FAQs: NOSI to Support FAIR Biomedical Repositories

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) recently announced a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to strengthen NIH-funded biomedical data repositories to better enable data discoverability, interoperability, and reuse by aligning with the FAIR and TRUST principles and using metrics to measure their effectiveness (NOT-OD-21-089). The intent is to provide an opportunity for existing repositories of all sizes, and at different stages of establishment, to increase “FAIR”-ness and “TRUST”-worthiness to improve their usage, utility, and impact throughout the data resource lifecycle.

Please refer to this site regularly for updates to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other announcements related to this NOSI.


  1. When do I need to submit my application?

Applications are due May 20, 2021 by 5 p.m. local time for your organization.

  1. How do I apply for this NOSI?

Applications must be submitted using PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional). All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-18-591 must be followed. For funding consideration, please include “NOT-OD-21-089” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.

  1. How many years of funding can I request?

Applicants can request no more than one year of support.

  1. My grant is under a no-cost extension, can that grant be used as the parent grant to apply?

To be eligible, the parent award must be able to receive funds in FY2021 (Oct. 1, 2020 - Sept. 30, 2021) and not be in its final year or in a no-cost extension period at the time of award.

The supplements should not extend beyond the project period of the parent award.

  1. Will all applications received be funded?

No, responsive applications will be evaluated by a panel of trans-NIH staff and the most meritorious applications will be supported based upon availability of funds.

  1. How much can be requested in my proposed budget?

Up to $150,000 (Direct Costs) with appropriate justifications can be requested.

  1. Do I need to propose activities that address all three activities (i.e., improving FAIRness of the data resource, improving adherence to the TRUST principles, and implementing metrics to evaluate the usage, utility, and impact of my repository throughout its lifecycle)?

Your proposal work can address one or more of these activities. It is possible that proposals may include aspects of all three. The Desirable Characteristics of Repositories include aspects of all three areas (FAIR, TRUST, and metrics).  

  1. Do I need to obtain a certification to strengthen the adoption of the TRUST principles 

No, strengthening the adoption of TRUST principles can be accomplished by increasing the number of TRUST principles (or sub-principles) your resource follows. Applications may identify which TRUST principles the resource already implements and which will be targeted for improvement in the supplement. Applicants may decide to apply for repository certification, but certification is not required for this supplement. 

  1. I have a knowledgebase that also functions as a biomedical data repository, am I eligible to apply?

If your knowledgebase also functions as a biomedical data repository you are eligible to apply to this NOSI. The application must clearly identify the data repository functions of the resource to be considered. Read more on the characteristics that define data repositories and knowledgebases.

  1. What should my self-assessment include?

A self-assessment should identify your data resource’s gaps or deficiencies in FAIR-ness and TRUST-worthiness and the metrics that could be implemented for evaluation of usage, utility, and impact. The Desirable Characteristics of Repositories contains essential aspects of both FAIR and TRUST principles as they relate to biomedical data repositories. Based on your self-assessment, your application must identify how you will improve your data resource.

  1. Based on the self-assessment, what should the justification include?

    Applicants must identify how they would improve the impact of their data resource.

    The justification should describe how the proposed work is expected to increase usage, benefit to your respective communities, and allow for broader use should be provided.
  2. Should I include the URL for my repository in the application?

    Yes, the URL for the existing repository identified in your application should be included. 

Contact Information

For more information, please contact reposupport@nih.gov.

This page last reviewed on May 14, 2021