DESIGN, MEASUREMENT, AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS IN MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH

Release Date:  November 15, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-018 (see replacement PA-04-150)

National Institute of Mental Health

THIS PA USES "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS.  THIS PA INCLUDES 
DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED 
WHEN PREPARING AN APPLICATION IN RESPONSE TO THIS PA.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this program announcement (PA) is to encourage research grant 
applications for work on the design, measurement, and statistical challenges 
inherent in conducting mental health services research.  The goal of this 
initiative is to build the methodological infrastructure of mental health 
services research by encouraging statisticians, psychometricians, qualitative 
researchers, and other experts in research methodology and data analysis to 
focus on these challenges.

This program announcement supercedes PA-94-060 and addresses recommendations 
set forth in the NIMH report, “Bridging Science and Service: A Report by the 
National Advisory Mental Health Council’s Clinical Treatment and Services 
Research Workgroup”  Applicants may obtain a copy of the report at 
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/research/bridge.htm

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA, Design, 
Measurement, and Statistical Analysis in Mental Health Research, is related 
to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy 
of "Healthy People 2000" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, 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.  Foreign institutions are not eligible 
for small grant awards.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and 
persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project 
grant (R01) and the Small Grant (R03) award mechanisms.  Responsibility for 
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely 
that of the applicant.  The total project period for an application submitted 
in response to this PA may not exceed five years for an R01 application and 
two years for an R03 application.

For all R03 applications and all competing R01 applications requesting up to 
$250,000 direct costs per year, specific application instructions have been 
modified to reflect “MODULAR GRANT” and “JUST-IN-TIME” streamlining efforts 
being undertaken at NIH.  More detailed information about modular grant 
applications, including a sample budget narrative justification pages and a 
sample biographical sketch, is available via the Internet at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.  Applications that 
request more than $250,000 in any year must use the standard PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) application instructions.  

Because the small grant (R03) mechanism has special eligibility requirements, 
application formats, and review criteria, applicants are strongly encouraged 
to consult with program staff (listed under INQUIRIES) and to obtain the 
appropriate additional announcement for that mechanism.  Special instructions 
and information for the R03 are found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-99-140.html

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Advances in mental health research are highly dependent on the quality of 
research procedures, measures, and data analytic strategies available to 
investigators.  As the knowledge base broadens and deepens, questions of 
increasing subtlety and complexity must be addressed.  To do so requires the 
development or adaptation of increasingly more sophisticated and precise 
methods, measures, and analytic strategies.

The NIMH is issuing this program announcement to ensure that statisticians, 
psychometricians, and other experts in research methodology and data analysis 
who are currently working on the methodological issues in mental health 
research will continue to do so and that those methodological experts who are 
not working on mental health issues will be encouraged to enter the field, 
bringing with them the insight that a fresh perspective can provide in 
finding solutions to problems.

This program announcement makes explicit the determination of NIMH to support 
the basic methodological work necessary for the advancement of mental health 
research.

Listed below are examples of research topic areas that focus on methods, 
measurement, and statistical analysis in mental health research.  The list of 
examples is illustrative, not exhaustive; it is expected that additional 
important research topics will be identified by researchers who respond to 
this program announcement.  Design, measurement, and data analytic topics 
relevant to any of the areas of inquiry funded by NIMH, including mental 
health services, epidemiologic, prevention, basic behavioral, brain, and 
clinical and treatment research, are encouraged.

o  Studies focusing on the development and refinement of instruments and 
procedures for assessing both stable and unstable characteristics of 
individuals (e.g., psychopathology, mental disorder, positive/adaptive 
personality functioning) and environments (e.g., stressful and supportive 
conditions of home, workplace, social networks, service systems), with 
particular attention to psychometric indices of reliability and validity, 
including susceptibility to response bias, gender differences, cultural 
relevance, and applicability to diverse study populations

o  Studies examining the effects of multiple administrations of 
measures/procedures over time on the reliability, validity, and 
interpretability of responses relative to the construct or phenomenon under 
study

o  Research concerning the development of new or improved data analytic 
strategies for handling the difficulties and challenges encountered in 
analyzing data from longitudinal studies

o  Research assessing the relative utility of assessment batteries and 
protocols, including their cost and ease of administration, acceptability to 
respondents, and usefulness in advancing the knowledge base

o  Research on the applicability to mental health research of methodologies 
and analytic strategies such as decision analysis, meta-analysis, diary 
studies, and ethnography

o  Research to develop design, assessment, and data analytic methods that 
address the shortcomings, for clinical decision making, of sample-based 
statistical conclusions

o  Studies bearing on the use and/or combination of data from multiple 
informants, including attention to (1) individual characteristics and 
environmental context, and (2) how the influences of these factors change as 
a function of the nature of the information reported

o  Studies of the reliability and validity of instruments in multiple outcome 
domains particularly for understudied populations, e.g., severely mentally 
ill persons who are homeless, minorities, rural residents, and severely 
emotionally disturbed children

o  Research assessing the relative utility, including costs and ease of 
administration, of various packages of instruments to assess mental health 
outcomes and to assess and predict costs of care

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and 
their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-
048.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm: The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 
address: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as indicated
in the application kit.  Application kits are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research and from the Division of Extramural Outreach 
and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge 
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: 
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Applications are also available on the World Wide Web 
at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

SPECIFIC APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANTS

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets.  Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The 
just-in-time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only 
when there is a possibility for an award.  It is anticipated that these 
changes will reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers 
and Institute staff.  The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) 
is to be used in applying for these grants, with the modifications noted 
below.

BUDGET INSTRUCTIONS

Modular Grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up 
to a total direct cost request of $250,000 per year.  (Applications that 
request more than $250,000 direct costs in any year must follow the 
traditional PHS 398 application instructions.)  The total direct costs must 
be requested in accordance with the program guidelines and the modifications 
made to the standard PHS 398 application instructions described below:

PHS 398

o  FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs 
(in $25,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000) and Total Costs [Modular 
Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] for the initial 
budget period Items 8a and 8b should be completed indicating the Direct and 
Total Costs for the entire proposed period of support.

o  DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD - Do not complete Form Page 
4 of the PHS 398.  It is not required and will not be accepted with the 
application.

o  BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT - Do not complete the 
categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application.

o  NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION - Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page.  (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for 
sample pages.)  At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs 
requested for each year.  This is not a Form page.

o  Under Personnel, List all project personnel, including their names, 
percent of effort, and roles on the project.  No individual salary 
information should be provided.  However, the applicant should use the NIH 
appropriation language salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student 
compensation in developing the budget request.

For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of total costs (direct 
plus facilities and administrative) for each year, each rounded to the 
nearest $1,000.  List the individuals/organizations with whom consortium or 
contractual arrangements have been made, the percent effort of all personnel, 
and the role on the project.  Indicate whether the collaborating institution 
is foreign or domestic.  The total cost for a consortium/contractual 
arrangement is included in the overall requested modular direct cost amount.  
Include the Letter of Intent to establish a consortium.

Provide an additional narrative budget justification for any variation in the 
number of modules requested.

o  BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - The Biographical Sketch provides information used by  
reviewers in the assessment of each individual's qualifications for a 
specific role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall 
qualifications of the research team.  A biographical sketch is required for 
all key personnel, following the instructions below.  No more than three 
pages may be used for each person.  A sample biographical sketch may be 
viewed at:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm 

- Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;
- List position(s) and any honors;
- Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on 
research projects ongoing or completed during the last three years.
- List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations;

o  CHECKLIST - This page should be completed and submitted with the 
application.  If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the 
type of agreement and the date.  All appropriate exclusions must be applied 
in the calculation of the F&A costs for the initial budget period and all 
future budget years.

o  The applicant should provide the name and phone number of the individual 
to contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if additional 
information is necessary following the initial review.

Applicants planning to submit an investigator-initiated new (type 1), 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended/revised 
version of the preceding grant application types requesting $500,000 or more 
in direct costs for any year are advised that he or she must contact the 
Institute program staff before submitting the application, i.e., as plans for 
the study are being developed.  Furthermore, the application must obtain 
agreement from the Institute staff that the Institute will accept the 
application for consideration for award.  Finally, the applicant must 
identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member and 
Institute who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy requires an applicant to obtain agreement for acceptance of both 
any such application and any such subsequent amendment.  Refer to the NIH 
Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 20, 1998 at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-030.html

Any application subject to this policy that does not contain the required
information in a cover letter sent with the application will be returned to 
the applicant without review.

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

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and five signed photocopies in one package to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral 
guidelines.  Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an appropriate scientific review group convened in accordance with 
the standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit 
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a 
process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will 
be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by 
the appropriate national advisory council or board.

Review Criteria 

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed 
research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  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.  For 
example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its 
nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

(1) Significance:  Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that 
drive this field?

(2) Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

(3) Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience 
level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

(5) Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional 
support?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o  The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their 
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 
evaluated.

o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research

o  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project  
proposed in the application.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:  
Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, availability of 
funds, and program priority.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions 
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Ann A. Hohmann, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7135, MSC 9631
Bethesda, MD 20892-9631
Telephone:  (301) 443-4235
Email:  ahohmann@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone: (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  Diana_Trunnell@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS 

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.242.  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.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking 
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.


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