This document describes NIHs process for considering planned
applications for projects whose goal is to develop genetic and genomic
resources for non-mammalian model systems. This process will be
used for projects that are large (generally greater than $500,000
in direct costs per year) or that require a long-term commitment
(such as databases and repositories). Applications for projects
that are known to be of interest to specific institutes should be
submitted in the standard manner. However, applicants are encouraged
to discuss these projects with the appropriate institute staff member.
The process described below is designed (1) to provide guidance
to investigators prior to submission of a grant application and
(2) to provide a mechanism for determining whether there is sufficient
programmatic interest in the proposed project before the investigators
prepare and submit an application.
A representative of the model organism community should discuss
the plan with the NIH contact person (or the NMM committee co-chairs,
if there is no contact person).
If NIH considers the planning process to be far enough along,
the applicants should submit a concept paper to the NIH contact
person (or to the NMM committee co-chairs, if there is no contact
person). The concept paper must address the following questions:
By what process did the community obtain input and reach
a consensus about the priority for the proposed project?
What other sources of support, including non-U.S. sources,
What are the advantages and limitations of the model organism
for research purposes, including genome size, tractability
for genetic studies, ease of use, generation time, storage
of organism or gametes, etc.?
What is the justification for needing the genomic resources
now, rather than later, when costs are likely to be
Do the proposed resources exist, or are there plans to develop
such resources, outside the U.S.?
What are the unique advantages of having the genomic
information of this organism?
What scientific advances will be made possible that otherwise
would not, given the current state of the genomic tools?
With as great precision as possible, what is the cost of
What is the duration of the project?
How will resources, such as databases and repositories, be
supported after the completion of the project?
How will data and resources generated by this project be
made available rapidly and efficiently to the research community?
What genomic resources, including databases and repositories,
What is the size of the research community for the organism?
Who will benefit from the improved genomic resources? The
immediate community? The broader biomedical research community?
What will be the benefits?
How will data and resources generated by this project be made available rapidly and efficiently to the research community? Are there any material transfer agreements that would affect the availability of data or resources produced by this project?
(For information on NIH’s policies on intellectual property, see http://www.nih.gov/science/models/sharing.html.)
NIH staff have formed working groups to coordinate and share
information about genomic activities related to some model organisms.
If a working group has been established for a particular model
organism, the contact person will distribute the concept paper
to that working group. If no working group exists, the contact
person will distribute the concept paper to the NMM committee
and to its liaisons from other agencies.
If one or more Institutes and Centers (ICs) and/or
other agencies express an interest in providing support for
the development of the proposed genomic resources, the applicant
will be invited to submit a grant application.
If no IC is interested in accepting a formal application,
the applicant will be notified.
February 25, 2000