C-THAN FAQs - C-THAN

FAQs

1. Who retains the rights to any intellectual property generated by a proposal?

Management of intellectual property will be determined by the proposal applicant’s institutional policies.

2. Should I disclose any unprotected proprietary information in the submission?

Protecting proprietary information is the responsibility of the applicant and the applicant institution. Consistent with NIH policy, applicants are discouraged from submitting information considered proprietary unless it is deemed essential for proper evaluation of the application. However, when the application contains information that constitutes trade secrets, or information that is commercial or financial, or information that is confidential or privileged, identify the pages in the application that contain this information by marking those paragraphs or lines with an asterisk (*) at the beginning of the paragraph. Indicate at the beginning of the Research Plan which pages contain asterisks and a note stating: "The following sections marked with an asterisk contain proprietary/privileged information that [name of applicant] requests not be released to persons outside the Government, except for purposes of review and evaluation." When information in the application constitutes trade secrets or information that is commercial or financial, or information that is confidential or privileged, it is furnished to the Government in confidence with the understanding that the information shall be used or disclosed only for evaluation of this application. If a grant is awarded as a result of or in connection with the submission of this application, the Government shall have the right to use or disclose the information to the extent authorized by law.

3. Who can apply for Center for Innovation in Point-of-Care Technologies for HIV/AIDS at Northwestern University (C-THAN) grants?

Applications from all sources will be considered including domestic or foreign, public or private, nonprofit or for-profit. Applicants from LMIC either independently or in collaboration with developers in high resource countries are encouraged to apply. Awards under this solicitation may be made only to NIH-eligible applicants. Details regarding specific requirements can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards.   

4. Are international laboratories outside of the United States eligible to participate?

Yes. Applications from all sources will be considered including domestic or foreign, public or private, nonprofit or for-profit. Applicants from LMIC either independently or in collaboration with developers in high resource countries are encouraged to apply. Awards under this solicitation may be made only to NIH-eligible applicants. Details regarding specific requirements can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards.

5. When are applications due?

Pre-proposals are due by 4:59pm EST Monday, March 2, 2020.

Full proposals are due by 4:59pm EST Friday, June 1, 2020.

6. How much funding is available? Do you give multi-year Grants?

Applicants may request up to $100,000 combined direct and indirect cost per project. Indirect costs are at the performance sites’ Federally-negotiated rates. Only one year applications are accepted.

7. Where do I submit my pre-proposal?

All pre-proposal information must be submitted through the online submission system.

8. When will I be notified if my pre-proposal has been selected to submit a full Proposal?

All pre-proposal applicants will be notified on or before Wednesday, April 1, 2020 as to whether or not they have been selected to advance to the full proposal phase.

9. My pre-proposal was accepted and I have been invited to submit a full proposal. Now what?

If you are invited to submit a full proposal, it must be submitted through the online submission system no later than 4:59pm EST Friday, May 15, 2020. No material can be submitted directly to C-THAN or POCTRN staff. 

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the submission site. The application does not need to be completed all at once. The PI may log on as many times as he or she wishes until the deadline.

10. Who reviews the applications?

Proposals are peer-reviewed on a confidential basis. The review panels are made up of individuals with appropriate expertise in medical innovation from a clinical, engineering, technical, scientific and/or business perspective. Full proposal applicants can suggest areas of expertise to include on a given panel, though no assurance is given that suggested review domains will be utilized. Please do not recommend reviewers by name to avoid potential conflicts of interest.  However, applicants can provide names of potential reviewers whom they would prefer not be used, and every effort will be made to accommodate these requests. These requests should be included in a letter uploaded with the other supporting documents.

11. Is there anything "special" that applicants should know?

Key elements of a strong application are to address a high priority HIV topic, and that your solution needs to address the specific requirements of a product for an LMIC setting.

12. Who should I list as collaborators?

List only individuals who are considered key personnel or significant contributors to the work that will be performed, and who have agreed to their role. Avoid honorific collaborations. For all proposals, the review committee requires that investigators collaborate closely with HIV clinicians and product development experts in the development of the proposal and the conduct of the work. The input of these collaborators must be clearly reflected throughout the application.

13. I am writing a pre-proposal. May I include several references?

References are not required for the pre-proposal.

14. Should I submit copies of relevant publications?

Question 3e of EOI form states: “Upload a short paper, overview image, or other document that describes the proposed solution and work to date (PDF <5mb) Optional”.

15. Will you accept a video showing how my system works?

Videos are not accepted.

16. What is an institutional sign off page?

It is the official sheet from your research administration office indicating that your full proposal has been approved by your institution’s sponsored research office. Be sure to ask your research administration office how much lead time they need to process this form in the event you are invited to submit a full proposal so that you can submit all your documents before the deadline. Signature from an authorized business official must be received prior to the proposal deadline.

17. Are there any budget restrictions or limitations?

Capital and non-capital equipment must be well justified to the purpose and exclusive need of the project. Alterations and renovations will not be supported.

18. Are indirect costs provided?

Indirect costs are not provided.

19. When would I receive my funding?

The timeliness of your revisions to the administrative materials and obtaining any necessary protocol approvals will affect when you receive your award, which would not be sooner than September 1, 2020. If your work involves human subjects or live animals, the necessary IRB and IACUC approvals must be received by C-THAN prior to the activation of that portion of your award.

20. What are my reporting responsibilities if I receive an award?

At minimum, an annual progress report is required to be submitted by investigators in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award. Additional follow-up meetings and interim reports are required on an as-needed basis so the Centers can follow the progress of your projects. Investigators will provide regular updates through the POCTRN GAITS (Guidance and Impact Tracking System) system.

21. Does the C-THAN support software development?

C-THAN reviewers will distinguish between routine software engineering (data processing, interfacing, simple signal processing), and research software in which new algorithmic approaches are required to solve a clinical problem. Like any other task, software engineering may be supported when it is necessary to meet project objectives. Research software projects must be approached in the context of a clinical purpose or care pathway. C-THAN does not support classic Information Technology projects (electronic patient record, data mining for decision support, etc.) because institutions and industry groups are already investing significant resources in these areas.

22. Does the C-THAN support early stage research?

Projects should be viable candidates for commercial development within 1-2 years and no more than 5 years at the end of the award period, therefore applications to support early stage research are not encouraged. C-THAN funding should be considered tactical allowing developers to achieve proof of concept of prototype for example. To proceed to commercialization, developers will likely need to seek additional funding from other funding sources.

23. Is mentorship on my project available through C-THAN?

Yes. Question 6 in the EoI form states: “We encourage you to request help from the Center in preparing your proposal, please check all boxes for which you would like assistance, if any, and the Center will follow-up. (Optional)”. The options listed are clinical operations/workflow, clinical trials, regulatory, commercialization, technology, teaming, and other.

24. Can you buy capital equipment on grant?

Capital and non-capital equipment must be well justified to the purpose and exclusive need of the project.

25. Can applicants submit multiple applications to more than one POCTRN Center solicitation?

Applicants can submit Expressions of Interest to multiple research area appropriate Center solicitations. Only one submission if selected will be allowed to move to the full proposal stage. This will be decided amongst Center Leadership for the best fit within the goals of the Center.