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Glue Grant Definition, FOA History and Budget Information

Glue Grant Definition

Glue grants were large-scale collaborative project awards (U54s) whose purpose was to enable the self-assembly of multidisciplinary teams of investigators to solve major biomedical problems of their own selection within the NIGMS mission. The problems identified had to require a large-scale approach and have reached a stage to be feasibly solved within a 10-year period. The self-assembled teams were expected to involve a number of independently funded investigators, selected for expertise and eminence and not location, who were already working on aspects of the selected biomedical problem. A strong leader and centralized project leadership were required.

Glue grants provided a substantial level of resources to participants to coordinate and integrate their research toward collective goals, expressed as milestones and updated annually. The funding provided was not meant to supplement ongoing or engender new hypothesis-driven projects, but to bridge and synergize already funded individual efforts toward the solution of the overarching problem selected. For this large-scale effort, teams were expected to develop state-of-the-art, large-scale technologies and to create the infrastructure for high-volume data collection, coordination, management and analysis.

It was expected that glue grants would result in important, qualitative research advances that could not be achieved by investigators working independently or by using other funding mechanisms. It was also expected that research resources, including data, software, cell lines, animal models and other unique reagents generated by a glue grant, would be shared with the larger scientific community.The paramount considerations for large-scale collaborative project awards were the potential impact on biomedical science, the value added over individual grant approaches and the likelihood of success in a 10-year time frame.

History of Program Funding Opportunity Announcements

Initial Phase I/Phase II Funding Announcement
Reissue of Phase I/Phase II Funding Announcement
Revised Phase I/Phase II Funding Announcement
Reissue of Revised Phase I/Phase II Funding Announcement
Renewal of Initially Funded Phase II Projects (FY05, FY06, FY07)
Reopening of Phase I/Phase II Funding Announcement
Reissue of Renewed Phase I/Phase II Funding Announcement

Responses to these announcements resulted in 15 Phase I awards and seven Phase II awards. Five of those Phase II awards resulted in a second Phase II award. Two Phase II awards were more recently made for an initial 5-year period and were not included in this outcomes assessment. The average Phase II award was $4.9 million per year (direct costs) and $7.4 million per year (total costs). The cost of the entire glue grant program over 10 years was 1.8 percent of the total NIGMS budget.

The names of the NIGMS staff members who served as program officials and as scientific liaisons for these cooperative agreement awards are included in the complete list of participants.

Additional reference on the origins of the glue grant program:

Rogers ME, Onken J. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences Glue Grant Program.
Olson GM, Zimmerman A, Bos N, editors. Scientific collaboration on the internet. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2008.

In addition to the glue grant projects mentioned above, one further project that was submitted in response to the initial request for applications was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): Systems Approach to Innate Immunity-Inflammation-Sepsis (principal investigator, Richard J. Ulevitch, Scripps Research Institute). This project was funded as a cooperative agreement for 5 years. It was continued under a contract. NIAID issued a request for applications to continue its support of collaborative research in this area. See: Systems Approach to Immunity and Inflammation (U19). Outcomes of this project were not considered in this assessment, but would be useful to review and compare with the outcomes of the NIGMS-managed glue grants.

Budget Information

($ in millions)

ProjectFY 2000FY 2001FY 2002FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006FY 2007FY 2008FY 2009FY 2010Sum over all FY
Alliance for Cellular Signaling8.810.012.610.
Cell Migration Consortium
Consortium for Functional Glycomics
Inflammation and the Host Response to Injury06.
Lipid MAPS0006.
Other Glue Grant Projects0.1200.04000000.
Entire Glue Grant Program8.932.039.139.840.238.5834.831.430.230.641.8368
NIGMS Budget13721531169818471905194419341935194619972048 

This page last reviewed on October 22, 2012