Frequently Asked Questions: HEAL Initiative: Sickle Cell Disease Pain Management Trials Utilizing the Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network Cooperative Agreement (UG3/UH3, Clinical Trial Required)

This frequently asked questions document includes questions and answers compiled to help researchers interested in a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that solicits phased cooperative research applications to conduct clinical effectiveness research on the management of acute and/or chronic sickle cell disease (SCD) pain and ways to reduce reliance solely on opioid-based treatments and improve related psychological and functional outcomes.

HEAL Initiative: Sickle Cell Disease Pain Management Trials Utilizing the Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network Cooperative Agreement (UG3/UH3, Clinical Trial Required) RFA-AT-22-005.

The receipt date for applications is December 15, 2021.

General Terms and Definitions

1. What is the U mechanism?

The U mechanism, or cooperative agreement, is a support mechanism intermediate between a grant and a contract in how it is handled. It is used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement in the initiative once the award is made. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. Awards made to this funding opportunity will be cooperative agreements.

2. What is the NIH HEAL Initiative, and how does this FOA support the objectives of HEAL?

The NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, is an effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL Initiative bolsters research across NIH to (1) improve treatment for opioid misuse and addiction and (2) enhance pain management. More information about the NIH HEAL Initiative is available at heal.nih.gov. The overall goal of this program is to inform clinicians about the effectiveness of interventions such as coordinated, multidisciplinary management strategies that reduce acute and/or chronic SCD pain and that continue to provide access to opioid pain management as needed. Clinical trials in this program will be conducted within the infrastructure of the HEAL Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network (HEAL ERN).