Full Text PA-92-104


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

PA:  PA-92-104

P.T. 04, FF

  Emotional/Mental Health 
  Mental Disorders 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Institute of Mental Health


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides support for the
development, conduct, and maintenance of Minority Mental Health
Research Centers (MMHRCs) both to stimulate and enable research that
could not be done without the particular facilities and environment
that such centers provide.  MMHRCs should provide stimulating and
productive research environments in which experienced and junior mental
health researchers can interact and direct their energies toward the
conceptualization, development, and conduct of coordinated,
multidisciplinary research on mental health issues related to minority

All research areas supported by the NIMH are relevant to the mental
health of minority populations and are appropriate as central foci for
center research.

The specific minority populations that the NIMH will award grants to
study include:  American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Asian Americans,
African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders.


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 Program
Announcement (PA), Minority Mental Health Research Centers, is related
to the priority areas of mental health and mental disorders and violent
and abusive behavior.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of
"Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or
Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent
of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325
(telephone: 202-783-3238).


Eligible applicant institutions include any domestic non-profit or
for-profit organization that is a doctorate-granting institution and
has an established relevant research capacity or is an organization
with a documented affiliation with such an institution.


Research Center support may be requested only through applications for
a research grant (R01).


The principal objective of all NIMH-supported MMHRCs is to provide a
research environment in which state-of-the-art research methodologies
may be applied to issues relating to the understanding and improvement
of mental health and the prevention and treatment of mental illness of
the specific minority group(s) selected for the focus of the MMHRC.
Each MMHRC should provide an environment of scientific excellence that
will assure the highest quality research and leadership in its
particular area(s) of investigation.  Through its activities, the MMHRC
should already be, or demonstrate that it has the potential to become,
a major national scientific research resource.

Models for MMHRCs may vary, but they all should contain the
infrastructure for implementing an overarching research plan, a plan
that includes sophisticated, multidisciplinary, integrated research
projects.  The MMHRC should enable investigators to conduct both pilot
and comprehensive studies and to formulate, develop, and test new
methodologies and data-gathering techniques.  The infrastructure of
each MMHRC must include, at minimum, the following elements:

Administrative Core:  a strong administrative structure, including a
scientifically and administratively well-qualified director with
primary responsibility for scientific leadership and administration of
the research program

Methodology and Statistics Core:  on-site expertise in research design
methodology, data-base management, and statistical analysis

Applicants must describe the Administrative Core and Methodology and
Statistics Core, research plan, research areas, and the individual
research projects of the MMHRC, as well as the budgets for each.

Administrative Core and Methdology and Statistics Core

Applicants must describe the Administrative Core, including the
research program management structure of the MMHRC, and the Methodology
and Statistics Core.  The description must include the following

o  Relationship to the applicant institution

o  Description of the administrative structure of the MMHRC, including
delineation of responsibilities and authorities of the MMHRC Director
and his/her assistants

o  Description of any committee whose role is advisory on specific
aspects of the MMHRCs research program

o  Arrangements for planning, coordinating, and evaluating the MMHRC

o  Procedures for coordinating and supervising the work of individual

o  Procedures for coordinating specific studies conducted under the
auspices of the MMHRC

o  Description of the organizational structure providing
methodological, statistical, and data base management assistance to
investigators in the MMHRC

If the applicant plans to involve another corporate entity (e.g.,
research institute, medical school, local government) in the functions
of the MMHRC, the following must be included:

o  Description of the nature of the arrangements and lines of authority

o  Letter(s) of agreement signed by the responsible officer of each
associated organization, stating that cooperation, research facilities,
services, or other relevant assistance will be available on a
continuing basis (submit as an appendix to the application)

o  Appropriate clearances from each associated organization that state
that the proposed research meets that institution's research review
requirements (including Institutional Review Boards responsible for
activities involving human subjects)

Research Plan, Areas, and Projects

Research Plan.  The research plan must describe the overarching
research focus for the MMHRC.  The plan should be based on a set of
integrated research areas (defined below) related to the overarching

The research plan must specify the following:

o  The overall research goals and objectives of the MMHRC

o  The principal areas of research to be emphasized

o  The importance and significance of the proposed research

o  The disciplines to be included

o  Plans for coordination among the various research activities and
components of the MMHRC

Selection of the specific research issues must be justified in terms

o  Their concordance with NIMH research areas

o  The state of knowledge development

o  The feasibility of performing proposed research (e.g., availability
of measurement instruments, populations to study)

o  Access to the target minority groups or subgroups in sufficient

o  The potential impact of the research on the mental health of the
minority populations under study

The research plan must describe how each research area and the
individual research projects within each are linked to the central
focus of the MMHRC.  Applicants are also to describe the types of
further programmatic steps that might be taken in future years to build
upon early findings.  In addition, a statement describing relevant
current and planned research, training, and service grant support that
will be available to the MMHRC must be included.

Research Areas.  A research area is defined as an important area for
mental health research within which an MMHRC plans to develop and
conduct interrelated research projects.  Each area will include several
developmental projects, pilot studies, and exploratory/feasibility
studies.  It is expected that the developmental and pilot projects will
evolve into major studies in the ensuing years to be supported by
outside funding sources.  Since many mental health research areas are
inherently interdisciplinary, projects within an area are encouraged to
incorporate collaborative relationships among scholars representing
complementary disciplines, whenever appropriate.

Separate descriptions must be provided for each major research area,
including summary descriptions of individual developmental research
projects to be supported in each area and how these projects will
relate to and support each other.

Research Projects.  For each individual project within a research area
to be funded by the MMHRC grant, the following must be included:

o  A review of the relevant literature and the existing knowledge base

o  The objectives, hypotheses, and significance of the research

o  A detailed sampling plan and power analysis

o  A control or comparison group is encouraged, where appropriate

o  The design and the methodological approaches to be used in
collecting and analyzing data

o  Relevant demographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, social
class, ethnicity) of the proposed research population(s) and sample

o  A list of all staff, including collaborators from other
institutions, whether or not they are supported by thc MMHRC grant,
with an indication of areas of expertise and estimated percent of
effort to be devoted to the research project

o  Timetable for project development and implementation

o  The interrelation of this project with other research center

o  A budget and justification for project activities including
staffing, equipment, and other necessary expenditures

Center Budget

Budgets for the MMHRC Administrative Core, Methodological and
Statistical Core, research areas, and individual research projects must
be presented in aggregate and separately and must be fully justified.
In addition, the following need to be reflected in the budgets:

o  The travel budget request should include funds for the Center
Director and one other key professional staff member to attend one
annual meeting with other MMHRC directors and NIMH staff

o  Information must be presented on cash and in-kind support, if any,
for the MMHRC by the applicant institution.  In-kind support may
include such items as university-supported faculty and graduate
students who will participate in the program to supplement the Core
staff and funding of joint tenure-line appointments for MMHRC staff

The following general elements must be specifically addressed in each

o  An MMHRC will focus, in general, on hypothesis testing,
methodological development, feasibility studies, and pilot studies in
its initial years.  Early phases of major studies can be supported by
the MMHRCs initial grant.

o  The primary purpose of a Center is to carry out research.  It is
expected that research projects will be developed in ensuing years with
support from separate research and research training grants from the
NIMH and other research grant awarding sectors of the Federal
government and from private foundations.  However, initial applicants
are not expected to have extensive additional research funding.

o  An important product of the research effort is to develop scientists
who are familiar with the complex techniques and advanced theories of
contemporary mental health-related research.  Funds from the MMHRC
grant may not be used to support formal research training activities.
However, each MMHRC should include a plan for providing opportunities
for research training experiences in disciplines relevant to mental
health.  MMHRCs may take advantage of National Research Service Award
(NRSA) Fellowships, Institutional Research Training Grants, Research
Scientist Development Awards for support of appropriate developing
scientists, and Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities in
Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

o  An MMHRC should establish, when appropriate to the central focus of
the research, a collaborative relationship with public facilities where
severely mentally ill patients are cared for on both inpatient and
outpatient basis (e.g., State hospitals, community mental health
centers, or ambulatory programs) in keeping with the Public-Academic
Liaison (PAL) initiative.  It is expected that such collaboration will
make a significant impact on the course of treatment for minority
patients who are severely mentally ill.

o  An MMHRC must have the following:  (a) strong intellectual
leadership; (b) the availability of mental health researchers,
especially members of the minority group(s) who have experience in
mental health-relevant research for that minority group; and (c) the
availability of promising junior researchers who are either graduate
students or junior faculty.

o  An MMHRC must be multidisciplinary, including, as appropriate,
researchers from neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics, health
economics, sociology, public health, epidemiology, psychiatry, nursing,
social work, psychology, statistics, and demography.

o  An MMHRC must include a central conceptual focus for the research
and involve strong, collaborative, synergistic relationships among the
researchers, that will form the basis for further research and research
training activities.  All activities must be interrelated to reflect an
integrative MMHRC rather than an uncoordinated or loosely allied
network of researchers.

o  An MMHRC must have access to the target minority groups or subgroups
in sufficient numbers to accomplish its goals.  This access must be
documented by letters of collaboration from relevant local and national
groups.  Clinically-focused MMHRCs should provide access to and
appropriate levels of administrative control over sufficient inpatient
and/or outpatient facilities to ensure availability of patients/clients
for specific research projects.

o  An MMHRC must have an administrative structure headed by the
Principal Investigator/MMHRC Director that will ensure maximum
effectiveness and efficiency of operation and sound financial
practices, and facilitate coordination among center personnel.  The
administration will be responsible for program planning, monitoring and
execution, and preparation of the budget, control of expenditures,
staff appointments, and space allocation.

o  An MMHRC must have a Principal Investigator, who serves as Director
of the MMHRC, providing scientific leadership by devoting no less than
60 percent of his/her time to the center, including time spent on
center research projects.  The intent of this requirement is to ensure
that the MMHRC and its related research projects comprise the major
activity of the Principal Investigator/MMHRC Director.  The Director
should be an experienced senior researcher who has made contributions
to mental health research.

o  The MMHRC Director is responsible for the planning and coordination
of the center program, preparation of the budget, control of
expenditures, staff appointments, and space allocation.  The MMHRC
Director must have sufficient authority to establish the necessary
administrative and management procedures to operate an efficient
center.  However, the day-to-day management and the responsibility for
the administrative and operational aspect of the MMHRC may be

Since establishment of a new center requires considerable effort to
form administrative, scientific, and community linkages within the team
of collaborating investigators and their projects, the initial phase of
a center's life is generally given close scrutiny by NIMH review and
monitoring processes.



NIH/ADAMHA policy requires inclusion of minorities and females in
research study populations.  Applications in response to this
announcement are required to include nonminorities and both genders in
study populations so that research findings can be of benefit to all
persons at risk of the disease, disorder or condition under study.  It
is expected that special emphasis will be placed on the need for
inclusion of minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders and
conditions which disproportionately affect them.  This policy applies
to all research involving human subjects and human materials, and
applies to males and females of all ages.  If one gender and/or
nonminorities are excluded or are inadequately represented in this
research, particularly in proposed population-based studies, clear
compelling rationale for exclusion or inadequate representation should
be provided.  The composition of the proposed study population must be
described in terms of gender and racial/ethnic group, together with a
rationale for its choice.  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.

Applications for support of research involving human subjects must
employ a study design with minority, nonminority, and/or gender
representation (by age distribution, risk factors,
incidence/prevalence, etc.) appropriate to the scientific objectives of
the research.  It is not an automatic requirement for the study design
to provide statistical power to answer the questions posed for men and
women and racial/ethnic groups separately; however, whenever there are
scientific reasons to anticipate differences between men and women, and
racial/ethnic groups, with regard to the hypothesis under
investigation, applicants should include an evaluation of these gender
and minority group differences in the proposed study.  If adequate
inclusion of one gender and/or nonminorities is impossible or
inappropriate with respect to the purpose of the research, because of
the health of the subjects, or other reasons, or if in the only study
population available, there is a disproportionate representation of one
gender or minority/majority group, the rationale for the study
population must be well explained and justified.  Control group
comparisons are encouraged in all research.

For research awards that are covered by these special instructions,
awardees will report annually on enrollment of women and men, and on
the race and ethnicity of subjects.

Protection of Human Subjects

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regulations for the
protection of human subjects provide a systematic means, based on
established internationally recognized ethical principles, to safeguard
the rights and welfare of individuals who participate as subjects in
research activities supported or conducted by the DHHS.  The
regulations require that applicant organizations establish and maintain
appropriate policies and procedures for the protection of human
subjects.  These regulations, 45 CFR 46, Protection of Human Subjects,
are available from the Office of Protection from Research Risks,
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Applicants are to use the research grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
9/91).  The number and the title of this PA, Minority Mental Health
Research Centers, PA-92-XX, must be typed in item number 2a on the face
page of the PHS 398 application.

Applications for an MMHRC grant must include:  (1) an overall
organizational plan, (2) an overarching research plan, and (3) detailed
plans for the research areas and individual research projects.  For
purposes of the page limitations of sections 1 through 4 of form PHS
398, the MMHRC organizational plan (including the Administrative Core
and the Methodology and Statistics Core) and the overarching research
plan should be considered one component with a 25-page limit.  A
maximum of 25 additional pages may be used for each research area that
the Center will address.

Application kits containing the necessary forms may be obtained from
business offices or offices of sponsored research at most universities,
colleges, medical schools, and other major research facilities.  If
such a source is not available, the following office may be contacted
for the necessary application material:

Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-05
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-4414

The signed original and five legible copies of the completed
application must be sent to:

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

Terms and Conditions of Support

Support may be requested for a maximum project period of five years.
Grant funds may be used for:

o  Support for resources essential to the MMHRC program including
salaries of personnel responsible for the management of the MMHRC,
including the Center Director

o  Support for resources shared across projects through the
coordinating center, such as equipment and personnel to provide
research design and statistical consultation, data base management
services, reference services, and scientific secretarial services

o  Expenses clearly related and necessary to conduct research projects

o  Support for individual projects at the developmental stage, which
can include salaries, supplies, travel, special consultations, and
publication costs

o  Direct costs which can be specifically identified with the project

o  Allowable indirect costs of the institution

o  Support for research-related treatment, rehabilitation, or
prevention services and programs may be requested only for costs
required by the research.  These costs must be justified in terms of
research objectives, methods, and designs which promise to yield
generalizable knowledge and/or make a significant contribution to
theoretical concepts.

o  Program enrichment activities such as special lectures or symposia

Grant funds may not be used for establishing, adding a component to, or
operating a treatment, rehabilitation, or prevention/intervention
service program or for formal training activities.

The MMHRC grant is neither expected nor intended to cover all of the
costs of a successful Center program.  The NIMH expects and encourages
the institution and personnel attracted to such Centers to actively
compete for and seek additional funding.

The MMHRC will be required to submit detailed annual progress reports,
including substantive information about research results to date,
status of ongoing research, research plans for the next year, and any
modification in long-term research plans.  Presentation in scientific
meetings and publication in refereed journals should be included.
Also, inventions reporting, financial status reports, final reports,
and other reports are required to be filed in accordance with PHS

Non-competing continuation application materials for years beyond the
initial year of support will be mailed automatically to grantees by the
NIMH Grants Management Branch.  Applications for continuation of
funding beyond the initial grant period must be reviewed by the
appropriate Initial Review Group and by the National Advisory Mental
Health Council.


Applications for all MMHRCs will be reviewed for scientific and
technical merit by an initial review group (IRG) composed primarily of
non-Federal scientific experts.  Final review is by the appropriate
National Advisory Council; review by Council may be based on policy
considerations as well as scientific merit.  By law, only applications
recommended for consideration for funding by the Council may be
supported.  Summaries of IRG recommendations are sent to applicants as
soon as possible following IRG review.

Review Criteria

Criteria to be considered in evaluating applications for
scientific/technical merit include:

o  Scientific, technical, or medical significance and originality of
the proposed research

o  Appropriateness and adequacy of the research approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research

o  Qualifications and research experience of the Principal
Investigators and staff, particularly but not exclusively in the area
of the proposed research

o  Availability of resources necessary to the research

o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research

o  Adequacy of the proposed means for protecting against or minimizing
adverse effects to human and/or animal subjects


The decision to fund applications will be based on a consideration of
the following criteria:

o  Scientific merit and quality of the proposed MMHRC as determined
during the review process

o  Availability of funds

o  Geographic distribution of MMHRCs

o  Program balance

Receipt and Review Schedule

All applications will be reviewed in accordance with the customary PHS
review schedule:

Receipt Dates       Initial     Advisory Council       Earliest
New/Renewal         Review           Review           Start Date

Oct 1/Nov 1*        Feb/Mar         May/Jun             Jul 1
Feb 1/Mar 1*        May/Jun         Sep/Oct             Dec 1
Jun 1/Jul 1*        Oct/Nov         Jan/Feb             Apr 1

*Competing continuations, supplemental, and revised applications are to
be submitted on these dates.

Applications received after a given receipt date will be held for the
next scheduled receipt date or returned to the applicant without


The NIMH program staff listed below may be contacted for further
information and assistance.  Potential applicants are encouraged to
contact the NIMH as early as possible for information and assistance in
initiating the application process and developing an application.

Division of Epidemiology and Services Research

The Division of Epidemiology and Services Research directs, plans,
supports, and conducts programs of research, research demonstrations,
research training, and resource development in prevention, clinical
services and service systems research, epidemiology, psychopathology,
assessment, classification, violence and traumatic stress, law and
mental health, and health and behavior, with special attention to
minority and other populations.

The Branches in the Division supporting investigator-initiated research

Prevention Research Branch
Services Research Branch
Epidemiology and Psychopathology Research Branch
Violence and Traumatic Stress Research Branch
Behavioral Medicine Research Branch


Ann A. Hohmann, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Services Research Branch
Division of Epidemiology and Services Research
Telephone:  (301) 443-3364

Division of Neuroscience and Behavior

The Division of Neuroscience and Behavior directs, plans, supports, and
conducts programs of research, research demonstrations, research
training, and resource development to further understand the etiology,
treatment, and prevention of mental disorders with a focus on:
behavioral and social sciences, cognitive sciences, neuroimaging and
neurosciences, and psychopharmacology, with special attention to
minority and other special populations.

The Branches in the Division supporting investigator-initiated research

Basic Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Research Branch
Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Research Branch
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Research Branch
Neuroimaging and Applied Neuroscience Research Branch
Personality and Social Processes Research Branch
Psychopharmacology Research Branch


Stanley F. Schneider, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Research Training
Division of Neuroscience and Behavior
Telephone:  (301) 443-4347

Division of Clinical and Treatment Research

The Division of Clinical Research directs, plans, supports, and
conducts programs of research, research demonstrations, research
training, and resource development in psychopathology, classification,
assessment, etiology, genetics, clincial course, outcome, and treatment
of mental disorders with emphasis on schizophrenic disorders, affective
and anxiety disorders, and mental disorders of children and
adolescents, the elderly, minorities, and other special populations.
The Division also coordinates the Institute's medications development

The Branches in the Division supporting investigator-initiated research

Schizophrenia Research Branch
Mood, Anxiety, and Personality Disorders Research Branch
Mental Disorders of the Aging Research Branch
Child and Adolescent Disorders Research Branch
Treatment Branch


Leonard Lash, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Research Training
Division of Clinical and Treatment Research
Telephone:  (301) 443-3264

To address correspondence to any of the above persons, use the
following address:

Title and/or Division (noted above in each program area)
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857

For further information on grants management issues, applicants may

Stephen J. Hudak
Chief, Grants Management Section
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-23
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-4456


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.242, Mental Health Research Grants.  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 announcement is not subject to the
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372, as
implemented through DHHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 100, or Health
Systems Agency review.


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