Supplements for Microarray Analysis

(No Longer Active)


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announces that administrative supplements for microarray analysis are available to principal investigators (PIs) of NIGMS-funded research grants. The purpose of these supplements is to enable PIs who will not be submitting competing renewal applications in the near future to obtain resources for DNA microarray expression analysis that is directly related to the aims of the parent grant. NIGMS intends to commit up to $5 million to the microarray supplement program in FY 2001.


To be eligible for a supplement, a PI must have an active NIGMS research grant (R01, R15, R29, R37, P01, P50, or S06) as of October 1, 2000, with at least 11 months of funding remaining on the requested start date of the supplemental award. The proposed research must be directly related to the aims of the parent grant without constituting an expansion of scope. Requests for supplements are limited to one per NIGMS grant and PI. The principal investigator/program director of a multicomponent award (P01, P50, or S06) is eligible for a supplement, but leaders of the subprojects are not.

Grantees may request funds for equipment, supplies, and part-time personnel with expertise in data analysis (bioinformatics or statistics). Requests that are solely for personnel will not be considered. Applicants may request up to $50,000 in direct costs for 1 year. Applicable facilities and administrative costs ("indirect costs") will also be awarded.

Groups of PIs who are interested in sharing microarray resources may coordinate their requests. Each PI in the group must have an NIGMS-funded grant that meets the criteria listed above.

Application Procedure

This is a one-time solicitation with a single receipt date. An original and three copies of the request for an administrative supplement must be received at the NIGMS address below by October 2, 2000.

Microarray Supplement Request
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

A request for an administrative supplement should be in the form of a letter from the PI that is countersigned by an authorized institutional business official. On page 1, the applicant should type "MICROARRAY SUPPLEMENT REQUEST," then provide the following information, formatted as follows:

Grant number
PI's name, mailing address, and signature
PI's phone number and Email address
Amount requested (direct costs and total costs)
Requested start date (on or after February 1, 2001; not later than September 1, 2001)
Business official's name and signature

On subsequent pages, the PI should provide the information requested below. Include the PI's name and grant number on each page. The supplement request, including the cover page, should not exceed five pages. Price quotes, letters from collaborators and consultants, and the checklist (see Section 5 below) are excluded from the five-page limit.

Section 1: Describe the proposed experiments, explaining and justifying methodologies, reagents, quality control, statistical analyses, and data sharing. Include an explanation of how the genes that will be represented on the chips were chosen. Discuss the relationship of the proposed research to the aims of the parent grant.

Section 2: Describe the resources that are available for the microarray analysis. If groups of NIGMS-funded PIs are coordinating their requests, list the equipment and other resources for which multiple PIs are requesting supplemental funds and provide the names and grant numbers of the other PIs. If the planned microarray experiments will not be fully supported by supplemental funds from NIGMS to an individual or a group, the sources and amounts of additional funds should be specified.

Section 3: Describe the qualifications of the PI and other personnel who will participate in the proposed research involving microarray analysis, including the statistical analysis of the data. If personnel in the PI's laboratory do not have the required expertise, provide a letter from a collaborator or consultant who does.

Section 4: List items for which funding is requested on PHS 398 Form Page 4 ("Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period"). Justify each item. Price quotes should be provided for single pieces of equipment that cost more than $25,000. If groups of PIs are requesting funds to purchase a piece of equipment that will be shared, PIs should request funds for the equipment in proportion to their anticipated use (e.g., if two PIs will each use the equipment 50 percent of the time, each PI should request 50 percent of the price of the equipment).

Section 5: Complete Section 3 ("Facilities and Administrative Costs") of the PHS 398 Form Checklist.

Review and Award Considerations

Upon receipt, requests will be reviewed for completeness by NIGMS staff. Incomplete requests will be returned without review. Requests that are responsive to the supplement announcement will be reviewed by NIGMS staff, with consultation by appropriate outside reviewers as necessary.

Review criteria include the scientific merit of the proposed microarray analysis, the relevance of the proposed experiments to the project that is funded by the parent grant, the likelihood that the proposed microarray analysis will enhance the progress of the parent grant, the adequacy of plans for quality control and data analysis, the availability of the full range of resources necessary for microarray analysis, and the appropriateness of the proposed budget.

Each request will be judged on its own merits. PIs who are coordinating their requests should have contingency plans for the acquisition of necessary resources in the event that requests submitted by other members of the group are not approved for funding.

All awards are contingent on the availability of funds.


PIs are strongly encouraged to look at the questions and answers section below and to contact their NIGMS Program Director before submitting supplement requests. For additional programmatic information, applicants may contact:

Laurie Tompkins, Ph.D.
Program Director, NIGMS

Inquiries regarding NIH grant policy or fiscal matters should be directed to:

Ms. Marcia Cohn
Grants Management Officer, NIGMS

Questions and Answers

Q: I have two NIGMS-funded grants. One is a MERIT award and the other is a regular research grant (R01). May I apply for two microarray supplements?

A: No, you may only apply for one microarray supplement, regardless of the type(s) of grants that you have.

Q: I am the head of an MBRS SCORE grant subproject. May I apply for a microarray supplement?

A: No, only the PI of a multicomponent grant may apply for a supplement. The PI of your SCORE grant may apply for a microarray supplement to pay for resources that you will use, assuming that doing the microarray analysis will not expand the scope of your subproject.

Q: I am the PI on a P01 grant that has five subprojects. How many microarray supplements may I apply for?

A: One. An NIGMS-funded PI may apply for only one microarray supplement.

Q: My grant expires in 3 months, but my renewal application did well and I expect it to be funded. Am I eligible for a microarray supplement?

A: No. If you want to do microarray analysis next year, your competing renewal application should have included a request for funds for the resources that you'll need.

Q: I've read a lot about microarrays, but I've never done a microarray experiment. May I apply for a supplement, even though I have no experience with the technique?

A: Yes, but you will need to show that somebody in your lab, a collaborator, or a consultant has the technical expertise to assist you with the microarray analysis. If the person with expertise is a collaborator or a consultant, that person should provide a letter describing his/her qualifications and his/her role on the project.

Q: May I apply for a supplement if one of the specific aims of my grant involved a pilot project to determine whether doing a complete microarray analysis was appropriate and feasible? I've already done the pilot project.

A: Yes, as long as doing the complete microarray analysis does not change the scope of the grant.

Q: I did not propose to do microarray analysis when I wrote my grant. May I apply for a microarray supplement as a new aim of my research?

A: No, but you may apply for a supplement if doing the microarray analysis would enable you to make progress on one of the existing aims.

Q: I am funded by NIGMS to study transcription in E. coli. May I apply for a microarray supplement to look at gene expression in another organism?

A: You may apply for a supplement only if looking at gene expression in the other organism is one of the aims of your E. coli grant.

Q: I want to apply for a supplement to buy a piece of equipment that costs more than $50,000. If I get the supplement, my department will provide the remainder of the funding. May I apply for a supplement under these circumstances?

A: Yes, cost sharing is encouraged.

Q: May I apply for a supplement if the arrayer that I plan to use is in another department, or if it belongs to a colleague at another university?

A: Yes, as long as you can demonstrate that you will have sufficient access to the arrayer to do the proposed experiments.

Q: A person with bioinformatics expertise wants to come to my lab. May I apply for a microarray supplement to pay his/her salary?

A: If this person will work full-time on the project, you may not apply for funds to pay his/her salary. If he/she will work part-time on the project, you may apply for a supplement to pay the person's salary if you are also requesting funds for equipment and/or supplies.

Q: I am requesting a supplement to buy chips. The complete set of chips costs more than $25,000. Do I need to get a price quote?

A: No. You don't need a price quote unless you are requesting funds to purchase a single piece of equipment that costs more than $25,000. Chips are supplies, not equipment, and each chip costs less than $25,000.

Q: If my supplement request is funded, do I have to submit a separate progress report at the end of the year?

A: No, but you should include a section on the microarray analysis in the next progress report that you submit for noncompeting renewal of the parent grant, in the preliminary results/progress report section of your next competing renewal application, or in your final progress report.