The Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions, or SPARC, program employs an active and collaborative program management strategy using primarily Other Transactions (OTs)*, which are not contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.
SPARC leverages OTs to manage projects in which time-critical developments and nimble integration of ideas and expertise from various disciplines are essential to achieve a programmatic goal. The cutting-edge research supported by the SPARC program requires multidisciplinary teams of scientists. SPARC’s use of OTs facilitates engagement of nontraditional partners (e.g., large corporations and unaffiliated individuals) as well as sharing of devices between industry partners, academics and clinicians to rapidly develop therapeutic advances.
The SPARC program relies on use of OT awards to adapt as new knowledge and technologies emerge. The SPARC Program Manager (PM), in collaboration with the SPARC Agreement Officer, adds or aggregates the necessary expertise and combines projects as needed. Components of SPARC may be expanded, modified or discontinued based on project feasibility and emerging methods, technologies, or approaches that are more useful. In addition, SPARC awardees collaborate and cooperate with the SPARC PM, NIH program staff and one another to incorporate relevant breakthroughs and discoveries, and engage pioneers. This strategy is designed to mitigate the inherent risk of such a program. The SPARC PM uses a rapid review process and a highly responsive post-award management process to take advantage of advances emerging from diverse scientific fields and parallel programs such as the NIH BRAIN Initiative.
Guidelines for these processes are listed within the NIH Other Transaction Award Policy Guide for the SPARC Program. This document describes the various laws, regulations, guidelines and polices to which the SPARC program adheres. Key features of the SPARC program that differ from traditional methods and procedures associated with grants, cooperative agreements and contracts are discussed in the Q&A.General Information Post-Award Management Information
This page last reviewed on January 27, 2017