INDIVIDUAL POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS IN GENOMICS AND RELATED ELSI TOPICS

Release Date:  June 30, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PA-99-122

National Institute for Human Genome Research
National Cancer Institute
National Institute of Environmental Sciences
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institute of Nursing Research

Application Receipt Dates:  August 5; and December 5; April 5

This Program Announcement replaces PA-97-028, which appeared in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, Vol. 26, No. 5, January 31, 1997.

PURPOSE

Scientist and scholars who are well-trained in one or more of a variety of
disciplines will be needed to accomplish the goals of the Human Genome Project
(HGP) and to use the knowledge, resources and data that will be generated for
further research.  Further, as more institutes and centers at the NIH begin to
develop additional similar projects, such as the Environmental Genome Project,
functional genomics projects, etc. that will use the resources generated by the
HGP, the need for additional interdisciplinary-trained scientists will only
increase.  To ensure that there is a trained cadre of scientists to take
advantages of the resources being generated by the HGP, several NIH institutes
are announcing the availability of individual postdoctoral fellowships.  The
purpose of these fellowships will be to train scientists who will have the multi-
disciplinary skills that will enable them to engage in research to accomplish the
short- and long-term objectives of the HGP and similar genomic projects and to
take full advantage of the resulting genomic data and resources to solve
biomedical and bioethical problems.  Broad areas of research that are relevant
include genomic analysis (including technology development) and the ethical,
legal and social implications of human genetics research.

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, Individual
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Genomics and Related ELSI Topics, 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) or electronically:
(http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Individuals must meet the criteria for the NIH National Research Service Awards
for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32) described in program announcement PA-
99-025, available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (release date
December 11, 1998; available at 
http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-99-025.html).  
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply.  By the time of award, individuals must be
citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully
admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently
valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such
status).  Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying
possessions of the United States (i.e., American Samoa and Swains Island).
Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Scientists and scholars at all career levels are encouraged to apply for these
fellowships.  Moreover, an individual who has already completed one postdoctoral
fellowship in another scientific discipline may be eligible for a waiver of the
three-year limit on NRSA support so that the individual can be awarded a
postdoctoral fellowship in genomic or ELSI research, if the additional training
can be justified in the context of the individual's future commitment to pursuing
a career in genomic or ELSI research.

Before an NRSA award can be activated, the individual must have received a
doctoral degree or its equivalent to be eligible for an individual postdoctoral
fellowship (F32).  To be eligible for a senior fellowship (F33), individuals must
have received a doctoral degree and must have had at least seven subsequent years
of relevant research or professional experience.  Individuals who have had a
hiatus in their research career may also apply for an NRSA fellowship to develop
skills or to update their knowledge in a particular area.

Sponsorship:  Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant must
identify a sponsoring institution and an individual who will serve as a sponsor
(also called mentor or supervisor) and will supervise the training and research
experience. The sponsoring institution may be private (profit or nonprofit) or
public, including the NIH Intramural Programs and other Federal laboratories. 
The applicant's sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the
proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate's research. The
sponsor must document the availability of staff, research support, and facilities
for high-quality research training.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support for fellowships will be provided through the F32 and F33 mechanisms of
the National Research Service Award (NRSA).  The stipend levels for the
individual postdoctoral fellowships range from $26,256 to $41,268 depending on
the number of years of relevant experience subsequent to the award of the
doctoral degree.  The stipend level for senior fellowships is $41,268 per annum. 
In addition, the individual may request an institutional allowance for supplies,
equipment, travel, insurance, and other training-related expenses (NIH Guide,
Vol. 26, No. 1, January 10, 1997
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not97-002.html). 
Tuition and fees are no longer a part of the institutional allowance and can be
requested separately in accordance with the NIH policy (NIH Guide, Vol. 25, No.
2, February 2, 1996 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not96-020.html).  
Individual postdoctoral fellowships are made for project
periods of up to three years.  Postdoctoral fellows supported under the National
Research Service Award Program are subject to payback provisions in accordance
with NRSA regulations and guidelines.  Details about the policies and payback
provisions governing payback requirements are posted on the NIH website:
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_IV.htm.

Additional information about NRSA Guidelines and NIH Grants Policy Statement
(10/1/98) can be obtained from the following website:
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm.

BACKGROUND

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is engaged currently, along with several
other federal, private, and international organizations, in a research program
to characterize the human genome and the genomes of selected model organisms. 
The HGP has the following interrelated goals: the determination of the complete
nucleotide sequence of human DNA and the DNA of several model organisms; the
development of new technologies to make sustained high throughput DNA sequencing
efficient, accurate and cost effective; the exploration of human genome sequence
variation; the development of technologies for interpreting the function of DNA
sequence; the identification and analysis of related ethical, legal, and social
issues; and the development of training and career development programs to ensure
that there will be adequately trained scientists and scholars to develop and
utilize the products emanating from the HGP and to address the related ELSI
issues.  The products of the HGP will be information and material resources, as
well as new technologies, that will be available to the entire research community
to facilitate further research leading to the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy
of disease, as well as to further understanding of human biology.

The Human Genome Project is opening up new approaches to molecular medicine.  To
take advantage of these new approaches for attaining solutions to biomedical
problems, research methods of the biological sciences will need to be augmented
by and complemented with the approaches and methods of the mathematical,
chemical, physical and engineering sciences.  There is a critical shortage of
scientists with the appropriate complementary skills to bring such multi-
disciplinary approaches to genomic research.  Individuals capable of developing
new technology and tools are needed, as are molecular biologists who are capable
of taking multi-disciplinary approaches and using the resources provided by the
HGP to address important biomedical and biological research problems.  In the
Fall of 1998, the NHGRI and DOE published a new five year plan (Science, Vol.
282, p 682, October 23, 1998 and http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/98plan/). The
development of technology for mapping and sequencing will continue to be areas
of emphasis.  New technological areas of interest will include the interpretation
of genomic sequence, the study of sequence variation and the analysis of gene
expression.  From this biological research, there arise multiple ethical, legal
and social issues that are best explored using multidisciplinary approaches.

Research Objectives

The goal of the Fellowship Program in the area of genomic analysis and technology
is to train highly skilled scientists who will use the expertise gained to
develop research programs in the mapping and sequencing of the human genome and
the genomes of other organisms, in sequence variation, in the analysis and
interpretation of the resulting data, and in the development of biological,
medical or biotechnological applications based on the data, or in the development
of technologies to support any of this research.

The goal of the Fellowship Program in the area of ethical, legal and social
implications of human genetics research is to increase the number of scholars who
are knowledgeable in both genomic science and in social science, law, or
philosophy so that they can apply this knowledge in the examination of the
ethical, legal and social implications of human genetics research.

Fellowships will be supported in the following areas:

A.  Genomic Analysis and Interpretation

o  molecular biologists and geneticists who wish to be trained in the areas of
genomic analysis or other technical areas relevant to genome research;

o  molecular biologists and geneticists who wish to increase their competency in
bioinformatics by taking a Master's Degree in computer science or related field
as part of their postdoctoral training;

o  non-biologists, such as those with degrees in the mathematical, physical,
chemical, engineering, and/or computer sciences, who wish to obtain training in
molecular biology or genetics in order to pursue interdisciplinary approaches to
genome studies;

o  scientists with training in biology, mathematics, computer science or other
relevant areas who wish to obtain training in bioinformatics or computational
biology.

NIEHS supports the Environmental Genome Project which seeks to build upon the
Human Genome Project to focus on those genes and polymorphisms which are
important in the response of an organism to environmental pollutants.  NIEHS will
support fellowships with research projects aimed at studying the differential
sensitivity among individuals within a population, and identifying those genes
whose expression contributes to increased sensitivity or resistance to toxic
environmental agents.

NIGMS will support fellowships in all four areas listed above.  However, NIGMS
will only support fellowships that provide training in functional genomic
analysis in non-human model systems.

NINR will only support nurse researchers who are interested in obtaining training
in interdisciplinary approaches to genomic studies and in bioinformatics or
computational biology.

B.  The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genomics and Genetics Research

o  scientists and health professionals who wish to obtain training that will
allow them to address the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of human
genetics research; and

o  scholars trained in the humanities who wish to receive training in genomic or
genetic research in order to pursue studies in the ELSI area.

NIEHS is interested in the development of research programs into the ethical,
legal, and social issues raised by the identification of populations or
individuals who potentially may have increased sensitivity or resistance to toxic
environmental agents. Applications for fellowship support in these areas are
solicited.

NINR is interested in supporting nurse scholars who wish to obtain training that
will allow them to address the ethical, legal and social implications of human
genetics research.

The F32 mechanism is used to support research training for individuals who wish
to receive in-depth training in genomic or ELSI research.  Moreover, an
individual who has already completed one postdoctoral fellowship in another
scientific discipline may be eligible for a postdoctoral fellowship in genomic
or ELSI research, if the additional training can be justified in terms of the
individual's future commitment to pursuing a career in genomic research. 
Similarly, an individual who has already completed one postdoctoral fellowship
in a social sciences or humanities discipline may be eligible for a postdoctoral
fellowship in ELSI research, if the additional training can be justified in terms
of the individual's future commitment to pursuing a career in the ELSI aspects
of human genetics.  The F33 mechanism is designed to provide research training
for scientists or scholars who are at least seven years beyond their doctoral
degree and who wish to update their skills or pursue new areas of research.

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 biomedical and behavioral
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling
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 available on the web at the following URL address:
http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/1994/94.03.18/notice-nih-guideline008.html

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under that the age of
21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. 
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt
dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH guide for
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL
address:  http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications must be submitted on the fellowship grant application form PHS 416-1
(rev. 12/98).  Application kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research, from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information
Resources, Office of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714,
email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov; from the NIH web page:
http://www.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm, and from the program director listed under
INQUIRIES.  The title and number of this program announcement must be typed in
Item 2 on the face page of the application.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate program
staff listed under INQUIRIES prior to preparing an application.

Three letters of recommendation must accompany the application.

All individual applications are on an expedited review schedule.  Receipt dates
for applications are August 5, and December 5, April 5 annually.

The original and two copies of the application must be submitted to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7701
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Individual fellowship applications will be reviewed by the Center for Scientific
Review in accordance with NIH review procedures.  Reviewers will be asked to
evaluate the application for the following: (1) the candidate's potential to
become an important contributor to biomedical or behavioral science; (2) the
qualifications of the sponsor and her or his prior experience as a mentor, the
environment of the host laboratory, the proposed training program, and the
institutional environment; (3) the merit of the research proposal and the general
approach, considering the candidate's research background and the respective
contributions of the candidate and the sponsor in the development of the research
proposal; and (4) the proposed training experience as it relates to preparation
for an independent research career.

AWARD CRITERIA

Subsequent to the initial scientific review, senior officials of the institute
or center will determine the programmatic relevance of the applications to the
institute's or center's mission and will recommend a funding plan to the Director
of the institute or center. The following criteria will be used in making funding
decisions:  the scientific merit of the proposal, the availability of funds, and
the balance of topics.

The earliest dates that awards can be made are January, May, and September
respectively.

INQUIRIES

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact staff to discuss
prospective training programs before developing an application.

For additional programmatic information about fellowships in Genomic Analysis and
Interpretation and Technology, applicants my contact:

Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research
National Human Genome Research Institute
Building 38A, Room 614
Bethesda, MD  20892-6050
Telephone:  (301) 496-7531
Email:  Bettie_Graham@nih.gov
web site: http://www.nhgri.nih.gov

Lisa Begg, Ph.D.
Office of Centers, Training and Resources
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 520, MSC 7383
Bethesda, MD  20892-7383
Telephone:: (301) 496-8580
Email:  begg1@mail.nih.gov
web site: http://camp.nci.nih.gov/public/ctb/main

Carol Shreffler, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC 23
Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-1445
Email:  Shreffl1@niehs.nih.gov
web site: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/

Laurie Tompkins, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS/25N, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-0943
Email: tompkinsL@nigms.nih.gov
web site: http://www.nih.gov/nigms/

Hilary D. Sigmon, Ph.D., RN
National Institute of Nursing Research
Nursing Fellowships in Genetics
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
Bethesda, MD  20815
Telephone:  (301) 594-5970
Email:  hilary_sigmon@nih.gov
web site: http://www.ninr.nih.gov/

For additional programmatic information about fellowships in the Ethical, Legal
and Social Implications of Human Genetics Research, applicants may contact:

National Human Genome Research Institute
Elizabeth J. Thomson, M.S., R.N.
Building 38A, Room 617
Division of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD  20892-6050
Telephone:  (301) 402-4997
E-mail:  Elizabeth_Thomson@nih.gov

National Cancer Institute
Lisa Begg, Ph.D.
Office of Centers, Training and Resources
6130 Executive Blvd.; Room 520; MSC 7383
Bethesda, MD  20892-7383
Telephone:: (301) 496-8580
E-mail:  begg1@mail.nih.gov
NCI's web site: http://camp.nci.nih.gov/public/ctb/main

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Fellowships related to the Environmental Genome Project
Carol Shreffler, Ph.D.
MD EC 23
Division of Extramural Research and Training
P. O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-1445
E-mail:  Shreffl1@niehs.nih.gov

National Institute of Nursing Research
Nursing Fellowships in Genetics
Hilary D. Sigmon, Ph.D., RN
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD  20815
Telephone:  (301) 594-5970
E-mail:  hilary_sigmon@nih.gov

For information about NIH Grant Policy, applicants may contact:

National Human Genome Research Institute
Ms. Jean Cahill
Grants Management Officer
Grants Administration Branch
Building 38A, Room 613
Division of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD  20892-6050
Telephone:  (301) 402-0733
E-mail:  Jean_Cahill@nih.gov

National Cancer Institute

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Ms. Jackie Russell
Division of Extramural Research and Training
MC EC-22
P. O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: (919) 541-0751
E-Mail:  Russell@niehs.nih.gov

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Ms. Marcia Cohn
Grants Management Officer
Building 45, Room 2AN/44E, MSC 6200
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301)-594-3918
E-mail: cohnm@nigms.nih.gov

National Institute of Nursing Research
Mr. Jeff Carow
Grants Management Officer
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD  20815
Telephone:  (301) 594-
E-mail:  jeff_carow@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.172 (NHGRI), 93.398 Cancer Research Manpower (NCI), 93.894 (NIEHS), 93.862
(NIGMS) and 93.361 (NINR).  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 NIH grants policies and
Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66 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 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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