NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 8, February 26, 1993

PA NUMBER:  PA-93-057

P.T. 34



  Behavioral/Experimental Psychology 

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

  Disease Model 

  Physiology, Vertebrate 

  Cognitive Development/Process 

National Institute of Mental Health

National Institute on Aging

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


The purpose of this announcement is to facilitate a research area

that defines a comparative framework for understanding the neural

substrates of behavior, its principles, organization, and disorders.

Applicants are encouraged to consider the advantages of using animal

species representing different evolutionary levels including species

that expand the kinds of animals conventionally used in brain and

behavior research, as well as those that may require further

development as experimental models.


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, Comparative Approaches to Brain and Behavior, is

related to the fundamental research areas of the Decade of the Brain.

Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full

Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (Summary

Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of

Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325

(telephone 202-783- 3238).


Applications may be submitted by foreign and domestic, public and

private non-profit and for-profit organizations such as universities,

colleges, hospitals, laboratories, research institutions, units of

State and local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal

government.  Details of eligibility for the different funding

mechanisms vary.  Applicants are advised to contact the program

official listed under INQUIRIES for additional information on

specific application procedures.  Women and minority investigators

are encouraged to apply.


Regular research project (R01)

First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST, R29)

Small grant (R03, NIMH only)

Multi-institutional collaborative mechanisms (R10, NIMH only)

Program project (P01)

Individual pre-doctoral fellowships (NIMH only)

Individual post-doctoral fellowships (F series)

Career development awards (K series)

Institutional training grants (T series)



The comparative approaches that are encouraged here do not require

the incorporation of more than one species in any research project,

but it is hoped the research will facilitate broad consideration of

their similarities and differences.  Research grants under this

announcement will reveal, in many different species, the neural,

hormonal, social and experiential mechanisms underlying the

regulation, integration, control and dysfunctions of behavior over

the lifespan of the organism.  Research in the behavioral and brain

sciences indicates clearly that the brain provides the plasticity

needed to allow individuals to adjust appropriately to change across

the life-span.  A comprehensive comparative framework can provide

compelling insights into the workings of the brain - the singular

organ mediating rapid behavioral change and capable of coping with

great alterations in the external world.

The major purpose of this announcement is to emphasize NIH interest

in the following approaches to behavioral neuroscience research:

o  The use of comparative studies for understanding human behavior:

Research projects are sought that consider both similarities and

differences at all levels of organization among both closely and

distantly related species, including invertebrate species.

o  The exploration of the substrates of naturally occurring

behaviors:  Observations in an animal's species-typical setting are

encouraged that promote the validation and improvement of more

conventional laboratory animal models.  Complementary laboratory

studies are sought that promote the understanding and experimental

control of behavioral phenomena observed in the species-typical


o  The promotion of interdisciplinary bridges in behavioral

neuroscience research:  Studies are sought that combine, as

necessary, field and laboratory methods in modeling, ecology, social

processes, individual behavior, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry,

and biophysics.

The following examples of research topics reflect the breadth of

interests in the program.  They are not intended to be comprehensive

or exclusive:

o  The behavior and neurobiology of sexual development, social bond

formation, and social communication relevant to species survival

o  Neural and endocrinological substrates of social interactions

including territorial behavior, signaling, parental behavior, mating

behavior, play, and aggression

o  Identification of significant stimuli that elicit patterns of


o  Hierarchical control of behaviors by identified neurons including

both dynamic response sequences (grooming, escape, or predation) as

well as rhythmic responses (swimming or flying)

o  Homeostatic modulation of neural circuits controlling survival

behaviors such as feeding, drinking, and thermoregulation

o  Brain adaptations to and mechanisms of sleep/wake cycles,

hibernation, and circadian or other cyclic changes

o  Regulatory interactions among environmental, genetic,

neuroendocrine, and neuro-transmitter factors for the control of


o  Behavioral or cognitive regulation of an organism's sensory input

o  Determinants of sexual dimorphisms including their morphology,

development, and behavior

o  Experiential, social, and cognitive determinants of animal


o  Neural and multisensory integration of guided behavior, migration,

orientation, and electrolocation

o  Substrates of reward, motivation and emotion, brain localization

of responses to stress, fear, and anxiety

o  Behavioral constraints on the development and evolution of nervous


Applications may include any of a wide array of methods and

approaches, including, for example, behavioral, electrophysiological,

histochemical, neurochemical, neuroimaging, and neuro-pharmacological

techniques. Applications are also sought to promote enabling

technologies for behavioral neuroscience including biotelemetry for

in vivo measurements of neural activity in vertebrates and

invertebrates, brain-imaging during patterned response sequences, in

vivo electrochemistry measurements such as with voltammetry. The

studies can be conducted on humans and/or animals.





NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and

cooperative agreements are 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 must 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 must 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/ethic issues should be addressed in developing a research

design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of

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

(rev. 9/91) in Sections 1-4 of the Research Plan AND summarized in

Section 5, Human Subjects.  Applicants 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 population groups must be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research is defined as 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' populations, including


If the required information is not contained within the application,

the review will be deferred until the information is provided.

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



Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS

398 (rev. 9/91) and will be accepted at the standard application

deadlines indicated in the application kit.  Applications for

fellowship awards are to be submitted on PHS 416-1 (rev 10/91).

Applicants are advised to contact the program official listed under

INQUIRIES for procedural details related to specific applications.

Application kits are available at most institutional offices of

sponsored research and may be obtained from the Office of Grants

Inquiries, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of

Health, Westwood Building, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone

301/496-7441.  The title and number of the announcement must be typed

in section 2a on the face page of the application.

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**


The Division of Research Grants, NIH, serves as a central point of

receipt of applications for most discretionary PHS grant programs.

Applications received under this announcement will be assigned to an

initial review group (IRG) in accordance with established PHS

Referral Guidelines.  The IRGs, consisting primarily of non-Federal

scientific and technical experts, will review the applications for

scientific and technical merit.  Notification of the review

recommendations will be sent to the applicant after the initial

review.  Applications will receive a second-level review by the

appropriate Advisory Council whose review may be based on policy

considerations as well as scientific merit.  Applications recommended

for approval must receive Council concurrence for funding if in

excess of $50,000.  Criteria for scientific/technical merit review of

applications will include the following:

o  Past research training record for both the program and the

designated preceptors in terms of the rate at which former trainees

establish independent and productive research careers

o  Past research training record in terms of the success of former

trainees in obtaining individual awards such as fellowships, career

awards, and research grants for further development

o  Objectives, design, and direction of the research training program

o  Caliber of preceptors as researchers including successful

competition for research support

o  Training environment including the institutional commitment, the

quality of the facilities, and the availability of research support

o  Recruitment and selection plans for appointees and the

availability of high quality candidates

o  The record of the research training program in retaining health-

professional postdoctoral trainees for at least two years in research

training or other research activities

o  When appropriate, the concomitant training of health-professional

postdoctorates (e.g., individuals with the M.D., D.O., D.D.S.) with

basic science postdoctorates (e.g., individuals with a Ph.D., Sc.D.)

will receive special consideration

Following scientific-technical review, the applications will receive

a second-level review by the appropriate national advisory council."


Applications recommended for approval by the appropriate national

advisory council will be considered for funding on the basis of

overall scientific and technical merit of the research as determined

by peer review, Institute program needs and balance, and availability

of funds.


Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to

clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries about programmatic and technical issues to:

Israel I. Lederhendler, Ph.D.

Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science

National Institute of Mental Health

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11-102

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone:  (301) 443-1576

Fax:  (301) 443-4822

Bitnet:  ILU@nihcu, Internet:

Andrew Monjan, Ph.D.

Chief, Neurobiology of Aging Branch

National Institute on Aging

Gateway Building, Room 3C307

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-9350

Norman A. Krasnegor, Ph.D.

Center for Research for Mothers and Children

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

6100 Building, Room 4B05

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-6591

Herbert C. Lansdell, Ph.D.

Division of Fundamental Neurosciences

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Federal Building, Room 916

7550 Wisconsin Avenue

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-5745

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana Trunnell

Assistant Chief, Grants Management Branch

National Institute of Mental Health

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-15

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone:  (301) 443-3065


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

Part 74.


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