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NHLBI Announces Plan to Fund a Limited Framingham Heart Study Exam

December 4, 2019

As previously reported on this Digital Forum, an NHLBI working group comprised of selected members of the NHLBI Advisory Council and Board of External Experts presented a set of seven recommendations for transforming population research to the NHLBI Council in 2014.  The recommendations were subsequently published in 2015 (Roger VL et al. Strategic Transformation of Population Studies: Recommendations of the Working Group on Epidemiology and Population Sciences From the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council and Board of External Experts. Am J. Epidemiol 2015;181(6):363-367).  In its Recommendation 7, the working group advised the NHLBI to “implement a competitive peer review–based model for its portfolio of large epidemiologic and population studies,” in which funding decisions for study infrastructure are separated from peer review for innovative research content.

Consistent with that Recommendation 7, the NHLBI recently announced its intent to fund a limited clinic exam cycle in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS).  The exam, which will take place beginning on or about January 2, 2022, will serve as a platform for investigator-initiated, peer-reviewed, independently funded exam components that will enrich the exam data collection with additional hypothesis-driven content.  The intent of Notice NOT-HL-19-732 is to allow time for interested researchers to comply with FHS requirements and develop NIH grant applications to fund exam components addressing innovative research questions in FHS.

Table 1 summarizes timing considerations for submitting grant applications proposing exam components for FHS clinic exam cycle.  (Visit this link for more information about NIH grant application cycles, due dates, etc.)

Potential applicants may wish to consider the following:

  • Receipt of new (A0) applications received by the January 2021 Council Cycle (Cycle II) standard receipt dates would allow time for review and potential funding before the exam cycle begins. Receipt of resubmission (A1) applications for the following October 2021 Council (Cycle 1) would allow time for review and potential funding before the exam cycle begins.

Applicants will need to consider timing of their data collection relative to that of the planned exam and any additional time and associated costs that may be required to complete their exam components as proposed.

If you are interested in partnering with FHS in developing and obtaining funding for innovative content for the upcoming exam, please carefully read the NIH Guide Notice and visit the FHS website for its ancillary studies policies and other relevant information.

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