Specific Application Requirements

Applicants to the IMAT Program should pay careful attention to the following supplemental requirements stipulated in the IMAT RFAs:

Supplemental Budgetary Requirement for Annual Meeting of IMAT Principal Investigators

An annual meeting of all investigators funded through this program will be held to share progress and research insights that may lead to further progress in the program. In the budgets, applicants must include travel expenses for the PD/PI and one additional senior investigator to attend this annual meeting.

Quantitative Milestone Requirement

Applications must include a specific section of no more than two pages labeled “Milestones” as a part of the Research Design and Methods attachment (and contained within the standard 15 page limit). Milestones should be well described, quantitative, and scientifically justified. Discuss the milestones as a means of judging the success of the R21 project as well as providing proof-of-principle for a future R33 application. Specific aims may not be regarded as milestones (unless they include quantitative end points). The specific aims describe the goals and intended path of the research. Quantitative milestones are a way of determining whether an applicant has successfully reached the specified goals. In most cases, applicants should provide a milestone for each specific aim. Milestones should be clearly stated and presented in a quantitative manner, such as numerical specifications of sensitivity and specificity or a count of some desired or newly discovered molecule, etc. Several examples of quantitative milestones follow:

  • Detection of a targeted cancer cell in 109 normal cells; 
  • Demonstration that the measured analyte is highly correlated (Pearson correlation coefficient r >0.95) for a given human serum sample when analyzed on different days. This should include mean, standard deviation, and relative standard deviation for repeatability targets superior to next best approach (if applicable); 
  • Reduction of sequence read errors to one in 5,000,000 base pairs; 
  • Demonstration that the technology gives the same result in 95 out of 100 assays; and/or 
  • Demonstration that the technology can be n-fold faster, or n-fold more sensitive, or n-fold more specific, etc than the current "gold standard" technology.

An application lacking quantitative milestones as determined by the NCI program staff will be returned to the applicant without review.  Applicants may wish to review the milestone advice posted on this website.

Innovation, Novelty, and Significance Statement

In the Background and Significance section of the Research Plan, the applicant must provide (under a separate sub-heading) a short narrative on the innovation and potentially transformative nature of the project. The following questions should be addressed:

  • How is the project potentially transformative and why may it be expected to produce an unusually high impact on biomedical research and technologies?
  • What are the pioneering approaches for which the potential for groundbreaking or paradigm-shifting results compensates and justifies any associated risks?
  • What concrete evidence can be provided to substantiate the claim of innovativeness?

Reporting Requirement

IMAT awardees are required to submit a Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.