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(Re)Building a Kidney Consortium (RBK) Opportunity Pool - 2023

The (Re)Building a Kidney consortium (RBK) is an initiative funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) that has developed two strategies to address the challenges associated with treating kidney diseases:

  1. A “rebuild strategy” that includes de novo kidney fabrication (synthetic kidney) with stem cells and replacement by transplantation, and
  2. A “repair strategy” that involves the induction of the innate kidney repair system to stimulate productive in vivo repair/regeneration of nephrons to restore failing kidney function.

The RBK recognizes that collaborations are essential for the RBK to fully achieve the objectives of rebuilding and repairing kidneys. Thus, the ATLAS-D2K Center, the coordinating Hub for the RBK, will administer a funding opportunity to support research efforts that address scientific gaps and challenges identified by the RBK or to form new partnerships. Applications are sought from both internal and external investigators to support collaborative research efforts.

Funding Opportunity Announcement

The RBK Opportunity Pool (RBK OP) invites investigators to submit applications that, if successful, will become part of the RBK (For more information see RFA-DK- 19-007). The RBK OP aims to support the goals and address keys areas of scientific interest to the RBK through the solicitation of additional projects and/or expertise in specific subject areas that promote collaborative efforts between RBK researchers and/or forge new interactions with the outside community.

This funding opportunity is open to all researchers.

There are several key areas of scientific interest to the RBK which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Rebuilding strategies

  • Develop standardized protocols and methods that enhance organoid maturation and the production of organoids at scale.
  • Develop tests to assess physiologic function(s) of organoids in culture and upon organoid engraftment in vivo.
  • Devise novel approaches to successfully connect in vitro generated kidney tissue/organoids engrafted to host collecting duct/ureter and vasculature systems.

Repair strategies

  • Develop new tools to non-invasively image repair and regeneration.
  • Develop mouse reporter lines to study adaptive, maladaptive and failed repair.


Applications may request up to $100,000 (total costs) for one year and are due Monday, April 3, 2023.

  • The application is the standard PHS 398 form including face, abstract, detailed budget, bio-sketches (up to 5 pages each), and research plan. The research plan is limited to 5 pages.
  • All applications must be milestone-driven and include a detailed list of expected deliverables and a well-defined timeline.
  • Applicants must state a willingness to travel key personnel once a year to the Bethesda, MD area for RBK meetings.
  • All applications must be submitted via the application portal available at the link below:

Application Portal

If you have any questions about using the portal, please contact


  • Applications may request up to $100,000 (direct + indirect costs) total costs for one year.
  • The costs must include travel of key personnel to at least one of the RBK semi-annual meetings in the Bethesda MD area.
  • Awards will be made as subcontracts from the ATLAS-D2K Center based at the Harvard University and not directly by the NIH.

Eligible Project Directors/Principal Investigators

  • Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research are invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support.
  • Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
  • Early-stage investigators (ESIs) are encouraged to apply, but they must have a full-time faculty position, or an equivalent position at non- academic institutions.
  • Foreign Institutions are eligible to apply.

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
  • Private Institution of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are encouraged to apply for support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institution; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions; Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status

(Other than Institution of Higher Education) Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Businesses) Foreign Institutions
  • Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.
  • Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.
  • Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Peer Review

  • All applications will be peer-reviewed, and the reviews will be coordinated by the ATLAS-D2K Center and not the NIH/NIDDK.
  • Reviewers will score applications based on three scoring criteria:
    • Factor 1: Importance of the Research (Significance and Innovation)
      • Should it be done?
      • Scored (1-9), affects overall impact score
    • Factor 2. Feasibility & Rigor (Approach)
      • Can it be done well?
      • Scored (1-9), affects overall impact score
    • Factor 3: Expertise and Resources (Investigator, Environment)
      • Will it be done?
      • Scored (1-9), affects overall impact score.
  • Reviewers will also strongly consider the following review criteria:
    • Does the application address a significant scientific knowledge gap in the RBK?
    • Does the application propose a new collaboration within RBK or form new partnerships with external researchers that will add significant value and help to achieve the goals of RBK?
    • Does the application provide an explicit list of what will be shared, when it will be shared, and how much of it will be shared?
    • Are the proposed milestones, deliverables, and timeline appropriate and feasible?
    • Does the applicant(s) state a willingness to travel key personnel at least once a year to the RBK semi-annual meeting in the Bethesda MD area?
    • Does the applicant(s) state a willingness to adhere to all RBK practices, protocols, and policies including the expectation that participating Institutions are expected to sign-on to the Consortium’s Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Policy.

Additional Information

  • Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant, and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.
  • No additional materials may be submitted after the receipt date.
  • Conflicts of interest will be managed at all stages of review.
  • Scientists from the applicant institution are in conflict and excluded from peer review.
  • Written comments will be provided for all reviewed applications.
  • Funding decisions based on applicant ability to complete scope of work and associated costs described in applications.
  • Funding decisions will be made in consideration of the scientific merit, availability of funds, and programmatic balance.
  • Final funding decisions will be made in conjunction with the NIDDK.
  • All decisions are final, and appeals will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this solicitation
  • The number of awards will depend upon the number, quality, duration, and cost of the applications received.
  • Funded awards are not allowed to submit a competitive renewal application.
  • Unfunded applications are not allowed to revise and resubmit an amended application.


Awardees will become members of the RBK and have the same responsibilities and access to data and results as other RBK awardees and must follow the RBK sharing policies. As such, all awardees and the participating Institution(s) must sign the RBK Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA) and Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) documents. No edits to either the CDA or MTA will be allowed. Per the General Collaborations policy, roles of Collaborators, the RBK Steering Committee will be defined by the original RBK FOAs. As such, collaborators funded by this FOA will not be granted formal membership on the RBK Steering Committee (SC).

Progress Reports

A written summary of the accomplishments from the funded projects is due at the completion of the funding period.

The NIDDK intends the resource sharing plans for the data and samples generated under the RBK to follow the policy and objectives stated in the original RBK FOAs. Specifically, consistent with achieving the objectives of the RBK, all study data (including, but not limited to, raw data, metadata, digital pathology images, and computational data sets), protocols (including analytical methods), technologies, biological samples (including but not limited to biopsies, nephrectomy tissue, tissue blocks, all slides in any form, blood, urine and stool) and other research resources are to be shared immediately across the consortium, and made publicly available to the larger community as soon as quality control procedures have been completed, and in accordance with RBK SC policies, subject to approval by the NIDDK.

Limited exceptions to the requirement for community dissemination may be identified by the RBK SC and are subject to approval by the NIDDK. The NIDDK, in consultation with the SC for this project, will make all final decisions concerning data and sample deposition and data access policies, and all policies are subject to change by the NIDDK as deemed necessary to sustain program principles and priorities, or to ensure the highest standards for responsible research conduct within the project.

Awardees will comply with and implement the recommendations and decisions of the SC with respect to the sharing of information, data, biosamples, protocols, resources, methods and analyses developed by the RBK investigators under the RBK.


Awardees must acknowledge the RBK in all posters, manuscripts or scientific materials generated in part or whole using funds from the RBK using the following text:

“Research reported in this [poster/manuscript] was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Rebuilding a Kidney (RBK) Opportunity Pool,, under award number 1U24DK135157-01”

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Eric W. Brunskill Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-215-1698

Anna Sadusky Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-827-7036

Danny Gossett Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301- 569-0395