EGRP News Flash - April 18, 2012

NIH Issues Request for Applications for U.S.-China Program for Biomedical Collaborative Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports international collaborative biomedical research to advance science and expand biomedical knowledge. Scientific cooperation between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China was initiated over 30 years ago and has grown rapidly in recent years. Recognizing that enhanced cooperative biomedical research would be of mutual benefit to the U.S. and China, the NIH Director and the President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2010.

NIH is seeking Research Project Grant (R01) proposals through a new Request for Applications (RFA) to stimulate collaborative basic, translational, and applied research between United States (U.S.)-based researchers and Chinese researchers in the areas of allergy, immunology, and infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities and co-infections, cancer, mental health, Parkinson's disease (PD), and stroke.

In the area of cancer research, applications need to address cancer in the context of infectious agents and/or diseases. Research may focus on the links between infection and cancer important in the U.S. and China, particularly:

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV);
  • Helicobacter pylori;
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV);
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) and possible co-factors, such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV); and
  • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV or HHV-8).

Research on infection-related cancer areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating cost-effective cancer vaccines that can be used in developed and developing countries (e.g., DNA-based vaccines or the use of recombinant over-expressed antigenic proteins);
  • Creating cost-effective screening and early detection strategies for infection-related cancer that can be used in developed and developing countries;
  • The role of inflammation in infection-related cancers;
  • The role of tobacco use in infection-related cancers;
  • Genomic studies of infection-related cancers;
  • Epigenetic changes in infection-related cancers;
  • Host immune control and/or host and microbial genetics in infection-related cancers; and
  • The role of the microbiome in infection-related cancers.

Since a principal aim of this RFA is to attract and support new ideas, a key feature of this RFA is that preliminary data, unlike as in standard R01 applications, are not required for this R01 submission.

Application budgets are limited to $200,000 per year in total costs over a three year period.

Letters of intent are due August 18, 2012 and applications are due September 18, 2012, no later than 5:00 P.M., local time of applicant organization.

U.S. and Chinese collaborating investigators should work together to submit corresponding applications to NIH and NSFC. U.S. investigators will respond to this announcement from NIH, and Chinese investigators will respond to a separate funding announcement from NSFC. By sending an application to NIH, the applicant agrees to provide a complete copy of their submitted NIH application to their Chinese counterpart. Potential U.S. applicants concerned about confidentiality or proprietary information should take this requirement into account before deciding what information to submit in their application to NIH. NIH will not consider for funding any application that has not met this sharing requirement.

Eligibility for NSFC funding under these collaborative projects is limited to scientists who are current or former NSFC grantees. NSFC will publish a corresponding funding announcement (in Chinese)External Web Site Policy for partnering Chinese investigators to apply for funding under the joint U.S.-China Program in Biomedical Research Cooperation. Applications from Chinese investigators responding to the NSFC announcement will be reviewed in parallel by NSFC using review criteria that are harmonized with NIH review criteria. Applicants responding to the NSFC announcement will also be required to submit as part of their applications a copy of the NIH application provided by their U.S. collaborator. Therefore, it is expected that the Chinese collaborator will contact the U.S. Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s)) and request a copy of their application in response to this announcement for submission. This application will also be reviewed confidentially during the NSFC review process.

Funding decisions for applications submitted to NIH will be made by NIH with consideration of the research priorities of the U.S. China program. Both the U.S. and Chinese applications must be determined to be eligible and responsive (in the parallel processes conducted by the NIH and NSFC) to be considered for funding under the program.

NCI contact for cancer epidemiology questions: Gary L. Ellison, Ph.D., M.P.H., Program Director, Modifiable Risk Factors Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program.

Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for more details:

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