NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 12, April 11, 1997


P.T. 34


  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 


National Institutes of Health


This notice is to highlight for the research community recent changes

to the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program.  In

response to comments and suggestions from interested parties, an NIH

committee examined the program and recommended several changes to it.

NIH extramural officials have decided that the following changes will

be implemented immediately:


o  Applications will be accepted in response to ongoing Program

Guidelines (which appear elsewhere in this issue of the NIH Guide as

Program Announcement PA-97-052), and will not be solicited through a

request issued annually.


o  Applications for these awards will be accepted and reviewed three

times per year, instead of once per year.  The receipt dates will be

January 25, May 25, and September 25.  However, in view of the short

time frame, the May 25, 1997 receipt date will be extended to June

25, 1997.


o  Applications for competing continuations (or renewals or Type 2s)

of AREA grants will be accepted.  Thus, recipients of AREA awards may

apply for an AREA grant to continue their research project.


o  Applications for AREA grants may now include appendices, and must

follow the instructions for submitting these in the Application for a

Public Health Service Grant PHS 398 Form.


o  As part of the initial merit review, a streamlined review process,

which is employed for the review of most NIH research grant

applications, will be used.  Under this process, reviewers are asked

to identify the approximate upper half of applications.  These

applications are discussed at the review group meeting and receive a

"priority score" ranging from "best" (100) to "average" (250-300),

while the lower half of applications are normally not discussed nor

given a priority score.  Nevertheless, all applicants will receive

summary statements which will consist of the written critiques of two

or more assigned reviewers.


o  Applications must provide specific information regarding the

investigator~s experience in supervising students in research, the

institution~s student population, its success in training students

who pursue careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, and its

suitability for an AREA award.  And, in the initial scientific

review, applications will be evaluated on these factors in addition

to the usual scientific merit considerations.


o  AREA grantees will be required to submit both annual Progress

Reports and a Final Progress Report.


The AREA Program Guidelines are provided as PA-97-052, elsewhere in

the issue of the NIH Guide.  The Guidelines give detailed information

on the features of AREA grants, including eligibility criteria,

"just-in-time" application procedures, and the names of NIH officials

to contact regarding scientific issues.  The Program Guidelines are

also available on the NIH Homepage on the World Wide Web

( under the Grants and Contracts sub-menu.




For further information regarding this notice, contact:


Dr. Janet M. Cuca

Office of Extramural Research

National Institutes of Health

6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6192

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 435-2691




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