This Program Announcement expires on December 13, 2003, unless reissued.

POST-BACCALAUREATE RESEARCH EDUCATION PROGRAM (PREP)

Release Date:  September 22, 2000 (see NOT-GM-03-106)

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-139 (see replacement, PAR-03-140)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Application Receipt Date:  December 13, 2000

PURPOSE

The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program Branch of the Division 
of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) of the National Institute of 
General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides research training opportunities for 
students from minority groups who are underrepresented in the biomedically-
relevant sciences, including mathematics.  As part of the ongoing commitment 
to the development of prospective underrepresented minority researchers and 
the enhancement of their training, the MARC Program provides support to 
stimulate underrepresented minority students to consider biomedical research 
as a viable career.

The MARC Branch announces the establishment of a new institutional initiative, 
the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), to encourage 
underrepresented minorities who hold a recent baccalaureate degree in the 
biomedically-relevant sciences, to pursue a research doctorate.  The purpose 
of this program is to maintain the interest of the post-baccalaureate 
participants in such areas of scientific research as cell biology, biophysics, 
biochemistry, genetics, neurobiology, physiology, computational biology and 
behavioral sciences.  It is anticipated that participation in this program 
will facilitate the development of a cohort who will become the scientists who 
address the health problems that disproportionately affect minorities and the 
medically underserved people of this country.  Participants in this program 
will acquire stronger research skills, and improve the skills and 
competitiveness necessary for the successful pursuit of a graduate degree.  
Institutions with graduate programs in the biomedical sciences and/or 
behavioral sciences can request from six to ten post-baccalaureate positions 
for individuals to engage in mentored research studies and student development 
activities under the direction of faculty preceptors. 

For this Program Announcement, underrepresented minority baccalaureates are 
individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been 
determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical 
research.  Nationally, individuals who have been found to be underrepresented 
in biomedically relevant research include, but are not limited to, United 
States citizens who are African American, Hispanic American, Native American, 
and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.  In this Program Announcement, the 
term “science” means the biological, chemical, computer, physical, and 
behavioral sciences, including mathematics, which have relevance to biomedical 
research.

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 (PA), the 
Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program, is related to one or more 
of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of “Healthy 
People 2010” at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/. 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Institutional

Applications will be accepted from domestic private and public universities, 
and research institutions or centers with graduate programs that offer a solid 
research environment as evidenced by a high level of faculty involvement in 
biomedical and/or behavioral research.  An applicant institution may submit 
only one application for this program announcement.  

PREP Scholars

To be eligible for participation in the program as a PREP scholar, individuals 
from underrepresented minority groups must have graduated with a baccalaureate 
degree in a biomedically relevant science from an accredited U.S. college or 
university no more than 36 months prior to the date of submission of the 
application.  All individuals selected as scholars must intend to apply, 
within two years, for graduate education that will eventually lead to the 
research doctorate.  In addition, PREP scholars must be U.S. citizens or 
permanent residents. 

The period of appointment for scholars participating in this post-
baccalaureate program is for up to two years. During the period of 
appointment, the scholars will work as apprentice scientists in a preceptor’s 
laboratory and participate in student development and/or educational 
activities at the applicant institution. The applicant institution should set 
as goals for its PREP scholars, academic criteria that would allow for their 
admission to the institution’s graduate program.  It is expected that if the 
PREP scholar performs satisfactorily, he/she will be strongly encouraged to 
apply for admission to the graduate program of the applicant institution. The 
PREP scholar’s preceptor must be an active researcher with a funded research 
program.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards under this program will use the Institutional Educational Project (R25) 
mechanism.  The responsibility for planning, direction, execution and tracking 
for evaluation of the proposed program lies solely with the applicant 
institution.  The maximum initial grant period is five years with the 
opportunity to compete for renewal at the end of the period.

Allowable Costs

Costs for the overall administration of the PREP initiative, including 
coordination and evaluation of the program, are allowable.  Such costs include 
salary support for the Program Director (up to 15% effort) for the portion of 
time devoted specifically to administering the program, salary support for 
secretarial or clerical help when directly related to the PREP initiative, and 
support for evaluation activities. 

PREP Scholars Salaries: Remuneration for PREP scholars is through salary and 
wages.  Beginning PREP scholars will be paid a salary of $21,000/year.  The 
maximum compensation package which includes fringe benefits and tuition and 
fees (if applicable) a PREP scholar can be paid should not exceed 
$30,000/year.  The following conditions must be met:

o  The PREP scholar must be performing necessary work relevant to the proposed 
training plan. 
o  There must be an employer-employee relationship between the scholar and the 
university.   
o  The total compensation must be reasonable for the work performed.
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.

Tuition Remission: The applicant institution may request tuition remission for 
a course(s) it deems necessary to enhance the preparedness of a PREP scholar 
for graduate studies in biomedical science. 

Travel: Applicants may request support for travel of PREP scholars to 
scientific meetings or to present scientific papers. Requests for scholars 
travel to scientific meetings must be carefully and specifically justified.  

Facilities and Administration Allowance: A facilities and administration (F&A) 
allowance based on eight percent of total allowable direct costs (this 
excludes tuition, fees, health insurance, and equipment) will be paid.

Unallowable Costs

Housing, food, or recruitment expenses of any kind are not allowable costs 
under this program.  Support for faculty research is not allowable, since 
faculty preceptors in competitive programs are expected to have their own 
research support and an active research program capable of supporting the 
mentored research experience of PREP scholars.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NIH was encouraged to increase the 
number of underrepresented minorities participating in biomedical and 
behavioral research.  In response to the Act, institutions with graduate 
programs in the biomedical sciences and faculty involved in biomedical 
research would have an opportunity to target those talented and promising 
minority baccalaureate graduates who, for a variety of reasons, have decided 
to postpone application to graduate school.  The overall goal of this 
initiative is to increase the number of competitively trained underrepresented 
minority students who enroll in biomedical research graduate programs that 
will eventually lead to the research doctorate.  In addition, we hope to 
develop a cohort who will eventually become the scientists who conduct 
research on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, respiratory 
diseases, HIV and other STDs, substance abuse, and other areas that address 
reducing health disparities. 

Applicant institutions should define the goals and specific measurable 
objectives of their proposed program and how meeting those institutional goals 
and objectives will fulfill the objectives of this Program Announcement.  The 
application should make clear how each of the proposed programmatic activities 
will contribute to the achievement of the PREP scholars’ needs and the 
institution’s stated goals and specific measurable objectives.  The 
application should provide a plan to evaluate whether the specific measurable 
objectives, as stated in the application, have been met and how those data 
obtained will be analyzed.

Applicant institutions are required to submit the following information:

o  Evidence of the applicant institution’s commitment to the advancement of    
underrepresented minority students in the participating science departments.
o  Evidence of the applicant institution’s efforts to recruit and retain 
underrepresented minority students in the participating science departments.
o  Evidence of previous involvement of faculty in providing meaningful 
mentoring to students in the proposed participating departments.
o  Description of a clear plan for the development of PREP scholars that 
includes courses and developmental activities that could provide them with the 
knowledge and skills needed to address any biomedical/behavioral scientific 
problem including those that pertain to health disparities, in addition to 
conducting mentored research.

Applicant institutions are expected to provide detailed plans for the 
recruitment and selection criteria of PREP scholars and involvement of the 
scholars in any special developmental activities. For example, a program’s 
curriculum or developmental activities might provide a broad overview of 
subjects as well as the skills and knowledge relevant to the national need of 
addressing health disparities, such as the human genome project or 
translational research. In addition, the overall curriculum should strengthen 
the mathematical and quantitative skills needed by the scholars to eventually 
complete the research doctorate degree.  Thus, the application should clearly 
describe how the PREP scholars would be better prepared for graduate training, 
and how the applicant institution will evaluate the quality and success of 
their PREP initiative.  The application should also provide information on the 
credentials of the proposed faculty preceptors, including their experience as 
mentors, current research programs and publications, and current grant 
support.

Summary

It is anticipated that this program will result in strengthening the 
biomedical/behavioral science research skills and competitiveness of PREP 
scholars while also promoting and stimulating their interest in addressing the 
problems of domestic health disparities.  Scholars participating in this 
program will be better prepared to pursue and eventually complete graduate 
education leading to the research doctorate. In addition, there is the 
potential for developing a cohort of scholars who might use their training to 
address the problems of domestic health disparities.

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 are provided indicating 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 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm:  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

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 applicants 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 comprised when they directly access an Internet site.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Responsible Conduct of Research

Applicant institutions must describe in detail plans for teaching responsible 
conduct in biomedical research to all PREP scholars and provide progress 
reports of the type of instruction given, who attended, and who taught.  This 
is mandatory for all PREP grant applicants.  Applications without plans for 
instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered 
incomplete and may be returned to the applicant without review.

Although NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal requirements, 
PREP programs are encouraged strongly to consider instruction in the following 
areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling 
misconduct, policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects, and data 
management.  Within the context of training in scientific integrity it is also 
beneficial to discuss the mutual responsibilities of the institution and the 
post-baccalaureate participants supported by this program.

Plans must address the subject matter and format of the instruction, the 
amount of faculty participation, attendance of PREP scholars, and the 
frequency of instruction.  In addition, the rationale for the proposed plan of 
instruction must be provided.

During peer review the plans will be judged acceptable or unacceptable 
separately from the overall merit of the training program.  The judgement will 
be based on the appropriateness of the topics, format, participation of the 
faculty, and the frequency and duration of instruction to the level and type 
of training being provided.  The plan will be discussed after the overall 
determination of merit, so that the quality of the plan will not be a factor 
in the determination of the priority score.  Regardless of the priority score, 
applications with unacceptable plans will be not be funded. 

Reporting Requirements

A progress report will be required two months before the end of each budget 
period.  A final report will be required within 90 days after the termination 
date of the award.  All progress reports must include information on each PREP 
scholar’s progress and the benefits that the scholar derived from the program.  
In addition, the progress report should also include information on the 
applicant institution’s success in motivating these scholars to enroll in 
graduate school.  Based on each year’s progress report, the number of PREP 
slots may be modified depending on the rate of the PREP scholars enrolling in 
graduate programs at the applicant institution or other institutions.  In 
addition to the progress report, a Financial Status Report (FSR) will be 
required 90 days after the end of each budget period.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) and must be received by the application receipt date listed in the 
heading of this Program Announcement.   Application kits are available at most 
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, e-mail grantsinfo@nih.gov and from the NIGMS program director listed 
under INQUIRIES.  

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 checked.

Submit a signed, typewritten 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 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and 
appendix materials must be sent to:

Helen Sunshine, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 1AS.13, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed administratively by NIH staff.  
Incomplete and/or unresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant 
without further consideration.  Those applications that are complete and 
responsive will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by 
the NIGMS.  The National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council will 
provide the second level of review.

Review Criteria

Applications will be evaluated for technical and scientific merit by a 
suitable Review Group assembled by the NIGMS based on the following criteria:

o  merit of the measurable specific objectives and the plan for the evaluation 
of the program;
o  merit of the proposed research training and student development activities 
to provide a meaningful experience for the PREP scholars; 
o  qualifications and experience of the program director to carry out the 
proposed program;
o  quality and experience of the proposed research faculty as investigators 
and mentors;
o  evidence of the institution’s adequacy and availability of research 
resources and research training environment;  
o  evidence of the applicant institution’s efforts to recruit and retain 
underrepresented minority students in the participating departments;
o  evidence of previous involvement of faculty in providing meaningful 
mentoring to underrepresented minority students in the proposed participating 
departments; 
o  description of a clear plan for the development of PREP scholars that 
includes courses and developmental activities that could provide them with the 
knowledge and skills needed to address any biomedical/behavioral scientific 
problem including those that pertain to health disparities, in addition to 
conducting mentored research; and  
o  appropriateness of the scope of the program and its benefit to the PREP 
scholars.

Additional Review Considerations

o  acceptability of the Responsible Conduct of Research plan.

AWARD CRITERIA

Award decisions will be based on the merit of the application and the 
applicant’s ability to meet the goals and objectives of the Program 
Announcement.  Awards are 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 concerning this Program Announcement are 
encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential 
applicants is welcomed.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Adolphus P. Toliver, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2753
Email:  tolivera@nigms.nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594 5132
FAX:  (301) 480-2554
Email:  HollandA@nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.375.  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 of 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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