NRSA INSTITUTIONAL TRAINING GRANTS FOR ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCYSYNDROME



NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 19, May 21, 1993



PA NUMBER:  PA-93-087



P.T. 44



Keywords:

  AIDS 

  Biomedical Research Training 



National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

National Institute of Mental Health



PURPOSE



The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and

the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invite applications

from institutions to develop or enhance research training for

pre-doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in specific targeted

areas of HIV and AIDS research.  Prior to preparing an application,

prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the

NIH staff.



HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000



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, NRSA Institutional Training Grants for Acquired

Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is related to the priority area of HIV

infection.  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).



ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS



Applications may be submitted by domestic non-profit private and

public institutions to support research training programs.  The

applicant institution must have the staff and facilities required for

the proposed program.  The training program director at the

institution will be responsible for the selection and appointment of

trainees to receive support and for the overall direction of the

program.



The individuals to be trained on a National Research Service Awards

(NRSA) training grant must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of

the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent

residence (i.e., in possession of the Alien Registration Receipt Card

1-551 or 1-151) at the time of appointment.  Individuals on temporary

or student visas are not eligible.  NRSA research training grants may

not be used to support studies leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S.,

D.V.M., or other similar health-professional degree. Programs able to

provide predoctoral and concomitant postdoctoral training to Ph.D.s,

M.D.s, and D.V.M.s are encouraged.



MECHANISM OF SUPPORT



The mechanism of support for this program announcement will be the

National Research Service Award institutional training grant (T32)

and institutions are subject to the eligibility and evaluation

criteria developed for that award.  Institutions may request support

for pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral trainees, and short-term

research training.  Institutions are encouraged to develop strong

multi-year research training plans.  Stipends will be awarded at

levels in accordance with NIH policy at the time of award and may be

supplemented from non-Federal sources.  Training related expenses,

tuition and fees, and travel expenses may also be requested for

trainees, although the levels vary depending on the type of training

to be supported.  It is anticipated that the size of awards will

vary.



RESEARCH OBJECTIVES



The NIAID and the NIMH are committed to increasing the number of

well-trained health professionals and basic scientists capable of

conducting high quality research in areas of HIV infection and AIDS.

The objective of this Program Announcement is to promote basic and

clinical research training of Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral

training in HIV and AIDS research.  An applicant institution should

describe a program within the following guidelines:



o  Training may be for predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows

(e.g., Ph.D., D.V.M. or M.D.), or both.  Predoctoral trainees should

be appointed to a minimum of two and a maximum of five years,

postdoctoral trainees to a minimum of two and a maximum of three

years.



o  Training should take place in an environment committed to focused

interdisciplinary collaboration among investigators active in the

fields of HIV and AIDS research.  The training program should include

a range of disciplines requisite for the development of

multidisciplinary research skills.



o  Training programs are encouraged that include research scientists

who collaborate with clinicians treating HIV- infected patients.  It

is important that trainees recognize that an important goal of their

research efforts is to cure and/or prevent AIDS.



It is expected that pre-doctoral students will be provided with

prerequisite basic science training in HIV and AIDS research

including didactic courses in such disciplines as molecular biology,

microbiology, immunology, and other related fields.  Areas of

research training include, but are not limited to, the following:



o  Molecular biology of HIV, viral entry, replication, role of viral

and cellular genes in integration and virus activation, and virus

assembly



o  Mechanisms by which HIV causes defects or dysregulated

lymphocyte/thymocyte differentiation, including effects on T cell

signalling and T cell receptors



o  Mechanisms by which HIV causes immune dysfunction, CD4+ cell

depletion, functional alteration of CD4+ and CD8+ cells, or

disruption of normal immune mechanisms at regional mucosal sites



o  Studies on the effects of HIV variants on tropism, drug

resistance, and vaccine strategies



o  Host factors, including genetic factors, that may either impede or

enhance immune deficiency



o  Humoral and cellular immune responses to HIV infection, and

potential strategies for enhanced and/or selective immune protection



o  Novel recombinant vectors and/or AIDS vaccine formulations

designed to induce protective mucosal immunity



o  Correlates of protection of HIV infected individuals from

progressing to AIDS and causes of disease progression



o  Mechanisms of HIV neuropathogenesis



o  Biological and cellular factors influencing HIV sexual

transmission



o  The biology, virology, and immunology of mother-to-infant HIV

transmission; strategies to prevent viral transmission



o  Strategies for effective structure based drug discovery to HIV and

opportunistic agents; mechanisms of drug resistance; biochemistry and

pharmacology of novel therapeutic agents



o  Development of research skills in clinical studies on HIV and

AIDS.  These include: epidemiology, surveillance, natural history and

transmission studies, biostatistics, theoretical fundamentals of

clinical research design, protocol development, regulatory

requirements, clinical research execution, data collection, quality

assurance and data management. The intent is not to support clinical

trials, although a trainee may participate in the conduct of such

studies.



o  Development and use of animal models for the study of HIV-mediated

pathogenesis



SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS



All pre- and postdoctoral trainees supported by the NIAID training

grants are required to attend "The Annual AIDS Fellows Meeting"

sponsored by the NIAID.



An annual Progress Report on the achievements attributable to the

research training program must include an update on the success in

recruiting trainees, including under-represented minorities in AIDS

research (i.e., Native Americans including Americans Indians and

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

specifically addressing their degree status and extent of

participation.



Institutions should provide assurance that they will track the

careers of all trainees supported by this program for 10 years

post-completion of their training.  Additional special reporting

requirements may be necessary from time to time to document

fulfillment of the stated objectives under this PA.



APPLICATION PROCEDURES



Additional instructions for preparing the application for an NRSA

institutional training grant are found at the end of form PHS 398

(rev. 9/91) under the tab: "Institutional National Research Service

Award".  These instructions should be carefully followed in preparing

an application.  For any clarification of these instructions, consult

staff listed under INQUIRIES, below.  In addition to following the

specific instructions provided under "Research Training Program

Plan", applicants are particularly reminded about the requirement for

active recruitment of minorities as trainees, as well as the

requirement to describe plans for instructions on the responsible

conduct of research.



Minority Recruitment Plan: in addition to the specific instructions

in item 3, page 5 of form PHS 398 (Recruitment of Individuals from

Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups) and the NIH Guide for Grants

and Contracts, Vol. 18, No. 20, June 9, 1989, the following

information may be helpful in preparing this section of the

application.  Potential mechanisms for minority recruitment may

include, but are not limited to: advertisements actively recruiting

minorities to the program; posters and flyers actively recruiting

minorities; visits by the program to minority institutions;

cooperative programs with minority institutions; procedures to

identify minority applicants; mailings to minorities on various

lists; invitations to prospective minority applicants using

institutional funds.  Applications without such specific plans will

be deferred until such plans are provided.



Responsible Conduct of Research:  applicants as announced in the NIH

Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 21, No. 43, November 27, 1992,

are strongly encouraged to consider instruction in the following

areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for

handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of human and animal

subjects, and data management.  Applications without plans for

instruction on the responsible conduct of research will be considered

incomplete and returned without review.



Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS

398 (rev. 9/91).  Application kits are available from most

institutional offices of sponsored research and may be obtained from

the Office of Grants Inquiries, Division of Research Grants, National

Institutes of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD

20892, telephone (301) 435-0714.



Institutional Research Training Grant Applications may be submitted

for the NIAID on January 10, May 10, and September 10; and for the

NIMH on May 10 of each year.  Applications submitted in response to

this announcement must be identified by typing the title and number

of the announcement in Section 2a of the face page, and the "YES"

boxed marked.



The budget should include a request for travel funds for trainees in

the application for both "The Annual AIDS Fellows Meeting" sponsored

by the NIAID and an optional AIDS-related scientific meeting of the

applicants' choice.  The request for funds for both meetings should

include an itemized breakdown of costs and must not exceed $2500 per

trainee a year.



The typed original application and five signed exact single-sided

photocopies must be sent or delivered to:



Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD 20892**



REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS



Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS

Referral Guidelines.  Applications will be reviewed for scientific

and technical merit by the review committee of the institute to which

the application is assigned, followed by a second level review by the

appropriate advisory council.  The following review criteria used by

initial review groups in reviewing NRSA Institutional Training

applications are given in the booklet "National Research Service

Award for Institutional Training Grants (T32)," dated March 20, 1992,

available from the Office of Grants Inquiries at the address listed

under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.  In addition, the applications will be

judged on the following criteria:



o  The proposed or ongoing research programs and the role of the

trainees in these programs

o  Multi-disciplinary nature of proposed program

o  Scientific environment and active resources of the participating

faculty and the applicant institution, including current AIDS

research support

o  Cohesiveness of training program, including mechanisms for

promoting interdisciplinary exchange of information such as seminar

series, journal clubs, laboratory rotations, and research

presentations

o  The applicant's ability to attract high-caliber trainees



o  Qualifications of the training faculty, the relevance of their

current research activities to AIDS research, and their previous

research training experience

o  Relation of the proposed program goals to the need for research

personnel



AWARD CRITERIA



Applications will compete for available funds with other NRSA

institutional research training applications of substantial and

significant merit.  The following will be considered in making

funding decisions:  scientific and technical merit of the application

as determined by peer review; availability of funds; program balance

among research areas of the announcement.



INQUIRIES



Written and telephone inquiries concerning the objectives and scope

of this announcement are encouraged and may be directed to:



Opendra K. Sharma, Ph.D., or Gregory Milman, Ph.D.

Pathogenesis Branch/DAIDS

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Solar Building, Room 2B-35

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-8378

FAX:  (301) 480-5703



Leonard Mitnick, Ph.D.

Office on AIDS

National Institute of Mental Health

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-99

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone:  (301) 443-7281

FAX:  (301) 443-9719



Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:



Ms. Jane Unsworth

AIDS Grants Management Section

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Solar Building, Room 4B-25

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 496-6177



Ms. Diana Trunnell

Grants Management Branch

National Institute of Mental Health

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-15

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone:  (301) 443-3065

FAX:  (301) 443-9719



AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS



This program is described in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic

Assistance Nos. 93.282, 93.855, and 93.856.  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 at 42 CFR Part 66.  This program is not subject to the

intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or

Health Systems Agency review.



.




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