5/11/20  |  2 p.m.  |  Updates from extramural sponsors, Office of Sponsored Programs

For this week’s COVID-19 sponsored programs update, we have the following three (3) topics:

  • NIH mobilizes national innovation initiative for COVID-19 diagnostics
  • Free Access to COVID-19 Funding Opportunities from Ex Libris and InfoEd
  • COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

NIH mobilizes national innovation initiative for COVID-19 diagnostics

In his April 29 Blog, NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, outlined his belief that biomedical technology has a vital role to play in trying to contain the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As an answer, NIH launched the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative. This new initiative is aimed at speeding innovation, development and commercialization of COVID-19 testing technologies.  It will infuse funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. At the same time, NIH will seek opportunities to move more advanced diagnostic technologies swiftly through the development pipeline toward commercialization and broad availability. NIH will work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to advance these goals.

As part of this initiative, NIH is urging all scientists and inventors with a rapid testing technology to compete in a national COVID-19 testing challenge for a share of up to $500 million over all phases of development. The technologies will be put through a highly competitive, rapid three-phase selection process to identify the best candidates for at-home or point-of-care tests for COVID-19. Finalists will be matched with technical, business and manufacturing experts to increase the odds of success. If certain selected technologies are already relatively far along in development, they can be put on a separate track and be immediately advanced to the appropriate step in the commercialization process. The goal is to make millions of accurate and easy-to-use tests per week available to all Americans by the end of summer 2020, and even more in time for the flu season. RADx is focused on diagnostic testing, but NIH is also intensely engaged in developing safe, effective therapies and vaccines for COVID-19. One innovative effort, called Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), is a public-private partnership that aims to speed the development of ways to treat and prevent this disease that has caused so much suffering and death around the globe.

More information can be found in the following links:
NIH mobilizes national innovation initiative for COVID-19 diagnostics

NIH news release, April 29, 2020:
Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network

(National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Biotechnology/NIH):
NIH to launch public-private partnership to speed COVID-19 vaccine and treatment options

Free Access to COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

  • Ex Libris, which provides the Pivot global funding database, is offering free access to all research professional coronavirus-related news here, and funding opportunities related to COVID-19 from a variety of global funders here. Pivot is a subscription-based funding database to which our institution does not subscribe. We do not have full access to Pivot’s available resources; however, access to these COVID-19 resources is being made available to all researchers regardless of subscription status. The funding opportunities provided vary between both federal, private and international.
  • InfoEd Global, which provides the SPIN funding database, is likewise offering free access to its library of COVID-19 funding opportunities and resources. SPIN is another subscription-based funding database, to which our institution does subscribe. UT Health SanAntonio personnel have full access to SPIN resources, which can be accessed here. Please note that this link will open directly into the database from network-connected computers, but will require login if accessing from a computer that is not connected to the university network. If you do not have a login but would like one, you can create this yourself from the link. Please be mindful that newly created accounts will not be immediately available for use, as new accounts require OSP verification prior to use. OSP staff will be monitoring new account creation and will verify accounts in a timely manner.

COVID-19 Funding Opportunities (New and Supplemental Funds Available)

OSP continues monitoring and updating our list of available funding opportunities related to COVID-19, available at http://research.uthscsa.edu/osp/forms/covid19.xlsx. Since last week, we have added ten (10) new COVID-19 funding opportunities.

Lastly, for the upcoming June 5th NIH deadline, we ask that you submit your proposals to OSP for review and processing as soon as possible, but no later than three business days prior to the deadline, as we anticipate a larger-than-average quantity of submissions for this deadline.  Remember, with the routing feature available in Cayuse, you need only complete the basic application forms and budget/budget justification in order to initiate the OSP review process. The various narrative file attachments need not be completed at the time of OSP review. This allows greater flexibility for researchers, as OSP review can occur concurrently while the narrative sections of the application are still under preparation.

Executive leadership, including Dr. Henrich, is closely monitoring our proposal submissions for the June 5th and other upcoming deadlines.  Again, please submit your proposals to OSP as soon as possible before the deadline date to allow our staff the appropriate time for a proper review.


Chris G. Green, CPA
Senior Director
Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Article Categories: Office of Sponsored Programs, Research