NINDS SUPPORT OF SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS AS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS

Release Date:  November 6, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-NS-02-003

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) generally 
supports scientific meetings through the conference grant mechanism (R13).  
Beginning in fiscal year 2002, the NINDS will also accept applications for 
the support of scientific meetings as cooperative agreements (U13).  The 
difference between these mechanisms is that in the case of U13, NINDS Program 
staff will be substantially involved in the planning and conduct of the 
meeting, assisting the Principal Investigator according to specific Terms and 
Conditions (see below).  Applicants must refer to the "Guidelines for Support 
of Scientific Meetings by NIH," 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-151.html).  
This Notice provides further guidelines and procedures for applications that 
request support of a scientific meeting as a cooperative agreement.  Applicants 
are strongly encouraged to consult with NINDS Program staff listed below, and 
submit a letter of intent, prior to submitting an application.

WHEN TO APPLY FOR AN U13

If an NINDS Program staff member will provide substantial assistance to a PI 
and that it is anticipated that assistance exceeds the traditional role of 
the staff member as Program Administrator, the appropriate support mechanism 
is the U13 cooperative agreement.  Examples of NINDS Program staff 
involvement after award include, but are not limited to, development of an 
agenda, selection of speakers, organization of the conference or workshop, 
and/or post-meeting publications.  

HOW TO APPLY FOR AN U13

Letter of Intent:

Prospective applicants for cooperative agreement meeting funds are strongly 
encouraged to submit a letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of 
the proposed scientific meeting, the name, address, and telephone number of 
the PI, the identities of other key personnel and participating institutions, 
including any NINDS Program staff already identified, and the number and 
title of this Notice.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not 
binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the 
information that it contains allows NINDS staff to review workload and avoid 
conflict of interest in the review of the application.  The letter of intent 
is to be sent to the Program staff listed under INQUIRIES at least 60 days 
before the intended receipt date of the application.  The standard receipt 
dates are February 1, June 1, and October 1 of each year.  See also important 
note below (under Application Procedures) regarding the timing of the 
application.

Application Procedures:

When preparing an U13 application, the applicant must consult the "Guidelines 
for Support of Scientific Meetings by NIH," 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-151.html).

The title and number of this Notice must be typed on line 2 of the face page 
of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

In the Research Plan section of the application describe the anticipated 
role(s) of NINDS Program staff members in the proposed meeting.

Following the Research Plan, the applicant should provide a statement 
acknowledging and agreeing to NINDS Program staff post-award involvement in 
planning and conducting the scientific meeting, and should describe plans to 
accommodate this involvement.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The application must be submitted at least 6 months in 
advance of the conference, to provide enough time for peer review and program 
evaluation.  No conference grant award will be made after the beginning date 
of the conference.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Terms and Conditions of Cooperative Agreement Awards:

The Principal Investigator (PI) will have the primary authority and 
responsibility to define objectives and approaches; plan, publicize, and 
conduct the scientific meeting; and publish the results of the meeting.

The PI will retain custody of, and have primary rights to, information 
developed under the cooperative agreement, subject to Government rights of 
access, consistent with current Department of Health and Human Services 
(DHHS), PHS, and NIH policies.

The NINDS Program staff member(s) named in the Notice of Award will assist, 
but not direct, the PI in the planning and conduct of the scientific meeting 
to ensure that the meeting is relevant and responsive to NINDS scientific 
program objectives, research needs and opportunities, and strategic research 
questions identified in…the "Neuroscience at the New Millennium Priorities 
and Plans" for NINDS, August, 1999 which can be viewed at 
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/plans/strategic_plan.htm.

Substantial NINDS programmatic involvement may include assisting the PI in 
finalizing the meeting format and agenda, selecting topics for discussion, 
publicizing the meeting, selecting speakers and other meeting participants, 
and publishing the meeting proceedings.

Publication and copyright agreements and the requirements for financial 
status reports; retention of records; and terminal progress reports will be 
as stated in the NIH document, "Guidelines for Support of Scientific Meetings 
by NIH," NIH Guide, October 30, 1998.

An independent, third-party individual acceptable to both the PI and the 
NINDS will be asked to serve as an arbitrator of any serious differences of 
opinion on scientific and programmatic issues that may arise during the 
planning and conduct of the scientific meeting.  This special arbitration 
process will in no way affect the rights of the recipient to appeal an 
adverse action in accordance with PHS regulations of 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart 
D, and DHHS regulations of 45 CFR Part 16.

These special Terms and Conditions are in addition to, not in lieu of, 
otherwise applicable Office of Management and Budget administrative 
guidelines; DHHS grant administrative regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, 
as appropriate; and other DHHS, PHS, and NIH grants administration policies.

EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS

The reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects of the 
application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed scientific 
meeting will have a substantial impact on the future of research activity in 
the proposed area.  Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered 
in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each 
application.  Note that the application does not need to be strong in all 
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus 
deserve a high priority score.

o The importance of the proposed scientific meeting to investigators in the 
field and to the general neuroscience community;

o Timeliness and the need for the proposed scientific meeting;

o Adequacy of the scope and content of the proposed scientific meeting;

o Qualifications of the conference organizers and the proposed participants;

o Adequacy of the applicant's efforts and plans to seek out and encourage the 
participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented 
minorities;

o Adequacy of the applicant's efforts and plans to seek out and encourage the 
participation of junior investigators and postdoctoral fellows (if not within 
the scope of the meeting, explain why);

o Appropriateness of the proposed format for achieving the stated goals;

o In general, NINDS encourages meetings that are open to all participants.  
If a meeting is to be restricted in attendance, adequacy of the rationale for 
the closed meeting;

o Adequacy of plans to disseminate the information generated by the 
scientific meeting;

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the reasonableness of the 
proposed budget.

INQUIRIES

NINDS Training and Career Development Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2154, MSC 9531
Bethesda, MD  20892 (for courier:  Rockville, MD  20852)
Phone:  (301) 496-4188
FAX:  (301) 594-5929
Email:  NINDSTrainingOffice@ninds.nih.gov


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