BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE TRACK AWARD FOR RAPID TRANSITION (B/START)

Release Date:  July 11, 2000 (see addendum NOT-MH-01-004)

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-119 (see replacement PAR-04-010)

National Institute of Mental Health

THIS PA USES "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS.  THIS PA INCLUDES 
DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED 
WHEN PREPARING AN APPLICATION IN RESPONSE TO THIS PA.

PURPOSE

This is a reissuance of PAR-94-002, which was issued in October 1993, and is 
hereby withdrawn.  This reissuance will become effective as of the October 1, 
2000, receipt date, and will remain in effect until October 1, 2003, unless 
reissued.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), through the issuance of this 
Program Announcement (PA), intends to facilitate the entry of new investigators 
into the field of behavioral science research.  NIMH invites newly independent 
investigators to submit applications for small-scale exploratory or pilot 
research projects related to the behavioral science mission of the NIMH.  This 
includes basic research on psychological and behavioral processes (e.g., 
cognition, emotion, personality, interpersonal interaction, social cognition), 
research incorporating neural and other biological approaches if the research 
has a primary focus on behavior, research on mental illness (risk factors, 
diagnosis, treatment, and prevention), and research on mental health services 
(e.g., organization, financing, delivery, and effectiveness; psychosocial 
rehabilitation, adherence).  Funding of B/START awards is relatively rapid, 
i.e., within approximately six months of the date of receipt of the 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 Program Announcement, “Behavioral 
Science Track Award for Rapid Transition,” is related to the priority area of 
Mental Health and Mental Disorders.  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.  Foreign institutions are not eligible for a B/START award.  
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply as principal investigators.

To be eligible for a B/START award, the proposed Principal Investigator must be 
independent of a mentor at the time of award, but be at the beginning stages of 
his/her research career (typically not more than five years from receipt of the 
doctorate or, if applicable, from the end of postdoctoral training).  If the 
applicant is in the final stages of training, s/he may apply, but no B/START 
award will be made to individuals in training status.  The proposed Principal 
Investigator may not have been designated previously as Principal Investigator 
on any PHS-supported research or career grant (except a dissertation research 
grant) or have received similar support from another federal agency, e.g., the 
National Science Foundation.  Previous receipt of National Research Service 
Award (NRSA) funds (i.e., Institutional Training Grant or Individual Fellowship) 
is permissible.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Small Grant 
(R03) award mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and 
execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.  The 
total project period for an application submitted in response to this PA may not 
exceed one year.  The total direct costs for the project may not exceed $50,000.  
Grant funds may be used for expenses clearly related and necessary to conduct 
the research project, including both direct costs that can be specifically 
identified with the project and allowable facilities and administrative (F&A) 
costs of the institution.  Replacement of the Principal Investigator on a 
B/START award is not permitted.  Transfer of a B/START award with the Principal 
Investigator to another institution for the remainder of the grant period may be 
requested.  B/START awards are not renewable.  If a B/START application is 
unsuccessful in obtaining funding on the first submission, it may be revised 
(amended) and resubmitted one time.  Additional revision and resubmission of a 
B/START application is not permitted.

For all competing R03 applications, specific application instructions have been 
modified to reflect “MODULAR GRANT” and “JUST-IN-TIME” streamlining efforts 
being undertaken at NIH.  More detailed information about modular grant 
applications, including a sample budget, narrative justification pages, and a 
sample biographical sketch, is available via the Internet at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.  

Because B/START grants have special eligibility requirements, application 
formats, and review criteria, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with 
program staff (listed under INQUIRIES) prior to submitting an application.

There are alternative mechanisms of support for individuals interested in 
pursuing periods of supervised training and career development activities.  Such 
individuals are encouraged to consider applying for NIMH individual postdoctoral 
fellowships or NIMH mentored career development awards.  Additional information 
regarding Institute-wide training initiatives and support mechanisms can be 
found at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/grants/training.cfm.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Research areas relevant for support by NIMH can be found at the following URL 
address:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/grants/program_contact.cfm.  To be appropriate 
for a B/START award, research in these areas must, in addition, be primarily 
focused on behavioral processes and research questions.  That is, research on 
neural, genetic, or other biological processes would be appropriate for a 
B/START award only if its overall emphasis were on understanding behavioral 
processes or outcomes.  Examples of the latter include individual mental 
function (e.g., cognition, emotion, personality); social interaction; 
developmental and environmental influences on behavior; risk, treatment, and 
prevention of mental disorder; psychosocial rehabilitation; adherence; and the 
organization, financing, and delivery of mental health services.

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://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 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

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

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

Prior to submitting an application, investigators are strongly encouraged to 
contact the program contacts listed under INQUIRIES in order to assess the 
responsiveness of their proposed project to the mission of NIMH and to the goals 
of this PA.  Applications judged not to be responsive or not appropriately 
focused on mental health relevant behavioral processes and research questions 
(as addressed in PURPOSE and RESEARCH OBJECTIVES) may be returned to the 
applicant without review.

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as indicated
in the application kit.  Application kits 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.  Applications are also available on the World Wide Web at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR A B/START APPLICATION

o  The number and title of the program announcement (PAR-00-119, NIMH B/START) 
must be typed in Item 2 on the face page of the application and the YES box must 
be checked.

o  Sections a-d of the Research Plan must not exceed seven pages in total.

o  Color/glossy photos may be submitted as an appendix, however, the appendix 
may not be used to circumvent the page limitation.

In all other respects, applications must meet the conditions set out in form PHS 
398 (rev. 4/98).

SPECIFIC APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANTS

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs may 
be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets.  Only limited 
budgetary information is required under this approach.  The just-in-time concept 
allows applicants to submit certain information only when there is a possibility 
for an award.  It is anticipated that these changes will reduce the 
administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and Institute staff.  The 
research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in applying 
for these grants, with the modifications noted below.

BUDGET INSTRUCTIONS

Applicants may request up to two modules of $25,000 direct costs each.  The 
total direct costs must be requested in accordance with the program guidelines 
and the modifications made to the standard PHS 398 application instructions 
described below:

PHS 398

o  FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs and 
Total Costs [Modular Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) 
costs] for the one-year budget period. 

o  DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD - Do not complete Form Page 4 
of the PHS 398.  It is not required and will not be accepted with the 
application.

o  BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT - Do not complete the 
categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required and 
will not be accepted with the application.

o  NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION - Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page.  (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for sample 
pages.)  At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs requested.  This 
is not a Form page.

o  Under Personnel, list key project personnel, including their names, percent 
of effort, and roles on the project.  No individual salary information should be 
provided.  However, the applicant should use the NIH appropriation language 
salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student compensation in developing 
the budget request.

o  For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of total costs (direct 
plus facilities and administrative) for each year, each rounded to the nearest 
$1,000.  List the individuals/organizations with whom consortium or contractual 
arrangements have been made, the percent effort of key personnel, and the role 
on the project.  Indicate whether the collaborating institution is foreign or 
domestic.  The total cost for a consortium/contractual arrangement is included 
in the overall requested modular direct cost amount.  Include the Letter of 
Intent to establish a consortium.

o  BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - The Biographical Sketch provides information used by 
reviewers in the assessment of each individual's qualifications for a specific 
role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall qualifications 
of the research team.  A biographical sketch is required for all key personnel, 
following the instructions below.  A sample biographical sketch may be viewed 
at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

- Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;
- List position(s) and any honors;
- Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on research 
projects ongoing or completed during the last three years.
- List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations;

o  CHECKLIST - This page should be completed and submitted with the application.  
If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the type of agreement 
and the date.  All appropriate exclusions must be applied in the calculation of 
the F&A costs.

o  The applicant should provide the name and phone number of the individual to 
contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if additional information is 
necessary following the initial review.

Applications not conforming to these guidelines will be considered unresponsive 
to this PA and will be returned without further review.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and three 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)
Telephone:  (301) 435-0714

To permit an expedited review of the application, applicants must simultaneously 
send two complete copies to:

Henry J. Haigler, Ph.D.
Referral Liaison Officer
NIH/NIMH Division of Extramural Activities
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 6154, MSC 9609
Bethesda, MD  20892-9609
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 443-4334

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an 
appropriate scientific review group convened by NIMH in accordance with the 
standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process in which only 
those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the 
top half of applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority 
score, and receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory 
council or board.

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.  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 methods?  
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?

(6) Relevance of the project to the mission of the NIMH.

(7) Appropriateness of the project to the goals of the B/START program.

Review criteria also include: the appropriateness of proposed project budget and 
duration; the adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their 
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research 
and plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects; the provisions for the 
protection of human and animal subjects; and the safety of the research 
environment.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:  Quality of the 
proposed project as determined by peer review, appropriateness to the goals of 
the B/START program, availability of funds, and 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:

Mary Ellen Oliveri, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7220, MSC 9651
Bethesda, MD 20892-9651
Telephone:  (301) 443-3942
FAX:  (301) 443-9876
E-mail:  moliveri@nih.gov

Emeline M. Otey, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research & AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6186, MSC 9625
Bethesda, MD  20892-9625
Telephone:  (301) 443-3728
FAX:  (301) 443-4611
E-mail:  eotey@nih.gov

Enid Light, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7160, MSC 9635
Bethesda, MD  20892-9635
Telephone:  (301) 443-1185
FAX:  (301) 594-6784
E-mail:  elight@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone: (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  Diana_Trunnell@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS 

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.242.  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.  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, and 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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