RELEASE DATE:  November 14, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PAR-03-026 (Reissued as PAR-08-118)

(see NOT-GM-04-105)

EXPIRATION DATE:  October 31, 2005, unless reissued. 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)


o Purpose of the PA
o Program Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Eligible Institutions 
o Special Requirements
o Allowable and Unallowable Costs
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The overall mission of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Branch 
of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is to 
significantly increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities that 
participate in biomedical research. To facilitate the research training and 
development of students, faculty, and/or underrepresented minority biomedical 
researchers, the MARC Branch will provide support for program-related 
scientific meetings, conferences, technical assistance workshops, and other 
ancillary training activities that further the MARC mission.

For purposes of this PA, underrepresented minority individuals are defined as 
persons belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been 
determined by the grantee to be underrepresented in biomedical research. 
Nationally, individuals who have been found to be underrepresented in 
biomedical research include but are not limited to US citizens who are 
African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and citizens of the US 
Pacific Islands.


The MARC Branch of NIGMS provides research training opportunities for 
students and faculty from minority groups underrepresented in the biomedical 
and behavioral sciences relevant to biomedicine, including mathematics and 
engineering. As part of its ongoing commitment to the development of 
students, faculty, minority, and/or minority-serving institutions and 
underrepresented minority biomedical researchers, the MARC Branch will 
provide support for ancillary training activities that are harmonious with 
its overall objective of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities 
who participate fully in the biomedical enterprise of this country.


This PA will use the NIH T36 grant mechanism. As an applicant, you will be 
solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed 

This PA does not use the just-in-time concepts. It also does not use the 
modular budget format. The facilities and administration costs will be 
provided at a rate of 8% minus exclusions.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this PA 
may not exceed 5 years. Grants made under the program may submit competing 
renewals at the appropriate time.

Because the nature and scope of the scientific or program related meeting,
conference, workshop or other ancillary training activity proposed in 
response to this program announcement may vary, it is anticipated that the 
size of each award will vary also.


You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution is a domestic one and 
has any of the following characteristics: 

o For-profit or non-profit organizations such as professional or scientific 
o Public or private institutions, such as colleges and universities. 


Attendance and participation of underrepresented minority individuals in 
program-related scientific workshops, meetings, conferences, and other 
ancillary training activities that provide knowledge, skills, and/or 
networking capabilities empower them to succeed in the pursuit of a research 
career. Thus, one of the objectives of the MARC Branch is to provide support 
for such activities. Because the scope, purpose, and objectives of the 
proposals are anticipated to be very diverse, each applicant organization 
will be required to clearly state its own specific goals and measurable 
objectives and to provide an evaluation plan that explains how the applicant 
organization will assess that the objectives have been met.

Examples of scientific- or program-related meetings, conferences, workshops 
or ancillary training activities that could support the overall goals of the 
MARC Branch are listed below. This list is not intended to be comprehensive 
or directive.

o  Meetings or conferences to facilitate communication between MARC program
directors and NIGMS staff;

o  Research symposia/conferences;

o  Workshops to provide technical assistance in areas identified as critical 
by MARC program directors and NIGMS program staff;

o  Conferences/workshops on graduate school survival skills that target MARC 
predoctoral fellows at either of two critical stages in their graduate 
careers, i.e., first year fellows and those nearing completion of their 
graduate studies;

o  Summer workshops or workshops in conjunction with annual meetings of
scientific societies on research techniques (MARC faculty or students) or
teaching/pedagogical techniques (MARC faculty); and/or

o  Summer workshops or workshops in conjunction with annual meetings of
scientific societies for program directors on strategies and methods to 
evaluate their program;

o  Travel of MARC students/faculty to major scientific meetings or research

In the Activity Plan section of the application, the relevance of the 
proposed meeting, conference, workshop, or other activity to the MARC program 
goals should be explained. This section should also be used to provide a 
detailed description of the goals and objectives, plans, and logistics of the 
meeting, conference, and/workshop, a description of the methodology proposed 
to obtain the desired outcomes (i.e., lectures, presentations, seminars, 
poster sessions, etc.) and indicate any other pertinent information that 
contributes to a clear description of the training activity, such as 
qualifications and previous experience of the activity coordinators, and 
characteristics of the targeted participants. A plan for evaluating the 
proposed activity and the extent to which the proposed goals and objectives 
are being accomplished should also be included in this section, as well as 
samples of the instruments to be used the different activities, if 
applicable. Additionally, applicants submitting competing renewals should 
describe in detail the progress accomplished to date and results of the 
evaluation performed to determine if the originally proposed goals and 
objectives have been accomplished. 


Allowable expenditures and the applicable policies are listed below. Any 
costs not listed below must be either approved at the time of award or, if 
after the award, have received prior written approval from the NIGMS staff.

Salaries:  Funds may be used to provide salaries, including fringe benefits, 
of professional personnel, clerical assistants, editorial assistants, and 
other support staff in proportion to the time or effort spent directly on the 
meeting, workshop or other activities within the scope of the proposed 

Equipment:  Although funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment, 
they may be used for the rental of necessary equipment such as projection and 
public address systems, exhibits, or telephone.

Supplies:  The costs of supplies, such as stationery, programs, notices, 
badges, signs, postage, distribution and mailing fees may be requested 
provided they are necessary for the proposed activity.

Travel Expenses:  Funds may be requested for the travel of staff and 
attendees if identified in the application and approved at the time of the 
award. (No funds will be provided for federal employees' travel expenses.)

Per Diem:  Per diem costs for speakers and activity participants may be 
requested and will be limited to the days of attendance at the meeting, 
conference, workshop, or other activity planned plus the actual travel time 
to and from the meeting or conference location. Where meals and/or lodging 
are furnished without charge or at a nominal cost, such as part of the 
registration fee, an appropriate deduction must be made from the authorized 
per diem.

Conference Services:  Funds may be requested for necessary stenographic,
typewritten and photographic recording of proceedings; editorial service;
simultaneous translation; subsequent transcriptions; and rental or conference
rooms and office space.

Publication Costs:  Funds to cover the costs of publishing the proceedings of 
a scientific symposium or abstract book or other meeting/workshop materials 
may be requested.

Registration Fees:  Registration fees to support participants and students 
may be requested.

Speakers' Fees:  Speakers' fees for the specific services rendered at the 
meeting or conference are allowable costs.


Grant funds may not be used for entertainment, tips, bar charges, personal 
telephone calls, personal Internet connection, or laundry charges of 
participants or guests.

For local participants in a meeting or conference, grant funds may not be 
used to pay per diem, travel or expenses other than local mileage.

Dues to organizations, federations, or professional societies, exclusive of 
registration fees, are not allowed as charges to the grant.

Items to be given to the participants such as hats, shirts, key rings, etc., 
are considered gifts and not allowed costs to the grant.

Grant funds may not be used to cover the costs of banquets, luncheons, coffee 
breaks, theater, or entertainment of any sort.

Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction 
on or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant 

Transportation costs for attendees and participants at the conference may not 
exceed coach class fares. In all cases, U.S. flag carriers will be used where 


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

Direct your questions about scientific/programmatic issues to:

Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D.
MARC Program Director
National Institutes of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37 - MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2573
Email:  zlotnikh@nigms.nih.gov

Direct your questions about the peer review issues to:

Richard Martinez, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 1 AS.19 - MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-2781 
Email:  martinezr@nigms.nih.gov

Direct your questions about financial or grants management 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) 495-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-3423
Email:  hollanda@nigms.nih.gov 


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.

Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must 
include a cover letter indicating that the MARC Branch Chief at NIGMS has 
agreed to accept assignment of the application. 

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

1) Contact the MARC Branch Chief at least 6 weeks before submitting the 
application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study; 

2) Obtain agreement from the MARC Branch Chief that NIGMS will accept your 
application for consideration for award; and
3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the name and title 
of the individual who agreed to accept assignment of the application to 

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:  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 same time, an additional two copies should be sent under separate 
cover to:

Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1AS.19 - MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received by or mailed on or 
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 


Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned to NIGMS. The MARC review 
subcommittee convened 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  Receive a second level of review by the NIGMS Advisory Council 


The MARC Branch provides support for ancillary research training activities 
that are harmonious with its overall goal of increasing the number of 
underrepresented minorities who participate fully in the biomedical 
enterprise of this country. In the written comments, reviewers will be asked 
to discuss the following aspects of your application in order to judge the 
likelihood that the proposed activities will have a substantial impact on the 
pursuit of this goal: 

o  The importance or benefits of the proposed scientific or program related
meeting, conference, or workshop to the targeted community;

o  The adequacy of the goals and objectives, scope, and content of the 
proposed activity;

o  The qualifications of the proposed director/organizer and other activity

o  The selection criteria (if any) and qualifications of the proposed 

o  The appropriateness of the proposed format for achieving the stated goals 
and objectives;

o  The adequacy of plans to disseminate the information generated by the 

o  The adequacy of the resources and appropriateness of the meeting site;

o  The validity and adequacy of the instruments to be used for evaluation of 
the activity; and

o  Past performance (where applicable) of the proposed activity as per 
analysis of evaluation results and evidence of accomplishment of the 
originally proposed goals and objectives.

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA:  In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period 
of support in relation to the proposed research.


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

o  Merit of the proposed scientific or program-related meeting, conference or 
workshop as determined by peer review;
o  Relevance to MARC program goals and objectives; and
o  Availability of funds.


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 

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 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.121, 93.172, 93.173, 93.233, 39.272,, 93.862-93.867, 93.880, 93.894, and 93.929, and is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.  NRSA institutional awards are made under 
authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as 
amended (42 USC 288) and Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 
66. NRSA institutional training awards must be 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
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892