Investigators conducting biomedical research frequently develop unique research resources. NIH considers the sharing of such unique research resources (also called research tools) an important means to enhance the value of NIH-sponsored research. Restricting the availability of unique resources can impede the advancement of further research. Therefore, when these resources are developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings have been published or after they have been provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. At the same time NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and the Office of Extramural Research, Division of Extramural Inventions & Technology Resources (DEITR), Intellectual Property Policy page: http://inventions.nih.gov.
The adequacy of resource sharing plans is considered by reviewers when a competing application is evaluated. Reviewers are asked to describe their assessment of the sharing plan(s) in an administrative note, and will not normally include their assessment in the overall impact/priority score. Program staff are responsible for overseeing resource sharing policies and for assessing the appropriateness and adequacy of any proposed resource sharing plans.
All investigator-initiated applications with direct costs of $500,000 or greater (exclusive of consortium F&A) in any single year are expected to address data-sharing in their application. Applicants are encouraged to discuss data-sharing plans with their program contact at the time they negotiate an agreement with the Institute/Center (IC) staff to accept assignment of their application as described at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html.
Applicants are reminded that agreement to accept assignment of applications $500,000 or greater must be obtained at least six weeks in advance of the anticipated submission date. Instructions related to the data-sharing policy as it is applied to applications and proposals responding to a specific Request for Application (RFA) or Request for Proposals (RFP) will be described in the specific solicitation. In some cases, other Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) may request data-sharing plans for applications that are less than $500,000 direct costs in any single year.
NIH recognizes that in some cases data-sharing may be complicated or limited by institutional policies, local IRB rules, as well as local, state and Federal laws and regulations, including the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The rights and privacy of individuals who participate in NIH-sponsored research must be protected at all times. Thus, data intended for broader use should be free of identifiers that would permit linkages to individual research participants and variables that could lead to deductive disclosure of the identity of individual subjects. When data-sharing is limited, applicants should explain such limitations in their data-sharing plans.
For SBIR grantees only, under the Small Business Act, SBIR grantees may withhold their data for 4 years after the end of the award. The Small Business Act provides authority for NIH to protect from disclosure and nongovernmental use all SBIR data developed from work performed under an SBIR funding agreement for a period of 4 years after the closeout of either a Phase I or Phase II grant unless NIH obtains permission from the awardee to disclose these data. The data rights protection period lapses only upon expiration of the protection period applicable to the SBIR award, or by agreement between the small business concern and NIH.
For more information on data-sharing, please see: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ policy/data_sharing/ and the NIH Final Policy on Sharing Research Data.
1.5.2 Sharing Model Organism Policy
All applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding so that other researchers can benefit from these resources, or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible. Model organisms include but are not restricted to mammalian models, such as the mouse and rat; and non-mammalian models, such as budding yeast, social amoebae, round worm, fruit fly, zebra fish, and frog. Research resources to be shared include genetically modified or mutant organisms, sperm, embryos, protocols for genetic and phenotypic screens, mutagenesis protocols, and genetic and phenotypic data for all mutant strains.
This expectation is for all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated, regardless of funding amount.
For additional information on this policy, see the NIH Model Organism for Biomedical Research Web site at: http://www.nih.gov/science/models/ and NIH Guide Notices OD-04-042: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-042.html, and OD-04-066: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-066.html.
1.5.3 Policy for Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS)
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition.
All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information see: http://gwas.nih.gov/.