Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), (http://nccam.nih.gov)

Title: Collaborative CAM Research Development Capability Enhancement Grant at Minority-Serving Institutions (R03)

Announcement Type
This is a reissue of PAR-06-075 which was previously released November 18, 2005.

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this FOA for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines provided with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least 4 weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PAR-06-393

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number
93.213

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date:  May 8, 2006
Opening Date: May 8, 2006 (earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov).
NOTE:  On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of applicant institution/organization).
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): January 15, 2007; January 14, 2008
Application Submission Date(s): February 14, 2007; February 14, 2008 
Peer Review Date(s): June – July 2007 and 2008
Council Review Date(s): September – October 2007 and 2008  
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): December 2007 and 2008  
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): November 18, 2005
Expiration Date:  February 15, 2008

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
    1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
    1. Mechanism of Support
    2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
    1. Eligible Applicants
          A. Eligible Institutions
            B. Eligible Individuals
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching
    3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
    1. Request Application Information
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission
    3. Submission Dates and Times
        A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
             1. Letter of Intent
        B. Sending an Application to the NIH
        C. Application Processing
    4. Intergovernmental Review
    5. Funding Restrictions
    6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
   1. Criteria
   2. Review and Selection Process
       A. Additional Review Criteria
       B. Additional Review Considerations
       C. Sharing Research Data
       D. Sharing Research Resources
   3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
   1. Award Notices
   2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
   3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
   1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
   2. Peer Review Contact(s)
   3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations


Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

PURPOSE OF THIS FOA

NCCAM invites applications for small grants (R03) to assist investigators at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in collaborating with investigators at research-experienced institutions (REIs) to develop research capability and undertake focused collaborations in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research.  The intent of this small grant program is to provide support for up to two years to encourage and foster research collaborations that will lead to the submission of competitive grant applications for collaborative CAM research.  Applicants will be required to include, with the small grant application, letter(s) from one or more potential collaborating investigator(s) at REIs with whom the subsequent R21 or R01 CAM-related research project grant will be submitted as a result of the collaboration, and identify potential project(s) to be undertaken with the collaborator(s). 

Collaborative CAM Research Development Capability Enhancement (CCRDCE) grant applications submitted for this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) may lead to joint CAM research projects in any area of basic, clinical, behavioral, translational, or health services research.  Each successful collaboration is expected to result in the subsequent submission from the MSI to NIH of a competitive investigator-initiated R21 or R01 research project grant application in association with the collaborating REI(s) within one year of the end of the project period.

NCCAM seeks to encourage expansion of research capability in CAM at MSIs.  To stimulate this effort, NCCAM proposes awarding small grants to investigators at MSIs in order to assist in developing productive research collaborations for CAM research between investigators at MSIs and at REIs.  For the purposes of this PA, a minority serving institution (MSI) is defined as an Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), Tribal College or University (TCU), and Alaska Native- or Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution either in the United States or in the territories under U.S. jurisdiction.  REIs are defined as those with a tradition of rigorous research and a record of successfully competing for biomedical research funding from NIH, as demonstrated by ranking in the top one hundred of the list of all institutions receiving NIH funding.  (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/award/awardtr.htm, “All Institutions” for the most recent rankings.)  MSIs wishing to collaborate with institutions that do not fall within the scope of this definition must contact NCCAM staff for approval prior to submitting an application.    

BACKGROUND

Despite various initiatives by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), progress in realizing a significant increase in the number of underrepresented minority scientists who are successful in competing for NIH research grants has been slow.  MSIs conduct high-quality programs for educating minorities and represent a rich source of talent with the appropriate cultural sensitivities and perspectives needed in biomedical research.  However, many MSIs have had difficulties developing and sustaining independent programs in biomedical research, and there is a paucity of underrepresented minority scientists who are pursuing biomedical research careers.  Although few MSIs are involved in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research, many of these institutions have the basic science and clinical research resources necessary for CAM research – resources that have resulted in productive research projects in other areas.  Increasing the involvement of MSIs in CAM research will help diversify the CAM research community and can help to identify a potential role for CAM interventions in addressing health disparities.  This initiative will target research capability enhancement for CAM research projects broadly, in order to create and sustain collaborations between investigators at MSIs and REIs in ways that take maximum advantage of their respective expertise and experience.

NCCAM defines CAM practices as those that are “…unproven by science and not presently considered an integral part of conventional medicine.” (http://nccam.nih.gov/about/plans/2005/index.htm).  NCCAM groups the wide range of CAM modalities into four domains:  1) Mind-Body Medicine; 2) Biologically-based practices; 3) Manipulative and body-based practices; and 4) Energy Medicine.  In addition, NCCAM studies whole medical systems, such as Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Indigenous Medicine, and homeopathy. 

Mind-Body interventions use a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind's capacity to affect body functions and symptoms.  Mind-body techniques that are considered CAM include yoga, lifestyle behaviors such as tai chi, meditative strategies such as mindfulness meditation, and psychological strategies to manage stress.  Also included are therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music or dance.  Other techniques that were considered CAM in the past have become mainstream, such as patient support groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

Biologically-based practices for prevention and therapy use foods and their components, diets, and dietary supplements such as vitamins (in orthomolecular doses), herbs, and other natural products.  Applicants planning to propose studies of biologically-based practices should consult NCCAM’s policy on biologically-active agents used in CAM (http://nccam.nih.gov/research/policies/bioactive.htm).   

Manipulation and body-based methods in CAM are based on manipulation and/or movement of one or more parts of the body.  Examples include chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, and massage therapy.   

Energy therapies are of two types: 1) Biofield therapies (e.g., Qi gong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch), which are intended to affect energy fields that surround and penetrate the human body, and 2) Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies that involve the unconventional use of electromagnetic fields such as pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating current or direct current fields for selected purposes. 

Some practices now considered to be CAM have long histories of use as traditional practices in populations and cultures outside the mainstream.  America’s increasing cultural diversity and increasing minority populations necessitate a better understanding of their views on health, illness, and healthcare.  Because of the integral role of Traditional Indigenous Medicine/CAM (TM/CAM) practices in these cultures, a better understanding of these factors can provide insight into health behaviors and beliefs of the populations, potentially generating information that may inform the delivery of conventional health care to minority populations and also lead to reduced health disparities. 

Statistics also document significant disparities for minority populations in health outcomes, such as quality of life, as well as processes, quality and appropriateness of care, the prevalence of certain conditions or diseases, and mortality.  This PA invites applications to support the development of CAM research capability at MSIs by fostering collaborations that will lead to CAM research projects and encourages their focus on minority health and health disparities, including, but not limited to, the six health disparity conditions that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has targeted for elimination by 2010 – HIV/AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, adult and childhood immunization, and infant mortality.

SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE TO BE GAINED

Many CAM therapies are in extensive use by the public, however, few have been thoroughly tested for safety and/or efficacy.  In addition, the potential role of TM/CAM practices in the elimination of health disparities remains to be defined.  As part of its contribution to this effort, NCCAM seeks to fund research to determine the safety and efficacy of TM/CAM interventions and their potential roles in contributing to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.  Research illuminating mechanisms of action for relevant CAM interventions as well as outcomes of CAM use for health disparities conditions or diseases also are of interest.  By supporting the involvement of MSIs in CAM research, NCCAM seeks to generate new knowledge regarding CAM as it relates to minority health and the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. 

Small grants funded through this FOA may lead to a range of CAM research projects, including basic, pre-clinical, clinical, translational, and health services research.  Because NCCAM previously announced the initiative, “Secondary Analysis of Data on CAM Use in Minority Populations,” applications leading to grants on epidemiologic studies of CAM use will not be considered responsive to this initiative.     

OBJECTIVES

The goals of this PA are to: 

Eligibility for funding through this FOA is limited to minority-serving institutions (MSIs) as defined above.  The intent is to attract new investigators and institutions to CAM research and also enable researchers at MSIs to establish productive collaborations that will help them compete successfully for peer-reviewed CAM research support.  For grants that will lead to clinical studies of procedure-based TM/CAM practices, the projects are required to include a knowledgeable practitioner as part of the proposed research team.

EXAMPLES OF RESEARCH TOPICS

Small grants funded through this PA may lead to a range of research projects.  Applicants should consult the NCCAM website (http://nccam.nih.gov/research/priorities/index.htm#5) for relevant information regarding NCCAM’s current research priorities.  NCCAM regularly examines and redefines its research priorities in order to fill gaps in its portfolio and capitalize on emerging opportunities to advance CAM research and to leverage the expertise and resources of other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and agencies. The following list identifies the types of projects that may be undertaken within the context of NCCAM’s research priorities.  This list is illustrative, is not exhaustive, is not intended to be exclusive, and is not in priority order.  NCCAM has identified research areas of special interest as well as areas that are subject to a short “pause” in new research funding.  Please see the NCCAM Web site  (http://nccam.nih.gov/research/priorities/index.htm#5 ) for further information on NCCAM’s research priorities. 

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications for small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. The applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This FOA uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular budget formats (see the “Modular Applications and Awards” section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. All applications submitted in response to this FOA must use the modular budget format. Specifically, since you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs), use the PHS398 Modular Budget component provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (see specifically Section 5.4, “Modular Budget Component,” of the Application Guide).

Competing renewal (formerly “competing continuation”) applications will not be accepted for the R03 grant mechanism. Small grant support may not be used for thesis or dissertation research. Up to two resubmissions (formerly “revisions/amendments") of a previously reviewed small grant application may be submitted as defined in NIH Policy. See NOT-OD-05-046 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-046.html


2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of NCCAM provides support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

Applications will only be accepted from minority-serving institutions (MSIs), defined for this FOA as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Alaska Native- or Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions either in the United States or in territories under U.S. jurisdiction.  Alaska Native-Serving Institutions are defined as institutions of higher education with undergraduate enrollment of at least 20% Alaska Native students.  Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions are defined as institutions of higher education with undergraduate enrollment of at least 10% Native Hawaiian students.  

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research 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 support.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

There are several Special Requirements and Provisions with which each MSI Collaborative CAM small grant application must comply:

1. There must be written "Letters-of-Commitment" from the MSI leadership and the collaborating REI leadership that are fully supportive of this activity and that commit the resources necessary to ensure that the collaborative partnership will have the maximum chance of success. These letters should be attached to Section 13 of the PHS 398 Research Plan component of the SF424.  A complete and specific description of such resources would include:

a. A specific statement detailing the percent effort of release/protected time (a minimum of 15 percent for the principal investigator at the MSI) as well as the activities from which each faculty member involved is being released (e.g., teaching, clinical, administrative duties).  When the Principal Investigator from the MSI or the lead co-investigator at the REI is a less experienced investigator, there must be a written "Letter-of-Support" from a senior member (e.g., department chair, dean, or president) of the relevant MSI or REI that identifies a mentor who will be responsible for career and professional development of the individual. 

b. Provisions for space and facilities for new projects and other resources that will ensure the success of the collaborative partnership. 

2. Each application must evidence a partnership between the MSI and the REI.  The application should describe how the activities of the MSI and the REI both differ and complement each other in achieving the common objectives.  Provide detailed descriptions of collaborative arrangements, including the nature of committees established to facilitate and monitor the collaborative research project (in both the initial research development and priority setting stages), frequency of meetings, workshops, types of activities, and communications, descriptions of intended communications processes, including a process for ongoing evaluation of the collaboration, general activities of the partnership, and how they may contribute effectively to achieving the collaboration’s goals and objectives.

3. Depending upon prior experience, interactions, and progress in developing the collaboration, the application must clearly describe a collaborative process that includes both of the following components:

a) Initial Research Development Stage in which the participants describe appropriate means of communicating and identifying areas of potential collaborations; and, 

b) Priority-Setting Stage for selecting the areas of greatest promise for implementation as specific research project grants based on merit and potential to result in a successful grant application. The application also should describe the process used by the collaborating investigators to evaluate proposed projects.

4. If the application includes participation of Native American (American Indian/Alaska Native) or similar populations, a formal letter of support for the study from the Tribal Nation Leader or equivalent authority must be included.

The emphasis of this initiative is on establishing CAM research partnerships between MSIs and REIs, and developing CAM research capabilities at MSIs.

Applicants must delineate which personnel will be responsible for which aspects of research development and prioritizing activities, and describe expected responsibilities of the proposed personnel for this application and of prospective additional personnel in the subsequent application.  Applicants must also detail specific timelines and milestones for meeting the objectives of the application, including goals for each activity (planning, training, infrastructure development, research, etc.) during each year of the award.  Capacity-building activities may include training of investigators, technicians, practitioners and/or administrative personnel, informal meetings, workshops or small conferences, use of appropriate consultants, and analyses of extant data sets using new methodologies or approaches.  Travel among sites for these purposes may be proposed.  This PAR will not accept applications that are exclusively for meetings/travel and that do not have as their main goal the development of collaborations, planning for the resources needed to support them, and the development of the collaborative R21 or R01 research proposal.  Applicants must outline the research project envisioned for the subsequent R21 or R01 project application and clearly explain how the two-year award will enhance the successful execution of the proposed research project.  

Eligible applications may lead to joint CAM research projects in any area of basic, translational, clinical (including Phase I and Phase II, but NOT Phase III clinical trials), behavioral, or health services research.  Applicants intending to propose research involving human subjects should refer to the NCCAM Terms of Award for Clinical Trials, available on the web at http://nccam.nih.gov/research/policies/terms-of-awards.htm.  Applicants intending to propose research on botanicals or other complex natural products should refer to the Policy of NCCAM on Botanicals Research, posted on the NCCAM website at http://www.nccam.nih.gov/research/policies/naturalproducts.htm.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


Registration and Instructions for Submission via Grants.gov


To download an Application Package and Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant institution/organization can submit an electronic application, as follows:

1) Organization/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Started

2) Organization/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an NIH peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the “Attachment” files may be useable for more than one FOA.

For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301-435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF).

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. There are fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components that, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in  Grants.gov/APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
PHS398 Modular Budget

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form
Note: While both budget components are included in the SF424 (R&R) forms package, the NIH R03 uses ONLY the PHS398 Modular Budget. (Do not use the detailed Research & Related Budget.)

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Opening Date: May 8, 2006 (earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov).
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): January 15, 2007; January 14, 2008
Application Submission Date(s): February 14, 2007; February 14, 2008 
Peer Review Date(s): June – July 2007 and 2008
Council Review Date(s): September – October 2007 and 2008  
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): December 2007 and 2008  

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NCCAM staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document.


The letter of intent should be sent to:

Morgan N. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
(for courier service, use the Zip Code 20817)
Telephone: (301) 402-1278
Email: mj145m@nih.gov

Application Information Meetings

In order to give potential investigators the opportunity to clarify any issues or questions concerning this FOA, NCCAM expects to coordinate Application Information Meeting (AIM) Conference Calls.   Potential investigators will have the opportunity to discuss application concepts and outlines of proposed applications with NIH staff.  The conference calls will be held on dates to be determined that may be found at the Additional Information URL, http://nccam.nih.gov/announcements/planning-grant.htm, which became active on November 18, 2005.  Although a fee is not associated with these conference calls, pre-registration is required.  A summary of the presentations and issues discussed on the conference calls will be made available through the NCCAM Web-site and on the Additional Information URL, http://nccam.nih.gov/announcements/planning-grant.htm, approximately two weeks after the conference calls.  Hard copies will be made available on request to those investigators without Web access.

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically.
PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.


3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application submission/receipt date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the receipt date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two business days to view the application image.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of an application already reviewed with substantial changes, but such application must include an “Introduction” addressing the previous critique. Note such an application is considered a "resubmission" for the SF424 (R&R).

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm).

Pre-Award Costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost.  NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award. Direct costs may not exceed $50,000 per year; the modular budget format therefore limits the budget to two modules.  The project period is limited to two years.  Two revisions are permitted.  A grant award may not be renewed.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part6.htm.


The small grant award will provide support to:

Allowable costs include:

1. Administrative costs for managing the design and development of collaborative partnerships, such as salaries and travel for key personnel, equipment, and supplies to support an administrative structure; appropriate training costs for research or administrative personnel; and 

2. Developmental costs for:

a. An initial research development stage: for workshops, seminars, retreats, and other forms of communication strategies to explore potential opportunities in CAM research; and,

b. A priority-setting stage, for selecting the areas of greatest promise for implementation as a research project for a subsequent R21 or R01 grant application.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Due to the unique objectives of the CCRDCE grant application, modifications are required to the information usually submitted for a research project grant application.  Please follow the variations indicated below in providing information for the PHS 398 Research Plan of the SF424 application and provide the information requested as attachments to the sections indicated.

PHS 398 Research Plan Attachments.  The Development Capability Enhancement and Collaboration Plan (which replaces the Research Plan in PHS 398 application instructions is limited to 10 pages.  Resubmission applications may include an additional introduction of one page.

1. Introduction to Application (if applicable; not to exceed one page).  Include a summary of the additions, deletions, and changes in the revised application, placing particular emphasis on responses to the criticisms and issues raised in the summary statement. Include a chronological description of activities that occurred since the original submission (meetings, research activities, etc.). The changes in the full text must be clearly marked by appropriate bracketing, indenting, or changes in the type setting, unless the changes are so extensive as to include most of the text.

2. Specific Aims.  List and describe the overall aims of the collaboration.

3. Background and Significance.  This section should describe the characteristics of the MSI and the collaborating REI that will contribute to the effort. It should clearly describe the nature of the interactions and deliberations that occurred between the MSI and collaborating institution and the individuals involved during the preparation of the application. Include a chronological table listing the specific first year and second year objectives that the collaboration expects to achieve.  For each objective, include a brief statement about the separate contributions of the MSI and the REI in order to achieve success.  There should be a clear summary of the qualities of the REI that demonstrate that it has a highly organized research program that will complement the resources and experience of the MSI and will contribute to the success of the collaboration.

4. Preliminary Studies / Progress Report.  Do not attach documents to this section.

5. Research Design and Methods.  This section should include a chronological narrative or table, for each stage (research development, priority-setting), listing the specific first and second year objectives that the collaborating investigators expect to achieve.  For each objective, include a brief statement about the separate contributions of the MSI and the collaborating REI in order to achieve success. The final objective of the R03 must be the submission of a research project grant application (R21 or R01).

For the research development stage, clearly describe the kinds of activities that the MSI and collaborating REI will conduct to ensure a highly interactive and integrated effort between their faculties and scientists.  The application should also relate each activity (e.g., workshop, retreat, executive meeting) to specific objectives above and name the specific investigators and faculty involved in each activity.  The applicants should document any prior planning experience, interactions, and progress in this section.  For the priority-setting stage, clearly describe the process for prioritizing and selecting specific projects for  implementation based on their merit and greatest potential for success.

12. Consortium/Contractual Arrangements – This section should address partner accountability and responsibility in documented agreements.

13. Letters of Support from the MSI and the REI.  There must be written Letters-of-Commitment from the MSI leadership and the collaborating institution’s leadership that are fully supportive of this activity and that commit the additional resources necessary to ensure that these partnerships will have the maximum chance of success. A complete and specific description of such resources would include the following:

a. A specific statement detailing the per cent effort of release/protected time of faculty (a minimum of 15 percent for the principal investigator at the MSI) as well as the activities from which each faculty involved is being released (e.g., teaching, clinical, administrative duties).

b. Provisions for space and facilities for projects and other resources that will ensure the success of the partnership.  The commitments must come both from institutional leaders of the MSI (e.g., department chair, dean, or president) and the collaborating REI (e.g., department chair, dean, or president).

For the PHS 398 Modular Budget , identify in the budget justification activities for the research development stage and the priority-setting stage.  Provide specific justifications for costs for each year requested appropriate to the stage of development.

In the Research and Related Other Project Information section, for the MSI and the REI provide detailed information on institutions’ research resources, expertise, and experience.  Describe any synergies between the collaborating institutions that will contribute to the success of the proposed project. 

Specific Instructions for Modular Grant applications.

Because the annual direct costs for R03 applications submitted in response to this PA are limited to $50,000, all applications must be submitted in a modular budget format using the Modular Budget Component provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Package and Instructions Guide (see specifically Section 5.4). The modular budget format simplifies the preparation of the budget in these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail. Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules.   

Plan for Sharing Research Data

Not applicable

Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications submitted for this funding opportunity will be assigned to National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines.

Appropriate scientific review groups 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.


Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate review group convened by NCCAM in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

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

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

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria 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 an 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.

Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Reviewers also will consider the merit of the proposed project and its relation to the goals and priorities of the partnership.

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? Reviewers also will consider the strength of the evidence that the researchers and faculty of the MSI and the REI worked closely together in the preparation of the application; as applicable, the adequacy of provisions made for day-to-day oversight, coordination, support, and logistical services needed to make the collaboration successful; the adequacy of the methods proposed by the MSI and the REI to explore areas of research that will ensure highly interactive and integrated efforts between individual scientists and/or between faculty and scientists; the quality of the documented process used for identifying areas ready for prioritization; the adequacy and duration of the initial research development stage needed to identify areas of potential collaboration; and the adequacy of the proposed process for selecting projects for implementation based on their merit. 

Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area? Reviewers also will consider the objectives, design, and direction of the project.

Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the PD/PI and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)? Reviewers also will consider the appropriateness and adequacy of the PD/PI, faculty, and scientists identified from the MSI and the REI, as well as CAM practitioners (if included) to contribute effectively to each aspect of this effort; the adequacy of the experience and qualifications of the individuals from the MSI and REI who will take part in prioritizing and selecting specific projects for implementation; and the qualifications of the collaborating investigators to implement the small grant and the subsequent project.

Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?  Reviewers also will consider the degree to which the letters-of-support from senior faculty and/or institutional leaders evidence institutional commitments to ensure the success of the collaboration and (as indicated) address the need for mentoring of an inexperienced PD/PI; the adequacy of the Career Development and Mentorship Plans if the PD/PI and/or the collaborating investigator(s) at the REI are junior investigators and the appropriateness of the mentors (if included); the degree to which the MSI is likely to improve its capacity and ability to address important issues in CAM research, develop independently supported research and capacity development programs and obtain financial support; as appropriate, the extent to which the local community will be involved in the planning process; the quality of the institutional environment (availability of institutional resources, accessibility of mentors, etc.); and the relationship of the project to other programs at the MSI and the REI as well as the likelihood that this activity will result in ongoing collaborative relationships between the partners.

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed. See item 6 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. See item 7 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under item 11 of the Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R) will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. Is the percent effort listed for the PD/PI appropriate for the work proposed? Is each budget category realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods?

Period of Support: The appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research.

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Data Sharing Plan: The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data may be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing.

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part4.htm).

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part4.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part9.htm).

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


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

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Morgan N. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.

Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
(for courier service, use the Zip Code 20817)
Telephone: (301) 402-1278
Email: mj145m@nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Martin Goldrosen, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
(for courier service, use the Zip Code 20817)
Tel: 301-594-2014
Fax:  301-480-2419
Email: goldrosm@mail.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

George Tucker, M.B.A. 

Grants Management Officer
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892-5475
(for courier service, use the Zip Code 20817)
Telephone:  301-594-9102
FAX:  301-480-1552
Email: gt35v@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://PublicAccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/publicaccess_manual.htm).

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR Website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.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. 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 at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov.

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 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 funding opportunity 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.


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