OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH RESEARCH

Release Date:  August 18, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PA-99-144

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Application Receipt Dates:  March 1, July 1, and November 1

PURPOSE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites grant
applications for research related to the priority areas identified in the
National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) that are described in the
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES section.

The overall purpose of this grants program is to develop knowledge that can be
used in preventing occupational diseases and injuries and to better understand
their underlying pathophysiology.  Within CDC, the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the only Federal Institute
responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the
prevention of work-related illnesses and injuries.

NIOSH supports research to identify and investigate the relationships between
hazardous working conditions and associated occupational diseases and
injuries; to develop more sensitive means of evaluating hazards at work sites,
as well as methods for measuring early markers of adverse health effects and
injuries; to develop new protective equipment, engineering control technology,
and work practices to reduce the risks of occupational hazards; and to
evaluate the technical feasibility or application of a new or improved
occupational safety and health procedure, method, technique, or system.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

CDC is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention
objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a national activity to reduce morbidity
and mortality and improve the quality of life.  This program announcement is
related to the priority areas of occupational safety and health and
unintentional injuries.  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 at
http://www.crisny.org/health/us/health7.html

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic, public and private nonprofit and
for-profit organizations and by governments and their agencies; that is,
universities, colleges, research institutions, hospitals, other public and
private nonprofit and for-profit organizations, State and local governments or
their bona fide agents, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments,
Indian tribes, or Indian tribal organizations.  Racial/ethnic minority
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as
Principal Investigators.

Note:  Public Law 104-65 states that an organization described in section
501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which engages in lobbying
activities is not eligible to receive Federal funds constituting an award,
grant (cooperative agreement), contract, loan, or any other form.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This program announcement will use the career development (K01) and the small
grant (R03) award mechanisms.

Special Emphasis Research Career Award (SERCA) Grants (K01) - The SERCA grant
is intended to provide opportunities for individuals to acquire experience and
skills while under the direction of at least one mentor, and in so doing,
create a pool of highly qualified investigators who can make future
contributions to research in the area of occupational safety and health. 
SERCA grants are not intended for individuals without research experience, or
for productive, independent investigators with a significant number of
publications and of senior academic rank.  Moreover, the award is not intended
to substitute one source of salary support for another for an individual who
is already conducting full-time research; nor is it intended to be a mechanism
for providing institutional support.

Candidates must:  (1) hold a doctoral degree; (2) have research experience at
or above the doctoral level; (3) not be above the rank of associate professor;
and (4) be employed at a domestic institution. For non-U.S. citizens who will
be principal investigators, the grantee institution must indicate in the
application that the individual's visa will allow the person to remain in the
country a sufficient length of time to complete the project.  Also, a U.S.
citizen must be identified who is a permanent staff member of the grantee
institution and who, if the SERCA grant recipient is unable to stay in the
U.S., will be responsible for seeing the project through to completion.

This non-renewable award provides support for a three-year period for
individuals engaged in full-time research and related activities.  Awards will
not exceed $50,000 per year in direct costs for salary support (plus fringe
benefits), technical assistance, equipment, supplies, consultant costs,
domestic travel, publications, and other costs.  The indirect cost rate
applied is limited to 8 percent of the direct costs, excluding tuition and
related fees and equipment expenses, or to the actual indirect cost rate,
whichever results in the lesser amount.

A minimum of 60 percent time must be committed to the proposed research
project, although full-time is desirable.  Other work in the area of
occupational safety and health will enhance the candidate's qualifications but
is not a substitute for this requirement.  Related activities may include
research career development activities as well as involvement in patient care
to the extent that it will strengthen research skills.  Fundamental/basic
research will not be supported unless the project will make an original
contribution for applied technical knowledge in the identification,
evaluation, or control of occupational safety and health hazards (e.g.,
development of a diagnostic technique for early detection of an occupational
disease).  Research project proposals must be of the applicants' own design
and of such scope that independent investigative capability will be evident
within three years.  At the completion of this three-year award, it is
intended that awardees should be better able to compete for individual
research project grants awarded by NIOSH.

SERCA grant applications should be identified as such on the application form. 
Section 2 of the application (the Research Plan) should include a statement
regarding the applicant's career plans and how the proposed research will
contribute to a career in occupational safety and health research.  This
section should also include a letter of recommendation from the proposed
advisor(s).

Small Grants (R03) - The small grant program is intended to stimulate
proposals from individuals who are considering a research career in
occupational safety and health; as such, the minimum time commitment is 10%. 
It is expected that a recipient would subsequently compete for other grant
mechanisms which are described above.  The award is not intended to supplement
ongoing or other proposed research; nor is it intended to be a mechanism for
providing institutional support.  Please note that fundamental/basic research
is generally not supported.

Small grant candidates are predoctoral students, post-doctoral researchers
(within 3 years following completion of doctoral degree or completion of
residency or public health training), or junior faculty members (no higher
than assistant professor).  If university policy requires that a more senior
person be listed as principal investigator, it should be clear in the
application which person is the small grant investigator.  For non-U.S.
citizens who will be principal investigators, the grantee institution must
indicate in the application that the individual's visa will allow the person
to remain in the country a sufficient length of time to complete the project. 
Also, a U.S. citizen must be identified who is a permanent staff member of the
grantee institution and who, if the small grant recipient is unable to stay in
the U.S., will be responsible for seeing the project through to completion. 
Except for applicants who are assistant professors, there must be one or more
named mentors to assist with the project.  A biographical sketch is required
for the small grant investigator, as well as for the supervisor and other key
consultants, as appropriate.

This non-renewable award provides support for project periods of up to two
years to carry out exploratory or pilot studies, to develop or test new
techniques or methods, or to analyze data previously collected.  Awards will
not exceed $25,000 per year in direct costs for salary support (plus fringe
benefits), technical assistance, equipment, supplies, consultant costs,
domestic travel, publications, and other costs.  The indirect costs will be
based upon the negotiated indirect cost rate of the applicant organization. 
An individual may not receive more than two small grant awards, and then, only
if the awards are at different stages of development (e.g., doctoral student,
post-doctoral researcher, or junior faculty member).

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

In today's society, Americans are working more hours than ever before.  The
workplace environment profoundly affects health; each of us, simply by going
to work each day, may face hazards that threaten our health and safety. 
Risking one's life or health should never be considered merely part of the
job.  In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act to
ensure Americans the right to "safe and healthful working conditions," yet
workplace hazards continue to inflict a tremendous toll in both human and
economic costs.  Employers reported 5.8 million work injuries in 1996 and
439,000 cases of occupational illness.  An average of 16 American workers die
each day from injuries on the job.  Moreover, even the most conservative
estimates find that about 137 additional workers die each day from workplace
diseases.  Additionally, in 1996 occupational injuries and deaths cost $121
billion in wages and lost productivity, administrative expenses, health care
and other costs.  This does not include the cost of occupational disease. 
These occupational injuries and diseases create needless human suffering, a
tremendous burden upon health care resources, and an enormous drain on U.S.
productivity.

In 1996, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and
its partners in the public and private sectors developed the National
Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to provide a framework to guide
occupational safety and health research into the next decade, not only for
NIOSH, but also for the entire occupational safety and health community.
Approximately 500 organizations and individuals outside NIOSH provided input
into the development of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). 
This attempt to guide and coordinate research nationally is responsive to a
broadly perceived need to address systematically those topics that are most
pressing and most likely to yield gains to the worker and the nation.  Fiscal
constraints on occupational safety and health research are increasing, making
even more compelling the need for a coordinated and focused research agenda.

Potential applicants may obtain a copy of the "National Occupational Research
Agenda" (HHS, CDC, NIOSH Publication No.96-115) from the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health, telephone (800) 356-4674.  It is also
available on the internet at "http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.html".

The agenda identifies 21 research priorities and reflects an attempt to
consider both current and emerging needs.  The priority areas are not ranked;
each is considered to be of equal importance.  The NORA priority research
areas are grouped into three categories: Disease and Injury, Work Environment
and Workforce, and Research Tools and Approaches.

Applications responding to this announcement will be reviewed for their
responsiveness to the following program interests and their potential for
developing knowledge that can be used in preventing occupational diseases and
injuries.  Applicants should provide a statement about which NORA area is
being addressed and a rationale for how the proposal will contribute to the
specified priority area (this information should be placed in the "Background
and Significance" section of the "Research Plan" of the application). 
Assignment of applications to sponsoring Institutes will be made on the basis
of matching the research topics with the appropriate programmatic interests. 
Applicants are encouraged to contact individuals listed under INQUIRIES if
they wish to discuss the relevance of their research ideas.

NORA Priority Research Areas are:

Disease and Injury

1.  Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis
2.  Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
3.  Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities
4.  Hearing Loss
5.  Infectious Diseases
6.  Low Back Disorders
7.  Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
8.  Traumatic Injuries

Work Environment and Workforce

9.  Emerging Technologies
10. Indoor Environment
11. Mixed Exposures
12. Organization of Work
13. Special Populations at Risk

Research Tools and Approaches

14. Cancer Research Methods
15. Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
16. Exposure Assessment Methods
17. Health Services Research
18. Intervention Effectiveness Research
19. Risk Assessment Methods
20. Social and Economic Consequences of Workplace Illness and Injury
21. Surveillance Research Methods

Potential applicants with questions concerning the acceptability of their
proposed work are strongly encouraged to seek programmatic technical
assistance from the contact listed in this announcement under the section
"INQUIRIES."

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Human Subjects

If a project involves research on human subjects, assurance (in accordance
with Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, 45 CFR Part 46) of
the protection of human subjects is required.  In addition to other applicable
committees, Indian Health Service (IHS) institutional review committees also
must review the project if any component of IHS will be involved with or will
support the research.  If any American Indian community is involved, its
tribal government must also approve that portion of the project applicable to
it.  Unless the grantee holds a Multiple Project Assurance, a Single Project
Assurance is required, as well as an assurance for each subcontractor or
cooperating institution that has immediate responsibility for human subjects. 
The Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR) at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) negotiates assurances for all activities involving
human subjects that are supported by the Department of Health and Human
Services.

It is the policy of the CDC that women and members of minority groups and
their sub-populations must be included in all 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.

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, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.  It is also available at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html

Animal Subjects Requirements

If the proposed project involves research on animal subjects, compliance with
the "PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals by Awardee
Institutions" is required.  An applicant (as well as each subcontractor or
cooperating institution that has immediate responsibility for animal subjects)
proposing to use vertebrate animals in CDC-supported activities must file (or
have on file) the Animal Welfare Assurance with the Office for the Protection
from Research Risks (OPRR) at the National Institutes of Health. The applicant
must provide in the application the assurance of compliance number and
evidence of review and approval (including the date of the most recent
approval) by the Institutional Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the CDC to ensure that individuals of both sexes and the
various racial and ethnic groups will be included in supported research
projects involving human subjects, whenever feasible and appropriate. Racial
and ethnic groups are those defined in OMB Directive No. 15 and include
American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic
or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.  Applicants shall ensure
that women, racial and ethnic minority populations are appropriately
represented in applications for research involving human subjects.  Where
clear and compelling rationale exist that inclusion is inappropriate or not
feasible, this situation must be explained as part of the application.  This
policy does not apply to research studies when the investigator cannot control
the race, ethnicity, and/or sex of subjects.  Further guidance to this policy
is contained in the Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 179, pages 47947-47951, and
dated Friday, September 15, 1995.

LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS

Applicants should be aware of restrictions on the use of HHS funds for
lobbying of Federal or State legislative bodies. Under the provisions of 31
U.S.C. Section 1352, recipients (and their subtier contractors) are prohibited
from using appropriated Federal funds (other than profits from a Federal
contract) for lobbying congress or any Federal agency in connection with the
award of a particular contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. This
includes grants/cooperative agreements that, in whole or in part, involve
conferences for which Federal funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to
encourage participants to lobby or to instruct participants on how to lobby.

In addition no part of CDC appropriated funds, shall be used, other than for
normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships, for publicity or
propaganda purposes, for the preparation, distribution, or use of any kit,
pamphlet, booklet, publication, radio, television, or video presentation
designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress or any
State or local legislature, except in presentation to the Congress or any
State or local legislature itself. No part of the appropriated funds shall be
used to pay the salary or expenses of any grant or contract recipient, or
agent acting for such recipient, related to any activity designed to influence
legislation or appropriations pending before the Congress or any State or
local legislature.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and will be accepted at the following receipt dates: March 1, July 1,
and November 1.  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, email:
grantsinfo@nih.gov.  Application kits are also available at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm

The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 of
the face page of the application form, and the YES box must be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, 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

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral
guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review group convened in accordance
with the standard NIH peer review procedures will evaluate applications for
scientific and technical merit.  As part of the initial merit review, all
applications will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a
written critique.

Review Criteria

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. For
example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its
nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

1.  Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of
the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? What
will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this
field?

2.  Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the
project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider
alternative tactics?

3.  Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method?
Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

4.  Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to
carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level
of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

5.  Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be
done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ
useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the
research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be
evaluated.

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
proposed research.

o The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project
proposed in the application.

SERCA grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the basis of the
following criteria:

o  The review process will consider the applicant's scientific achievements,
the applicant's research career plan in occupational safety and health, and
the degree to which the applicant's institution offers a superior research
environment (supportive nature, including letter(s) of reference from
advisor(s) which should accompany the application).

Small grant applications will be reviewed taking the following into
consideration:

o  Applicants for small grants do not have extensive experience with the
grants process, so there is leniency in assigning priority scores.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, availability of
funds, and institutional program priority.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Roy M. Fleming, Sc.D.
Research Grants Program
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
1600 Clifton Road, N.E.
Building 1, Room 3053, MS D-30
Atlanta, GA  30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-3343
FAX:  (404) 639-4616
Email:  rmf2@cdc.gov

Direct inquiries regarding grants management matters to:

Joanne Wojcik
Procurement and Grants Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2920 Brandywine Road, MS-E13
Atlanta, GA  30341-4146
Telephone:  (770) 488-2717
FAX:  (770) 488-2777
Email:  jcw6@cdc.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number
93.262.  This program is authorized under the Public Health Service Act, as
amended, Section 301(a) [42 U.S.C. 241(a)], and the Occupational Safety and
Health Act of 1970, Section 20(a) [29 U.S.C. 669(a)].  The applicable program
regulation is 42 CFR Part 52.

The CDC 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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