Reissuance of Administrative Supplement for Collaborative Science (ASCS)

Mineralized Tissue Physiology Program
Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases Branch
Division of Extramural Research

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Current scientific, clinical, and public health problems are complex and cut across many different scientific fields and disciplines. Encouraging collaborations that bring together ideas, theories, methods, and approaches from different scientific and clinical disciplines would help investigators uncover solutions and advance the field. The goal of this Concept is to enhance ongoing research by enabling NIDCR-funded researchers to form a new collaboration that was not anticipated at the time of submission, review, and funding of the parent award. To address topics relevant to NIDCR’s mission, these collaborative activities must be within the scope of the approved aims of the parent award. These efforts are expected to generate important new opportunities for achieving the goals of the parent project and benefiting the research program of the collaborator.

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A Notice of Special Interest (NOSI), NOT-DE-18-027, on this Concept was previously published on December 3, 2018, titled “Notice of NIDCR Interest in Supporting Administrative Supplements for Collaborative Science” with one receipt date of March 29, 2019. Prior to the NOSI, the same Concept was published as PA-12-159 which was active from May 11, 2012, to June 1, 2014, encompassing five receipt dates. Its purpose was essentially identical to the NOSI, with the exception of providing funds up to $180,000 for two collaborating groups as opposed to one collaborator for a total of $150,000. The very first NIDCR version of the FOA on this Concept was published in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This pilot solicited Collaborative Science projects through NOT-OD-09-056.

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Gaps and Opportunities

From the 153 ASCS applications in the first two rounds (2009 and 2012-2014), 73 were awarded. An analysis of the outcomes was performed in 2018 to assess the success of this program. 32% of the collaborations supported by the ASCS continued on with NIH applications involving the collaborators as co-investigators. It appears the ASCS collaborations benefitted PIs in submitting their Type 2 competing renewals. In another metric, 62% of the ASCS projects had publications resulting from the collaboration.

Table 1. ASCS projects had publications results
Total # of ASCS applications
(2009, 2012-2014)

Total # of awarded ASCS 

(2009, 2012-2014)


Total # not awarded ASCS

(2009, 2012-2014)



Figure 1.

Outcomes out of the 73 awarded collaborative supplements (FY 2009-2014).
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Specific Areas of Interest

Collaborations must be newly-established, that is, there must not be a substantial history of collaboration within the past three years between the grantee Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and the collaborator (e.g., there must not be coauthored publications or funded grant applications with the proposed collaborator within the past three years). The leader of the collaborating group should hold the equivalent of an independent faculty appointment in academia or serve as a group leader in industry, and must provide evidence of active engagement in research, such as grant support.

Types of collaborative science encouraged through this Concept include new collaborations that encompass but are not limited to:

  • Early Stage Investigators (ESIs)
  • Underrepresented individuals in the biomedical and behavioral sciences
  • Scientists in a different scientific or clinical discipline
  • Scientists from fields outside of dental, oral, and craniofacial areas
  • Industry researchers and entrepreneurs

Collaborative activities should not include solely the provision of reagents and materials but rather are expected to involve integration and exchange of ideas, knowledge, data, and methodologies to contribute to the parent project. Partnering with investigators to access state-of-the-art methodology or data generation and analysis methodologies that fall within the purpose of this collaborative supplement are allowed. Additional salary support for the PD/PI in the supplement application is discouraged.

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Last Reviewed
September 2019