CALL FOR PROPOSALS

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					                              GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
                         DEPARTMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
                      MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

                                 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

   INDO-US PROGRAMME ON CONTRACEPTIVE AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
                           RESEARCH

In pursuance of a Joint Statement issued in November, 1997 between the Government of
India and Government of USA on the expansion of Indo-US Collaboration on
Contraceptive and Reproductive Health Research, the Indian scientists are invited to
propose Joint Research Projects with US scientists.

The Indo-U.S. Program on Contraception and Reproductive Health Research (CRHR) is
administered by a Secretariat consisting of Indian nodal agency and staff from the U.S.
The nodal agencies for this program are the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the
Indian Ministry of Science and Technology and the U.S. National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department
of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID)

In addition to the Secretariat, the overall scientific goals and procedures of the program are
overseen by a Joint Working Group (JWG) consisting of independent Indian and US
investigators and staff from participating agencies with expertise covering the range of
topics to be addressed by the CRHR program.

1. Purpose. The goal of the Indo-US Program for Contraception and Reproductive Health
Research program (CRHR) is to "build upon previous research cooperation by drawing on
the expertise of Indian and U.S. scientists and institutions to promote and support
collaborative research that will result in expanded contraceptive options and improved
reproductive health." To address shared concerns in contraception and reproductive
health, Indian and U.S. scientists will undertake a coordinated program involving
participation in collaborative, peer-reviewed research projects designed to achieve
enhanced reproductive health, disease prevention, product development and technology
transfer.

2. Specific areas to be addressed :

The CRHR JWG continues to emphasize the need for more "translational" types of
research intended to move from basic science and discovery to product development
and delivery, consolidating on existing leads available. Several areas have emerged as
high priority. Emphasis should be placed on candidate methods and approaches to
family planning that have achieved a level of development that would make them ideal
candidates to move to the delivery/implementation phase.




Towards that end, the CRHR program seeks a balance among
    a) R&D of totally new male and female focused methods (hormonal, non-
   hormonal and/or barrier

   b) studies of approaches to increase the acceptability, access and utilization of
   currently available methods of family planning in at-risk populations of men,
   women and couples and

    c) efforts to incrementally improve existing methods, i.e., make what is already
   available, better.

   To the extent that applications can be developed within the confines of the R01
   mechanism, specific areas to be emphasized include, but are not limited to:

          Product Development and Applied Research Development of new
           methods of male contraception including: post-testicular methods and non-
           surgical methods of sterilization, long-acting and hormonal contraceptives
           including injectable (development and expanding the access to and use),
          implants, vaginal rings and transdermal methods, female barrier methods
           for dual protection, i.e. for contraception and HIV/STI prevention,
          projects to expand the knowledge about and access to emergency
           contraception using different service delivery options,
          evaluation of point of care (POC) immunodiagnostics for STIs/HIV and
           sperm count. A
          Additional priority areas include relevant aspects of social and behavioral
           science research including: research related to expanding the use of
           available methods of contraception, especially for young, low parity
           women, improving the image and acceptance/use of vasectomy and IUDs,
           and of condoms for pregnancy and HIV/STI prevention. investigation of the
           full range of r issues that impact on the ability of women, particularly young
           married women, to use contraception and development of interventions of
           overcome these barriers.

3) Mechanism of Support. Support of the U.S. components of CRHR projects will be
   accomplished the NIH Research Project Grant (R01) mechanism. DBT would
   provide funds for the Indian component.

4) Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards. The NICHD intends to
   commit approximately $1 million to support two to four awards in FY 2009.
    Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application
   to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also
   vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the
   quality, duration, and costs of the applications received. DBT would provide
   matching funds as per the merit of the proposal
5) Budget and Project Period. For any given application, budgets for direct costs of
   up to $250,000 per year and a project duration of up to 4 years may be requested
   for a maximum of $1,000,000 direct costs over a four-year project period




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   6) Criteria for evaluation: Applications that do not contain specific justification for
      both the need to have an US component and a full description of the nature of the
      collaboration (the principals involved, its nature and justification) will not be
      considered. Other criteria include

             Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by initial peer review
              and subsequent CRHR JWG review
             Viability and justification of the collaboration
             Relevance to CRHR program priorities
             Availability of funds

   7) Special Instructions The application must propose a research project involving
      a collaborative effort between the U.S. Principal Investigator and an Indian
      scientist. Because this is a joint partnership between U.S. (NICHD) and Indian
      (DBT) agencies, involving both dollar and rupee funding decisions, it is essential
      that:

             Both DBT and NIH/NICHD receive the identical Research Plan with all
              pertinent details and a description of the relative role of the U.S. and Indian
              collaborators. It is the responsibility of the collaborative team to insure that
              appropriate application materials are received by the Indian Secretariat of
              the CRHR program at DBT including all relevant IRB approvals, Material
              Transfer Agreements (MTA), ethical clearances etc.
             Justification must be provided for the collaboration and must include all
              necessary supporting documents and signed agreements from respective
              institutions; and

As the CRHR program is a partnership between the two nodal agencies, NICHD and DBT,
the costs of these collaborative projects will be shared by the partner agencies. The rupee
costs for conducting the Indian component of the research protocol will be covered by DBT
as per the merit of the proposal. NICHD will fund the dollar costs for meritorious
applications from US investigators who can justify the need and viability of collaboration
with an Indian collaborator. Both NIH/NICHD and DBT receive the identical Research Plan
with all pertinent details and a description of the relative role of the U.S. and Indian
collaborators;

Research proposals will be peer-reviewed in India and the United States and approved
research projects would be supported appropriately on Indian and US side to meet
research costs and other resources. The Research projects would be implemented subject
to necessary clearances from the Government and laws and regulations of the host and
sponsoring countries.

Final funding decisions will be made based on mutual agreement of nodal agencies,
NICHD and DBT, and the availability of funds.




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LAST DATE FOR SUBMISSION : 11 AUGUST, 2008

Application Due Date(s): August 11, 2008
Peer Review Date(s): October/November 2008
Council Review Date(s): January 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): April 1, 2009
Expiration Date: August 12, 2008

One soft copy and ten hard copies of the jointly agreed collaborative research project on
specific format (with budgetary details as per DBT requirements) should be submitted to :

Dr. Shailja V. Gupta
Joint Director
Department of Biotechnology
Ministry of Science and Technology
Block – 2 ,CGO Complex, Lodi Road
New Delhi – 110 003, INDIA
Tel : 2436 3748
TeleFax : 2436 4064,
Fax : 24362884
E-mail : shailja@dbt.nic.in

Details of the Request for Applications are available on the NIH URL:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-08-024.html




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