CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE FOR RESEARCH ON COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE 
MEDICINE (CERC)

RELEASE DATE:  October 20, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-AT-04-002

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
 (http://www.nccam.nih.gov/)

LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATES: January 16, 2004, January 15, 2005

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: February 17, 2004, February 15, 2005

This Notice is to clarify the requirements of Program Announcement 
PAS-03-038 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-03-038.html) 
and remind applicants that preference may be given to applications proposing 
research on one of NCCAM’s current research priority areas for Centers 
grants, listed at http://www.nccam.nih.gov/research/priorities/index.htm.  
Applications substantially similar to those CERC already funded (listed 
at http://nccam.nih.gov/training/centers/index.htm) may be given lower 
program priority.

STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE

Future applications for Centers of Excellence for Research on 
Complementary and Alternative Medicine should be structured around a 
central scientific theme focusing on either (a) mechanisms of action of 
a specific group of CAM practices or CAM treatment approaches OR (b) 
mechanisms of action of several different CAM therapies used in 
treating a specific disease or class of diseases.

NCCAM will also consider applications for Centers organized around a 
specific research theme, such as the placebo effect, however, NCCAM 
does not encourage applications for Centers focused on a particular 
population group unless there is a strong scientific rationale for such 
a focus. 

LETTER OF INTENT

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a letter of intent, as 
described in PAS-03-038.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Barbara Sorkin, Ph.D.  
Program Officer
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
Phone:  301-496-8004 
E-mail: sorkinb@mail.nih.gov  

INQUIRIES

Further information about this program is available on the NCCAM 
website, http://www.nccam.nih.gov/training/centers/index.htm.  If you 
have additional questions regarding the CERC initiative, please 
contact:

Barbara Sorkin, Ph.D.  
Program Officer
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
Phone:  301-496-8004 
E-mail: sorkinb@mail.nih.gov

For scientific/programmatic questions regarding the responsiveness of 
your proposal to the CERC initiative, please contact the appropriate 
NCCAM Program Officer, listed at 
http://nccam.nih.gov/research/contact/index.htm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS

Appendix: the appendix (one for the entire application) may include up 
to ten publications per project and core proposed in the application, 
consistent with the PHS 398 instructions.  Please do not staple the 
appendix.  Sections may be separated, for example, by interpolating 
sheets of colored paper.

SHARING RESEARCH DATA 

Starting with the October 1, 2003 receipt date, investigators 
submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs 
in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or 
state why this is not possible (please see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing). 
Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions on issues 
related to institutional policies, local IRB rules, as well as local, 
state and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. 
Reviewers will consider the data-sharing plan but will not factor the 
plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority 
score.


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