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Frequently Asked Questions for PAR-08-023: Predictive Multiscale Models of the Physiome in Health and Disease (R01)



Q: Do I need to satisfy all six specific objectives of this FOA to submit my proposal?
A: It is of utmost importance that the proposal addresses all six specific objectives of this FOA. The proposal should justify: 1) why the model is multiscale, 2) why it is predictive and linking to higher levels, 3) why it is mechanistic, 4) how the right expertise is involved, 5) how the models will be validated and tested, and 6) how the model architecture may or may not permit explicit model sharing. The reviewers will be asked to comment on the degree to which all six objectives are addressed in the proposal (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html#SectionI).

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 prior to preparing 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 Interagency Opportunities in Multi-Scale Modeling in Biomedical, Biological, and Behavioral Systems Initiative by NIH, NSF, DOE, or NASA. 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 may apply to this PAR as a competitive renewal if the science proposed is a logical progression or follow-on to the existing R01. It is recommended that you briefly describe the previous funding opportunity to explain the progress in the previous granting cycle (e.g. number of years funded, etc.). Grantees from other agencies will be required to submit a new application to this PAR but are welcome to mention the initiatives from which they received previous funding, and participation in Federally-supported consortia (e.g. the MSM Consortium) in the grant proposal.

Q: Can foreign institutions apply to this PAR?
A: Yes, foreign organizations are eligible to apply. Specific submission instructions are located in Section IV.2 of the guidelines (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html).

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: I would like to apply to this PAR, however, my work is most appropriate for NIDDK. NIDDK is not listed as a participating Institute. What should I do?
A: NIDDK has requested that applicants consider submitting unsolicited, or to PAR-07-344 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-07-344.html). You may also wish to consult the NIDDK website for other appropriate FOA's (http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/Funding/FundingOpportunities/ProgramAnnouncements).

Q: What should I do if I receive errors during my grants submission?
A: We recommend you correct your error immediately. If you continue to receive the error, you should contact Grants.gov as soon as possible and notify CSR of the delay. 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).

We recommend you submit your propsal well before the submission/receipt date, to allow time to correct for errors and contact Grants.gov for unresolved errors if necessary.

Grant Application

Q: How many pages are allowed in the research plan?
A: The page limit for the research plan is 15 pages. This PAR is participating in a NIH CSR pilot to shorten grant applications. This places additional burden on investigators to prepare applications that are extremely clear and succinct, while still including all the necessary details to help the reviewers understand the projects.

If you are resubmitting an R01 proposal that was previously submitted to NIH in a 25 page format, you must reduce your research plan to 15 pages to respond to this PAR.


Q: How will the review for this PAR differ from that of PAR-07-344 - Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology (R01)?
The applications responding to this PAR (PAR-08-023) will be reviewed in a special study section. The review criteria and review considerations for this PAR have been extended (see bulleted lists at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html#SectionV) to reflect the specific objects of this FOA. The reviewers will be asked to specifically comment on these additional review criteria.

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.

As stated in: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html#SectionV, reviewers will factor the following review criteria in the priority scores:

(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)

  • 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?
  • Does the project include appropriate sharing plans to link proposed models with other modeling efforts or other disease related models, especially if the proposed model does not already have a disease focus?
  • 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: Should we add an attachment with a detailed Resource Sharing description in Section 17 of the Research Plan?
Yes, you should use Section 17 to describe any Resource or Data Sharing Plans as described on page 121 (I-155) of http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424_RR_Guide_General_Ver2.pdf. The contents should follow the description in the FOA, section IV.6 Plan for Sharing Research Data (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-023.html). The Plan for Sharing Models and Software is handled differently; this should be included in a separate heading in the Research Design and Methods section.


Q: Are other IMAG agencies participating in this FOA?
The 12 NIH Institutes listed on the first page of this FOA are participating in this FOA. Although the National Science Foundation (NSF) is not participating in this FOA, NSF welcomes unsolicited proposals related to this field as appropriate to the goals of the programs listed below.

NSF does not allow simultaneous submissions of the same proposal to multiple agencies. Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the program officials listed for each program.


For further information contact:
Grace C.Y. Peng, Ph.D.
Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG) (http://www.nibib.nih.gov/Research/MultiScaleModeling/IMAG)
Program Director
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 200, MSC 5477
Bethesda, MD 20892-5477
Telephone: (301) 451-4778
FAX: (301) 480-1614
Email: penggr@mail.nih.gov



Last reviewed on: 09/17/2008

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