NIAID supports Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Infrastructure as a key component of our mission to safely and effectively develop new and improved diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments for diseases caused by infectious agents. For example, the NIAID-funded National Biocontainment Laboratories and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories offer biocontainment facilities up to biosafety level 4 (BSL4) and biosafety level 3 (BSL3), respectively.
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support pandemic preparedness by providing an opportunity for facility improvements and building systems upgrades at existing BSL3 and BSL4 biocontainment laboratories engaged in research on RNA viruses of pandemic potential to facilitate the conduct of biomedical research on vaccines and therapeutics.
These proposed facility enhancements are expected to add value to the applicant institution’s research efforts relevant to pandemic preparedness by providing support for activities that cannot easily be obtained through standard research awards. The added value contribution of this support should go beyond the resources, services and collaborations that currently exist at the institution.
NIAID seeks to accomplish the ambitious research agenda laid out in the American Pandemic Preparedness: Transforming Our Capabilities plan, the NIAID Pandemic Preparedness Plan and the Antiviral Program for Pandemics (APP), focusing on the viruses of greatest pandemic concern in 7 RNA virus families or orders: Bunyavirales, Coronaviridae (including SARS-CoV-2), Filoviridae, Flaviviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Picornaviridae, and Togaviridae. Therefore, it is critical to provide adequate biocontainment laboratory capacity that meets the demands for increasing research related to pandemic preparedness while ensuring that NIH requirements for safety and function are maintained.
Now, through a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Emergency Awards: Biocontainment Facility Improvements and Building System Upgrades To Support Pandemic Preparedness (G20, Clinical Trial Not Allowed) , NIAID will sponsor facility improvements and building systems upgrades at existing BSL3 or BSL4 laboratories engaged in research on RNA viruses of pandemic potential.
To be eligible, an institution must serve multiple individual investigators, each with demonstrated experience over the past five years covering at least one RNA virus family relevant under the NIAID Pandemic Preparedness Plan and Antiviral Program for Pandemics efforts. The cumulative experience of the investigators must cover at least two relevant viral families.
Funding will cover the following types of activities
- Repair, renovation, and modernization of building systems to enhance functions and operations of existing research facilities, e.g., renovating space and finishes or updating the facility’s HVAC, plumbing, or electrical systems
- New fixed equipment connected to building systems that modernizes, streamlines, or improves efficiencies of the facility’s operations and novel nonfixed scientific equipment or advanced tools which directly support the BSL3 or BSL4 laboratory
- Allowable equipment includes autoclaves, cage washing equipment, ventilated animal caging, biosafety cabinets, cell sorters/flow cytometry, and polymerase chain reaction equipment
- Building automation systems related to functioning of the facility
Most importantly, your institution must meet the eligibility criteria in terms of housing an existing BSL3 or BSL4 laboratory that serves multiple experienced investigators.
NIAID anticipates most applicants will request budgets of $3 million to a maximum of $7.5 million in annual direct costs.
Emergency Awards: Biocontainment Facility Improvements and Building System Upgrades to Support Pandemic Preparedness (G20 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). National Institute of Health RFA-AI-22-019. Applications are due by April 19, 2022