

Q: Can we include other investigators who were not included in our R03 application in our U01 application?
A: Additional investigators from domestic or foreign institutions can be included as long as this can be achieved within the $750K cap for each U01 application.  Inclusion of an additional U01 application in a Hub to accommodate a non-R03 awardee as PI is not permitted.

Q: Following the awardee meeting, we feel it would be beneficial to divide our R03 group into 2 sections, one that aligns with a hematopoietic R03 group and one that is synergistic with an R03 from a pulmonary group. Is this allowed?
A: NHLBI will allow up to two U01 applications to separate Research Hub clusters to be derived from a single R03 application.  Only one of the two U01 applications may be a Lead PI application. 

Q: We have not been able to find a partner to form a research hub application with.  Can we apply alone?
A: The formation of collaborations is a major goal of the award process, and NHLBI expects that R03 awardees will make every effort to find collaborators.  Requests for permission to apply alone must be made in writing to NHLBI after March 1 2009.

Q: Should core budgets be included within the $750K DC cap?
A: If a core is providing essential services required by the Research Hub, the budget should be included in the U01 budget pages and be accommodated within the $750K budget caps for the U01s. These cores should also be described within the 20 pages allocated for the research plan.  Applicants can also propose cores that they envision as potentially beneficial to the whole Consortium.  A description of the core should be included after the 20 page research plan, along with a separate budget table; this budget should reflect the projected costs for services to the Consortium as a whole, and is not included in the $750K budget cap.

Q: Should we include proposals for pilot studies and ancillary/collaborative studies in our U01 applications?
A: The pilot studies and ancillary/collaborative studies will be funded on an ongoing basis throughout the funding period based on separate application processes administered through the ACC. The U01 applications should not include these components.

Q: The RFA indicated that each Hub should designate a Skills Development Coordinator with at least 0.6 CM allocated to skills development activities. What type of individual is expected for this role? Does each U01 in the Hub need to have a Skills Development Coordinator?
A: The Skills Development Coordinator should be a faculty member with significant experience and interest in skills development activities.  One individual can serve to coordinate activities for all the U01 applications in the Hub. In addition to the support for the coordinator, funds should be budgeted on an ongoing basis for the support of promising new investigators for up to two years while they apply for NIH training or research grants.

RFA-HL-09-005 NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium Administrative Coordinating Center (U01)

Q: Can an institution that is applying to HL09-004 also submit applications to function as the Administrative Coordinating Center?
A: Applications to both HL09-004 and HL09-005 may be submitted from the same institution.  However, an individual investigator may not be included in applications to both RFAs.

Q: How large do you expect the External Advisory Committee to be?
A: We anticipate a committee of 5-6 external experts.

Project Officer:

Dennis Buxton, Ph.D.
Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Rockledge 2, Room 8216
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7940
Telephone: (301) 435-0513

Last updated: February 27, 2009

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