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FAQs

RFA-CE-14-001: Grants for Injury Control Research Centers

 

Initial Fiscal Year: 2013
Program: NCIPC
FOA Number: RFA-CE-14-001 Title: Grants for Injury Control Research Centers

Questions concerning Developmental Center Applications

  1. If I was previously funded by CDC as the principal investigator (PI) of an Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) grant, and have now moved to another institution that has never had funding by CDC for an ICRC, can I apply under the developmental center option?
    Yes.  If your institution has never had ICRC funding, you can apply under the developmental center option.  However, if your institution has previously had ICRC funding, even if you were not the PI, you cannot apply under the developmental center option.
  2. If I apply under the developmental center option for this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), and I am awarded the grant, will I be able to apply under the comprehensive center option when the next FOA comes out, even if it has not been 5 years since I was initially funded?
    Yes, you will be able to apply. However If you are successfully awarded a comprehensive center grant under a future ICRC FOA, before your comprehensive center award begins, you will have to terminate your developmental center award. The same institution cannot simultaneously have both a developmental center ICRC award and a comprehensive center ICRC award from CDC.
  3. For developmental centers, the FOA specifies that the research project must address 1) one of NCIPC’s current research focus areas (Motor Vehicle-related Injuries, Violence Against Children and Youth, Prescription Drug Overdoses, or Traumatic Brain Injuries) or 2) a high burden injury and/or violence prevention and control topic area. Will my applicant be better received or earn extra points if it addresses one of NCIPC’s current research focus areas?
    No.  However, if you choose a high burden injury topic area other than those in NCIPC’s focus areas, you will need to prove that the topic area is important, is high burden, and is of interest to CDC.  For example, if you decide to study dog bite injuries in the United States, a strong justification would have to be made regarding why this is a high burden injury topic area. 
  4. For a developmental center, the FOA states that applicants must propose one research project that has a total budget (both direct and indirect cost) of between $100,000 and $200,000 per year and a project period of between three and four years. Instead of one, four-year research project, can I propose two shorter research projects?
    No, to support the greatest potential return on CDC’s research investment, the research project must have a period of 3 or 4 years. 
  5. Can the principal investigator of the research project be the center director?
    No, for the developmental centers, the center director cannot be the principal investigator on the research project.    
  6. The FOA states that the center director for a developmental center is required to dedicate at least 35 percent effort to this project. Does 35 percent of the center director’s salary have to be charged to this grant?
    No, the 35 percent effort per budget year is the required time commitment by the center director, not salary. 
  7. Is it permissible for applications to have co-directors and to share the 35 percent time commitment?
    No. This FOA requires that one person be designated as the center director for this grant.  The center director‘s name appears on the face page of the application as the Program Director/Principal Investigator.  The center director must devote at least 35 percent effort solely to this grant for each budget year.  However, the 35 percent commitment for the center director does not have to be used solely for the administrative core; it can be spread out over the various cores and the research project.

Questions concerning Comprehensive Center Applications

  1. If my institution has never received CDC funding for an ICRC grant, may my institution apply for as a comprehensive center?
    Yes, you may apply as either a comprehensive center or as a developmental center, but not both.
  2. Will any of the three funding awards for comprehensive centers be reserved for new centers?
    No, none of the awards for comprehensive centers will be reserved specifically for new centers.  For this FOA, NCIPC intends to fund up to three comprehensive centers.  No quota will be set with respect to how many of the awards will be given to existing or new centers.  The external peer review of applications will be a fair and open competition.  Neither new nor existing centers will be given preferential treatment during peer review.
  3. For comprehensive centers, the FOA specifies that two of the research projects must address 1) one of NCIPC’s current research focus areas (Motor Vehicle-related Injuries, Violence Against Children and Youth, Prescription Drug Overdoses, or Traumatic Brain Injuries) or 2) a high burden injury and/or violence prevention and control topic area.
    1. Do the two research projects have to address the same topic area?
      No.
    2. Will my application be better received or earn extra points if the research projects address one or more of NCIPC’s current research focus areas?
      No.  However, if you choose a high burden injury topic area other than those in NCIPC’s focus areas, you will need to prove that the topic area is important, is high burden, and is of interest to CDC.  For example, if you decide to study dog bite injuries in the United States, a strong justification would have to be made regarding why this is a high burden injury topic area. 
  4. The FOA also specifies that for comprehensive centers, at least one research project must address a component of translation research and at least one research project must address a component of policy research. Do the research projects that address translation and policy research have to be the same research projects that address one of NCIPC’s current research focus areas or a high burden injury topic area?
    No, these are two separate requirements. 
  5. How broad or narrow should the focus of the application be for the center and the proposed research? 
    The broadness (or narrowness) of the focus of the application for both the center and the proposed research is left to the discretion of the applicant.  In the application, applicants need to explain the reasoning for choosing a particular focus.  Centers are expected to provide leadership, be a resource to the community, and provide support to local stakeholders and community partners.  This will be difficult to do if the application is too focused.  For example, if an applicant focuses all of the research, training, and outreach activities on traumatic brain injuries among high school athletes, the application will probably not fare as well in the peer review process as research, training, and outreach activities that are a little broader.  On the other hand, if the applicant is too broad, and attempts to focus on all areas of injury and violence prevention, their application may be viewed as being unfocused and may also not fare well in peer review. 
  6. Are exploratory research projects required?
    Exploratory research projects are not required for this FOA. 
  7. Is it allowable for a center to engage in only injury prevention and control research or only violence prevention research?  Some of the existing centers apparently do both.
    Centers may focus only on unintentional injuries or only on violence prevention. An applicant does not need to address both, although focusing on both is permissible.  However, one of the center’s responsibilities is to be a resource to its community.  Focusing all of the training, education, outreach, and resource activities on one aspect of unintentional injuries or violence may not be viewed as favorably by the peer review committee.  The applicant needs to explain why the focus was selected. 
  8. The FOA states that the center director is required to dedicate at least 35 percent effort to this project, but there are situations when that may not be the most beneficial to the center.  If an applicant can demonstrate sufficient commitment and give a rationale for why it is not advantageous for the center director to provide a 35 percent commitment, is that allowed?
    No, 35 percent effort per budget year is the required time commitment by the center director. 
  9. The FOA states that the center director for a comprehensive center is required to dedicate at least 35 percent effort to this project. Does 35 percent of center director’s salary have to be charged to this grant?
    No, the 35 percent effort per budget year is the required time commitment for the center director, not salary. 
  10. Is it permissible for co-directors to share the 35 percent time commitment?
    No, this FOA requires that one person be designated as the center director for this grant.  The center director‘s name appears on the face page of the application as the Program Director/Principal Investigator.  The center director must devote at least 35 percent effort solely to this grant for each budget year. However, the 35 percent commitment for the center director does not have to be used solely for the administrative core; it can be spread out over the various cores and the research projects.
  11. Can the center director be a principal investigator on one of the research projects?
    Yes, the center director can be a principal investigator (or co-investigator) on one or more of the research projects.  Part of the 35 percent time commitment that the director must devote to this grant can be as a principal investigator (or co-investigator) on one of the research projects.

General Questions

  1. What federal application form do we use?
    Applications will be submitted electronically at www.grants.gov using the SF424 (R&R) form. Applications need to follow the format of the SF424 including detailed budgets, budget justifications, and sections on Specific Aims, Research Strategy, Protection of Human Subjects, Inclusion of Women and Minorities, Inclusion of Children, Vertebrate Animals, Consortium/Contractual Arrangements, and Letters of Support.  
    Note: This is not a comprehensive list of the elements needed for the application.
    The FOA provides further instructions in addition to those found in the SF424 instructions.  This additional information needs to be included in the application.
  2. The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 80 pages for a comprehensive center application and 40 pages for a developmental center application.  Will the page limits for these sections be enforced?
    Yes, these limits will be strictly enforced.  
  3. Are there page limits on the appendices?
    Yes, the number of appendices is limited to 10 and the total page limit for all 10 appendices is 50 pages.  Please remember that reviewers will not be required to read the appendices.
  4. Should a separate budget be prepared for each of the core components?
    Yes, applicants should prepare an overall budget, and budgets for each of the cores.  An individual budget should also be prepared for each research project.  Please be sure that the correct core or research project is identified on each budget page.
  5. How many centers are currently funded and will existing centers be competing this time?
    Eleven centers are currently funded.  Centers are funded for five years.  The 11 centers are on two different funding cycles.  Funding for four of the 11 funded centers will end July 31, 2014.  Those four centers will be eligible to compete as comprehensive centers under this FOA.
  6. The FOA states that geographic distribution may be considered when funding decisions are made during the secondary review process. Will achieving geographic distribution across the US override the scientific merit scores received by the applications?
    No, scientific merit is the overriding factor for funding decisions. However, if a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications are received, geographic balance across states and regions of the United States may be taken into consideration when the final funding decisions are made.
  7. The FOA states that centers funded for ten or more years may receive reduced funding in subsequent funding announcements. Does this mean that centers that have been funded for 10 or more years should not apply? Or will their funding be reduced under this FOA?
    No, centers previously funded for 10 or more years will be eligible to apply to this FOA and will compete in the same manner as all other applicants and will be eligible for the same amount of funding. This statement in the FOA refers possible changes in how funding will be distributed in future FOAs.
  8. The FOA states that funded centers are expected to be able to document the impact of their activities and that possible indicators of impact are being developed by NCIPC.  Will addressing these indicators in the application influence the decisions of scientific merit or the funding?
    Only the review criteria listed in Section V (Application Review Information) of the FOA will be used by the external peer reviewers to determine the scientific merit of the applications. It is recommended that potential applicants review the criteria listed in Section V for the FOA before writing their application.  Please note that the FOA encourages the use of suitable evaluation techniques and tools and follow-up actions to help assess impact and outcomes of the center’s activities.  
  9. Will NCIPC accept recommendations for reviewers?
    NCIPC will accept recommendations for reviewers.  However, just because a reviewer is recommended does not mean they will be selected for the peer review panel.  For example, the individual may not be available on the days of the review, may have a conflict of interest, may not be qualified, or may not be interested in being an NCIPC reviewer.  Suggested reviewers may be submitted to Paul Smutz at 770-488-4850 or wsmutz@cdc.gov

 

 

 
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