PA:  PA-92-34


P.T. 22, 34



  Muscle Disorders 

  Skin Diseases 


  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 



National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases




The objective of this Program Announcement is to emphasize the

continuing commitment of the National Institute of Arthritis and

Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to support the research

development of biomedical investigators who conduct research on the

basic biology, organ systems, and diseases and disorders within its

mandate.  The NIAMS encourages all individuals, especially members of

underrepresented groups, to submit applications.  The aim is to

increase the expertise and development of researchers in areas relevant

to the mission of the NIAMS.




The NIAMS encourages applications for individual fellowships and

research career awards.  The research emphasis or thrust of such

applications must be related to the mission of the NIAMS.  Major areas

of interest include:


o  Arthritis and connective tissue diseases


o  Bone biology and diseases


o  Muscle biology and diseases


o  Musculoskeletal diseases and disorders


o  Skin biology and diseases


o  Musculoskeletal fitness, exercise physiology and gait analysis


o  Immunology and inflammatory processes related to diseases of

connective tissue, bone, muscle, and skin


o  Epidemiology of arthritis, bone, muscle, and skin diseases


o  Structure, function and physiology of bone, muscle, skin, joints,

and connective tissue


o  Metabolism of muscle, bone, and skin




Due to the complexity of the tissues and diseases, it is becoming

increasingly clear that research excellence in arthritis, muscle

biology, musculoskeletal disorders, and bone and skin diseases requires

interdisciplinary approaches.  Thus, the NIAMS encourages researchers

at appropriate stages in their careers to develop additional expertise

in areas such as molecular biology, cell biology, structural biology,

biophysics, immunology, developmental biology, genetics, and

epidemiology.  Examples of multi-disciplinary approaches that are

relevant to the NIAMS include, but are not limited to, the following:


o  The use of cell biology and molecular genetics to investigate the

regulation of growth and proliferation of muscle, bone, and skin cells;

extracellular controls (e.g., cytokines), receptors, extracellular

matrix, structural function;


o  Immunology to investigate the basis of immune and autoimmune

mediated diseases of muscle, bone, joints, and skin.


o  Membrane biochemistry, physiology, and molecular genetics to explore

the molecular basis of defective membrane channels and ion transport in

cells of muscle, bone, and skin;


o  Structural biology and human genetics to investigate the development

or application of macromolecular X-ray diffraction and Nuclear Magnetic

Resonance methods, computer-assisted modeling, and molecular dynamics

or mechanical simulations to studies of enzyme function, molecular

biology, molecular genetics, and/or biochemical genetics of hereditary

diseases in model systems and humans;


o  Wide bore and whole body magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging

of metabolic processes during rest and exercise, in normal or diseased





Several mechanisms exist that will support the professional development

of individuals who can advance research in these areas.  Each mechanism

is tailored to a particular stage of the investigator's career.  The

existing mechanisms are:  Individual Fellowships (F32, F33); Physician

Scientist Award (PSA K11); Clinical Investigator Award (CIA K08); and

Research Career Development Award (RCDA K04).  Physician investigators

are encouraged to use the PSA and CIA to develop expertise in basic and

clinical research.


A research training or career development program for a

physician-scientist should equip the individual to become an

independent investigator capable of designing and executing rigorous

research protocols carefully crafted to examine a hypothesis.  Ideally,

such investigators should be able to integrate patient-oriented and

laboratory-oriented research methods to address questions related to

the physiology and pathophysiology of arthritis and muscle, bone, and

skin diseases and disorders.


Support mechanisms for training and research career development awards

are summarized in this announcement.  Detailed guidelines for each of

the mechanisms may be obtained from the office of sponsored programs at

most research institutions and from the Division of Research Grants,

NIH, Westwood Building, Room 240, Bethesda, Maryland  20892, Phone,

(301) 496-7441.  Only U.S. citizens and non-citizen nationals are

eligible for support under these programs.




Individual National Research Service Awards (NRSA) are given at the

postdoctoral level.  The application must describe a specific research

project that is guided and sponsored by a preceptor.  This support is

for full-time research training.


Provisions of these awards include:


o  Awards for up to 36 months of training


o  Stipends based on years of experience:  range is $18,600-32,300 per



o  Institutional allowance of $3,000 per year ($2,000 per year for

fellows at NIH) to help meet expenses;


o  Support for more than 12 months requires "payback."




Senior fellowships are designed for experienced scientists who wish to

make major changes in the direction of their research career, to

broaden their research capabilities, or to enlarge their command of an

allied research field.  Applicants for an F33 must hold a doctoral

degree or equivalent and show at least seven subsequent years of

relevant professional or research experience.


Provisions of the award include:


o  Awards for up to 24 months;


o  Stipend up to $32,300 per year.




Application receipt dates for these two awards are January 10, May 10,

and September 10.  Applicants must use Fellowship Application Kit (PHS

416-1, Revised 4/89).  Fellowships will be reviewed through the

accelerated NIH peer review system in the Division of Research Grants.

Earliest possible funding start dates will be seven to eight months

after receipt dates.


Fellowship applications submitted in response to this announcement must

be identified by typing PA-RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP AWARDS and PA-92-34 on

Item 3 of the face page, below the title of the project.




The Physician Scientist Award (PSA) is designed to encourage the newly

trained clinician to develop independent research skills and experience

in a fundamental science.  The award is divided into two phases.

During Phase I, which may last two to three years, the candidate is

expected to develop independent research skills and experience in a

fundamental science.  The primary sponsor must be an accomplished basic

science investigator.  Phase II entails intensive research activity,

applying the skills learned during Phase I.


Applicants for the PSA must:


o  Hold an M.D. or equivalent clinical degree.  Generally, candidates

holding the Ph.D. are ineligible;


o  Have completed at least one postgraduate year of clinical training

by the time of award;


o  Not have previous independent research support.


Provisions of the PSA include:


o  Five years of support, nonrenewable; durations of three or four

years may be requested at the time of application;


o  Salary up to $50,000 per year plus fringe benefits;


o  Up to $10,000 (Phase I) and $20,000 (Phase II) per year for research

supplies, equipment, technical assistance, travel;


o  Commitment, as a minimum, of 75 percent time to PSA activities.




The Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) is offered to provide the

opportunity for promising clinically trained individuals with

demonstrated aptitude in research to develop as independent



Applicants for the CIA must:


o  Hold an M.D. or other health professional degree;


o  Have approximately four to eight years of postdoctoral experience,

both clinical and research (a minimum of two years of each) by the

projected start of the award;


o  Not have been a Principal Investigator on a Public Health

Service-supported research project.


Provisions of the CIA include:


o  Five years of support, nonrenewable; tenures of three or four years

may be requested at time of application;


o  Salary up to $50,000 per year plus fringe benefits;


o  Up to $20,000 per year for research supplies, equipment, technical

assistance, travel;


o  Commitment, as a minimum, of 75 percent time to the project.




The Research Career Development Award (RCDA) provides salary support to

enhance the research capabilities of individuals in the formative

stages of their careers.  Candidates who have demonstrated outstanding

potential as independent investigators in health-related research, but

need to be released from some of the teaching, clinical, and

administrative duties assigned to junior faculty, are eligible.


Applicants for the RCDA must:


o  Hold a doctoral degree or equivalent, have usually at least five

years postdoctoral research experience, and be principal investigator

of a peer-reviewed research grant;


o  Describe in the application how the award will enhance development

as an independent investigator;


o  Have enough independent research support for the research proposed

in the RCDA application;


o  Hold a faculty appointment.


Provisions of the RCDA include:


o  Five years of support, nonrenewable;


o  Salary up to $50,000 per year plus fringe benefits.  No funds are

available under this award for research expenses.  These expenses are

expected to be included in the independent research support described



o  Commitment of at least 80 percent time to research.  The remaining

time (up to 20 percent) must be spent on research-related activities

that will enhance research career development.


RCDA applications may be submitted concurrently with a traditional

research grant application but may not be submitted concurrently with

other development awards such as PSA, CIA, or First Independent

Research Support and Transition (FIRST) Award.




Application receipt dates for all career development awards (K series)

are February 1, June 1, and October 1.  The PSA and CIA applications

will be reviewed by an appropriate review committee within a funding

Institute. RCDA applications will be reviewed by an initial review

group in the Division of Research Grants.  Earliest possible funding

dates are approximately 10 months after the receipt dates.  Use

application form PHS 398, Rev. 10/88 and 9/91, with special

instructions for the PSA, CIA, and RCDA ("The K Awards," October 1991)

available from the Office of Grants Inquiries.


Applications submitted in response to this announcement must be

identified by typing PA-RESEARCH CAREER AWARDS and PA-92-34 on line 2

of the face page, below the title of the project.


The typed original application and six signed exact single-sided

photocopies must be submitted or delivered to:


Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD  20892**


Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research

Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources

may identify the GCRC as a resource for conducting the proposed

activity.  In such a case, a letter of agreement from either the GCRC

program director or Principal Investigator must be included with the






NIH and ADAMHA policy is that applicants for NIH/ADAMHA clinical

research grants and cooperative agreements will be required to include

minorities and women in study populations so that research findings can

be of benefit to all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or

condition under study; special emphasis should be placed on the need

for inclusion of minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders

and conditions which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is

intended to apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or

minorities are excluded or inadequately represented in clinical

research, particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear

compelling rationale should be provided.


The composition of the proposed study population must be described in

terms of gender and racial/ethnic group.  In addition, gender and

racial/ethnic issues should be addressed in developing a research

design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of the

study.  This information should be included in the form PHS 398 in

Section 2, A-D of the Research Plan AND summarized in Section 2, E,

Human Subjects.  Applicants/offerors are urged to assess carefully the

feasibility of including the broadest possible representation of

minority groups.  However, NIH recognizes that it may not be feasible

or appropriate in all research projects to include representation of

the full array of  United States racial/ethnic minority populations

(i.e., Native Americans (including American Indians or Alaskan

Natives), Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics).


The rationale for studies on single minority populations groups should

be provided.


For the purpose of this policy, clinical research includes human

biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology, prevention

(and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of diseases,

disorders or conditions, including but not limited to clinical trials.


The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also

apply.  Basic research or clinical studies in which human tissues

cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,

every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and

racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of

the study broadly, and this should be addressed by applicants.


For foreign awards, the policy on inclusion of women applies fully;

since the definition of minority differs in other countries, the

applicant must discuss the relevance of research involving foreign

population groups to the United States' population, including



If the required information is not contained within the application,

the application will be returned.


Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in

the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of

women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the

scientific question(s) addressed AND the justification for the selected

study population is inadequate, it will be considered a scientific

weakness or deficiency in the study design and will be reflected in

assigning the priority score to the application.


All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required to

address these policies.  NIH funding components will not award grants

or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these policies.




For further information about these awards, contact:


Richard W. Lymn, Ph.D.

Program Director

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Westwood Building, Room 403

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-7495


For administrative and fiscal matters, contact:


Diane Watson

Grants Management Officer

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Westwood Building, Room 407-A

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-7495




This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

No. 93.846, Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Research.

Awards will be made under the authority of the Public Health Service

Act, Title III, Section 301 (Public Law 78-410, as amended; 42 USC 241)

and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42

CFR Part 52 and Part 66 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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