OSP FO# 11-118

AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)/U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC)/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)/Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)/Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)/Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC)

PROGRAM: Virtual Reality Technologies for Research and Education in Obesity and Diabetes (R01, R21)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to support the study of the capabilities of Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to visualize outcomes, teach, motivate, and to extend the health care and learning environments, in order to foster desirable eating, physical activity, self-care, and other health-related behaviors necessary for prevention and management of obesity and diabetes. This program encourages multidisciplinary projects drawing on expertise in VR technologies and biomedical behavioral and pedagogical sciences. The overall goal is to develop the potential of VR technologies as research tools for behavioral science-oriented studies in diabetes and obesity, and as practical tools for clinical and public health-level prevention and management of obesity and diabetes.

The program is seeking multidisciplinary collaborations between the technology industry and academia, and among researchers with diverse expertise in biomedical sciences (such as endocrinology, nutrition, and exercise physiology), behavioral science and pedagogical disciplines, and computer sciences including VR technologies. Projects will need to be clearly defined with regard to: research questions, technical approach, VR platforms, target population (by age, health condition, psychological status, education or literacy level, etc), and research outcomes. Many projects can be usefully conducted taking advantage of already existing tools, games, and software, although there is also a need to develop unique technologies.

General research topics include the following:

  • Using VR to foster desirable eating, physical activity, and other health-related behaviors
  • Using VR to motivate by “fast-forwarding” to the future
  • Utilizing motivational and teaching aspects of VR technology
  • Using VR to extend the availability and capacity of health care providers
  • Social networking capabilities of VR

Please see the program announcement below for further program details.

R01: February 5, June 5, October 5 until May 8, 2014
R21: February 16, June 16, October 16 until May 8, 2014

FUNDING INFORMATION: These programs will utilize the NIH Research Project Grant (R01), and the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) award mechanisms. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.

For the R01 program, application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project. Awards can be submitted for a project period of up to 5 years under this program.

For the R21 program, direct costs are limited to $275,000 over a two-year project period, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year.

Abby G. Ershow, Sc.D.
Division of Cardiovascular Sciences
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 8160 (MSC 7956)
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Telephone: (301) 435-0550
Fax: (301) 480-3667
Email: ErshowA@nhlbi.nih.gov
Web:  R01: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-211.html
R21: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-212.html

REMARKS: NIH requires that applications to this program be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). After submission via Grants.gov, applications will be retrieved and processed by the NIH Commons system (https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/index.jsp). In order to prepare a responsive application, PIs should download both the complete program guidelines (R01: PA-11-211, R21: PA-11-212) and the corresponding application package from Grants.gov as well as the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm). PIs must also be registered Commons users.

For more information about Grants.gov and the NIH Commons, or to register as a Commons user, please contact either India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. In addition, please contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to your school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through the Grants.gov system.

Complete program guidelines and application material may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.