NCRR MINORITY INITIATIVE:  K-12 TEACHERS AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 26, July 15, 1994



PA NUMBER:  PAR-94-082



P.T. 44



Keywords:

  Biomedical Research Training 

  Educational Instruction Programs 



National Center for Research Resources



Application Receipt Date:  September 12, 1994



PURPOSE



As part of its continuing commitment to strengthen the quality of

precollege health science education, the National Center for Research

Resources (NCRR) encourages the submission of applications for a

program aimed at increasing the pool of underrepresented minority high

school students who are interested in pursuing and academically

prepared to pursue careers in biomedical/behavioral research and the

health professions.  The program will include both K-12 inservice and

preservice teachers and minority high school students.  This program,

the "NCRR  Minority Initiative:  K-12 Teachers and High School

Students," was first announced in FY 1994 to replace the S03 "Minority

High School Student Research Apprentice Program" (MHSSRAP), which is

being phased down.  This program announcement represents the second

phase of this transition.  During this continued transition, applicants

for this program may also submit an application for October 15, 1994

deadline for the FY 1995 MHSSRAP.  However, it is not expected that the

MHSSRAP will be available for FY 1996.



The main component of this program is to provide structured summer

science research experiences under the direction of active

biomedical/behavioral researchers for both teachers and minority high

school students.  The individualized research experiences and other

activities are intended to:  (1) allow teachers to keep pace with the

explosive growth of scientific knowledge in health-related areas,

enable them to develop new discovery-oriented educational strategies,

and transfer this new knowledge to their students; and (2) provide

students with a personalized, hands-on exposure to health-related

research that stimulates their research interest and encourages

decisions towards careers in the health sciences.  A long-range goal of

the program is to establish and/or strengthen partnerships between

biomedical research institutions and K-12 schools by developing

mentoring ties among teachers, minority students, and

biomedical/behavioral researchers that will result in creating more

pathways for minority students to establish careers in the health

sciences.



ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS



Applications may be submitted by domestic, for-profit and non-profit

organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,

hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and

eligible agencies of the Federal government.  High schools may not

apply.



Underrepresented minorities are defined as individuals belonging to a

particular ethnic or racial group that has been determined by the

grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral

research.  Individuals who have been found to be underrepresented in

biomedical or behavioral research nationally include Black Americans,

Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.



Students are defined as those who are enrolled in high school during

the current academic year, or who have just graduated from high school.

Participants must be U.S. citizens or have a permanent visa.



Inservice teachers include elementary, middle, junior, and senior high

school science teachers.  In order to maximize the program's impact on

minority students, teachers must be members of a minority group or

teach a significant number of minority students.  Preservice teachers

are those teachers in training and enrolled in preservice education

programs and who have expressed an interest in teaching life sciences

at the K-12 level with a focus on minority students.



MECHANISM OF SUPPORT



Awards under this Program Announcement will use the education project

(R25) grant mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and

execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.



The total project period for applications submitted in response to this

Program Announcement may not exceed three years. Because of the wide

range in the size and type of institutions that may apply, it is

anticipated that the sizes of the awards may also vary.  The

anticipated award date is April 1, 1995.



Applications must request support for both students and teachers, with

a minimum of eight students per year unless exceptional justification

is provided.



Indirect costs, other than those awarded to State or local government

agencies, will be reimbursed at eight percent of total allowable direct

costs.  State and local government agencies will receive reimbursement

at their full indirect cost rate.



Allowable costs



Funds for personnel costs may only be requested for eligible students

and teachers and must be paid as salaries and wages; stipends are not

allowable costs under this program.  While grantee institutions must

establish the rate of compensation to be paid to teachers, it is

expected that the amounts will be based on their actual monthly salary

and fringe benefits and prorated accordingly.  Students' salaries

should be based on the prevailing scale for comparable type work, but

should not be less than the Federal minimum hourly wage.  Funds to

defray other costs such as supplies can be requested as a lump sum of

up to $250 per participant per year.



RESEARCH OBJECTIVES



Background



Relative to their representation in the general population, minority

Americans are severely underrepresented in scientific and health fields

at every level, from the professional work force - physicians,

dentists, research scientists - through all levels of the educational

system.  Although there are a number of factors for this

underrepresentation, it is generally agreed that the long-term

resolution of this problem centers at improving science education of

minority youths at the early stages of the educational process.



With the rapid pace of technological innovations and the increasing

number of occupations that require a knowledge of scientific

principles, as well as the predicted increase in the minority

population, it is imperative that precollege education further enhance

the capacity and capability of minority youth to become more productive

and competitive in tomorrow's work force.  The primary objectives of

this program are to improve the quality of precollege science education

and to increase the pool of minorities interested and prepared to enter

college and pursue a career in the biomedical/behavioral sciences.



Program Characteristics



The Program Director will be responsible for the selection and

recruitment of students, teachers, and mentors, as well as for the

overall direction of the program.  The program director must be a

biomedical/behavioral scientist or an experienced science educator

employed by the applicant organization.



The program has two major activities.  The first is for minority high

school students; the second is for K-12 inservice and preservice

teachers.  While the proposed program should be best suited to an

institution's own strengths and characteristics, at a minimum, each

program should include:



o  a description of the proposed overall program plan (specific

research projects should not be described);



o  a description of the research environment (ongoing research

activity, availability of equipment, facilities, resources);



o  methods and criteria for student, teacher, and mentor recruitment

and selection;



o  methods to assign students and teachers to mentors;



o  the length of the research experiences;



o  other special enrichment activities available to students and

teachers;



o  plans to evaluate program progress;



o  prior accomplishments of the institution in precollege education;



o  the impact of other precollege programs, if any, for the proposed

program; and



o  the level of institutional commitment to precollege programs and

partnerships.



Criteria for selection of mentors must include:  commitment to

improving the quality of precollege science education, the ability and

time to work with high school students and teachers to instill an

understanding of research and the technical skills needed.  Mentors

must have active biomedical or behavioral research support and/or a

recent publication history in biomedical/behavioral research.  Research

support can include NIH or other Federal agency support or private or

institutional grants.



An evaluation component must be included as part of the application.

Methods, formative in nature, should be devised to evaluate whether or

not the program is making progress in meeting  the program goals.  For

example, information should be collected to learn if the program is

helping teachers integrate new concepts in health sciences into the

classrooms.  Student participants should be assessed to determine if it

has increased their awareness and/or interest in the health sciences.

To the extent possible, students should be followed to determine if

they attended and/or graduated from college and, if so, their major

academic area of concentration.



Specific characteristics regarding the student and teachers activities

are as follows.



Student Activities



The most important aspect of this program is the research laboratory

experience.  The program provides for matching high school students for

approximately six to eight weeks in the summer, with a ratio of not

more than two students to one mentor, in an active research laboratory.



It is expected that the applicant will describe a research program that

will provide:



o  an independent, hands-on, mentored laboratory experience with

attainable goals which introduces the students to some of the latest

concepts in biomedical science;



o  mentoring and career guidance by biomedical/behavioral scientists;



o  an opportunity for students to participate in various laboratory

activities and acquaint them with the environment

and resources of the institution.



A program of special summer scientific enrichment activities must be

proposed.  Such activities may include, but are not limited to:

programs on research opportunities and careers within the health

sciences, bioethical issues in biomedical/behavioral research or

implications of the human genome effort.  A final forum should be held

where students present their research results.



In order to maximize the long-term effects of the summer experience,

follow-up activities such as seminars, workshops or Saturday study

groups may occur during the academic year if the students are located

within reasonable distance of the research institution.  Mentors should

also try to visit students' schools to meet with teachers, recruit

future candidates for the program and help build effective partnerships

between the research institutions and secondary schools.



Recruitment and selection criteria for students should include:  the

student's motivation, ability, scholastic aptitude, and

accomplishments.  In addition, consideration should be given to science

teachers' recommendations.



Teacher Activities



K-12 teachers are the key individuals in increasing the pool of

scientifically skilled minority high school students.  However, most

preservice teaching programs do not require a hands-on laboratory

experience;  most elementary school teachers have had no opportunity

for training in science; and most middle, junior, and senior high

school teachers need retraining in the latest scientific concepts.



To address these deficiencies, the proposed program should provide

inservice and preservice teachers with an intensive hands-on mentored

laboratory research experience of four weeks or more that:



o  exposes them to contemporary concepts in the health sciences

o  introduces them to modern laboratory techniques, including

computers;

o  enables them, in collaboration with their research mentor, to

prepare new discovery-based lesson plans.



Unless the teachers' schools are geographically remote, the teacher

programs must include follow-up components in which the participants

discuss their experiences in implementing new scientific activities

into the classroom.  An important aspect of the program is to develop

continuing partnership relationships between teachers and mentors to

improve the teaching of life sciences at the precollege level and to

stimulate students interest in health science careers.



Recruitment and selection criteria for inservice teachers should

include: experience and teaching responsibilities, level of interest in

participating in a research program, expected impact on their teaching

programs, ability to stimulate minority students to pursue scientific

careers, and future plans for continued interaction with the research

institution.



Recruitment and selection criteria for preservice teachers should

include the commitment to participate in a research program and the

expressed interest to teach life sciences at the K-12 level with a

focus on minority students.



APPLICATION PROCEDURES



Applications are to be submitted using form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91).  These

forms are available in most institutional offices of sponsored research

and may be requested from the Office of Grants Information, Division of

Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue,

Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone (301) 435-0714.



Applications must follow the instructions provided in the PHS 398 form

except for the following:



Form Page 1



Item 2a. - Identify the number and title of this program announcement

and check the box marked "YES."



Item 2b. - Type "R25" in 2b.



Item 4.  Human Subjects - Not relevant (no project description).



Item 5.  Vertebrate Animals - Not relevant (no project description).



Item 6.  The project period start date should be 04-01-95.  The length

of the project period may not exceed three years.



Form Page 4 - Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period.



Personnel Category - Follow the instructions provided in the PHS 398

regarding the Principal Investigator/Program Director.  Using

successive lines in the Personnel Category, indicate the number of

positions being requested for students, preservice, and inservice

teachers.  For each of these classifications,

provide requested information regarding type of appointment/months,

percent of effort on project, and

institutional base salary, as well as the dollar amounts being

requested.  Salary and fringe benefit support may be requested only for

the students and teachers.



Other Expenses - Up to $250 per student and teacher participant may be

requested as a lump sum to defray costs such as supplies required for

their research experiences.



Form Page 5 - Budget for the Entire Proposed Project Period - Follow

instructions provided on page 19 of the PHS 398 kit.



Justification - Applicants should provide sufficient information

regarding the support requested for students, preservice, and inservice

teachers to permit the reviewers to evaluate the requested costs

compared to the proposed length of the research experience.  If the

proposed program includes academic year as well as summer involvement,

provide separate budgetary justification regarding each.



Applicants should also explain any increases or decreases over the

initial budget period, e.g., if students and/or teachers are expected

to return for a portion of a succeeding period and will require salary

and other support during this period.



Additional Form Pages



Biographical Sketch Page - Provide a biographical sketch for the

Program Director and each proposed mentor, strictly adhering to the 2

page limitation for each.



Other Support Page - Provide the information requested for the Program

Director and each proposed mentor.



Resources and Environment Page - Follow the PHS 398 instructions.



Specific Instructions - Research Plan



The following instructions should be used in lieu of the PHS 398

instructions for this section of the application.  The Research Plan

section of the application must strictly adhere to a limit of 15 pages,

excluding a maximum of three letters of institutional support.  Include

sufficient information to facilitate an effective review; be specific,

informative, and avoid redundancies.  The outline suggested below

should be followed in describing the program.



A.  Background



If the applicant institution has held a MHSSRAP grant in the past,

describe the history of the program, the type and size of the program

(number of students and teachers) and any program accomplishments

including tracking data for the students, if available.  Information

may be provided in tabular form.  Prior accomplishments of the

institution in other precollege science activities may also be

included.



B.  Proposed Program



At a minimum, provide information regarding:



1.  A description of the proposed program;



2.  A description of the research environment and how it relates to the

proposed program (e.g., ongoing research activity, availability of

equipment, facilities, and resources);



3.  Methods and criteria for student, teacher, and mentor recruitment

and selection;



4.  Methods to assign students and teachers to mentors (specific

research projects should not be described) but a description of the

general scientific skills to be learned should be included;



5.  The length of the student, preservice, and inservice teacher

research programs;



6.  Other special enrichment activities available to the students and

teachers;



7.  Plans for formative evaluation of the program.



C.  Institutional Supporting Data



Include a minimum of one and a maximum of three letters of

institutional support.  The letter(s) should be from a highly placed

institutional official, at the level of Dean or above, who is in a

position to commit the institutional resources necessary to assure

effective conduct of the program.



Appendix - No appendix material will be allowed.



The signed, typewritten original of the application, including the

Checklist, and three exact photocopies of the signed application must

be submitted to:



Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD  20892**



At time of submission, two additional copies of the application must

also be sent to:



Dr. Marjorie A. Tingle

Biomedical Research Support Program

National Center for Research Resources

Westwood Building, Room 848

Bethesda, MD  20892



Applications must be submitted by September 12, 1994.  Applications

submitted after this date will be returned to the

applicant.



REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS



Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by DRG and

responsiveness by the NCRR.  Incomplete applications will be returned

to the applicant without further consideration.  If staff find that the

application is not responsive to this program, it will be returned

without further consideration.



Applications that are complete and responsive to this program

announcement will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an

appropriate peer review group convened by the NCRR in accordance with

the review criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review,

a process (triage) may be used by the initial review group in which

applications will be determined to be competitive or non-competitive

based on their scientific merit relative to other applications received

in response to this program announcement.  Applications judged to be

competitive will be discussed and be assigned a priority score.

Applications determined to be non-competitive will be withdrawn from

further consideration and the principal investigator/program director

and the official signing for the applicant organization will be

promptly notified.



Criteria for review of applications include the following:



o  quality of the overall scientific and educational content of the

proposed program including research laboratory and special enrichment

activities;



o  appropriateness of the plans considering the size, strengths, and

characteristics of the institution;



o  the qualifications of the Program Director and the proposed mentors;



o  the quality of the method of recruitment, selection and assignment

of students, teachers, and mentors;



o  the quality of the institution's plans for a formative evaluation of

the program;



o  the extent of the institutional commitment to providing a quality

research experience and to precollege education

partnerships; and



o  the extent of prior accomplishments in precollege education.



The second level of review will be provided by the National Advisory

Research Resources Council in February 1995.



AWARD CRITERIA



The following will be considered when making funding decisions:  the

quality of the proposed application as determined by peer review,

availability of funds, program balance among the types of institutions

and geographic distribution of the awards.



INQUIRIES



Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PAR are encouraged.

The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential

applicants is welcome.



Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:



Dr. Marjorie A. Tingle or Dr. Abraham Levy

Biomedical Research Support Program

National Center for Research Resources

Westwood Building, Room 848

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 594-7947



Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:



Ms. Mary V. Niemiec

Office of Grants and Contracts Management

National Center for Research Resources

Westwood Building, Room 849

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (301) 594-7955



AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS



Awards will be made under authorization of the Public Health Service

Act, Title III, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended, 42 USC 241) and

administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR

52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the

intergovernmental review requirements for Executive Order 12372 or

Health Systems Agency review.



.




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