EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR DATA, METHODS, AND INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO 
POPULATION RESEARCH

RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-099 (This PA has been reissued, see PAR-05-134)

EXPIRATION DATE:  March 15, 2005, unless reissued.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) 
 http://www.nichd.nih.gov/

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA  

This announcement encourages applications for educational activities related 
to the NICHD mission to support research on the processes that determine 
population size, growth, composition, and distribution, and on the 
determinants and consequences of population processes.  It encourages 
activities designed to address three key objectives:  the effective 
dissemination and use of complex data sets, the extension of 
interdisciplinary science related to population, and the application of 
cutting-edge statistical, mathematical, and other methodological tools to 
population research.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB) is one of three 
branches in the Center for Population Research of the NICHD.  The Branch 
supports research on the demographic processes of fertility, mortality, and 
migration and the interrelationships among demographic, social, economic, and 
cultural processes.  Areas of supported research include fertility and family 
planning, sexually transmitted disease, family and household demography, 
mortality and health, population movement, population and environment, and 
population composition and change.  The Branch supports multi- and inter-
disciplinary research drawing on the clinical, behavioral, and social 
sciences.

In June 2001, DBSB convened a long-range planning workshop to identify 
promising directions for population research and issues critical to advancing 
the field.  This workshop, along with others convened by the Branch in recent 
years, identified a need for mechanisms to support specialized educational 
needs within population research.  Three specific needs have been identified. 

The first is the effective dissemination and use of large-scale complex data 
sets that are supported with NICHD funds.  These data sets are developed for 
broad use within the scientific community, and their use for secondary 
analysis produces significant cost-efficiencies.  As the data sets collected 
by population researchers have become more complex, however, it has become 
clear that steps must be taken to ensure that they are disseminated properly 
and used knowledgeably.  Mechanisms for training in the use and dissemination 
of complex data sets would help to address this need.

The second need concerns the widespread agreement that the future of 
behavioral and social science research lies in developing effective 
interdisciplinary teams focused on scientific questions.  Numerous recent 
reports from the National Academy of Sciences have stressed this point.  An 
emphasis on interdisciplinary work puts significant pressure on training 
programs, which are required both to prepare students thoroughly in their own 
disciplines and prepare them for interdisciplinary collaboration.  Among the 
many barriers to such efforts is a lack of opportunities to become familiar 
with the concepts, models, and methods used in other disciplines and areas of 
science, outside the standard courses offered in university settings.  

A third need concerns the advancement and enrichment of quantitative and 
qualitative methodologies for population research.  Of particular concern are 
methodological approaches that have the potential to advance population 
research but are not included in standard training curricula.  Such gaps may 
arise when new methods are developed or when methods from other fields are 
initially adapted to population research.  They may also arise when the 
demand for training in specialized methods is too low at individual training 
sites to justify regular courses.  For example, although formal demographic 
methods are, and should continue to be, taught in all NICHD-funded 
demographic training programs, training in advanced and specialized topics is 
not offered in many settings because of limited demand and/or expertise.  
Educational programs that provide broad access to such training would help to 
address this problem.

Scope

Applicants may propose educational programs that: (1) address the effective 
dissemination and use of complex data sets, (2) facilitate the conduct of 
interdisciplinary science related to population, and/or (3) provide broad 
access to training in the application of specialized or cutting-edge 
methodologies in population research.  In rare cases, and with the prior 
permission of DBSB program staff, applications may be accepted for other 
purposes not detailed here.  In all applications, the goals of the proposed 
program must be relevant to the mission of the DBSB, as described under 
"Background."  Potential applicants are advised to contact DBSB program staff 
listed under "WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES" to confirm that their application 
meets this criterion. 

Examples of educational programs appropriate under this announcement include, 
but are not limited to:

o training on techniques to maximize the accessibility and/or protect the 
confidentiality of data included in public-use files, 

o interactive, hands-on training in the use of complex datasets from specific 
studies,
 
o training in the application of new methodological approaches (e.g., spatial 
analysis, ethnography, social network analysis, and advanced statistical 
methods) to population research,

o limited cross-training to expose population scientists to the core 
theories, knowledge, and methods of other disciplines, e.g., epidemiology, 
public health, endocrinology, anthropology.  While not providing full 
training in these areas of science, such training would help to prepare 
scientists to participate effectively in cross-disciplinary work, and

o workshops to provide training on topics in formal or mathematical 
demography that are not provided at individual institutions.

Special Considerations

Activities proposed under the R25 mechanism must propose intensive training 
geared to a specific, clearly articulated, goal.  Applicants seeking funding 
for workshops that do not meet this criterion should consider alternative 
mechanisms, such as the NIH R13 (Conference Grant) mechanism.  All applicants 
must justify that the educational goals of the proposed program cannot be met 
through existing institutional programs or structures.   

Applicants should describe the intended audiences for the proposed 
educational program and their plans for advertising the program and selecting 
participants.  The design of the educational program should be described and 
justified, and the plans for staffing presented.  Applicants must also 
propose a plan for evaluating the educational program.  The applicant 
institution must demonstrate a commitment to provide leadership and dedicated 
faculty time to the development and implementation of the program.

Applicants are encouraged to propose innovative approaches to achieving the 
goals of this announcement.  Illustrative examples include interactive long-
distance training, web-based instruction, and educational programs developed 
and implemented by inter-university consortia.  All approaches must be 
justified in terms of the goals and cost-effectiveness of the proposed 
program.

Because these grants are not renewable, applicants proposing programs that 
address recurrent or long-term needs should articulate a plan for assuring 
financial support for their program beyond the period of NIH funding. 

Allowable Costs

o  Personnel

Limited salary and fringe benefit support may be requested for faculty, to 
the extent that they reflect the actual time or effort devoted to developing 
and implementing the proposed program.  Mentoring of students at the faculty 
member"s institution is considered as part of the role of faculty and, 
therefore, is not reimbursable from the grant.

o  Consultants

Support may be requested to cover expenses such as honoraria for educational 
program presenters and advisory group members.

o  Supplies

Support may be requested for necessary supplies (e.g., office and 
instructional supplies, computer disks).

o  Travel

Travel expenses to and from the site of the educational program may be 
requested for participating faculty and presenters, travel expenses for 
individuals benefiting from the program are allowable when well justified in 
relation to the program"s goals and the resources of the intended 
beneficiaries.  Travel expenses may also be requested for planning 
activities.

o  Other Expenses

The applicant may request other items necessary to the educational program, 
such as advertising and recruitment costs, computer costs, duplication costs, 
telephone, and other communication costs.

o  Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs

These costs, which were formerly called indirect costs, will be reimbursed at 
8 percent of modified total direct costs.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This PA will use the NIH Education Project (R25) award mechanism.  As an 
applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and 
executing the proposed project.  

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this PA 
may not exceed two years.  Grants awarded under this announcement are not 
renewable.

Direct cost requests may not exceed $150,000 per year without prior approval 
from DBSB program staff.  

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following 
characteristics: 

o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic or foreign
o Faith-based organizations 

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed program is invited to work with their institution to develop 
an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and 
ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged 
to apply for NIH programs.

The Program Director/Principal Investigator must be an established 
investigator in a field relevant to the objectives and purpose of the 
educational program and able to provide both administrative and scientific 
leadership to the program.  The intention of this announcement is to support 
programs that will benefit individuals who have received a doctoral degree 
(or equivalent) or are enrolled in a doctoral program in a relevant field. 

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management 
issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Dr. Christine Bachrach
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B07, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 496-9485
FAX:  (301) 496-0962
Email:  cbachrach@nih.gov (email communication preferred)

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: 

Robert Stretch, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Scientific Review 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 496-1485
Fax:  (301) 402-4104
Email: stretchr@nih.gov
 
o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Ms. Kathy Hancock  
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17G, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 496-5482
Fax:  (301) 480-4782
Email:  kh47d@nih.gov   

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, 
Email:  GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  Applications submitted in response to this 
program announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines, 
which are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application 
deadlines are also indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: 

The Research Plan section of the application should contain the following 
information:

o (If applicable) Introduction to Revised Application (Not to exceed three 
pages)

o Purpose, Objectives, and Significance 

In this section provide a description of the background, purpose and 
objectives of the proposed educational program.  Explain the need addressed 
by the program and its significance to population research and the goals of 
this announcement.  Describe any related curricula or educational 
opportunities within or outside the applicant/participating institution(s), 
and explain how the proposed program addresses an important unmet need for 
advancing population research.  

o Educational Program 

Provide a detailed plan for developing and conducting the proposed program, 
course, workshop, or other educational activity.  Explain how the 
implementation of this plan will achieve the purpose and objectives of the 
proposed program.  Provide a plan for staffing the program, describing the 
roles to be played by key faculty members and their expertise and experience 
relevant to these roles.  Append letters of commitment from key faculty.  
Describe the target audience for the program and explain how the program will 
benefit the research career development of potential program participants.  

o Participants and Recruitment Strategies 

Describe the characteristics of the pool of individuals who will be targeted 
for recruitment for participation in the educational program as well as any 
advertising strategies to be used.  Comment on the size of the candidate pool 
expected.  Comment on approaches to attract candidates from underrepresented 
minority groups.

o Program Leadership/Management

Describe the qualifications and role of the Principal Investigator.  Describe 
how he or she will provide leadership, coordination, and oversight of the 
educational program.  Describe plans, if any, for an advisory committee to 
assist in the planning, oversight, and evaluation of the program.

o Evaluation Plan 

Describe the information that will be collected, methods to be employed, and 
criteria to be used in evaluating the educational program.

o Timeline

Provide a timeline for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the 
educational program.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATIONS REQUESTING $500,000 OR MORE PER YEAR:  
Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must 
include a cover letter identifying the NIH staff member within NICHD who has 
agreed to accept assignment of the application.   

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 must carry out the following steps:

Contact the NICHD program staff at least six weeks before submitting the 
application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study,

2) Obtain agreement from the NICHD staff that the NICHD will accept your 
application for consideration for award, and,
  
3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member 
and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), competing 
continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or revised 
version of these grant application types. Additional information on this 
policy is available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 19, 
2001 at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html. 

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  The PAR title and number 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 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)

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

Robert Stretch, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Scientific Review 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received by or mailed before 
the receipt dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.  The CSR will 
not accept any application in response to this PA that is essentially the 
same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws 
the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is 
essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the 
submission of a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but 
such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous 
critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned to NICHD.  An appropriate 
scientific review group convened by NICHD in accordance with the standard NIH 
peer review procedures (http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate 
applications for scientific and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique.
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score.
o Receive a second level review by the National Advisory Child Health and 
Human Development Council.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The review criteria that will be applied to the application:

o The potential contribution of the proposed program to addressing problems 
and/or topics that are of significance to population research supported by 
the DBSB and the objectives of this PA.  

o Innovation of the proposed educational program with respect to, for 
example, the scientific problem or topic addressed, the target audience, 
and/or the methods proposed for conducting the program. 

o Adequacy of the justification provided of the need for the proposed program 
relative to other available education and/or training/career development 
activities.

o Qualifications of the Principal Investigator as evidenced by expertise and  
experience relevant to providing direction, coordination, and administration 
of the educational program.

o Qualifications of the key personnel and/or faculty who will participate in 
the educational program.

o The overall quality and adequacy of the design of the educational program 
to achieve its objectives, the degree to which the curriculum (sequence, 
topics, breadth, depth, etc.) and the plan for delivering the curriculum will 
meet these objectives.

o Adequacy of the required "Evaluation Plan" to assess the effectiveness of 
the educational program in achieving its objectives.  

o Adequacy and appropriateness of the plan to recruit and enroll students 
and/or postdoctoral fellows, including under-represented minorities, to 
participate in the proposed program. 

o Evidence of institutional commitment and plans to continue the educational 
program after the period of grant support ends when the program addresses a 
long-term need.

o Appropriateness of the budget and duration of support needed to achieve the 
stated goals and objectives.  
  
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria 
in assigning your application"s overall score, weighting them as appropriate 
for each application.  Your 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, you may propose to carry out 
important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move 
a field forward.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available funds 
with all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed program as determined by peer review.
o Availability of funds. 
o Relevance to program priorities.

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT:  The 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

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.   Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

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 
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.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.864 (Population Research) and is not 
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 
or Health Systems Agency review.  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 described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and under Federal Regulations 
42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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. 


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
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