NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 34, September 25, 1992

P.T. 34


  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences


This announcement updates and summarizes the policy of the National

Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) regarding program project


INITIATIVE.  Rather, it represents a clarification of existing

policies.  Since many investigators have inquired about the intent and

purposes of NIGMS-supported program project grants and their

relationships to other support mechanisms, the following description

and summary is intended to be helpful to potential applicants.

The NIGMS supports research in the areas of Cellular and Molecular

Basis of Disease, Genetics, Pharmacological Sciences, and Biophysics

and Physiological Sciences.  Program project grants are

investigator-initiated, but because of budgetary constraints may be

restricted to areas of special interest to the individual programs

within the NIGMS.  Potential applicants are advised to contact the

NIGMS program staff listed at the end of this announcement for guidance

in the areas appropriate for program project grant applications and the

preparation of the application itself.


Applications may be submitted by domestic, for-profit and non-profit

organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,

hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and

eligible agencies of the Federal government.


The program project mechanism is designed to support research in which

the funding of several projects as a group offers significant

scientific advantages over support of these same projects as individual

research grants.  Successful program projects generally bring together

scientists in diverse fields, who might not otherwise collaborate, to

work on a well-defined problem or goal.  As a result, an environment

for interdisciplinary research is created.  In addition, the program

project can facilitate the support of essential shared core facilities,

e.g., major equipment, although the need of a group of investigators

for a major piece of equipment or a core facility does not in itself

provide sufficient justification for a program project grant.

Usually, a program project consists of three to five individual

projects.  The scientist designated by the applicant institution as the

Principal Investigator bears responsibility for the overall scientific

leadership and fiscal management of the program project grant.  It is

expected that each of the collaborating scientists responsible for the

individual projects will be independent investigators.  Investigators

from more than one department, administrative unit, or institution

(through a sub-contract mechanism) are commonly included.

The program project grant is not intended to be a vehicle for

departmental support, nor is the research support of one senior

investigator and several postdoctoral and research associate-level

scientists appropriate under this mechanism.  In addition, the program

project and each individual project must represent a significant effort

on the part of the participating scientists and should be distinct from

their other funded efforts.  If individuals have substantial support in

areas closely related to the program project and cannot fold this

support into the program project, they may participate as associate

members.  Associate members have full use of, for example, core

facilities, and contribute to the overall collegiality of the project,

but derive no financial support from it.


There is an upper limit to the budget that may be requested in a

competing program project grant application to the National Institute

of General Medical Sciences.  This limit (exclusive of subcontractual

indirect costs) over a five-year period is given in the table below:

          Direct Costs             Receipt Date

FY 93     $ 3,600,000              February 1, 1992 and later

FY 94     $ 3,750,000              February 1, 1993 and later

FY 95     $ 3,900,000              February 1, 1994 and later

FY 96     $ 4,000,000              February 1, 1995 and later

Under certain circumstances, additional funds may be provided for major

pieces of equipment.

Because individual programs have different scientific and budgetary

priorities, applicants are urged to consult NIGMS staff prior to

submission of a program project grant application.  Requests for

details of research areas supported by the NIGMS and inquiries

exploring the suitability of the program project grant mechanism may be

directed to the program staff listed at the end of this announcement.

Applications are to be prepared using form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91 and

available at most institutional business offices and from the Division

of Research Grants, NIH) and the additional guidelines stated below.

The receipt dates for new and renewal program project grant

applications are February 1, June 1, and October 1.  The earliest

possible award dates will be approximately nine months after the

receipt dates.  Applications received too late for one cycle of review

will be held for the next.

The program project grant application is to be structured as a series

of separate but related project proposals.  The following format is to

be used:

Overall Proposal:  An introductory section must contain justification

for the program project grant mechanism and describe those goals that

are not readily attainable through individual research project grants.

This section must include:

o  a face page;

o  an abstract;

o  a description of the objectives of the program as a whole, the

relationship of the individual research projects to the entire program

project, and the special benefits to be achieved by funding as a

program project grant rather than as a series of individual research


o  a list of participating personnel;

o  the consolidated budget for the program project grant (summarizing

budgets for the component parts and core);

o  a description of facilities available, including major instruments

and special program resources;

o  administrative arrangements for overall scientific leadership,

quality control, and management of the program project grant; and

o  a separate, overall listing of the proposed percent effort on the

program project grant and actual and pending research support from all

sources for each participating investigator (including percent effort

devoted to each project).  This section must also detail the

relationship of existing support to the proposed program project and

describe planned modification to that support in the event of funding,

for example, folding in support for related funded research.

Component Projects:  Each individual project of a program project grant

must represent an independent as well as an interdependent research

effort, and must be prepared in the format of an individual research

grant application.  The face page, abstract, budget pages, biographical

information, a detailed description of the research to be conducted,

and any justification for human and animal experimentation, if

applicable, must be included.  If support of core resources is

requested, a separate component describing and justifying these must be


The completed original application and five legible copies must be sent

or delivered to:

Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD  20892**


Program project grant applications are reviewed by either the Division

of Research Grants or the NIGMS Office of Review Activities, depending

on the subject.  The applicant should not assume that a site visit will

accompany the review of a program project grant application.

Therefore, the application must be sufficiently complete so that it can

be reviewed without a site visit.

The individual projects within a program project grant, as well as the

program project grant as a whole, must meet the same standards of

scientific merit as those required of individual research project

grants.  The scientific merit of the entire program project grant

application, as well as its coherence as a program, will be assessed.

In addition, the scientific merit of each individual project will be

assessed and a priority score assigned.  This assessment will be based

both on the scientific merit of the individual project as an

independent effort and on its potential importance to the success of

the total effort.


Final review and recommendations by the National Advisory General

Medical Sciences Council will take into account the scientific merit of

both the individual projects and the program project as a whole.  It is

possible that funding for some of the individual projects or core

components favorably recommended by the initial review group may be

deleted by Council or by NIGMS staff prior to award of a grant, based

on the scientific merit of these components or the lack of coherence

with the rest of the program project.  The Council will also judge the

appropriateness of the application to the mission of the programs

within the NIGMS, taking into account the budgetary situation at the

time of funding.  In addition, the total support of the Principal

Investigator, the group of investigators as a whole, or any individual

investigator may be considered in funding the entire program project or

any part thereof.


For further information, applicants are advised to contact the NIGMS

program staff listed below:

Biophysics and Physiological Sciences:    Dr. James Cassatt, (301)


Trauma and Burn Injury Research:          Dr. Lee Van Lenten, (301)


Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease:  Dr. Bert I. Shapiro, (301)


Genetics:                                 Dr. Judith Greenberg, (301)


Pharmacological Sciences:                 Dr. Christine Carrico, (301)


Anesthesiology:                           Dr. Alison Cole (301)


Biorelated Chemistry:                     Dr. Michael Rogers, (301)


All correspondence may be addressed to:

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Westwood Building

5333 Westbard Avenue

Bethesda  MD  20892

For general information, applicants may contact Dr. W. Sue Shafer,

(301) 496-7061 and for business management aspects, Ms. Carol Tippery,

(301) 496-7746.


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

Nos. 93.862, 93.821, 93.863, and 93.859.  Awards are made under

authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A

(Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and

285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations

42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the

intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or

Health Systems Agency review.


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