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NIDCD Challenge Grant Proposals

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research
(RFA-OD-09-003)

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

NIH has received new funds for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 as part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), Pub. L. No. 111-5. The NIH has designated at least $200 million in FYs 2009 – 2010 for a new initiative called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research.

This new program will support research on topic areas that address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from significant 2-year jumpstart funds.

The NIH has identified a range of Challenge Areas that focus on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. Each NIH Institute, Center, and Office has selected specific Challenge Topics within the broad Challenge Areas related to its mission. The research in these Challenge Areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.

NIH anticipates funding 200 or more grants, each of up to $1 million in total costs, pending the number and quality of applications and availability of funds. Additional funds may be available to support additional grants, particularly in the Challenge Area of Comparative Effectiveness Research.

The application due date for this program was April 27, 2009. Applications are no longer being accepted.

Broad Challenge Areas and Specific Challenge Topics

Note: Those marked with an asterisk (*) are the highest priority topics; however, applicants may apply to any of the topics.

For NIDCD, the Challenge Topics are:

Broad Challenge Area Specific Challenge Topic

(01) Behavior, Behavioral Change, and Prevention

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(02) Bioethics

02-OD(OSP)-103* Ethical Issues Associated with Electronic Sharing of Health Information. The development of an electronic health information infrastructure and the sharing of health information for patient care and research offers enormous promise to improve health care and promote scientific advances. However, the broad sharing of such data raises numerous ethical issues that may benefit from additional studies (e.g. those related to privacy and confidentiality). Examples include studies to assess risks associated with health information technology and the broad sharing of health information for research, and novel approaches for mitigating them. Examination could also include analysis of current oversight paradigms and suggestions for enhancements, as well as assessments of how privacy risks may change in the future. OD(OSP) Contact: Abigail Rives, 301-594-1976, rivesa@od.nih.gov; NIDCD Contact: Dr. Gordon Hughes, 301-435-4085, hughesg@nidcd.nih.gov

02-OD(OSP)-104* Ethical Issues in the Translation of Genetic Knowledge to Clinical Practice. Genetics and genomics have great promise for the development of personalized medicine, yet the ethical, legal and social implications of both the research and application of genetic and genomic knowledge and technology are far reaching. Studies are needed to better understand the factors that influence the translation of genetic information to improved human health and the associated ethical issues. Examples of studies include those to address ethical issues related to broad sharing and use of new genetic information and technologies for research to improve human health, human subjects protection in genetic and genomic research, the identifiability of genetic/genomic information and how our understanding of identifiability is evolving, return of research results and incidental findings to subjects, alternative models of informed consent for broad data sharing for research, and the impact of intellectual property (IP) issues on development of new technologies. OD(OSP) Contact: Abigail Rives, 301-594-1976, rivesa@od.nih.gov; NIDCD Contact: Dr. Bracie Watson, Jr., 301-402-3458, watsonb@nidcd.nih.gov

02-OD(OSP)-105* Ethical Issues Raised by the Blurring between Treatment and Research. The distinction between clinical practice and research is growing less clear, a trend that may be more pronounced with respect to genetic information and medical records research. Studies are needed to better understand the ethical issues associated with this trend. Examples of studies include those to identify how this blurring in roles affects traditional human subjects protections, including, for example, essential practices such as informed consent, conceptions of the doctor/patient and investigator/subject relationship, and privacy protections. OD(OSP) Contact: Abigail Rives, 301-594-1976, rivesa@od.nih.gov; NIDCD Contact: Dr. Gordon Hughes, 301-435-4085, hughesg@nidcd.nih.gov

(03) Biomarker Discovery and Validation

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(04) Clinical Research

04-DC-101* Prevention of Otitis Media. Otitis media, or middle ear infection, is a major public health problem in young children. Resistance of bacterial pathogens to traditional antibiotic therapy is making this approach to treating this disorder increasingly problematic. The Challenge is to develop and utilize knowledge of the basic biology underlying bacterial colonization and infection of the middle ear to create new approaches to preventing infection. Contact: Dr. Bracie Watson 301-402-3458, watsonb@nidcd.nih.gov.

(05) Comparative Effectiveness research

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(06) Enabling Technologies

06-DC-101* Develop Improved Hearing Devices. Approximately 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss and would benefit from hearing aid use. However, only approximately 20% of potential hearing aid candidates actually use these devices, owing to concerns about stigma, cosmesis, sound quality, and affordability. The Challenge is to develop improved hearing aids, both worn and implantable, for individuals with hearing loss. Contacts: Dr. Dan Sklare, 301-496-1804, sklared@nidcd.nih.gov; Dr. Gordon Hughes, 301-496-5061, hughesg@nidcd.nih.gov.

06-DC-102* Develop and Validate Methods for Delivery of Drugs and Molecules to the Inner Ear. In order to capitalize on the new knowledge of the molecular basis for hearing impairment, better methods to deliver drugs and molecules to the inner ear need to be developed and validated. The Challenge is to identify methods of delivery that are robust, long lasting, and minimally toxic to the sensitive structures in the inner ear. Contacts: Dr. Nancy Freeman, 301-402-3458, freemann@nidcd.nih.gov; Dr. Amy Donahue, 301-402-3458, donahuea@nidcd.nih.gov.

06-DC-103* Understanding the Neural Mechanisms Responsible for Tinnitus. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic tinnitus, or the percept of ringing in one or both ears. The numerous mechanisms that underlie tinnitus are very poorly understood, and as a consequence, the known intervention strategies are ineffective for most affected individuals. The Challenge is to understand the specific neural mechanisms giving rise to tinnitus and to develop novel intervention strategies. Contact: Dr. Roger Miller, 301-402-3458, millerr@nidcd.nih.gov.
(07) Enhancing Clinical Trials

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(08) Genomics

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(09) Health Disparities

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(10) Information Technology for Processing Health Care Data

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(11) Regenerative Medicine

11-DC-101* Hair Cell Regeneration and Maintenance. One common cause of hearing impairment in humans is the progressive loss of the auditory transduction cells, or hair cells, in the inner ear. A similar loss of motion transduction cells in the vestibular organ is a probable cause of balance disorders. Once lost, these cells cannot be spontaneously regenerated in mammals. The Challenge is to develop and validate methods to regenerate and maintain hair cells in animal model systems with the eventual goal of successful translation to human treatments. Contact: Dr. Nancy Freeman, 301-402-3458, freemann@nidcd.nih.gov.
(12) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM)

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(13) Smart Biomaterials - Theranostics

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(14) Stem Cells

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

(15) Translational Science

For this RFA, there is no NIDCD-specific Challenge Topic in this Challenge Area.

For general information on NIDCD's implementation of NIH Challenge Grants, contact:

Judith A. Cooper, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
NIDCD
National Institutes of Health
(301) 496-5061
cooperj@nidcd.nih.gov

For Financial or Grants Management questions, contact:
Christopher Myers
Grants Management Branch, Chief
NIDCD
National Institutes of Health
(301) 402-0909
myersc@mail.nih.gov