NIDCD SMALL GRANT PROGRAM

Release Date:  June 22, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-110

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Application Receipt Dates:  August 24, 2000; December 22, 2000; April 20,
 2001 and August 24, 2001

THIS PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT (PA) USES "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" 
CONCEPTS. IT INCLUDES DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION 
INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED WHEN PREPARING APPLICATIONS IN RESPONSE TO 
THIS PA. 

PURPOSE

This Program Announcement (PA) supersedes all previous announcements of the 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) 
Small Grant (R03) Program for support of pilot research that is likely to 
lead to a subsequent individual research project grant (R01) application. The 
research must be focused on one or more of the areas within the biomedical 
and behavioral scientific mission of the NIDCD:  hearing, balance, smell, 
taste, voice, speech, or language.

The Small Grant Program is designed to support basic and clinical research of 
scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent 
research career.  The R03 may be used to support individuals transitioning 
from postdoctoral status to their first independent research position.  In 
addition, the R03 may be used by early-stage clinician-scientists planning to 
make future application for an NIDCD mentored research career development 
award (K-award) to demonstrate the feasibility of the research to be proposed 
in their K-award application. 

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA, NIDCD Small Grant 
Program, is related to several priority areas applicable to human 
communication.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 
2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit 
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible agencies of 
the Federal Government on behalf of eligible investigators.  Racial/ethnic 
minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to 
apply.  Foreign institutions and United States organizations located in 
foreign countries are not eligible to apply for this program.

The R03 Program supports the research of scientists who are in the early 
stages of establishing an independent research career in the basic and 
clinical sciences of human communication, including individuals transitioning 
from postdoctoral status to their first independent research position.  
Applicants are not required to have their own independent research space or 
equipment.  It is intended that an R03 grant will enable such individuals to 
obtain preliminary data that is likely to lead to a subsequent individual 
research project grant (R01) application.

The NIDCD encourages early-stage clinician-scientists planning to make future 
application for an NIDCD mentored research career development award (K-
award), such as the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Awards (K08) or 
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Awards (K23), to 
consider applying for one year of support through an NIDCD R03 award, if 
needed to demonstrate the feasibility of the research to be proposed in their 
K08 or K23 application.  In addition, recipients of NIDCD K08 and K23 awards 
may hold an R03 award concurrent with the K-award,  providing the aggregate 
number of years of R03 support (prior to and during the K-award) does not 
exceed three years and that the R03 does not provide the K-awardee with 
additional salary support.  The purpose of such an R03 award is to provide 
the mentored K-awardee with additional needed resources for the transition to 
independence. The research specific aims (SAs) of the R03 application should 
expand upon the SAs of the K08 or K23 award, rather than duplicate the SAs of 
the K-award. In this case, the concurrent professional effort associated with 
these awards is considered overlapping rather than additive. 

Former recipients of Federally-funded National Research Service Award (NRSA) 
fellowships and traineeships or mentored career development awards are 
eligible for this Small Grant Program.  Individuals who have served as 
Principal Investigators on any NIH research grant (including subprojects of 
program project and center grants) or other Federally-funded research grants 
are not eligible for the NIDCD R03 mechanism.

Other questions about eligibility may be directed to one of the program 
officials listed under INQUIRIES.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Applications for the Small Grant Program use the NIH Modular Grant format 
(see NIH Guide, Notice of Modular Grant Application and Award, December 15, 
1998) in preparing the budget.  Complete and detailed instructions and 
information on Modular Grants can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.  Small grants may be 
submitted for up to 2 modules of $25,000 each ($50,000 Direct Costs per 
year), for up to three years of support.

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 protocols 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 10.1-43).

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, 
Volume 23, Number 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 CHIDREN 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 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://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites. Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS 398 grant application form is to be used to submit the R03 grant. 
The form may be downloaded from the NIH Home Page at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.  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 specific R03 guidelines listed below (e.g., page limitations, number of 
copies, application dates) supersede the PHS 398 instructions.

FACE PAGE:  Item 2, type "Small Grant Program NIDCD" in "Title" box, and 
check the "YES" box, indicating the application is in response to a Program 
Announcement. 
 
For revised/amended applications, an introduction (not to exceed one and one-
half pages) in addition to the research plan is required.  This introduction 
should respond to the comments and concerns of the Initial Review Group 
delineated in the summary statement. 

The research plan should not exceed eight pages.  Information regarding 
specific aims, background and significance, preliminary studies/progress 
report, research design and methods are all included in this eight-page limit 
(Section C-9, a-d, page 15 of the PHS 398 instructions). If human subjects 
are included in the proposed research, applicants must address the 
recruitment and inclusion of women, minorities and children, as it impacts 
study design, within the eight-page research plan (page 16 of the PHS 398 
instructions).

Tables, figures and photographs are also included in the eight-page limit.   

Detailed descriptions of protocols for the proposed involvement of human 
subjects and/or vertebrate animals, literature cited, consortium/contractual 
arrangements and consultant letters, are not included in the eight-page limit 
(Section C-9, e-i, pages 17 and 18 of the PHS 398 instructions).

Up to three publications, submitted manuscripts, or abstracts may be included 
as Appendix material.  (Please refer to PHS 398 application for additional 
Appendix guidelines.)  Letters of support may also be included in the 
Appendix.

Applications that exceed the page limit or requirements for type/font size 
and margins may be returned to the investigator.  (Please refer to PHS 398 
application for details.) 

Use the mailing label in the application kit to mail the original and three 
copies of the application (less Appendices) to:

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

To ensure that the application is received in sufficient time for the review, 
please send an additional two copies and five sets of Appendices to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS Room 400-C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

The submission, review, and award schedule for the Small Grant Program 
through August 24, 2001 is:

Application Receipt Dates:  Dec 22     Apr 20     Aug 24
NIDCD Committee Review:     Feb/Mar    Jun/Jul    Oct/Nov
Council Review:             May        Oct        Jan
Earliest Funding:           Aug        Jan        May

If the receipt date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to the following 
Monday; if the date falls on a holiday, it will be extended to the following 
business day.

Only one Small Grant application may be submitted by a Principal Investigator 
per receipt date.  Applicants may not submit an R01 application on the same 
topic concurrently (to be considered at the same National Advisory Council 
meeting) with the submission of a Small Grant application.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit in 
accordance with the standard NIH procedures by an initial review group (IRG) 
convened by the NIDCD.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications 
will be discussed, assigned a priority score and receive a written critique.  
The second level of review is conducted by the National Deafness and Other 
Communication Disorders Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance the 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 these criteria 
will be addressed and considered in the assignment of the overall score.

(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?

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for protection of 
human and animal subjects, the safety of the research environment, and 
conformity with the NIH Guidelines for the Inclusion of Women, Minorities and 
Children as Subjects in Clinical Research.

Applications will be subsequently reviewed by the National Deafness and Other 
Communication Disorders Advisory Council.

AWARD CRITERIA

The awarding of grant funds is contingent on:  (1) the receipt of 
applications of high scientific merit; (2) responsiveness to this Program 
Announcement, including the eligibility of investigators; (3) relevance to 
the mission of the NIDCD; and (4) the availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Hearing
Dr. Thomas Johnson
Telephone:  (301) 402-3461
Email:  Thomas_Johnson@nih.gov 

Balance
Dr. Daniel Sklare
Telephone:  (301) 496-1804
Email:  Daniel_Sklare@nih.gov

Smell/Taste
Dr. Rochelle Small
Telephone:  (301) 402-3464
Email:  Rochelle_Small@nih.gov

Dr. Barry Davis
Telephone:  (301) 402-3464
Email:  Barry_Davis@nih.gov

Voice/Speech/Language
Dr. Judith Cooper
Telephone:  (301) 496-5061
Email:  Judith_Cooper@nih.gov

Research Training and Career Development (across NIDCD program areas)
Dr. Daniel Sklare
Telephone:  (301) 496-1804
Email:  Daniel_Sklare@nih.gov

The address and FAX number for the above-named persons are:

Scientific Programs Branch
Division of Extramural Research 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS Room 400C, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
FAX:  (301) 402-6251

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Sharon Hunt
Grants Management Office
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS Room 400B, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 402-0909
Fax:  (301) 402-1758
Email:  sh79f@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No.93.173.  Awards are made under authorization of sections 301 and 405 of 
the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 
45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  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 103-227, 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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