MBRS INITIATIVE FOR MINORITY STUDENT DEVELOPMENT (IMSD)

Release Date:  December 9, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-022 (This PA has been reissued, see PAR-05-132)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Application Receipt Date: February 1

PURPOSE

The Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) encourages the 
development and/or expansion of innovative programs to improve the academic and 
research competitiveness of underrepresented minority students and to facilitate 
their progress toward careers in biomedical research. The application may be 
directed toward the development of underrepresented minority scientists who are 
in any phase of their career development, from the undergraduate level through 
the Ph.D.  Applications proposing to develop the competitive research skills of 
medical students and post-clinical doctoral students (e.g. recent clinical 
doctorates with M.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.V.M., or D.D.S degrees) are also 
permissible. 

Programs developed under this initiative must be specifically designed to target 
underrepresented minority students majoring in the biomedical and behavioral 
sciences or in medical, dental, or veterinary training who are interested in 
pursuing research careers.  For the purposes of this program announcement, 
underrepresented minority students are individuals belonging to a particular 
ethnic or racial group that has been determined by the applicant institution to 
be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research.  Nationally, 
individuals who have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or 
behavioral research include, but are not limited to, United States citizens who 
are African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Natives of the 
U.S. Pacific Islands.  The term "science" is used in this program announcement 
to mean the natural, physical, and behavioral sciences and mathematics relevant 
to biomedical 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 (PA), MBRS 
Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD)is related to one or more of 
the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 
2000" at http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The Institution

Applications may be submitted by domestic private and public educational 
institutions.  In general, applicant institutions are those with fully developed 
and funded research programs, since IMSD supports student development and not 
faculty research.  Therefore, institutions holding active MBRS SCORE (Support 
for Continuous Research Excellence) or RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific 
Enhancement)grants are not eligible.

Students

It is the responsibility of the Grantee Institution to monitor the 
qualifications of students prior to their MBRS participation.  A student 
participating in the MBRS program must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of 
the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.  (A 
non-citizen national is a person who, although not a citizen of the United 
States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. They are generally persons born in 
lands that are not States, but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or 
administration, for example American Samoa.)  An individual lawfully admitted 
for permanent residence must possess an alien registration receipt card (I-151) 
or (I-551) prior to appointment on the grant.  Individuals on temporary visas 
are not eligible for support from the MBRS program.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards under this program will use the institutional education project (R25) 
grant mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, execution of the 
programmatic activities, and tracking participants for evaluation of the 
outcomes of the proposed project will be solely that of the grantee institution.  
The total project period for an application submitted in response to this 
program announcement may not exceed four years and is renewable.  Indirect costs 
will be paid at 8% of the direct costs, minus appropriate exclusions.  A budget 
for each year must be provided.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of the IMSD program is to significantly increase the number of 
competitive underrepresented minority students entering careers in biomedical 
research.  This objective will be realized by promoting the initiation and 
development of new programs, as well as the expansion and enhancement of 
existing programs, that foster an increase in underrepresented minority students 
in biomedical research careers.

NIGMS recognizes the heterogeneity in institutional settings and institutional 
missions.  Therefore, the emphasis of this initiative will be on the 
institution"s program, as defined by its own goals and specific measurable 
objectives, to make a substantial contribution to ameliorate the under-
representation of minority groups in biomedical research.  Some institutions may 
opt to motivate undergraduate students.  Other institutions may be prepared to 
train graduate students.  Still others may wish to motivate and develop the 
research skills of students in, or recently graduated from, medical schools or 
other biomedically-relevant professional schools.  Applicants should note that 
evaluation of progress is a necessary component of every MBRS program, this 
program requires that each institution set its own goals and measurable 
objectives, identify baseline data, and establish milestones for gauging 
accomplishment.

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 
sub-populations 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://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html
 
INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all research involving human subjects 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://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the MBRS program 
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional 
relevant information concerning the policy.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES 

Applications are to be submitted using the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98).  Applicants are strongly urged to contact MBRS program staff (listed 
under INQUIRIES)at an early stage to request the IMSD-specific supplemental 
instructions for Form PHS 398 and application kit.  Application kits are 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: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. The application 
is also available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm

An applicant planning to submit a new (Type 1) grant application requesting 
$500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must contact the Chief, MBRS 
Branch (see INQUIRIES) before submitting the application, i.e., as plans are 
being developed.  Furthermore, the applicant must obtain agreement that NIGMS 
will accept the application for consideration for award.  Finally, the applicant 
must identify, in the cover letter that is sent with the application, the staff 
member who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  The policy is 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-030.html.

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 an original of the application, including the Checklist, and three 
photocopies of the signed application in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892
Bethesda, MD  20817 (For Express/Courier Service)

Application receipt date is February 1.

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must also be 
sent to:

Dr. Helen Sunshine,
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1 AS.13
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact MBRS program staff at an early 
stage for assistance and guidance in developing an application

UNIFIED PLAN

Applicants should describe the other type(s) of support available for the 
scientific development of underrepresented minority students at their 
institutions.  Applications from academic institutions with funding for student 
development programs such as, but not limited to, Bridges to the Baccalaureate, 
Bridges to the Doctorate, National Research Service Award (NRSA) training grants 
(e.g., NIH pre- and post-doctoral T32 grants or MARC T34 grants), NIH minority 
supplements, National Science Foundation grants or Howard Hughes Medical 
Institute grants, should define the relationship between those programs and the 
IMSD program.

EVALUATION 

Institutions should note that evaluation is a mandatory component of the IMSD 
program, this program requires that each institution set its own specific goals 
and measurable objectives.  The NIGMS recognizes that educational institutions 
are diverse in institutional environment and mission.  Therefore, the emphasis 
of the evaluation activities of the MBRS IMSD Program will be on improvement as 
defined in the specific goals and measurable objectives and milestones that the 
applicant institution sets for itself.

NIGMS is hoping to achieve a significant increase in the numbers of 
underrepresented minorities going on to biomedical research careers.  Therefore, 
in the progress report in each renewal application, both competing and non-
competing, the program director must describe what difference the award has made 
towards meeting this goal.  Applications should include: (1) the overall goals, 
(2) specific MEASURABLE objectives, 3) baseline data and a plan to evaluate 
whether the proposed objectives have been met,  (4) methods to measure the 
efficacy of specific interventions, and (5) milestones for gauging intermediate 
states of accomplishments.

APPLICATION CONTENT

The MBRS IMSD program is institutional in scope.  Its purpose is to encourage 
the development and/or expansion of innovative programs to improve the academic 
and research competitiveness of underrepresented minority students at the 
undergraduate, graduate, and post-clinical doctoral levels and to facilitate 
their progress toward careers in biomedical research. Therefore, the application 
layout and organization should reflect the institutional nature of the proposed 
program and should be presented as an integrated set of developmental 
activities.  In general, the overall goals and specific measurable objectives 
(including anticipated milestones) should reflect what the institution expects 
to accomplish as a result of implementing the developmental activities described 
in the application. 

The application should propose an integrated program whose component parts, the 
developmental activities, work together to support the overall goals and 
objectives of the proposed program.

The Overall Application

Applicants should describe their proposed program in detail.  They should 
explain how the program will meet their institutional goals and specific 
measurable objectives and how meeting these institutional goals will fulfill the 
objectives of this initiative.  

The applicant should describe the institution"s experience in training its 
students from underrepresented minority groups in the sciences. In this section 
applicants should include information for the past four years on the number of 
minority students enrolled and receiving baccalaureate, masters, or Ph.D. 
degrees and data on the subsequent careers or education plans of the 
institution"s underrepresented minority graduates.

The application should typically include:
o  Overall goal and specific measurable objectives,  
o Overall evaluation plan, including baseline data and milestones for 
accomplishments 
o Information on student pool, and a plan for attracting and retaining the 
desired student pool,
o The criteria to be used in the selection of, and steps taken to recruit and 
retain the student participants in this program,
o Credentials of participating teaching and research faculty,
o The methods, expertise available, and the criteria to be used for program 
evaluation.  In this context, the institutional data for the previous four 
years on underrepresented minority student training will serve as a baseline 
for the specific measurable objectives proposed.

Student Development Plan

Applicants should provide detailed information on their plans to prepare 
students for, and participate in, biomedical research.  This information 
includes:

o Description of the academic or other related problems (that hinder the 
student"s progress to a research career) that are being addressed by the 
proposed activity/intervention,
o Goal and specific measurable objectives for the activity, 
o Detailed description of the proposed activities to ameliorate the identified 
problem,
o Rationale for and feasibility of the approach chosen,
o Information on participating faculty and other resources including letters of 
commitment to mentor/train, and
o Evaluation plan.

Examples of Student Development Activities

Institutional programs must be designed with special attention to the needs and 
special requirements of underrepresented minority students who are pursuing 
biomedical research careers.  For example, they may include, but are not limited 
to, the following:
o Research opportunities for undergraduate students matriculated at the 
applicant institution,
o Research and learning opportunities at the applicant institution for 
underrepresented minority undergraduate students who are interested in 
research careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences, 
o Research training opportunities in biomedical and related fields for graduate 
students and medical or other professional students,
o Research oriented programs leading to a research career for post-clinical 
doctoral students,
o Research-oriented technical training courses or workshops for graduate 
students enrolled at the applicant institution, 
o Research and other training experiences as a prerequisite to enroll in 
doctoral degree programs,
o Training preparatory to effect a career change to biomedical or behavioral 
research for persons trained in mathematics, computer sciences and other 
quantitative sciences and
o Activities to improve scientific communication skills of IMSD supported 
students, such as scientific writing, and student travel for presentation of 
research at scientific meetings.  

In addition, while routine research support is not allowable, funds may be 
provided to strengthen the research capabilities of faculty who are uniquely 
successful in the mentoring of underrepresented minority students or who are 
critical to the development of an environment supportive of minority students.
 
Mentoring activities.

Institutions need to describe new programs or modifications and/or additions to 
their existing programs that would encourage and facilitate minority students to 
enter research careers.  Request for support of existing efforts and programs 
related to the objectives of this announcement must be well justified.

Allowable Costs

The budget request may include the reasonable costs of administering, 
coordinating, and evaluating the program.  Requests for equipment, supplies, 
travel, and other expenses for program operation should be specifically 
justified.  Salary support for the Program Director is allowable up to 25 
percent effort depending upon the magnitude of the proposed activities.

Student (undergraduate and graduate) remuneration through salary/wages and/or 
other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages for participation in research 
experiences may be requested, provided the following conditions are met:
o The student is performing necessary work.
o There is an employer-employee relationship between the student and the 
institution.
o The total compensation is reasonable for the work performed, and
o It is the institution"s practice to provide compensation for all students in 
similar circumstances, regardless of the source of support for the activity.

Graduate students are allowed tuition costs as part of a compensation package.  
When requesting support for a graduate student, the applicant institution should 
provide in the budget justification section of the application the basis for the 
compensation level.  NIGMS staff will review the requested compensation level 
and, if it is reasonable and justified, will provide compensation up to a 
maximum of $26,000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-168.html).  Clinical 
post-doctoral students should be compensated at a rate 
commensurate with that of other post-doctoral employees at the institution. 

It is an expectation of NIGMS that students who are enrolled in a Ph.D. program 
as part of the IMSD program will not be excluded from support from other non-
federal or federal graduate training sources, for which they are eligible.  
Students cannot concurrently hold another federally-sponsored stipend or 
fellowship or any other federal award that duplicates the IMSD support.  
However, students may make use of Federal educational loan funds and assistance 
under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill), or may receive funds 
from a Pell Grant, based on financial need.  Such funds are not considered 
supplementation or compensation.

Unallowable Costs

Undergraduate tuition, housing, food, or recruitment expenses of any kind are 
not allowable under this program. Support for textbooks, incentives, 
memberships, and Internet subscriptions are not allowable.  Release time for 
faculty mentoring is not allowable.  Support for faculty research is generally 
not allowable, since faculty mentors are expected to have their own research 
support and an active research program capable of supporting the development of 
MBRS students.

KEY PERSONNEL

The program director is responsible for the overall execution of the program. 
Unless otherwise stated in the application, the program director will have the 
overall responsibility for all projects/activities (e.g., mentoring activities, 
organization of communications skills programs, special methods workshops etc.) 
and as well as student career tracking plans.  The names and qualifications of 
the program director, the directors of individual projects within the program 
(where appropriate), and any other key personnel, shall be listed in the 
application under Key Personnel and their Biographical Sketches should be 
included.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS (New and Competitive Renewal Applications)

Upon receipt, NIH staff will administratively review applications.  Applications 
that are incomplete and/or do not conform to the guidelines of the PHS Form 398, 
the IMSD policy, or supplemental instructions will be returned to the applicant 
without further consideration.  After administrative review, applications will 
be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific and 
technical merit by appropriate peer review groups.  The National Advisory 
General Medical Sciences Council will provide the second level of review.

Review Criteria for the Student Development Plan

The anticipated effectiveness of the program in making a difference relative to 
the current base line data (based on previous experience for new applications or 
the last four years for competitive renewals) will be assessed, some of the 
factors considered include
o The extent to which the program"s plan may be expected to meet the goals and 
specific measurable objectives of the applicant institution, as well as those 
of IMSD initiative,
o The rationale for the educational/research activities to increase students’ 
interest in research careers, and identification of the specific limitations 
these activities would ameliorate,
o Evidence of the ability to deliver high quality programmatic 
projects/activities, and
o The appropriateness of the applicant"s plan for the evaluation of the impact 
of the programmatic activities.
 
Review Criteria for the Overall Application

o Suitability of overall goal(s) and specific objectives in relation to the 
applicant institution’s academic strengths,
o The availability of significant numbers of underrepresented minority students 
in the participating science department(s) who are potentially interested in 
research careers in biomedical and health-related fields,
o The past training record of designated preceptors, measured by the success of 
former trainees of any ethnic group, in establishing independent and 
productive research careers,
o The caliber of the proposed preceptors as researchers, including their 
successful competition for research support,
o Suitability of evaluation plan, including appropriate baseline data and 
milestones for accomplishments,
o The qualifications and experience of the Program Director, faculty and staff 
to carry out the proposed program, and
o Evidence of institutional commitment, and strength of the efforts of the 
institution, to foster the professional development of underrepresented 
minority scientists.

Other Considerations
o The budget and cost-effectiveness of the program, including its 
appropriateness to the scope of the program, and the number of students 
involved,

AWARD CRITERIA

The MBRS program"s mission is to increase significantly the number of 
underrepresented minorities professionally engaged in biomedical research.  
Towards this end, priorities for funding will be based on the technical merit of 
the application, and the likelihood that the applicant institution can further 
the goals of the MBRS program. Awards will be made only to institutions with 
financial management systems and management capabilities that are acceptable 
under NIH policy.  Awards will be administered under the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Questions on the program and its policies should be directed to:

Ernest D. Marquez, Ph.D.
Chief, MBRS Branch
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Suite 2AS.37
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX: (301) 480-2753
E-mail:  marqueze@nigms.nih.gov

Questions on the review of applications should be directed to:

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 1 AS.13
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-2881
FAX:  (301) 480-8506
E-mail:  sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

Questions on grants management and fiscal matters should be directed to:
Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Supervisor
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 2AN.50
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-2554
E-mail:  hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93-
375.  Awards are authorized by sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service 
Act, as amended, and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal 
Regulations 42 CFR part 52c, 45 CFR part 74, and 45 CFR part 92.  See also 
Senate Appropriations Committee Report, No. 92-316, July 29, 1971, Executive 
Order 12900 , Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans February 22, 1994, 
and Executive Order 12876, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 
November 1, 1993, and Executive Order 13021, October 21, 1996 and Outline of 
Work Plan, August 18, 1998, White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and 
Universities.  Applications are 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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