Please note the request for a lot more detail than is typical in an LOI. In fact, they essentially want most of the proposal, including its budget.
Prospective applicants are asked to submit a LOI that includes the following information:
- Descriptive title of proposed research.
- Name, address, and telephone number of the PD(s)/PI(s).
- Names of other key personnel.
- Participating institutions.
- Number and title of this funding opportunity.
Sounds familiar so far. But prospective applicants are also asked to consider including [translation: damn well better include] the following in the LOI:
- Description of the research areas, including any subprojects
- Significance of the proposed research
- Rationale why the application is not suitable for the Challenge Grant program
- Evidence that the project is ready for immediate implementation
- Key personnel
- Direct, contract F&A, and total costs for each year
- Description of how the goal and outcomes of the project match the goals of the ”GO” grants program and Recovery Act
- Preliminary list of the expected 2-year outcomes and deliverables.
This last bit is really important. NIH needs to have a lot to show Congress at the end of 2 years for its $10B stimulus funding, particularly this grand opportunity to support “large-scale research projects that have a high likelihood of enabling growth and investment in biomedical research and development, public health and health care delivery.” Is that all?
Remember that not all ICs are participating (i.e., FIC, NCRR, NEI, NIAID, NIDCD, NIDDK, NLM), and most of those who are have explicit lists of funding priorites – although some simply ask applicants to address the IC’s published priorities (e.g., NINDS). I suspect these LOIs will be especially critical for ICs in this latter category.