Full Text PA-97-052
 
ACADEMIC RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT AWARD
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 12, April 11, 1997
 
PA NUMBER:  PA-97-052
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Grants Administration/Policy+ 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 

 
National Institutes of Health
 
Application Receipt Dates:  June 25, 1997; September 25, 1997;
January 25, 1998, May 25, 1998
 
PURPOSE
 
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is continuing to make a
special effort to stimulate research in educational institutions that
provide baccalaureate training for a significant number of the
Nation's research scientists but that have not been major recipients
of NIH support.  Since Fiscal Year (FY) 1985, Congressional
appropriations for the NIH have included funds for this initiative,
which NIH has implemented through the Academic Research Enhancement
Award (AREA) program and an annual Request For Applications.  Since
it is anticipated that funds will continue to be available each year,
the NIH is now inviting applications for AREA grants (R15) through a
standing, ongoing Program Announcement.
 
AREA funds are intended to support new or ongoing health-related
research projects proposed by faculty members of eligible
institutions.  The AREA will enable qualified scientists to receive
support for small-scale research projects.  These grants create a
research opportunity for scientists and institutions otherwise
unlikely to participate extensively in NIH programs to participate in
the Nation~s biomedical and behavioral reserach effort.  It is
anticipated that investigators supported under the AREA program will
benefit from the opportunity to conduct independent research; that
the grantee institution will benefit from a research environment
strengthened through AREA grants and furthered by participation in
the diverse extramural programs of the NIH; and that students will
benefit from exposure to and participation in research and be
encouraged to pursue graduate studies in the health sciences.
 
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 PA,
Academic Research Enhancement Award, is related to the priority areas
of biomedial and behavioral science research.  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 202-512-1800).
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
Applicant Institutions:  All health professional schools and other
academic components of domestic institutions offering baccalaureate
or advanced degrees in the sciences related to health are eligible,
except those that have received research grants and/or cooperative
agreements from the NIH totaling more than $2 million per year (in
both direct and indirect costs) in each of four or more years during
the period from FY 1990 through FY 1996.  To verify the eligibility
of a school or component with regard to this requirement, applicants
should check the list of FY 1997 INeligible schools that is available
on the NIH Home Page on the World Wide Web (http://www/nih.gov) under
the Grants and Contracts sub-menu.  If the name of the school does
not appear on the list, it may be eligible to apply for AREA grants
in FY 1997.  For purposes of eligibility for the AREA program, the
following definitions apply:
 
o  "Health professional schools" (schools of medicine, dentistry,
osteopathy, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary medicine, public health,
optometry, allied health, and podiatry) means an accredited public or
non-profit private school that provides training leading to a degree
granted by that school, for example, a doctor of medicine, a doctor
of dentistry, or equivalent degree.  The term "accredited" means a
school or program that is accredited by a recognized body or bodies
approved for such purpose by the Secretary of Education.
 
o  "Research grants and cooperative agreements" include the following
activity codes ONLY:  K01, K02, K04, K05, K06, K08, K11, K12, K14,
K15, K16, K20, K21, P01, P40, P41, P42, P50, P60, R01, R03, R10, R15,
R21, R22, R23, R24, R29, R35, R37, R55, U01, U10, U24, U41, U42, and
U54.
 
o  "Other academic components" means all schools, departments,
colleges, and free-standing institutes of the institution EXCEPT the
health professional schools, taken as a SINGLE eligible component.
 
An applicant institution may submit several applications proposing
different research projects from different investigators.
 
Proposed Principal Investigator:
 
o  Must not be the principal investigator of any active NIH research
grant (including an AREA grant) at the time of award of an AREA
grant.
 
o  May not be awarded more than one AREA grant at a time.
 
o  May not submit an application to NIH for a research project grant
(e.g., R01, R03, R21,  R29) for essentially the same project proposed
in a pending AREA application.
 
o  Are expected to conduct the majority of their research at their
own institution, although limited use of special facilities or
equipment at another institution is permitted.
 
Scientists working in AREA-eligible, minority and women's educational
institutions are encouraged to participate in this program.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
The R15 mechanism is used to designate applications and awards for
AREA research grants to distinguish the special objectives of these
grants.  This award will enable scientists at eligible institutions
to receive support for small research projects as well as for
feasibility studies, pilot studies, and other small-scale programs
that would provide data preliminary to a traditional research project
grant.  Through this mechanism, a maximum of $75,000 in direct costs
plus indirect costs (at the rate negotiated for the institution) may
be awarded for a period of up to three years.  Allowable direct costs
include salaries for the principal investigator and other research
personnel, supplies, equipment, travel, and other items specifically
associated with the proposed research project.  In any one year of an
AREA grant, no more than $35,000 in direct costs may be requested.
If necessary, a no-cost extension of up to twelve months may be
requested by the institution to allow the principal investigator to
finish the proposed project.
 
Supplemental Funding of Existing Grants
 
The NIH recognizes the need to increase the number of
underrepresented minority scientists participating in biomedical and
behavioral research. As a result, the NIH is emphasizing the use of
administrative supplements to existing grants in order to attract
underrepresented minorities into biomedical and behavioral research.
See the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 22, No. 43, November
26, 1993, for a full discussion of this additional funding
opportunity and of procedures for submitting a request for a
supplement.  This information may also be obtained from the Office of
Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, Office of Extramural
Research, NIH, at the address listed under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.
 
Principal Investigators at domestic institutions who hold an active
NIH research grant (including an active AREA grant) are eligible to
submit a request for an administrative supplement to the awarding
component which issued the parent grant. For purposes of the active
AREA grant, the request will be to support a minority candidate who
is a high school or undergraduate student. Exceptions to this rule
may be made by the awarding component which issued the AREA grant.
 
The NIH recognizes also the need to extend opportunities to
individuals with disabilities who are capable of entering or resuming
research careers. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, a
"disabled individual" is one who has a physical or mental impairment
that substantially limits one or more major life activities, who has
a record of such impairment, or who is regarded as having such an
impairment. Accordingly, Principal Investigators of an active AREA
grant may submit a request for an administrative supplement for this
purpose also to the awarding component which issued the parent grant.
See the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 21, No. 3, January
24, 1992, for a full discussion of this additional funding
opportunity and procedures for submitting a request for a supplement.
This information may also be obtained from the Office of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources (see Inquiries below).
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
Background
 
The NIH is the principal research arm of the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS). At present, 21 awarding components (known as
Institutes or Centers) and several support and service divisions
constitute the NIH.  The NIH fosters the development of new knowledge
in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, the ultimate goal of which
is to combat disease and improve the health of mankind.  To achieve
its goals, NIH conducts research in its own laboratories and clinics,
and it funds research in research and academic institutions
throughout the world by means of grants, cooperative agreements, and
contracts.  The majority of grantees are academic institutions, but
other organizations (including for-profit organizations) participate
significantly in NIH-supported research.  The NIH provides funds for
research projects, research training, career development of new and
established scientists, and research and medical library resources.
 
Research grants represent the largest proportion of all NIH
extramural awards.  The research plan for each research grant
application is generated and developed by an investigator referred to
as the "principal investigator."  On behalf of the investigator, the
institution submits the grant application to the NIH for
consideration for support.  Principal investigators of NIH grant
applications are most frequently affiliated with universities or
medical schools, and most of them hold doctorate degrees.
 
The Division of Research Grants (DRG), a component of the NIH,
receives all grant applications submitted to the NIH for support,
assesses each one for relevance to the health mission of the NIH; and
assigns those that are acceptable to the appropriate scientific
review group (SRG) for initial scientific merit review, and to the
appropriate NIH awarding component for consideration for an award.
 
Since its inception, the NIH has used a dual peer review system for
the evaluation of applications.  This system, which has a statutory
base, ensures that only the most meritorious and relevant proposals
are considered for funding.  The first level of review involves
panels composed primarily of non-Federal experts, referred to as SRGs
or study sections, which are organized according to scientific areas.
These panels of experts render an impartial review and evaluation of
each application.  They consider not only the scientific merit of a
proposal, but also the background and experience of the principal
investigator, the research facilities available for the project, and
the appropriateness of the direct costs requested.
 
The second level of review is made by the National Advisory Council
or Board of the awarding component to which the application is
assigned.  These groups, composed of scientists, physicians, and
leaders in public affairs, are chosen for their expertise, interest,
or activity in
ing component's mission.  The council or board will take into account
the relevance of the goals of the ssion of the awarding component,
program balance, and the availability of funds.
 
The AREA program and its application, review, and award procedures
have been developed
within this established framework for NIH grant-supported research
activities.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
AREA grants will support small-scale, new or ongoing health-related
research projects, including pilot research projects and feasibility
studies; development, testing, and refinement of research techniques;
secondary analysis of available data sets; and similar discrete
research projects that demonstrate research capability.
 
Listed below, by awarding component, are research topics that may be
of particular interest to potential principal investigators under the
AREA program.  Also listed in the Inquiries section is the
appropriate awarding component program representative whom a
potential applicant is encouraged to contact for additional
scientific program information and for pre-application guidance.
 
The research objectives of the AREA program are those of the
individual NIH Institutes and Centers.  They are as follows:
 
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
 
The NIA is interested in, and has responsibilities for, aging
research that includes. fundamental studies of biological processes,
including studies of aging at the molecular, organelle, cellular,
organ, and organ system levels; the interaction of aging and diseases
of aging; biomedical and psychosocial factors in maintaining health
and effective functioning in the middle and later years, relevant
social and behavioral relationships; and research that broadens the
base of knowledge underlying adequate health services for the aging
and the aged.  The Institute is interested in normal physiological
and biochemical changes with aging, involving areas such as
immunology, neurobiology, endocrinology, nutrition, and exercise
physiology, as well as clinical diseases and disorders of aging such
as Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, falls, and
urinary incontinence.  The Institute also has responsibility for
research concerned with the biological, social, psychological,
cultural, and economic factors that affect both the process of
growing old and the status and roles of older people in society.
Under this broad mandate, health and wellbeing are viewed as the
outcome of complex biological, physiological, medical, psychological,
and socioenvironmental processes.
 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
 
The NIAAA supports basic and applied research on mechanisms of action
of alcohol on blobehavioral processes and effects of alcohol on the
mind and body.  Support is available to develop new knowledge in a
wide range of areas relevant to alcohol abuse and alcoholism;
biochemical, physiologic, and behavioral mechanisms leading to
pathologic drinking behavior; alcohol-induced organ damage; and
clinical, behavioral, and epidemiological studies that will lead to
more effective diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.  The NIAAA
supports alcohol-relevant research involving all of the life-science
disciplines.
 
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
 
The objective of NIAIID's research program is to acquire the
knowledge which will eventually lead to the treatment and prevention
of infectious, allergic, and immunologic diseases.  The Institute's
overall strategy of attacking the array of problems on a broad front
relies on free-ranging research in microbiology and includes the
following research problem areas:  isolation, characterization, and
biology of disease-causing microbes; antibiotic or drug resistance
among bacteria, viruses, and parasites; development of successful and
safe antimicrobial compounds, particularly for viruses and parasites;
and new approaches to understand and manipulate the immune system.
 
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
(NIAMS)
 
The NIAMS supports basic and clinical studies related to the
rheumatic diseases and to diseases and disorders of connective
tissue, bone, and skin.  Areas of research include:  inflammation,
infectious agents and genetic factors related to rheumatic diseases;
structure and function of cartilage and connective tissue; arthritis
in children; systemic lupus erythematosus; rheumatoid arthritis; -
osteoarthritis; spondylitis and related syndromes; gout and
pseudogout; the structure and function of skeletal muscle; bone
structure, formation, degradation and repair; osteoporosis;
biomaterials, biomechanics, and joint replacement; inherited
connective tissue diseases; bone immunology and transplantation;
metabolism of epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous fat; immunologically
mediated cutaneous disorders; photobiology, photoallergy, and
phototoxic reactions; vitiligo; psoriasis, bullous diseases of the
skin; and acne.
 
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
 
The NCI is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer
research and control.  Programs of the NCI focus on: (1) cancer
etiology including laboratory, field, and epidemiologic and biometric
research on the cause and natural history of cancer and means for
preventing cancer, as well as studies on the mechanisms of cancer
induction and promotion by chemicals, viruses, and environmental
agents; (2) cancer biology and diagnosis research in the areas of
cell biology, inununology, molecular biology, developmental biology,
biochemistry, genetics, and pathology; (3) cancer treatment research
in the areas of drug development, biological response modifiers, and
radiotherapy development, including diagnostic imaging and clinical
trials for curing or controlling cancer; and (4) cancer prevention
and control research, development, technology transfer,
demonstration, and education and information dissemination programs
to expedite the use of new information relevant to prevention,
detection, and diagnosis of cancer and pretreatment evaluation,
treatment, rehabilitation, and continuing care of cancer patients.
 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
 
The goal of NICHD's research programs is the improvement of maternal,
infant, and child health through support of basic and clinical
research to elucidate normal and abnormal growth, development, and
maturation, from gametogenesis through maturity.  To this end, NICHD
supports research in:  reproductive biology, chemistry, and medicine;
fertility regulation; contraceptive development and evaluation;
perinatology, pregnancy, and labor; developmental and clinical
genetics; population dynamics; developmental endocrinology; social,
cognitive, and
affective development; and the biological bases of behavioral
development.
 
The NICHD also supports biomedical and behavioral research on mental
retardation and developmental disabilities; pediatric, adolescent,
and maternal HIV infection and AIDS; and, in the context of its
National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD also
supports the development of medical, behavioral, psychological,
social, and technological interventions designed to optimize
functioning after impairment, disability, or handicap.
 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
(NIDCD)
 
Programs of the NIDCD focus on the identification, encouragement, and
support of research aimed at improved diagnosis, treatment, and
prevention of disorders of human communication.  This would include
research in all aspects of speech, hearing, language, equilibrium,
and the special senses (taste, touch, smell).  Basic and clinical
studies of anatomical, physiological, biochemical, behavioral,
acoustical and pathological aspects of communicative disorders and
otolaryngological diseases are encouraged.
 
National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR)
 
The mission of the NIDR is the advancement of knowledge concerning
the oral-facial complex in all of its aspects.  This includes the
conduct and support of research into the etiology, epidemiology,
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of such dental diseases as
caries and periodontal disease; increasing our knowledge about
craniofacial development and malformations; studies of various oral
soft tissue diseases, including herpes and oral cancer; and
increasing knowledge about orofacial pain and other oral sensory and
motor dysfunctions.  Cutting across these oral disease or dysfunction
areas are research activities in such areas as salivary glands and
secretions, mineralization and fluorides, tooth pulp biology,
nutrition, behavioral studies, and research related to dental
implants, replants, and transplants and to dental restorative
biologically comparable and derived materials.
 
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK)
 
The NIDDK conducts and supports research focused on a number of
diseases that are characterized by chronicity and long-term disabling
effects.  Areas of interest include: diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and
other errors of metabolism; diseases of the gastrointestinal tract,
including the liver and gallbladder; endocrine disorders; diseases of
the blood; kidney and urological diseases, and studies of nutrition
and nutrition-related disorders.  NIDDK's responsibilities in these
areas encompass investigations of etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis,
and treatment.
 
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
 
The research programs of the NIDA are devoted to increasing the
understanding of the causes and consequences of drug abuse.  This
goal is accomplished by support of extramural research projects that
improve and refine the methods for the assessment, treatment and
prevention of drug abuse.  The scientific studies supported are broad
and include:  fundamental studies on the mechanisms of action of
abused drugs; biochemical strategies for identifying and developing
successful drug abuse treatment agents; behavioral and clinical
pharmacology; services research; epidemiology, natural history and
prevention of drug abuse; treatment research; community-based
research on reduction of drug-taking behaviors; and studies of drug
abuse as a contributing factor in the AIDS epidemic.
 
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NEEHS)
 
The NIEHS is the principal Federal agency for biomedical research on
the effects of chemical, physical, and biological environmental
agents on human health and well-being.  The Institute supports
research and training focused on the identification, assessment, and
mechanism of action of potentially harmful agents in the environment.
Research results form the basis for preventive programs for
enviromentally-related diseases and for action by regulatory
agencies.  The NIEHS, thus, has responsibility for providing
knowledge to assist in societal decisions involving current and
future chemicals, processes, and other factors which may have impact
on human health either directly or indirectly by altering man's
environment.  This responsibility mandates efforts toward a thorough
understanding of the early manifestations and the mechanism of human
disease brought about by toxic agents and the development of more
accurate and more rapid methods to predict and assess the toxicity of
such agents.
 
National Eye Institute (NEI)
 
The mission of the NEI is to gain new knowledge concerning the normal
functions of the eye and visual system and the pathology of visual
disorders.  Working to this end, the NEI supports research and
research training aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis, and
treatment of visual disorders and fosters research in the
rehabilitation of the visually handicapped.  Both laboratory and
clinical research are funded under the following major NEI programs:
Retinal and Choroidal Diseases; Corneal Diseases; Cataract; Glaucoma;
Strabismus, Amblyopia and Visual Processing.  Within each program,
research ranges from attempts to elucidate the fundamental biological
processes that underlie disease to the development and clinical
testing of new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
 
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
 
The NIGMS supports non-disease-targeted research in the basic
biomedical sciences.  Research areas of interest include biophysics,
cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, pharmacology, and those
areas of chemistry which have relevance to biomedical problems.  The
emphasis is on understanding basic biological mechanisms,
particularly at the cellular, subcellular, and molecular levels.
 
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
 
The NHLBI supports basic and clinical research pertaining to the
structure, function, and diseases of the cardiovascular, pulmonary,
and blood systems.  The Institute's research program also includes
transfusion medicine and blood resources.  The NHLBI carries out its
mission through a number of research programs that provide support
for projects ranging from studies at the molecular level to whole
body studies in man and animals.  Examples of research areas
supported by the Institute include atherosclerosis, hypertension,
cerebrovascular disease (directed at the dependent variable of blood,
heart, or blood vessel), coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular
diseases, arrhythmias, heart failure, and shock, congenital and
rheumatic heart diseases, cardiomyopathies and infections of the
heart, circulatory assistance, structure and function of the lung,
chronic obstructive lung diseases, pediatric pulmonary diseases,
occupational and immunologic interstitial lung diseases, respiratory
failure, pulmonary vascular diseases, bleeding and clotting
disorders, disorders of the red blood cell, sickle cell disease, and
blood resources.
 
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
 
The NCHGR is currently engaged in a research program designed to
characterize the human genome and the genomes of selected model
organisms.  This research program has the following interrelated
goals:  the construction of high resolution genetic linkage maps; the
development of a variety of physical maps; the determination of the
complete nucleotide sequence of the DNA of selected organisms; the
development of the capability for collecting, storing, distributing,
and analyzing the data produced; and the development of appropriate
new technologies to achieve these goals.  This project will develop a
series of resources that will be available to the research community
to facilitate both basic research and the application of the
knowledge gained to the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of
disease.
 
National Institute of Mental Health (NINM)
 
The NIMH exerts leadership on behalf of the Nation's mentally ill
citizens by creating a firm scientific foundation for the clinical
care of mental disorders; by developing and assessing innovative
approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental
illnesses; and by exchanging information nationally and
internationally with all relevant individuals and organizations to
improve the state of mental health knowledge and its application.
The NIMH conducts and supports an integrated program of basic and
clinical research and research training in biology, neuroscience,
epidemiology, and psychology and other behavioral sciences, as well
as services research on the organization, administration, and
financing of mental health services and service systems.  These
studies include theoretical, laboratory, epidemiologic, clinical,
methodologic and field research on well and ill human subjects and
populations of all ages, and on animals where appropriate to the
research questions.
 
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
 
The NINDS serves as the focal point at the NIH for research on the
nervous system, including cerebrovascular disease (when the dependent
variable is the nervous system), the neuromuscular apparatus, and the
special senses of touch and pain.
 
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
 
The NINR supports research on the biological and behavioral aspects
of critical health problems that confront the Nation.  According to
its broad mandate, the Institute seeks to reduce the burden of
illness and disability by understanding and easing the effects of
acute and chronic illness;
to improve health-related quality of life by preventing or delaying
the onset of disease or slowing its progression; to establish better
approaches to promoting health and preventing disease; and to improve
clinical environments by testing interventions that influence patient
health outcomes and reduce costs and demand for care.  The NINR is
interested in studies containing innovative ideas and sound
methodologies in all aspects of nursing research consistent with its
mission.  Examples of areas of special interest include biobehavioral
aspects of pain; management of symptoms associated with specific
diseases or disorders; effects of life threatening illnesses;
prevention or reduction of risk factors, particularly in young
children; interactions among genetic factors, environment, and life
style; developmental issues related to life-stage transitions;
ameliorating effects of chronic illnesses; and health of minorities
and other underserved populations.
 
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
 
The objective of NLM's research program is the support of
investigations related to the generation, organization, and
utilization of health knowledge.  Such support may involve: (1)
medical informatics research, a branch of investigation of the
fundamental issues of health knowledge communication vis-a-vis
advanced computer technologies; (2) research in health science
librarianship and information science; or (3) assistance for the
preparation and publication of scientific works in the health area.
 
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
 
The NCRR administers programs that develop and ensure the
availability of resources essential to the efficient and effective
conduct of human health-related research.  NCRR programs are
primarily institutional in nature but, while support is generally in
the form of resource grants, the
NCRR makes awards for support of projects which contribute to
improvement of the capability of resources to serve biomedical
research.  The following are research areas appropriate to the NCRR
interests: (1) Research and Development in Instrumentation and
Specialized Technologies for Biomedical Research.  This encompasses
instruments, devices, and processes to facilitate research in
blomolecular and cellular structure and function. (Instrumentation
includes mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin
resonance, equipment for fast kinetic research, X-ray diffraction,
electron microscopy, and flow cytometry.) The application of computer
science, computer engineering, and biomedical engineering to
biomedical research problems is also of interest. (This includes
knowledge engineering, information technology, computer graphics,
image processing, computer modeling and simulation, task dedicated
computer systems, and development of implantable microsensors and
transducers.); (2) Research in Laboratory Animal Sciences. (This
includes the etiology, pathogenesis, and control of laboratory animal
diseases, as well as the environmental requirements of laboratory
animals.); and (3) Development of Biomedical Research Methods
Employing Lower Organisms, Tissues/Cells in Culture, or Mathematical
and Computer Simulations.
 
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
biiomedical and behavioral research projects involving human
subjects, unless a clear and compellling 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 "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH
Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
The PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) form must be used to apply for an AREA grant.
In addition, applicants must observe the supplemental instructions
for AREA applications contained in this Program Announcement, as the
instructions identify the AREA program as a "just-in-time" mechanism
and must be followed in preparing an application.  The PHS 398 form
may be downloaded from the NIH Home Page (http://www.nih.gov) from
the Grants and Contracts submenu.  It is also available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research, and may be obtained 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:
ASKNIH@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.
 
Supplemental Instructions
 
The Department of Health and Human Services has designated the NIH a
"reinvention laboratory."  One reinvention objective is to simplify
and improve all stages of the grant process:  application, review,
award, and administration.  The AREA program is one of the first NIH
programs where changes have been introduced that are designed to
reduce the administrative burden in applying for a grant without
compromising the information needed to assess the scientific and
technical merit of the proposed project and the reasonableness of the
proposed budget. The principle of "just-in-time" (JIT) is to avoid
asking for information until it is actually needed in the process.
As applied to the handling of AREA applications, JIT will postpone
until after an application has been reviewed for scientific merit the
collection of certain information that previously was required in all
competing applications at the time of submission.  Collection of the
information just in time for an award to be issued means that the
information will be current.  Moreover, the information is collected
only for those applications with a likelihood of funding, which
significantly relieve the administrative burden for the majority of
applicants.
 
The instructions below refer to items in the PHS 398 application form
where either the information requested has been modified or the item
should not be completed, although the information may be requested
after initial review by the NIH awarding component if there is a
likelihood that the  application will be funded.  The instructions
also indicate the information specific to AREA applications that must
be provided.  The Page Numbers in parentheses refer to the
instruction pages of the application kit.
 
GRANT APPLICATION"  - Face Page (AA):
Amended (revised) applications must indicate the number assigned to
the previous application in the block in the upper right corner.
Applicants may submit no more than two revised (amended) applications
within a time period of two years from the receipt date of the
initial, unamended application.
 
Item 2 -- Check the "YES" box and enter PA-97-** and "Academic
Research Enhancement Award."  (Page 7)
 
Item 3c -- Do not include the Social Security Number on the Face
Page; please include this information on the Personal Data Page.
 
Item 6 --The entire proposed project period must not exceed three
years.  (Page 9)
 
Item 7b -- Do not complete.  Indirect costs will be calculated at the
time of award using the institution~s actual indirect cost rate.
Identification of indirect cost exclusions will be requested at that
time.
 
Item 8a -- This amount must not exceed $75,000.  (Page 9)
 
Item 8b -- Do not complete.
 
DETAILED BUDGET FOR INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD - Form Page 4 (DD):
Do not submit this page.  It is not required, nor will it be accepted
at the time of application.  NIH may request this information just
prior to award.
 
BUDGET FOR ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT - Form Page 5 (EE):
o  Do not provide the Budget Category Totals (i.e., Personnel,
Consultant Costs, etc.); but, be sure to provide the "Total Direct
Costs" for each year and the "Total Direct Costs for Entire Proposed
Period of Support."
 
o  Begin the "Justification" in the space provided, and use
continuation pages as needed.
 
-  Name all personnel (salaried or unsalaried), their percent effort,
their role on the project, and provide a narrative justification
based on their role and percent effort;
 
- Name all consultants, their organizational affiliation, and
describe the services they will perform;
 
- For any major budget items other than personnel that are unusual
for the scope of the research, provide a narrative justification;
 
- If consortium/contractual costs are requested, provide the
percentage of the subcontract total costs (direct and indirect)
relative to the total direct costs of the overall project.  The
subcontract budget justification should be prepared according to the
instructions above.
 
With regard to all budget categories, if there are any unusual or
unusually high costs, provide an explanation.  (Page 14)
 
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - Form Page 6 (FF):
For each key person, include within the two-page limit, in addition
to the information required in the instructions, the research
projects they have completed and/or the research grants they have
participated in during the last five years that are relevant to the
proposed project (title, principal investigator, funding sources, and
role on project must be provided).
 
For the principal investigator only, on a third, continuation page,
provide information on his or her (a) experience in supervising
students in research, and (b) other relationships within the
institutional framework (e.g., cross-departmental research
collaborations), which are among the criteria on which the merit of
the application will be evaluated.  (Page 14)
 
OTHER SUPPORT - Format Page 7 (GG):
Do not submit this page.  This information may be requested by the
NIH awarding component if the application is likely to be funded.
(Page 14)
 
However, the Biographical Sketch for each key personnel should
include information on the other projects that the person is working
on or has worked on that are relevant to the proposed project (see
above).
 
RESOURCES (HH), Form Page 8:
In addition to the information requested under "Other" (Page 15),
provide:
 
o  a profile of the students of the applicant School/academic
component and any information or estimate of the number who have
obtained the baccalaureate degree and gone on to obtain an academic
or professional doctoral degree in the health-related sciences since
1986;
 
o  a description of the special characteristics of the
School/academic component that make it appropriate for an AREA award,
where the goals of the AREA program are to: (1) strengthen the
research environment of schools that are not research intensive; (2)
expose students at such institutions to research, and (3) provide
support for meritorious research.
 
o  a description of the likely impact of an AREA award on the
principal investigator and the School/academic component.  How will
the AREA award strengthen the research environment of the
School/academic component?  How will the AREA award expose students
to research at your institution?
 
o  a statement of institutional support for the proposed research
project (e.g., release time, other support, matching funds, etc.)
 
RESEARCH PLAN:
Do not exceed 20 pages for the entire Research Plan.  An appendix may
be included.  (Page 15)
 
o  Introduction --  An Introduction, not to exceed three pages, is to
be submitted only for a revised application.
 
o  Preliminary Studies/Progress Report  -- This section is optional
for new applications.  It is required for renewal (competing
continuation) applications; three to four pages are recommended and
the list of publications and inventions is not included in the 20
page limit for the Research Plan.  (Page 16)
 
o  Research Design and Methods -- There is no specific recommended
number of pages for this section.  However, the entire Research Plan
(including Specific Aims; Background and Significance; Preliminary
Studies/Progress Report, if used; and Research Design and Methods)
may not exceed 20 pages.  (Page 16)
 
APPENDIX:
May be submitted according to the instructions.  (Page 19)
 
CHECKLIST (II):
Do not submit this page.  A completed checklist will be required just
prior to award.
 
PERSONNEL REPORT (JJ):
Do not submit this page for competing continuation applications.
 
PERSONAL DATA PAGE (KK):
Please add the Social Security Number to the upper right hand corner.
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Applications will be accepted for the June 25, 1997, receipt date.
Thereafter, the regular receipt dates for AREA applications will be
January 25, May 25, and September 25.  Applications are submitted to
the NIH Division of Research Grants (DRG) and will be reviewed by DRG
review groups for scientific and technical merit according to
standard NIH peer review procedures, as described above (see
Background).  Applications will be assigned on the basis of
established Public Health Service referral guidelines.  As part of
the initial merit review, a streamlined review process, which is
employed for the review of most NIH research grant applications, will
be used.  Under this process, reviewers are asked to identify the
approximate upper half of applications.  These applications are
discussed at the review group meeting and receive a "priority score"
ranging from "best" (100) to "average" (250-300), while the lower
half of applications are normally not discussed nor given a priority
score.  Nevertheless, all applicants will receive summary statements
which will consist of the written critiques of two or more assigned
reviewers.
 
Following the initial scientific-technical review, applications
receive a second-level review by the appropriate national advisory
council.  In conformance with the spirit of the House Committee
Report 98-911 (to accompany H.R. 6028, HHS Appropriations for FY
1985), special consideration will be given in the funding decision
process to applications from those "smaller, less prominent, four-
year, public and private colleges and universities which provide
undergraduate training for a significant number of our nation's
research scientists but which have not shared adequately in the
growth of the NIH extramural program."  NIH implements this direction
through the following policy:  Among projects of essentially
equivalent scientific merit and program relevance, preference will be
given to those submitted by institutions that have granted
baccalaureate degrees to 25 or more individuals who have obtained
academic or professional doctoral degrees in the health-related
sciences during the period 1986-1996.
 
The standard NIH review schedule will apply to AREA grant
applications:
 
                              Cycle I     Cycle II    Cycle III
 
Application Receipt Date:     Jan 25      May 25      Sep 25
Scientific Merit Review:      Jun/Jul     Oct/Nov     Feb/Mar
Advisory Council Review:      Sep/Oct     Jan/Feb     May/Jun
Earliest Project Start Date:  Dec         Apr         Jul
 
Applications received for the June 25, 1997 receipt date will be
handled according to the schedule for Cycle II.  In 1998 and
subsequent years, the spring receipt date will be May 25.
 
Review Criteria:  In carrying out the scientific and technical merit
review of AREA applications, the scientific review group will take
into account:
 
(a) the significance, originality, and technical merit of the
proposed study, including, where appropriate, the project's potential
for contribution in meritorious, small-scale research;
 
(b) the adequacy of the methodology and the quality of any
preliminary data or, in the case of competitive renewals, the
progress report;
 
(c) the competency of the principal investigator and of any
collaborators and consultants, including academic qualifications,
research experience and expertise, productivity, any special
attributes, and the principal investigator~s experience in
supervising students in research;
 
(d) the facilities, resources, and environment of the applicant
institution (including existing relevant equipment, animal and/or
computer resources, and departmental or interdepartmental
cooperation); and the suitability of the applicant School/academic
component for an AREA award (the extent to which it fits the goals of
the AREA program, the likely availability of well-qualified students,
the evidence that students have in the past or are likely to pursue
careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences) and the likely
impact of an AREA award on the School/academic component in terms of
strengthening the research environment and exposing students to
research;
 
(e) the appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration,
including the justification for requested items in terms of the aims
and methods of the proposed study; and
 
(f) the adequacy of the proposed means for protecting against or
minimizing any adverse effects upon humans, animals, or the
environment, where an application involves such activities.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
AREA grants are awarded on a competitive basis.  The criteria for
funding decisions on individual applications will be based on the
proposed research project's scientific merit and its relevance to NIH
programs, and on the applicant institution's contribution to the
undergraduate preparation of doctoral-level health professionals.
Among projects of essentially equivalent scientific merit and program
relevance, preference will be given to those submitted by
institutions that have granted baccalaureate degrees to 25 or more
individuals who have obtained academic or professional doctoral
degrees in the health related sciences during the period 1986-1996.
Since a primary objective of the AREA program is to support
investigators at undergraduate institutions that provide student
training in the sciences, principal investigators are encouraged to
include the participation of students in the proposed research to the
extent practicable.  Both annual Progress Reports and a Final
Progress Report will be required of all AREA grantees.
 
INQUIRIES
 
Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome.
 
For inquiries of a scientific nature, potential applicants should
contact the Program Contact person for one or more of the Institutes
whose scientific interests are closest to those of the proposed
research (see Research Objectives section above):
 
National Institute on Aging
Program Contact:
Dr. Miriam Kelty
Associate Director, Office of Extramural Affairs
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C218
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Phone:  (301) 496-9322
FAX:  (301) 402-2945
E-mail:  mk46u@nih.gov
 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Program Contact:
Dr. Laurie Foudin
Division of Basic Research
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 402
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
Phone:  (301) 443-0912
Fax:  (301) 594-0673
E-mail:  lf29z@nih.gov
 
National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Program Contact:
Mr. Al Czarra
Director, Office of Program Coordination and Operations
Division of Extramural Activities
Solar Building, Room 3C28
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone:  (301) 496-7291
Fax:  (301) 402-0369
E-mail:  ac20a@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Program Contact:
Dr. Steven J. Hausman
Deputy Director
Building 31, Room 4C32
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Phone:  (301) 402-1691
Fax:  (301) 480-6069
E-mail:  sh4lg@nih.gov
 
National Cancer Institute
Program Contact:
Dr. Vincent T. Oliverio
Associate Director for Program Coordination
Division of Extramural Activities
Executive Plaza North, Suite 600
Bethesda, MD 20892-7405
Phone:  (301) 496-9138
Fax:  (301) 402-0956
E-mail:  vo3c@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Program Contact:
Dr. Yvonne Maddox
Deputy Director
Building 31, Room 2A-03
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
Phone:  (301) 496-0104
Fax:  (301) 402-1104
E-mail:  ym5n@nih.gov
 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Program Contact:
Dr. Jack Pearl
Division of Human Communication
Executive Plaza South, Suite 400-C
Bethesda, MD 20892-7180
Phone:  (301) 402-3464
Fax:  (301) 402-6251
E-mail:  jack_pearl@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Dental Research
Program Contact:
Dr. Norman S. Braveman
Assistant Director for Program Development
Building 45, Room 4AN-24
Bethesda, MD 20892-6401
Phone:  (301) 594-2089
Fax:  (301) 480-8318
E-mail:  nbl0u@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Program Contact:
Dr. Walter S. Stolz
Director, Division of Extramural Activities
Building 45, Room 6AS-25C
Bethesda, MD 20892-6600
Phone:  (301) 594-8834
Fax:  (301) 480-3504
E-mail:  ws23e@nih.gov
 
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Program Contact:
Dr. Teresa Levitin
Director, Office of Extramural Program Review
Parklawn Building, Room 10-42
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, NM 20857
Phone:  (301) 443-2755
Fax:  (301) 443-0538
E-mail:  tl25u@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Program Contact:
Dr. Jerrold Heindel
P.O. Box 12233, North Campus MD 3-03
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone:  (919) 541-0781
Fax:  (919) 541-2843
E-mail:  jhl90f@nih.gov
 
National Eye Institute
Program Contact:
Dr. Ralph J. Helmsen
Research Resources Officer
Executive Plaza South, Suite 350
Bethesda, MD 20892-7164
Phone:  (301) 496-5301
Fax:  (301) 402-0528
E-mail:  rh27v@nih.gov
 
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Program Contact:
Dr. Michael R. Martin
Deputy Associate Director for Extramural Activities
Building 45, Room 2AN-32K
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Phone:  (301) 594-3910
Fax:  (301) 480-1852
E-mail:  mm72k@nih.gov
 
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Program Contact:
Dr. Ronald Geller
Director, Division of Extramural Affairs
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7100
Bethesda, MD 20892-7922
Phone:  (301) 435-0260
Fax:  (301) 480-3460
E-mail:  rg33k@nih.gov
 
National Human Genome Research Institute
Program Contact:
Dr. Bettie J. Graham
Chief, Research Grants Branch
Building 38A, Room 610
Bethesda, MD 20894
Phone:  (301) 496-7531
Fax:  (301) 480-2770
E-mail:  bg30t@nih:gov
 
National Institute of Mental Health
Program Contact:
Dr. Richard Nakamura
Division of Extramural Activities
Parklawn Building, Room 9-105
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone:  (301) 443-3367
Fax:  (301) 443-0954
E-mail:  rn3p@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke
Program Contact:
Dr. Joseph S. Drage
Training and Special Programs Officer
Federal Building, Room 1016
Bethesda, MD 20892-9190
Phone:  (301) 496-4188
Fax:  (301) 402-4370
E-mail:  jd66x@nih.gov
 
National Institute of Nursing Research
Program Contact:
Dr. Lynn Amende
Director, Division of Extramural Activities
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
Bethesda, MD 20892-6300
Phone:  (301) 594-5968
Fax:  (301) 480-8260
E-mail:  lal8g@nih.gov
 
National Library of Medicine
Program Contact:
Dr. Roger W. Dahlen
Chief, Biomedical Information Support Branch
Building 38A, Room 5S522
Bethesda, MD 20894
Phone:  (301) 496-4221
Fax:  (301) 402-0421
E-mail:  rd57e@nih.gov
 
National Center for Research Resources
Program Contact:
Dr. Louise E. Ramm
Deputy Director
Building 12A, Room 4009
Bethesda, MD 20892-5662
Phone:  (301) 496-6023
Fax:  (301) 402-0006
E-mail:  lr34m@nih.gov
 
Questions regarding eligibility, policies, procedures, and other
administrative aspects of the NIH AREA program should be referred
first to the Office of Sponsored Programs at the educational
institution.  Issues that remain after consultation with the
institutional Office of Sponsored Programs and that are not addressed
in the AREA Program Guidelines may be directed to:
 
Dr. Janet M. Cuca
NIH AREA Coordinator
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6192
Bethesda, MD  20892
Phone:  (301) 435-2691
Fax:  (301) 480-8443
E-mail:  jc55g@nih.gov
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, No. 93.390.  Awards are made under the authority 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 in
accordance with the PHS Grants Policy Statement and Federal
regulations at 42 CFR Part 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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