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PEER Health Home > Program Objectives & Description

Full Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

Who may apply? Only invited applicants may submit a full proposal to this RFA.Do NOT submit a full application unless invited to do so by the National Academies. All other individuals are ineligible to apply.
Electronic Submission Instructions: All proposals must be submitted electronically via the PEER Health online application site. To apply online, please visit the PEER Health online application site and create an account by entering your name, assigned proposal number, contact information, and information about your organization. After creating your account, please log in to the system and click on the word “Apply” in the left banner. You can then select the PEER Health program and continue your application. You can save your online application as a draft at any time and resume it later. However, we highly recommend that you first review the required application sections online and prepare your answers accordingly in a separate Word document. Before submitting your application, you can copy and paste each section into the online application. Click the “Submit Form” button when you are ready to submit the application.
PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. ZIP files are not supported by this online application system. Please use only Microsoft Office, Adobe Portable Document Files (PDF), and JPG files when uploading your documents. Emailed proposals will not be accepted.
Specific instructions on all sections of the required proposal format are presented below.
 Full Proposal Details

  Program Background
Program Objectives and Description
  Focus Area 1: Child Survival
  Focus Area 2: Indonesia

  Eligibility Information

Proposal Review Process
  Proposal Review Criteria

  Award Information


Online Application

  Download complete RFA as PDF.

  Applicants who have questions  
  after reviewing the materials on
  this Web site are encouraged to
  contact PEER Health staff by e-mail 

Overview: When writing the full-proposal, developing country applicants should consider how their research will contribute to the strategic health objectives identified by the USAID Mission in their country. Full proposals must expand on the concepts and methodology presented at the pre-proposal stage. It is not permissible to change the application focus between the pre-proposal and full proposal stage. Applicants are encouraged to explore various development resources including USAID Mission, , and GHI country strategies and the overall goals of the Global Health Initiative. In particular, applicants should be mindful that PEER Health will not fund research projects that are not directly linked to development objectives. Reviewers for the NIH reviewer panel will be asked to provide an overall “Impact” score based upon the entire application, reflecting the likelihood of the project to exert a significant impact on child survival or for Indonesian applications, does the application address Indonesian priority health areas.
Research topics proposed under PEER Health must be collaborative in nature. The NIH-supported partner’s research should complement the PEER Health proposal. Only proposals involving a partnership with the PI or Co-PI on an NIH extramural award (i.e., that will be active at the time of application to the PEER Health program) or with an NIH intramural investigator will be considered. Collaborative projects involving a regional health issue in multiple PEER Health-eligible developing countries are encouraged. 
Please carefully review the full text of the program announcement, the instructions below, the review criteria, and the program FAQs for further guidance on each required proposal element.
1.      General Application Data 
Please answer the first set of questions in the indicated spaces. Enter your assigned proposal number indicated on your invitation to submit a full proposal. All applications must list a NIH-supported collaborator and provide the title and award number of his or her NIH grant. Grants will be made only to institutions, so individuals who have no institutional affiliation or whose institutions are not willing to accept and manage a grant for them are not eligible to apply. Principal investigators may submit only one proposal in any one application cycle of the PEER Health program.
If selected for funding, all developing country institutions must have a DUNS number (available online at, but it is not necessary to obtain this number at the time the proposal is submitted.
2.      Project Abstract 
The abstract should be brief and clearly state the goals and objectives of the project. Please include a description of the problem that the implementation science project will address. This section should include project plans such as study design, implementation partners, study population, expected outcomes, etc. The summary should also explain the role and added value of the collaboration with the NIH partner.
3.      Description of Scientific Merit and Development Impact
Please use this section to first discuss the scientific merit and second, the developmentimpacts of your project. In describing these impacts, the specific focus should be on how the project addresses challenges in the reduction of under-five mortality as outlined in the RFA or for Indonesian applications, how the application addresses Indonesian priority health areas.
4.      Scored Review Criteria Sections
Applicants should understand that reviewers will be asked to provide an overall “Impact” score based upon the entire application and the likelihood of the project to exert a sustained influence on child survival or for Indonesian applications, does the application address Indonesian priority health areas.
Please address each section of the five review criteria below concisely (within the character limit as provided in the online application). If needed, you may also upload figures and/or tables as an annex at the end of this application. Please reference each figure in the text. Incomplete proposals and those not submitted in the required format will not be considered.
4.1. Significance
a. Background and Rationale
Explain how the proposed project is related to the country's health need and the USAID Mission's health priorities. Describe what important problem or critical barrier in the implementation of USAID health programs is being addressed with the proposed project.
b. Project Scope, Objectives, and Potential Impact
Please state clearly how the implementation problem related to the country’s reduction in under-five mortality and/or other strategic health priorities will be addressed and how the proposed goals will be achieved. Then describe the anticipated potential scientific and development impact: How will the proposed project influence current USAID and/or country programmatic practices? How will the project aims impact the sustainable health of the country's population? How will scientific knowledge, technical capability, implementation and/or clinical practice be improved?
4.2. Investigator(s)
a. Prior Experience and Relevant Capabilities of Principal Investigator
Briefly explain the qualifications of the principal investigator as they relate to the proposed project and illustrate how the project will build upon existing expertise.
b. Contributions of the NIH Partner
Explain in detail the role the NIH- collaborator will have in the proposed project, and how it relates to his or her expertise and/or existing NIH-funded award. Explain why this collaboration is appropriate for the developing country PI and NIH researcher. Explain how the participation of the NIH-supported collaborator enhances the proposed project. How is the NIH researcher involved in the overall program goal of promoting capacity building in the developing countries while building on existing investments of NIH support?
c. Description of Senior/Key Personnel
Applicants must provide for each Senior/Key Personnel staff member background information within the Senior/Key Personnel form and a biosketch in the standardized format providedInstructions for completing the forms and a sample biosketch are included. Senior/Key Personnel are defined as all individuals who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested. Consultants and those with a post-doctoral role should be included if they meet this definition, as well as any other significant contributors. Reviewers will use these pages to address the “Investigator” review criterion. Please save this information in a single file (using the format provided) and attach to your submission..
4.3. Innovation
Describe any novel concepts, approaches, methods, tools, or technologies to be applied in the proposed activity and how the overall approach is innovative. Innovation can include: 1) potential to change existing paradigms or programmatic practice; or address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to success of child health interventions or policies; 2) incorporation of new approaches to answer questions related to program design and scientific advances in program implementation of child health interventions; 3) adding significantly to the knowledge base related to child health and/or maternal/child care.
4.4. Approach
a. Research Plan
Describe the overall project design, highlighting the research aims, objectives and clear, testable hypotheses. The study design must be described and justified with an adequate description of the target population and a statistical analysis plan. The overall design should be adequate to answer the primary study objectives. Anticipated strengths and limitations of the proposed design (particularly feasibility of the project to reach completion) and any high-risk aspects of the proposed research should be articulated. Discuss the potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures.
b. Data Dissemination & Utilization Plan
Include a clear and detailed plan describing how the research findings will be disseminated and utilized. The plan should discuss the global application(s) of the research findings, and activities to promote the dissemination and utilization research findings at the local, national, and global levels. The plan should articulate how the research findings will be disseminated to key stakeholders, and utilized to improve host country policies and programs.
c. Collaboration Plan
Provide details on how the project teams intend to collaborate with the existing health system and other relevant in-country organizations and USAID Missions, and keep in line with the country’s health priorities. As applicable, specify plans for promoting the participation of women and youth in any of the proposed activities.
d. Timeline
Provide a list of major project activities and milestones along with the estimated time required to complete each. (If your timeline is in a spreadsheet or graphical format, you may upload it instead of entering the text in the text box provided in the online application).   
4.5. Environment
a. Local Environment. Describe briefly how the project will benefit from unique features of the local environment, subject populations, and collaborative arrangements.Explain how the proposed work may fit into regional health plans, projects funded by USAID, and/or other sources within the existing health system. 
b. How will the environment contribute to the success of the project?
5.      Additional Review Criteria Sections
If your project involves human subjects, animals, or biohazards please describe plans for addressing these aspects, including minimizing potential risks and proper storage and disposal. If your program does not involve any of the below mentioned aspects, please add “not applicable” in the appropriate online application textboxes.
5.1. Protection for Human Subjects
a. The PEER Health Principal Investigator and recipient organization are responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research under this award, and must comply with 45 CFR Part 46 Please use the Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table to provide information about study participants in Section 7.7. Applicants will need to address several areas to enable reviewers to assess the adequacy of human subject protections: 1) risks to subjects, 2) adequacy of protections of risks, 3) potential benefits to subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, 5) data safety and monitoring. Please see NIH application instructions, Part II Supplemental Instructions for Preparing the Human Subjects Section of the Research Plan ( 
b. For clinical trials,data safety and monitoring plans should be described by the PEER Health applicants and comply with guidance provided by NIH A Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) refers to a committee of independent experts (not affiliated with the trial, or institutions involved in the trial), that periodically reviews the conduct and results of the trial and recommends continuation without change, continuation with change, or termination of the trial. Clinical trials that most often require DSMB oversight are randomized, multi-center trials that are large Phase II or Phase III trials, or are Phase IV trials. The level of monitoring should be commensurate with the level of risk. NIH policy requires data and safety monitoring plans for clinical trials to be submitted at the time of the application.
c. PEER Health applicants proposing a clinical trial will either provide a US Federal-Wide Assurance (FWA) which designates an Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) registered Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the time of application or seek a FWA within 30 days of receiving a PEER Health award. The Web page for electronic submission of new IRB registrations and FWAs, or update/renewal of existing registrations can be found at Please provide your institution’s FWA number and the name of the registered IRB that you will use for PEER Health. If your institution does not have an FWA, you will need to obtain the FWA before an award can be made. Plans for Institutional Review Board approval of your future PEER Health protocol should also be described. Note: within the first 30 days of award notification, PEER Health recipients are expected to develop and submit the study protocol and obtain a US Federal-Wide Assurance (FWA). Applicants should include this step in their timeline (see 4.d). 
d. For help with human subject issues, PEER Health applicants are encouraged to collaborate with their NIH partner on protection of human subject requirements should assistance be needed. In addition to the OHRP website, the Department for Health and Human Services decision trees for human subjects may be helpful to PEER Health applicants:
5.2. Vertebrate Animals   
Recipients of PEER grants must assure the humane treatment of animals involved in the research.  Recipients of PEER Health grants must have an Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) approved Animal Welfare Assurance before carrying out any activities involving live vertebrate animals. Institutions outside the United States that receive PEER Health grants are to use the Animal Welfare Assurance for Foreign Institutions (Foreign Assurance). All entities proposing to conduct research, research training, and/or biological testing activities involving live, vertebrate animals supported by  a PEER Health grant must have a Foreign Assurance in place prior to beginning the activity. 
For additional application instructions related to vertebrate animals protections, please refer to Part III-20, Section 2.2, Vertebrate Animals, in the DHHS SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.
The PEER Health applicant will collaborate with NIH supported researchers. As such, the Institutional   Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the NIH Institute/Center (I/C) supporting the NIH researcher must review and approve the proposed animal activity for intramural investigators, and the collaborating institution's IACUC must review and approve the proposed animal activity for extramural investigators. Only activities that do not involve live vertebrate animals may be conducted at any performance site until OLAW has approved a Foreign Assurance for that site, and the IACUC of the collaborating NIH I/C r has reviewed and approved the activity. The PEER Health grants manager will ensure that the Foreign Assurance, IACUC approval, and the Vertebrate Animal Section of the grant application are in place prior to allowing release of funds for any animal activity. For additional guidance, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS).
5.3. Biohazards
Applicants are responsible for describing whether the proposed research will include any potentially hazardous materials and/or procedures and any protections in this regard. During the application review, reviewers will assess whether these materials or procedures  pose risks of harm to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
6.      Additional Review Considerations
6.1. Select Agent Awards to Foreign Institutions and International Organizations
Foreign Institutions and International Organizations who conduct research involving select agents (see 42 CFR Part 73 for the select agent list; and 7 CFR Part 331 and 9 CFR Part 121 for the relevant animal and plant pathogens) must provide information satisfactory to the NIH that a process equivalent to that described in 42 CFR Part 73 for U.S. institutions is in place and will be administered on behalf of all select agent work sponsored by NIH funds before using these funds for any work directly involving select agents. Grantees should address the following key elements appropriate for their institutions: safety, security, training, procedures for ensuring that only approved/appropriate individuals have access to the select agents, and any applicable laws, regulations and policies equivalent to 42 CFR Part 73. If this work will not, in fact, involve select agents (e.g. excluded strains), and you provide documentation satisfactory to the NIH that your work does not now nor will it in the future (i.e. throughout the life of the award) involve select agents, no further action will be necessary.
6.2. Resource Sharing Plans
One purpose of PEER Health is to leverage research investments made by the NIH in PEER Health countries to advance knowledge of implementation science for child survival. To this end, applicants should articulate how they are leveraging the NIH partner research to advance their PEER Health project.
6.3. Project Budget
a. Proposed Budget Total (in US $)
The total requested budget from PEER Health cannot exceed $150,000 per year for a maximum of three years, i.e., total requested budget will not exceed $450,000.
 b. Budget Form
Provide an itemized budget for the project using the budget form provided. Projects may last no more than three years, and proposals for multi-year projects must provide budgets separately detailing the expected costs for each year. Value for the investment will be an important consideration in proposal evaluation and selection, so all costs should be reasonable and necessary. If your project involves more than one developing country institution (with the lead institution located in a PEER Health eligible country), please prepare a separate budget table for each, so that it is clear what funds are requested for each institution.
 c. Budget Request Justification
USAID is a development agency and is seeking development outcomes through accelerated reduction of under-five mortality. As such, applicants should keep in mind that PEER Health supports the GHI principles by promoting country ownership, increasing impact through smart collaborations and integration to enhance health impacts through sustainability. Therefore PEER Health budgets should reflect these principles and, where possible, leverage and facilitate sustainable scientific capacity that is developed and supported, by both the partner country government and the NIH.
i. Personnel Costs
It is anticipated that the PI’s institution will provide salary and benefit support for the PI and other essential research personnel on the project. However, if the research project cannot be effectively conducted without additional personnel/salary support for the PI, a reasonable amount of PI salary support may be allowed in the budget. The PI requesting salary support must ensure that the support letter from his/her institution (see details in section 7.6 below) articulates how the institution will support the research project, specifically including a brief plan for sustaining future personnel costs for the PI and relevant personnel to continue this research after completion of the PEER Health grant. Costs for support for other researchers and technical personnel are allowable, as are stipends for students involved in the project and should also be justified in project budgets and include a list of positions to be supported, a brief explanation of the respective roles, and the percentage of time that would be allocated for each position to the project.
ii. Equipment Costs
For the purposes of this RFA, equipment is defined as both durable items that will last through the project period and consumables. Where possible, projects should leverage existing durable equipment. Requests for durable equipment should be justified in terms of its importance to successfully completing the PEER Health research project and include plans for maintenance during and beyond the project period.
iii.Travel Costs
Provide the number, duration, location, and purpose for any project-related trips for which funds are requested, along with the titles or positions of the travelers.
 International air travel must be by U.S. air carriers to the maximum extent such that service is available as required under the Fly America Act, so applicants should estimate their air travel budgets accordingly. First or business-class travel costs are not allowable.
If visits to the United States are planned, applicants should include in their travel budgets an extra $100 for each visit to cover the cost of the medical examination that will be required as part of the visa application process.
iv. Indirect Costs
If requested, indirect costs (costs supporting overall institutional operations and management) should be kept to a minimum and must be fully explained and justified, with details provided on what specific institutional infrastructure elements or support services are covered.
v. Matching Funds
Researchers from Cameroon, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Yemen must demonstrate monetary matching funds from within the country. These funds can come from the applicant’s research institution or from government agencies, the private sector, or any other source. Matching funds need to be provided in monetary form, but do not need to be at the 1:1 matching level.
vi. Contingency costs are not allowable.
vii. PIs can partner with local NGOs on the implementation side of the proposed project. These NGOs may receive limited and only well justified funding. Funding of non-local NGOs is not an allowable cost.
viii.Other Contributions
Institutional Support. The institutional support letter must be submitted with the application (see details in section 7.6) and must itemize what support is currently in place at the PI’s institution, if any, e.g., salary, lab space, equipment and other resources.
Other Funding and Other Collaborating Institutions. List the source and amount of any other funds that you have received or applied for from other sources to support this project, including any support received directly from USAID. If your project involves other institutions besides your own and that of your NIH-ssupported collaborator, please list them, briefly describe the roles they will play in the project, and indicate whether they will support their costs with their own resources or with funds requested in your PEER Health project budget.
7.      Required Attachments
In addition to the completed online application, please also upload the following items in your proposal submission (your application will not be complete and cannot be submitted without these attachments): 
7.1. Annex
If necessary, please include your figures and diagrams in a single document annex and refer to them in your project description (for example Figure 1 in Annex, etc.). Please do not exceed five figures/tables combined and do not include an additional project narrative to this document.
7.2. Curriculum Vitae (Developing Country PI)
Please upload the principal investigator’s brief curriculum vitae(CV), which should be no more than two pages in length and include citations for no more than ten recent relevant publications or patents. If the project includes more than one developing country institution (including local NGOs), please also include a CV for the key project participant at each institution. Please do not submit electronic copies of publications or other background materials, as they will not be forwarded to reviewers. All the CVs must be uploaded in one single PDF file.
7.3. Curriculum Vitae (NIH-supported collaborator)
Please upload your NIH partner's brief CV, which should be no more than two pages in length and include citations for no more than ten recent relevant publications or patents. Please do not submit electronic copies of publications or other background materials, as they will not be forwarded to reviewers.
7.4. NIH Award Abstract
Please upload a copy of the abstract of your NIH collaborator’s eligible award(s).
7.5. Letter of support from NIH-supported collaborator
The letter must be written on official institutional letterhead and must list the title and award number of the collaborator’s active NIH grant. It must provide details on how the proposed project relates to this NIH grant and explain the NIH-supported collaborator’s expected role in the project and the level of integration of the proposed project with the specific area of research. The letter must be signed by the NIH-supported collaborator. Please do not submit the same support letter used for your pre-proposal.
7.6. Letter of Support from an Official at the PI's Institution
This letter must be written and signed by an official at the principal investigator’s institution who is legally authorized to make commitments on the institution’s behalf. If your project involves more than one developing country institution, please submit a separate support letter from each institution. The letter must be written on official institutional letterhead and must include the following elements:
  • Confirmation that the institution supports the participation of its staff in the proposed project is willing and able to receive and administer any grant funds awarded, and is permitted under local regulations to receive grant funds from a foreign sponsor.
  • A brief description of the institution’s structures and practices for project management and financial oversight, as well as a description of the process by which the institution can receive grant funds from a foreign sponsor.
  • A brief description of resources that the institution can make available to facilitate the project, whether in cash or in kind, if any.  For example, by paying the salary of the principal investigator or other staff for the time he or she works on the project, providing substitute instructors to cover the principal investigator’s teaching duties so he or she is free to work on the project, or providing laboratory or office space, access to equipment, or office support staff.
  • Examples of other grants your institution has received from foreign sponsors (if any), including the project title, foreign sponsoring organization’s name, funded amount, dates, and name and e-mail of contact person at the foreign sponsoring organization.
7.7. Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table
Please use the Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table to describe study participants. Please include the study title. The “Total Planned Enrollment” refers to the number of subjects that are expected to be enrolled in the study.
8.      Permission and Consultation
Please indicate that your institution gives permission to USAID and NIH to share your review summary statement with the National Academies, in order to facilitate the processing of your application.