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Last Updated: 09/21/17
Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN)

QIN Cooperative Agreement

A frequently asked question from investigators interested in applying to the Quantitative Imaging Network is about the U mechanism of support. It differs only slightly from the traditional R mechanism for research support, but the differences are worth explaining.

Most research support from the NIH is in the form of the R01 grant. Here, investigators are expected to propose circumscribed research addressing a topic of national healthcare. In the past, hypothesis-driven research was a requirement for applications directed at R01 research, but today this has been loosened so that applications dealing with device fabrication and demonstration, data archiving, statistical analyses, and other research directions can be accommodated by the R01 mechanism.

Of course, there are several important restrictions the federal government places on research. Rules such as proper use and care of animals, approvals for the use of human subjects in research, the regulation of any chemical or biological hazards, and many other conditions must be followed. In addition, proper reporting of progress and use of funds is monitored. The NIH Award Conditions and Information for Grants provides information to applicants.

U awards, called cooperative agreements, differ from their R award counterparts in the degree of program intervention placed on the research in the program announcement. A U01 award, for example is very similar to the R01 award in its duration and call for circumscribed research addressing topics of national healthcare. The difference between the U01 and the R01 comes with the additional terms and conditions placed on the U award. These are specified in the program announcement for the cooperative agreement. The additional terms placed by program staff on a U award might include participation in network organizations, specific travel to meetings, extra reporting requirements to name a few. Click on the QIN Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions to review how NCI program staff will be interacting with QIN participants.