SHORT COURSES ON MATHEMATICAL AND STATISTICAL TOOLS FOR THE STUDY
OF COMPLEX PHENOTYPES AND COMPLEX SYSTEMS

Release Date:  June 23, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PA-98-083

P.T.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Human Genome Research Institute

PURPOSE

Scientists studying complex phenotypes and/or complex systems must
have strong backgrounds both in biology and in the analysis and
interpretation of very complex data.  It is important that
biologists have a solid understanding of the available mathematical
and computational tools so that they can use the tools
constructively.  Biologists may also require instruction in the
language and applications of mathematics and statistics in order to
collaborate with mathematicians about biological complexity. 
Scientists with mathematical skills who wish to apply their
knowledge to studies of complexity may also require instruction on
the nature, issues, and language of biological research.  The
purpose of this program announcement is to provide support for
short courses or workshops to assist scientists in preparing for
research on complex phenotypes and complex systems.

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, Short Courses on Mathematical and Statistical
Tools for the Study of Complex Phenotypes and Complex Systems, is
related to several of the priority area.  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

Applications may be submitted by domestic non-profit and for-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, research laboratories, units of State and local
governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal Government.
Foreign organizations are not eligible to apply for these grant
awards.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons
with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal
investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This program announcement solicits applications for education
grants (R25), which provide for one to five years of support for
short courses. Support will be limited to courses that are highly
focused and that reach a wide audience of scientists.  The program
announcement is NOT intended for university course or curriculum
development.  Requests for equipment should be accompanied by a
strong justification.

Facilities and Administrative costs, formerly known as indirect
costs, may be allowed based on 8% of total direct costs exclusive
of tuition and fees (including any health insurance fees) and
expenditures for equipment.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Progress in several important scientific disciplines depends
heavily on investigators who are skilled in the use of
mathematical, computational, and statistical approaches.  This is
especially true for two emerging areas -analyses of complex
phenotypes and complex biological systems.  Scientists working in
these areas study simultaneously many factors and systems that may
interact in unpredictable ways.  The analytical, mathematical, and
modeling tools they need are sophisticated and must be applied with
skill.  Scientists, especially those dealing with human medical
data, need to be aware of the assumptions, advantages, and
limitations of these approaches.  Scientists with mathematical or
computational backgrounds and who wish to apply their skills to
studies of biological complexity may need to develop a deeper
understanding of biology.

A variety of approaches will be considered.  The nature of the
activity, the needs of the target community, and the course goals
should determine the instructional approach.  These might include
new approaches, such as Web-based instruction, or more traditional
approaches, such as summer workshops or on-site instruction.

All applications must include plans to evaluate the effectiveness
of the proposed program.  Both formative and summative evaluation
plans must be presented in the application.

Applications that would be responsive to this announcement might
include, but are not limited to, the following kinds of activities:

o  Statistical genetics aimed at human geneticists;

o  Computational approaches to the analysis or modeling of complex
genetic data;

o  Engineering approaches to the determination of intermediate flux
through multicomponent pathways;

o  Issues of genomic analysis aimed at mathematicians and
computational scientists;

o  Use of phylogenetic and cladistic tools for modeling population
structure and evolution;

o  Use of various software packages for "data mining" of genetic
and macromolecular databases.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Application are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 5/95) and will be accepted on the standard application
deadlines as indicated in the application kit.  Applications kits
are 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: grantsinfo@nih.gov.

Only applications that propose courses within the programmatic
areas described by this program announcement will be accepted. 
Applications must be identified by marking the "YES" box and typing
the number and title of this program announcement in section 2 of
the face page of the PHS 398 application. This will facilitate the
assignment of the application by the Referral Office.

Specific Instructions

1. Application face page: item number two on this page must include
the program announcement number and the title.

2. Resources (form page 8): describe the educational environment;
include a description of the facilities, laboratories,
participating departments, computer services, and any other
resources to be used in the conduct of the proposed program.  Use
continuation pages, as necessary.

3. Research Plan: part "c" of this section should be retitled
"Preliminary Data and Activities" and included if applicable.  This
section should contain information on steps that have led to the
proposed education project.  Future competitive renewals should
include a section entitled "Progress Report."

4. Research Plan: part "d" of this section should be retitled
"Education Program Plan" and should contain material organized
under the following subheadings, as appropriate to the specific
project:

o  Program Direction - describe arrangements for administration of
the program; provide evidence that the Program Director is actively
engaged in research and/or teaching, and can organize and
administer the education program, as well as evidence of
institutional and community commitment and support for the proposed
program.

o  Program Faculty/Staff - describe the characteristics and
responsibilities of the faculty; provide evidence that
participating faculty and preceptors are actively engaged in
research or other scholarly activities.

o  Proposed Education Program - provide programmatic details on the
special activities proposed.

o  Program Participants - provide details about the proposed
participants; include a description of plans for recruiting as
participants individuals from underrepresented minority groups.

o  Education Evaluation Plan - include evaluation plans for
determining success of the program in achieving its goals and
objectives.

o  Research Plan: if applicable, under part "h" of this section,
"Consortium/Contractual Arrangements," include a description of
plans for collaborating with other institutions for purposes of
exchange and sharing of resources, including faculty, equipment,
and facilities.

Allowable Costs

Allowable costs must be consistent with PHS policy and be
reasonable, allocable, and well justified for the education
program:

Personnel costs - faculty members participating in the design and
implementation of the education program may request salary and
fringe benefits appropriate for the percent of time devoted to the
program.

Administrative and clerical salary costs associated with the
program may be direct charges to the grant only when specifically
identified and justified as reflecting significantly greater effort
than the level of such services routinely provided by academic
departments.  Requests for consultants cost, equipment, supplies,
necessary travel (including foreign travel for uniquely qualified
foreign faculty), and other project related expenses must be
justified as specifically required by the program proposed and must
not duplicate items generally available at the institution for
educational programs.

Attendance - participants in the education program may receive
subsistence allowance that includes costs of meals and lodging
(unless furnished as part of the fee for registration).  They may
also receive partial tuition, other education-related and travel
expenses, including foreign travel, if strongly justified.

Schedule

Submit a signed, typewritten, single-sided original of the
application and five signed photocopies in one package to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR).  Incomplete applications
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. 
Application will be assigned on the basis of established PHS
referral guidelines.  Applications that are complete and within the
scope of this program announcement will be evaluated for scientific
and technical merit by an appropriate peer review groups convened
by the CSR in accordance with the standard NIH peer review
procedures.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications
will receive a written critique and may undergo a process in which
only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit
will be discussed and assigned a priority score.  All applications
will receive a second level of review by the appropriate national
advisory council or board.

Because not all NIH Institutes and Centers are participating in
this initiative and because some non-participating NIH Institutes
and Centers do not use the R25 funding mechanism, applications for
programs that are not within the scope of this program announcement
may be returned to the applicant.  Applicants are strongly urged to
contact program staff listed under INQUIRIES before submission of
the application to discuss the responsiveness of the proposed
activity.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our
understanding of biological systems, improve the control of
disease, and enhance health.  In the written review, comments on
the following aspects of the application will be made in order to
judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a
substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of the
following criteria will be addressed and considered by the
reviewers in assigning the overall score weighting them as
appropriate for each application.

o  Significance. Is the activity responsive to the needs of the
targeted community? If the aims of the application are achieved,
how will scientific knowledge and expertise be advanced?

o  Approach. Are the conceptual framework, design, and methods
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the goals
of the announcement?  Does the investigator propose a thorough
evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed course?  How will
evaluation results drive changes in future efforts?

o  Innovation.  Does the activity employ state-of-the-art concepts,
approaches, or methods?

o  Investigator.  Is the principal investigator appropriately
trained and well suited for the project?  Is the faculty similarly
well qualified?  Does the faculty's expertise constitute the
appropriate balance for the educational objectives?

o  Environment.  Does the scientific environment in which the work
will be done contribute to the probability of success? Is there
evidence of institutional support?  Do the faculty have sufficient
expertise to accomplish the goals of the project?  Does the project
include plans for recruiting participants and workshop faculty,
including minorities, people with disabilities, and women?

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other
approved applications.  The following will be considered in making
funding decisions:

o  the quality of the proposed course of study as determined by
peer review

o  balance among the proposed courses in addressing a variety of
needs of supported research areas and their complementarity to
other ongoing efforts;

o  availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Written, telephone, and email inquiries concerning this program
announcement are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues
or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Irene Anne Eckstrand, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.25K
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-0943
FAX:  (301) 480-2228
Email:  Irene_Eckstrand@nih.gov

Harold Gordon, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, 10A46
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-4877
FAX:  (301) 443-6814
Email:  hg23r@nih.gov

Walter L. Goldschmidts, Ph.D.
Division of Basic and Clinical Neurosciences Research
National Institute of Mental Health
Parklawn Building, Room 11-103
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3563
FAX:  (301) 443-1731
Email:  wg8u@nih.gov

Catherine McKeon, Ph.D.
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 5AN.18B, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8810
FAX:  (301) 480-3503
Email:  Catherine_McKeon@nih.gov

Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research
National human Genome Research Institute
Building 38A, Room 610, MSC 6050
Bethesda, MD  20892-6050
Telephone:  (301) 496-7531
FAX:  (301) 480-2770
Email:  bettie_graham@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Marcia Cohn
Grants Management Office
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.24C
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-5135
FAX:  (301) 480-1969
Email:  cohnm@nigms.nih.gov

Gary Fleming, J.D., M.A.
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-6710
FAX:  (301) 594-6847
Email:  gf6s@nih.gov

Ms. Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
Parklawn Building, Room 7C-08
Bethesda, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  diana_trunnell@nih.gov

Ms. Kim Law
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8869
Email:  Lawk@extra.niddk.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance Nos. 93.821, 93.850, 93.862, 93.172, 93.273, 93.242, and
93.847.  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 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- 27, 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.


Return to Volume Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.