Full Text PAR-95-041

RESEARCH AND DEMONSTRATION GRANTS IN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 11, March 24, 1995

PA NUMBER:  PAR-95-041

P.T. 34, 12

Keywords: 
  Occupational Health and Safety 


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

PURPOSE

The purpose of this grant program is to develop knowledge that can be
used in preventing occupational diseases and injuries.  The National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will support the
following types of applied research projects:  causal research to
identify and investigate the relationships between hazardous working
conditions and associated occupational diseases and injuries; methods
research to develop more sensitive means of evaluating hazards at
work sites, as well as methods for measuring early markers of adverse
health effects and injuries; control research to develop new
protective equipment, engineering control technology, and work
practices to reduce the risks of occupational hazards; and
demonstrations to evaluate the technical feasibility or application
of a new or improved occupational safety and health procedure,
method, technique, or system.

Background

Americans are now working more hours than ever before.  The workplace
environment profoundly affects health.  Each person, simply by going
to work each day, may face hazards that threaten one's health and
safety.  Risking a person's life or health should never be considered
part of the job.

In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act to
ensure Americans the right to "safe and healthful working
conditions," yet workplace hazards continue to inflict a tremendous
toll in both human and economic costs.

In 1992, employers reported 3.3 million disabling work injuries and
370,000 cases of occupational illness.  According to the most current
statistics an average of 17 American workers die each day from
injuries on the job.  Moreover, even the most conservative estimates
find that about 137 additional workers die each day from workplace
diseases.

Medical payments under workers' compensation rose to almost $17
billion in 1991.  Considering that workers' compensation is received
by only 60 percent of injured workers and does not cover most cases
of chronic occupational illness, medical costs alone for these
conditions may total $30 to $40 billion.

Occupational injury and disease creates needless human suffering, a
tremendous burden upon health care resources, and an enormous drain
on U.S. productivity (estimated to exceed $100 billion annually).
Yet, to date, this mainstream public health problem has somehow
escaped mainstream public attention.  Workplace injury and disease is
neither inevitable nor acceptable.  The time has come to protect one
of the nation's most valuable resources:  the American worker.

The philosophy of NIOSH is articulated in the NIOSH's vision
statement:  Delivering on the Nation's Promise:  Safety and Health at
Work for All People...Through Prevention.  To identify and reduce
hazardous working conditions, the NIOSH carries out disease, injury,
and hazard surveillance and conducts a wide range of field and
laboratory research.  Additionally, NIOSH sponsors extramural
research in priority areas to complement and expand its efforts.
These are listed under RESEARCH OBJECTIVES.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity to reduce morbidity and mortality and
improve the quality of life.  This program announcement, Research and
Demonstration Grants in Occupational Safety and Health, is related to
the priority area occupational safety and health.  Potential
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:
Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or 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

Eligible applicants include domestic and foreign non-profit and
for-profit organizations, universities, colleges, research
institutions, and other public and private organizations, including
State and local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal
government.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons
with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.
Exceptions:  applicants for the Special Emphasis Research Career
Award Grant or Small Grant programs must be citizens or persons
lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence (resident
alien) at the time of application and must be employed by a domestic
institution.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The types of grants NIOSH supports are described below.  Applications
responding to this program announcement will be reviewed by staff for
their responsiveness to the following program requirements.  Grants
are funded for 12-month budget periods in project periods up to five
years for research project grants and demonstration project grants;
three years for SERCA grants; and up to two years for small grants.
Continuation awards within the project period are made on the basis
of satisfactory progress and on the availability of funds.

1.  Research Project Grants (R01)

A research project grant application should be designed to establish,
discover, develop, elucidate, or confirm information relating to
occupational safety and health, including innovative methods,
techniques, and approaches for dealing with occupational safety and
health problems.  These studies may generate information that is
readily available to solve problems or contribute to a better
understanding of the causes of work-related diseases and injuries.

2.  Demonstration Project Grants (R18)

A demonstration project grant application should address, either on a
pilot or full-scale basis, the technical or economic feasibility of
implementing a new/improved innovative procedure, method, technique,
or system for preventing occupational safety or health problems.  The
project should be conducted in an actual workplace where a baseline
measure of the occupational problem will be defined, the new/improved
approach will be implemented, a follow-up measure of the problem will
be documented, and an evaluation of the benefits will be conducted.

3.  Special Emphasis Research Career Award (SERCA) Grants (K01)

The SERCA grant is intended to provide opportunities for individuals
to acquire experience and skills essential to the study of
work-related hazards, and in so doing create a pool of highly
qualified investigators who can make future contributions to research
in the area of occupational safety and health.  SERCA grants are not
intended either for individuals without research experience or for
productive, independent investigators with a significant number of
publications and of senior academic rank.  Moreover, the award is not
intended to substitute one source of salary support for another for
an individual who is already conducting full-time research; nor is it
intended to be a mechanism for providing institutional support.

Candidates must:  (1) hold a doctoral degree; (2) have research
experience at or above the doctoral level; (3) not be above the rank
of associate professor; (4) be employed at a domestic institution;
and (5) be citizens or persons lawfully admitted to the U.S. for
permanent residence (resident alien) at the time of application.

This non-renewable award provides support for a three-year period for
individuals engaged in full-time research and related activities.
Awards will not exceed $50,000 per year in direct costs for salary
support (plus fringe benefits), technical assistance, equipment,
supplies, consultant costs, domestic travel, publications, and other
costs.  The indirect cost rate applied is limited to eight percent of
the direct costs, excluding tuition and related fees and equipment
expenses, or to the actual indirect cost rate, whichever results in
the lesser amount.

A minimum of 60 percent time must be committed to the proposed
research project, although full-time is desirable.  Other work in the
area of occupational safety and health will enhance the candidate's
qualifications, but is not a substitute for this requirement.
Related activities may include research career development activities
as well as involvement in patient care to the extent that it will
strengthen research skills.  Fundamental/basic research will not be
supported unless the project will make an original contribution for
applied technical knowledge in the identification, evaluation, and/or
control of occupational safety and health hazards (e.g., development
of a diagnostic technique for early detection of an occupational
disease).  Research project proposals must be of the applicants' own
design and of such scope that independent investigative capability
will be evident within three years.  At the completion of this
three-year award, it is intended that awardees should be better able
to compete for individual research project grants awarded by NIOSH.

SERCA grant applications should be identified as such on the
application form.  Section 2 of the application (the Research Plan)
should include a statement regarding the applicant's career plans and
how the proposed research will contribute to a career in occupational
safety and health research.  This section should also include a
letter of recommendation from the proposed advisor(s).

4.  Small Grants (R03)

The small grant program is intended to stimulate proposals from
individuals who are considering a research career in occupational
safety and health; as such, the minimum time commitment is 10
percent.  It is expected that a recipient would subsequently compete
for a career development grant (K01 - see section H.3.) or for a
traditional research project grant (R01 - see section H.1.) related
to occupational safety and health.  The award is not intended to
supplement ongoing or other proposed research; nor is it intended to
be a mechanism for providing institutional support.

The small grant investigators must be U.S. citizens or persons
lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence (resident
alien) at the time of application who are predoctoral students,
post-doctoral researchers (within three years following completion of
doctoral degree or completion of residency or public health
training), or junior faculty members (no higher than assistant
professor).  If university policy requires that a more senior person
be listed as principal investigator, it should be clear in the
application which person is the small grant investigator.  Except for
applicants who are assistant professors, there must be one or more
named mentors to assist with the project.  A biographical sketch is
required for the small grant investigator, as well as for the
supervisor and other key consultants, as appropriate.

This non-renewable award provides support for project periods of up
to two years to carry out exploratory or pilot studies, to develop or
test new techniques or methods, or to analyze data previously
collected. Awards will not exceed $25,000 per year in direct costs
for salary support (plus fringe benefits), technical assistance,
equipment, supplies, consultant costs, domestic travel, publications,
and other costs.  The indirect costs will be based upon the
negotiated indirect cost rate of the applicant organization.  An
individual may not receive more than two small grant awards, and
then, only if the awards are at different stages of development
(e.g., doctoral student, post-doctoral researcher, or junior faculty
member).

FUNDS AVAILABLE

For fiscal year (FY) 1995, the budget for research grants is
$9,373,900. Of that amount, $5,300,000 is to support 44 non-competing
continuation awards, and $4,073,900 is available for approximately 35
new and competing renewal awards, which includes $400,000 for Small
Business Innovation Research grant awards.

Within the $9,373,900 budget, there is emphasis for health and safety
research within the construction industry, totaling $2,500,000.  Of
this figure, $1,850,000 is to support 10 non-competing continuation
awards, and $650,000 is available for approximately six new and
competing renewal awards.

Grant applications should be focused on the research priorities
described under RESEARCH OBJECTIVES in this announcement, which
include several new research priorities.  Grant applications in these
new areas will compete for the available funds given above, as well
as for funds announced through Requests for Applications that are
anticipated in FY 1995 and FY 1996.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The NIOSH program priorities, listed below, are applicable to all of
the above types of grants listed under MECHANISMS OF SUPPORT.  These
priority areas represent both new areas and traditional diseases and
injuries related to risks on the job.  NIOSH intends to support
projects that facilitate progress in understanding and preventing
adverse effects among workers.  The conditions or examples listed
under each category are selected examples, not comprehensive
definitions of the category. Investigators may also apply in other
areas related to occupational safety and health, but the rationale
for the significance of the research to the field of occupational
safety and health must be presented in the grant application.
Potential applicants with questions concerning the acceptability of
their proposed work are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Roy M.
Fleming at the address under INQUIRIES.

New Research Priorities are:

o  Surveillance:  The ability to identify the occurrence and
emergence of work-related injury and disease is vital for prevention.
While some targeted surveillance efforts address specific conditions,
such as adult lead poisoning, occupational lung disease, and carpal
tunnel syndrome, a national surveillance system for occupational
disease and injury does not exist.  To broaden current surveillance
systems, it is necessary to:  (1) improve hazard surveillance by
developing systems that identify hazardous work conditions, rather
than cases of disease or injury; (2) evaluate new disease
surveillance efforts to better fill the gaps in current reporting
systems; (3) explore additional surveillance methods for nonfatal
injury, including workplace violence; and (4) assess the economic
burden of occupational conditions and potential economic benefits of
their prevention.

o  Work Organization:  Through surveillance and research, NIOSH and
others have identified many physical and chemical hazards of work.
However, there is growing evidence that the way work is organized,
itself, affects the health and well-being of workers, both directly
and in combination with other hazards.  Investigations are needed on
broad aspects of employment, including underemployment,
overemployment, unemployment, shift-work, alternate work schedules,
and job stress.  Also encompassed are special risks that may result
from the ongoing evolution to a service economy; to a workforce that
is increasingly comprised of women, minorities and older workers; and
to conditions of employment and demands for productivity increasingly
pressured by global market forces.

o  Control Technology and Intervention Research:  NIOSH seeks to
prevent work-related diseases and injuries by designing,
implementing, and evaluating measures to reduce occupational hazards
at their source.  If prevention measures are not currently available,
new technologies need to be developed for controlling hazardous
exposures.  Such new technologies must be evaluated to determine that
the prevention measures are feasible, even for smaller businesses.
Intervention research, of which control technology is a part,
examines the utility and impact of new and existing preventive
measures in the workplace.  Assessments are needed of the
effectiveness of regulations, educational efforts, government and
private outreach programs, employer policies, worker training, and
protective technology in preventing disease and injury.

o  Health Services Research:  This area includes (1) assessing the
adequacy of the supply of occupational safety and health
professionals, including specialist or generalist physicians and
nurses, industrial hygienists, safety specialists, and engineers; (2)
evaluating the accessibility, availability, and delivery of
occupational health services, the role of workers' compensation, and
the integration of occupational health services and primary health
care; (3) improving the quality of occupational health care, through
clinical and preventive practice guidelines; (4) assessing the
effectiveness of screening and treatment of select occupational
conditions; and (5) evaluating the economics of treating and
preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.

Traditional research priorities are broadly intended for
investigator-initiated research of emerging or reemerging issues,
particularly those affecting a large number of workers.  These areas
include:  occupational lung diseases, musculoskeletal injuries,
occupational cancers (other than lung), severe occupational traumatic
injuries and fatalities, cardiovascular disease, disorders of
reproduction, neurotoxic disorders, noise-induced hearing loss,
dermatologic conditions, and psychological disorders.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

Applicants are required to give added attention (where feasible and
appropriate) to the inclusion of minorities and/or women study
populations for research into the etiology of diseases, research in
behavioral and social sciences, clinical studies of treatment and
treatment outcomes, research on the dynamics of health care and its
impact on disease, and appropriate interventions for disease
prevention and health promotion.  Exceptions would be studies of
diseases which exclusively affect males or where involvement of
pregnant women may expose the fetus to undue risks.  If minorities
and/or women are not included in a given study, a clear rationale and
justification for their exclusion must be provided.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research; 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; and from the program administrator listed
under INQUIRIES.

The original and five copies of the PHS 398 must be submitted to the
address below by the specified receipt dates also provided below.  A
mailing label is provided in the form PHS 398 application package.

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express or courier service)

The timetable for receiving applications and awarding grants is given
below.  This is a continuous announcement, consequently, these
receipt dates will be ongoing until further notice.

Research and Demonstration Project Grants:

Receipt          Initial        Secondary    Earliest Possible
Date*            Review         Review         Start Date

Feb 1            Jun/Jul        Sep          Dec 1
Jun 1            Oct/Nov        Jan          Apr 1
Oct 1            Feb/Mar        May          Aug 1

*Deadlines for competing continuation applications or revised
applications are 1 month later.

SERCA and Small Grants

Receipt          Initial        Secondary    Earliest Possible
Date             Review         Review         Start Date

Mar 1            Jun/Jul        Aug          Nov 1
Jul 1            Oct/Nov        Dec          Mar 1
Nov 1            Feb/Mar        Apr          Jul 1

Applications must be received by the above receipt dates.  To guard
against problems caused by carrier delays, retain a legible
proof-of-mailing receipt from the carrier, dated no later than one
week prior to the receipt date.  If the receipt date falls on a
weekend, it will be extended to Monday; if the date falls on a
holiday, it will be extended to the following work day.  The receipt
date will be waived only in extenuating circumstances.  To request
such a waiver, include an explanatory letter with the signed,
completed application.  No request for a waiver will be considered
prior to receipt of the application.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS
referral guidelines.  Applications will be reviewed for scientific
and technical merit by study sections of the Division of Research
Grants, NIH in accordance with the NIH peer review procedures.
Following scientific-technical review, the applications will receive
a second-level programmatic review by NIOSH.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive a
written critique and undergo a process in which only those
applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally
the top half of applications under review, will be discussed,
assigned a priority score, and those applications assigned to the
NIOSH will receive a second level review by the NIOSH programmatic
review committee.

Review Criteria

The initial (peer) review is based on scientific merit and
significance of the project, competence of the proposed staff in
relation to the type of research involved, feasibility of the
project, likelihood of its producing meaningful results,
appropriateness of the proposed project period, adequacy of the
applicant's resources available for the project, and appropriateness
of the budget request.

Demonstration grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the
basis of the following criteria:

o  Degree to which project objectives are clearly established,
obtainable, and for which progress toward attainment can and will be
measured.
o  Availability, adequacy, and competence of personnel, facilities,
and other resources needed to carry out the project.
o  Degree to which the project can be expected to yield or
demonstrate results that will be useful and desirable on a national
or regional basis.
o  Documentation of cooperation from industry, unions, or other
participants in the project, where applicable.

SERCA grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the basis
of the following criteria:

o  The review process will consider the applicant's scientific
achievements, the applicant's research career plan in occupational
safety and health, and the degree to which the applicant's
institution offers a superior research environment (supportive
nature, including letter(s) of reference from advisor(s) which should
accompany the application).

Small grant applications will be given consideration to the fact that
applicants do not have extensive experience with the grant process.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications assigned to NIOSH.  The following will be considered in
making funding decisions:  Quality of the proposed project as
determined by peer review, availability of funds, and program
priority.

In the secondary review, the following factors will be considered:

o  The results of the initial review.
o  The significance of the proposed study to the mission of NIOSH.
(1) Relevance to occupational safety and health, by contributing to
achievement of research objectives specified in Section 20(a) of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and Section 501 of the
Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977,
(2) Magnitude of the problem in terms of numbers of workers affected,
(3) Severity of the disease or injury in the worker population,
(4) Potential contribution to applied technical knowledge in the
identification, evaluation, and/or control of occupational safety and
health hazards,
(5) Program balance, and
(6) Policy and budgetary considerations.

Questions regarding the above criteria may be addressed to Dr.
Fleming at the address listed under INQUIRIES.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify and issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding technical or programmatic issues to:

Roy M. Fleming, Sc.D.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Building 1, Room 3053, Mail Stop D-30
Atlanta, GA  30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-3343
FAX:  (404) 639-2196
Email:  rmf2@niood1.em.cdc.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Georgia Jang
Grants Management Branch, PGO
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
255 E. Paces Ferry Road, NE
Room 321, Mail Stop E-13
Atlanta, GA  30305
Telephone:  (404) 842-6814
FAX:  (404) 842-6613
Email:  glj2@opspgo1.em.cdc.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.262.  This program is authorized under the Public
Health Service Act, as amended, Section 301 (42 U.S.C. 241); the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Section 20 (a) (29 U.S.C.
669[a]); and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of
1977, as amended, Section 501 (30 U.S.C. 951).  The applicable
program regulations are in 42 CFR Part 52.  This program is not
subject to the Public Health Systems Reporting Requirements.

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

.

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