Full Text PAR-95-013

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

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 45, December 23, 1994

PA NUMBER:  PAR-95-013

P.T. 34, FF

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 
  Biomedical Research Training 


National Center for Research Resources

Application Receipt Date:  March 29, 1995

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 out and will not be available for FY 1996.
This program announcement represents the third and final phase of
this transition.

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.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Health People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Program
Announcement, NCRR Minority Initiative:  K-12 Teachers and High
School Students, is related to many of the areas discussed in this
publication.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy
People 2000" (Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-783-3238).

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.  Foreign institutions
and high schools may not apply.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals,
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as
program directors.

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 earliest anticipated award date is December 1, 1995.

Applications must request support for both students and teachers,
with a minimum of eight students per year unless 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 for work
performed; stipends are not allowable costs under this program.
Applicant organizations must establish the rate of salary and fringe
benefit compensation to be provided for students and teachers
employed on the grant activity; however a maximum of $2,000 per
student, $3,000 per preservice teacher and $5,000 per inservice
teacher may be requested for salary and fringe benefits for a summer
experience.  Part-time experiences during the academic year would be
reimbursed at the same hourly rate.  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 workforce - 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, the progress of students should be
tracked 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 teacher activities
are as follows.

Student Activities

The most important aspect of this program is the research laboratory
experience.  In this program, high school students, no more than two
students to one mentor, work in an active research laboratory for
approximately six to eight weeks in the summer.

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 to 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.

Students are expected to devote sufficient effort to the research
project and related activities during the period of support to gain
insight into the process of scientific discovery.

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 on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 9/91).  Application kits 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.  The title and number
of the program announcement must be typed in Section 2a on the face
page of the application.

Applications must follow the instructions provided in the form PHS
398 form except for the following:

Form Page 1

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 no earlier than
12-01-95, and should allow sufficient time to permit grantees to
adequately plan and implement the activity for the summer 1996.  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.

Students and teachers must be treated as employees (not trainees) at
the grantee organization during the period of their grant-supported
research experience.  Use successive lines in the Personnel Category
to indicate the number of positions being requested for students,
preservice, and inservice teachers.  For each of these
classifications, provide the requested information for all columns in
the Personnel category.  If students and/or teachers will be working
during the academic year as well as the summer, use separate lines to
display the summer/academic information, following the instructions
provided on pages 16 and 17 of the PHS 398 kit.  Since the student
and teacher work experiences may be measured by the grantee in weekly
or monthly employment terms, applicants may reflect the columnar
information in such a manner.  Following the Personnel category
columns, an example might be:  Name:  8 students - summer; Role on
project:  lab worker; Type Appt:  8wks; Effort on project: 40 hrs/wk;
Inst. base salary: $/hr.  Calculate and enter the salary, fringe
benefit, and total dollars requested information. Continuing the
example, the next line might reflect:  2 students - academic year, 1
wk, 20 hrs/wk, etc.

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 must clearly describe and provide
sufficient detail 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.  A suitable example would separately describe
the number and types of student and teacher positions being requested
for summer and, if applicable, academic year activity, and would
include for each the number of hours/week, total number of weeks of
the experience, and the rate of compensation.

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. Again, provide
sufficient detail to permit the reviewers to evaluate the proposed
request.

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

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 (or similar
high level administrative official), 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 March 29, 1995.  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 notified.

Review Criteria

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 September 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

Inquiries 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
Biomedical Research Support Program
National Center for Research Resources
Westwood Building, Room 848
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7947
Email:  BRSPK12@EP.NCRR.NIH.GOV

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
Email:  MaryN@EP.NCRR.NIH.GOV

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic
Assistance No.93.922.  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.

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant
recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use
of all tobacco products.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American
people.

.

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