University of Southern California


RFA-AG-20-021: Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Slots:                                                     1

Internal Deadline:                          Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        N/A

External Deadline:                          October 22, 2019

Award Information:                        Type: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 1

Anticipated Amount: $400,000 (must not exceed $350,000 in direct costs per year for maximum of 5 years).

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                    Standard NIH eligibility requirements.


The Nathan Shock Centers for Excellence in Aging Biology (hereafter Shock Centers, or NSC) were established in 1995 and have been renewed competitively every 5 years. A renewal of the Centers is expected concurrently with this FOA in response to the accompanying RFA, RFA-AG-20-020. The NSC conduct leadership, training, and research activities that increase the dissemination of scientific knowledge in research areas supported by NIA’s Division of Aging Biology ( The NSC facilitate sustained progress on basic aging research, either overall or on a key area within the field. This is achieved primarily through intellectual leadership and innovation, support of innovative cores, and funding for pilot studies to young investigators or to senior investigators willing to expand their research into aging biology. The activities of the NSC are best served if funded applications coordinate their activities. Therefore, RFA-AG-17-008 resulted in the funding of a centralized Nathan Shock Centers Coordination Center (NSC3). This FOA intends to competitively renew this activity.

The proposed NSC3 will facilitate NSC interactions among the NSC, with NIA, and with the biology of aging research community at large. The NSC3 will collaborate substantially with all funded NSC, including the planning of conferences and other outreach activities, as well as the development of plans to improve training and other activities of the Centers. Enhanced coordination and outreach should be the paramount goals of applications. The NSC3 can be affiliated with a currently active NSC, or it can be an independent entity acting in a free-standing manner.

The NSC3 will maintain an active involvement in all aspects of the NSC program. It will be responsible for developing a plan to share resources and data and planning NSC activities such as Directors’ meetings and scientific sessions, including 2 major conferences. The data coordinating center application should include a detailed plan for the maintenance of a public website and data repository to provide information concerning protocols, analytic methods, and results of NSC studies. The application should include a proposal for ways to improve transparency, the interactions of NSC with the research community, and the sharing of resources. The leveraging of other existing and compatible bioinformatics resources for the refinement and maintenance of the NSC3 public website and data repository is strongly encouraged.

Areas of Interest

At a minimum, the application should address the following necessary functions:

  1. Maintain, enhance, and update the NSC website to serve as an interface with the lay public, a resource for researchers in aging and related areas, and a forum for scientific exchange among NSC investigators across sites.
  2. Work with NIA staff and NSC Directors to develop and enhance the sharing of resources such as databases, measurement tools, and information about services provided with other NIA programs, NIH Center programs, and the broader scientific community.
  3. Provide logistical and educational support for NSC pilot grant recipients in order to increase interactions among grantees so that an additional layer of collegiality can be established.
  4. Enhance interactions between the NSC and other NIA communication and collaborative projects; among NSC sites; and between NSC and other institutional research centers, NIA- or NIH-funded research infrastructures, and other Federal or private organizations promoting aging biology training and/or research.
  5. Promote interactions between the NSC and the other five NIA Center programs through active representation in the NIA Research Centers Collaborative Network (RCCN) to fulfill the RCCN’s goal of aligning approaches across the Center programs to uncover synergies that could lead to novel collaborations.
  6. Provide the following types of logistical support to the NSC sites and the NIA program coordinator:

Additional activities or functions may be proposed to promote collaboration among NSC sites, encourage interactions between the NSC program and other NIA- and NIH- supported resources, enhance the value and visibility of the NSC program as a whole, and contribute to the educational and professional experiences of trainees.

Projects non-responsive to this FOA:
The goal of the NSC3 is to provide logistical and organizational support to the Nathan Shock Centers. As such, application for Center activities, including research, are not appropriate and will be deemed non-responsive.

 Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.

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