NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE SUPPORT OF SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS

Release Date:  July 13, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PA-99-125

National Eye Institute

This Program Announcement (PA) replaces PA-93-089, which was published in the
NIH Guide, Vol. 22, No. 20, June 4, 1993.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the PA is to inform the scientific community that the National
Eye Institute (NEI) intends to support investigator-initiated scientific
meetings by the conference cooperative agreement mechanism (U13) in most
instances, rather than the traditional R13 conference grant mechanism. This is
not an announcement of a new program or initiative, but the general
information and contacts are being updated.

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 is related to one or more of the
priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People
2000" at http://www.crisny.org/health/us/health7.html.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by U.S. institutions, including scientific or
professional societies eligible to receive grants from Public Health Service
(PHS) agencies.  Foreign institutions are not eligible.  In the case of an
international conference, the U.S. representative organization of an
established international scientific or professional society is the eligible
applicant.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This Program Announcement will use the NIH conference cooperative agreement
award mechanism (U13).  The rules and regulations that apply to U13s are the
same as those that apply to R13 conference grants, as described in the
document, "Guidelines for Support of Scientific Meetings by NIH", NIH Guide,
October 30, 1998 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-151.html).
The difference is that after award, NEI extramural program staff will be
substantially involved in the planning and conduct of the scientific meeting,
assisting the Principle Investigator according to specific Terms and
Conditions.  These Terms and Conditions are given below and will be included
in each Notice of Grant Award.  In exceptional circumstances, it may not be
practical or necessary for NEI staff to participate substantially in the
planning or conduct of the meeting.  NEI will use the traditional conference
grant (R13) to support such activities.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Terms and Conditions of Cooperative Agreement Award

The Principal Investigator will have the primary authority and responsibility
to define objectives and approaches; plan, publicize, and conduct the
scientific meeting; and publish the results of the meeting.

The Principal Investigator will retain custody of and have primary rights to
information developed under the cooperative agreement, subjection to
Government rights of access, consistent with current Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS), PHS, and NIH policies.

The appropriate NEI extramural Program Director will assist, but not direct,
the Principal Investigator in the planning and conduct of the scientific
meeting to ensure that the meeting is relevant and responsive to NEI
scientific program objectives, research needs and opportunities, and strategic
research questions identified in "Vision Research, A National Plan:  1999-
2003," a report of the National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC) which is available
at http://www.nei.nih.gov/resources/strategicplans/plan.htm.  This will include 
assisting the Principal Investigator in finalizing the meeting format and 
agenda, selecting topics for discussion, publicizing the meeting, selecting 
speakers and other meeting participants, and publishing the meeting proceedings.

Publication and copyright agreements and the requirements for financial status
reports; retention of records; and terminal progress reports will be as stated
in the NIH document, "Guidelines for Support of Scientific Meetings by NIH,"
NIH Guide, October 30, 1998.

An independent, third-party individual acceptable to both the Principal
Investigator and the NEI will be asked to serve as an arbitrator of any
serious differences of opinion on scientific and programmatic issues that may
arise during the planning and conduct of the scientific meeting.  This special
arbitration process will in no way affect the rights of the recipient to
appeal an adverse action in accordance with PHS regulations of 42 CFR Part 50,
Subpart D, and DHHS regulations of 45 CFR Part 16.

These special Terms and Conditions are in addition to, not in lieu of,
otherwise applicable Office of Management and Budget administrative
guidelines; DHHS grant administrative regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92,
as appropriate; and other DHHS, PHS, and NIH grants administration policies.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NEI staff prior to the
preparation and submission of an application concerning possible NEI interest
in supporting a particular scientific meeting.

Applications are to be submitted on the research grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 4/98) following the instructions supplied in the application kit and
the additional application instructions that are given below.  These forms are
available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and 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, Fax 301-480-0525, email GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Application kits
also are available on the internet at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm

The NIH notice Guidelines for Support of Scientific Meetings by NIH (NIH
Guide, October 30, 1998) should be consulted, because it provides important
information and supplemental instructions for completing the application.  In
addition, this publication states NIH policy regarding the application,
receipt, assignment, review, award, administration, and reporting requirements
when funds are requested and awarded for the support of scientific meetings. 
Applicants should also review the appended NIH policy announcement regarding
the inclusion of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in NIH
sponsored and supported scientific meetings and conferences.

For Item 2 on the Face Page, check the box Yes, if conference cooperative
agreement funds will be requested.

In the Research Plan section of the application, describe the relevance of the
proposed scientific meeting to the NEI program objectives, research needs and
opportunities, and strategic research questions identified in "Vision
Research, A National Plan:  1999-2003".

Following the Research Plan, the applicant should provide a statement
acknowledging and agreeing to NEI staff post-award involvement in planning and
conducting the scientific meeting, and should describe plans to accommodate
this involvement.

The complete and signed original application and three exact copies, in one
package must be mailed to delivered 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)

At the same time, two exact copies, including any appendices, should be sent
to:

Andrew P. Mariani, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute
Executive Plaza South, Suite 350
6120 EXECUTIVE BLVD, MSC 7164
BETHESDA, MA  20892-7164

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral
guidelines.  Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit
in accordance with standard NIH peer review procedures.  Second level program
and policy review for applications assigned to NEI will be conducted by the
NAEC.

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 comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these
criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score,
weighting them as appropriate for each application.  Note that the application
does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major
scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score:

(1) The importance of the proposed scientific meeting to investigators in the
area and to the general biomedical community;
(2) Timeliness and the need for the proposed scientific meeting;
(3) Adequacy of the scope and content of the proposed scientific meeting;
(4) Qualifications of the conference organizers and the proposed participants;
(5) Adequacy of the applicant's efforts and plans to seek out and encourage
the participation of women and underrepresented minorities;
(6) Appropriateness of the proposed format for achieving the stated goals;
(7) Adequacy of plans to disseminate the information generated by the
scientific meeting;

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the reasonableness of the
proposed budget.

AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include scientific
merit of the proposed scientific meeting as determined by peer review;
relevance to NEI program objectives, research needs and opportunities, and
strategic research questions identified in "Vision Research, A National Plan: 
1999-2003"; and the availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

For general information regarding this program announcement and for referral
to the appropriate extramural Program Director or Grants Management
Specialist, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact:

Dr. Ralph J. Helmsen
Research Resources Officer
National Eye Institute
Telephone:  301-496-5301
Fax:  301-402-0528
Email:  ralph.helmsen@nei.nih.gov

The publication "Vision Research, a National Plan:  1999-2004" is available at
http://www.nei.nih.gov/resources/strategicplans/plan.htm or from:

Office of Science Policy and Legislation
National Eye Institute
Building 31, Room 6A23
31 Center DR, MSC 2510
Bethesda MD  20892-2510
Telephone:  301-496-4308
Fax:  301-402-3799

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.867, Vision Research.  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 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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