Full Text PAR-95-043

RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE IN MINORITY INSTITUTIONS

PAR NUMBER:  PAR-95-043

NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 12, March 31, 1995

P.T. 34, FF

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 


National Center for Research Resources
Office of Research on Minority Health

Application Receipt Date:  June 1, 1995

PURPOSE

As part of a continuing commitment to increase the biomedical
research capacity, and thereby increase the participation of minority
institutions and underrepresented minorities in the  health-related
research programs of the Public Health Service (PHS), the National
Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the Office of Research on
Minority Health (ORMH) encourage the submission of applications for
planning grants for eligible institutions to develop their research
infrastructure.  The purpose of these grants (Phase I) is to enable
minority institutions to develop plans to significantly enhance their
capacity and competitiveness for the conduct of biomedical and/or
behavioral research.

As part of the planning process, it is a requirement that the
eligible minority institutions develop and/or strengthen formal
collaborative agreements with research-intensive doctoral
degree-granting institutions.  The issuance of a Program Announcement
(PA) in FY 1996 for Phase II grants for implementation of plans for
biomedical research infrastructure development is included in the
future activities of NCRR/ORMH, pending availability of funds.

Long-range, it is anticipated that by developing the research
infrastructure at these institutions their capacity for (1) the
conduct of biomedical and/or behavioral research will be enhanced;
(2) the recruitment and retention of minority students in biomedical
research will be augmented; (3) collaborative research at
research-intensive institutions will be expanded; and (4) success in
competing for PHS support will be enhanced.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The PHS is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease
prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas.  This PA, Research
Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Initiative, is related
to all priority areas.  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

Domestic academic institutions with more than 50 percent minority
enrollment that offer one or more master's degrees in the sciences
related to health are eligible to compete for support under this
initiative.

Additionally, domestic academic institutions with more than 50
percent minority enrollment that offer one or more baccalaureate
degrees in the health-related sciences are eligible, if they have
existing formal collaborative programs with institutions offering
doctoral degrees in the health sciences.  These collaborative
agreements must encourage and facilitate the participation of
students from the undergraduate institution in these doctoral degree
programs.  Applicants must provide evidence of the existence and
nature of the collaborative program(s) in the application.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards under this PA will use the exploratory, planning grant (P20)
mechanism.

Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
grant will be solely that of the applicant. The total requested
project period may not exceed 12 months.  Requested direct costs may
not exceed $50,000 for the 12 month period. Indirect costs will be
provided.  The anticipated funding date is September 30, 1995.

This PA is a one-time solicitation, unless it is determined that
there is a continuing program need.  A program announcement
requesting applications for grant awards to support Phase II of this
RIMI initiative are included in ORMH/NCRR's future plans for FY 1996,
pending availability of funds.  The receipt of a planning grant is
not a prerequisite for submission of an application for a Phase II
award.

Allowable Costs

Funds may be requested for personnel, such as faculty release time
and support for a program director and staff; and consultant
services, including external advisors and collaborators.  Requests
for office equipment, office supplies, travel, and other expenses
should be limited to those necessary for program development and
should be carefully and specifically justified.  Support will not be
provided for pilot research projects, research infrastructure, or
students.  All requested items must be related to needs for a
12-month planning activity.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

A total of $1.3 million is expected to be available for this
initiative in FY 1995.  If a sufficient number of highly meritorious
applications are received, it is anticipated that up to 20, one-year
Phase I planning grant awards may be made.  Awards of grants pursuant
to this program announcement are contingent upon the availability of
funds.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The ORMH strongly supports the establishment of institutional
partnerships as an essential approach toward reaching its goals of
(1) extending healthy life and reducing the burden of illness among
minorities through targeted research and (2) increasing the
participation of minorities in all phases of biomedical research.
There is enormous potential for mutual growth as an outcome of
interaction between, on the one hand, Historically Black Colleges and
Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other
institutions serving primarily minority populations; and, on the
other hand, research-intensive institutions that award doctoral
degrees in the health sciences or sciences related to health.

The ORMH Fact-Finding Team (FFT) was convened in May 1991 to
recommend ways in which the ORMH could reach its goals. Thirteen
recommendations resulted, of which four advocated directly or
indirectly the development of the institutional partnership concept.
Precedents for this partnership model have been set by several
programs within the NIH and many collaborative efforts are now in
place between minority and majority institutions.

To the minority institutions, benefits derived from these
partnerships have accrued in the areas of faculty recruitment and
retention, student development, enhanced research capacity and
administrative acumen.  Majority institutions have broadened the
scope of their missions, heightened the diversity of their
activities, and reshaped their vision for the future of their
institutions.

The RIMI initiative, which will assist in the development of the
research infrastructure at eligible minority institutions, is
responsive to mutual and synergistic goals of the NCRR and the ORMH,
and is in response to the FFT's recommendations.  It will be a merger
of the ORMH institutional partnership concept and the extensive
experience of NCRR in developing the research infrastructures of
minority doctoral degree-granting institutions.  This initiative will
also address the problem of diversity in the biomedical sciences, a
major NIH concern.

Program Characteristics

The major activities of the Phase I RIMI are: (1) to organize, plan
and develop an institutional strategy to establish a RIMI Center
(Phase II) that will enhance the institution's biomedical research
infrastructure, and (2) to establish (or enhance) collaborative
agreements with institutions granting doctoral degrees in the health
sciences that encourage the participation of students from the
grantee institution in these doctoral programs.

The Principal Investigator (PI) should be the President of the
applicant institution or his/her designated representative for RIMI
planning purposes.  In addition, the governance structure must
include a Program Director (PD), and a RIMI Advisory Committee.

The PD is nominated by and responsible to the PI; the PD must be
willing and able to devote the time and effort necessary for
effective management and implementation of the planning process.
He/she should be a knowledgeable and experienced biomedical
scientist, and an effective administrator.

A RIMI Advisory Committee must be established that is advisory to the
PI and PD.  It should consist of eight to twelve members and must
include a cross-section of qualified faculty and appropriate members
external to the institution. It is essential that the committee be
knowledgeable about the institution's strengths and weaknesses in
biomedical research, capabilities and needs, and overall goals.  It
should possess, among its members, the experience and knowledge to
identify and recommend expert consultation from the biomedical
community at large, and to facilitate the development and/or
strengthening of necessary collaborative relationships between
institutions, faculty and students. The committee will oversee the
overall institutional plans and application development for Phase II.
The committee makes recommendations throughout the process.

Program plans for enhancement of biomedical research capacity must be
consistent with the long-range goals of the applicant institution.

Phase I applicants must consider that the nature and scope of a RIMI
Center (Phase II) may vary widely in different institutional
settings.  Each applicant must assess and address its own needs.  The
applicant must describe and justify how existing and potential
resources will be utilized to develop a plan and establish necessary
collaborations to create an environment and framework suitable to
achieve the objectives of the RIMI.  Some examples of Phase II items
that may be appropriate for support are a Program Director and staff,
research support personnel, a core laboratory with multiuser research
equipment, support for two or three pilot research projects, and a
faculty development component.  Renovation of research space and
recruitment of faculty scientists are other possibilities.

The development, enhancement, and/or continuation of appropriate
Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements (MUAs) with one or more
institutions that award doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences
is required during Phase I.  In addition to providing for the
participation of students from the undergraduate institution in these
doctoral programs, the MUA must include opportunities for the faculty
at the grantee institution to serve on the doctoral thesis advisory
committee and have other faculty privileges as appropriate. The
establishment of biomedical research collaborations among the faculty
at both institutions is strongly encouraged.

Baccalaureate degree-granting institutions must have these agreements
in place to be eligible to apply for a RIMI planning grant; master's
degree-granting institutions may or may not have them currently in
place, but must finalize such agreements to be eligible to compete
for Phase II of this initiative.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Prospective applicants are advised to communicate with program and
grants management staff of the NCRR as early as possible in the
planning phase of application development. NCRR staff available to
assist applicants are listed under INQUIRIES.

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  Form PHS 398 is available at most
college and university 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.

Applications must follow the instructions accompanying form PHS 398,
except for the following:

Form Page 1  (Face Page)

Item 1.  Title of Application.  The title should be related to the
overall research emphasis of the RIMI development plan.

Item 2a.  Response to Specific Program Announcement.  Check the box
marked "YES" and type in the PA number and title of this
announcement.

Item 2b.  Type of Grant Program.  Type in "P20".

Item 4.  Human Subjects - Not applicable.

Item 5.  Vertebrate Animals - Not applicable.

Item 6.  Dates of Entire Proposed Project Period.  The project period
for a RIMI planning grant is limited to one year (12 months).  The
requested start date should be September 30, 1995.

Item 14.  Organizational Component to Receive Credit for Biomedical
Research Support Grant.  Not applicable.  Leave blank.

Form Page 2 (Description and Personnel)

A.  Abstract of Proposed Program.  In the abstract for the RIMI
initiative, outline the overall objectives and proposed plan,
indicating how the approach selected will achieve these objectives.

B.  Key Personnel.  List the principal investigator, the program
director, and any other individuals with a key role in developing the
RIMI plan.

Form Page 4 (Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period)

Salary support for employees of the applicant institution must be
listed as personnel.  Support for all other personnel should be
listed under consultants (including consulting fees and travel
expenses), or under consortium/contractual costs.  No requests for
alterations and renovations or patient care costs will be considered.


Form Page 5 (Budget for Entire Project Period)

Complete only the first column (Initial Budget Period) of this table.
The need for each budget item requested and its cost must be
thoroughly documented under the Justification section.  Letters of
commitment for identified consultants should be included.

Specific Instructions - Research Plan

Do not follow the outline in form PHS 398 for this section.
Develop as follows:

The narrative for this section is limited to 25 pages.

A.  Institutional Setting

Provide a brief history of the institution and its mission, including
development milestones over the last 10 years.

Describe the institution's current status by providing:

l) a self-analysis of organizational, educational and scientific
strengths and weaknesses; and

2) a summary of major resources (physical, human, and financial) for
biomedical research.  Include numbers of faculty involved and numbers
of students in the health-
related sciences.

B.  Planning Process

Briefly describe the process to be used to select the plan chosen,
addressing the areas of:

1) concept development, including the identification of institutional
goals, formulation of organizational/advisory structures, and
prioritization of research development
area(s); and

2) application development, including the role of the advisory
committee and the extent of communications with RIMI/NIH staff.

C.  Organizational Structure and Administration

Outline the organizational structure of the institution, showing how
the RIMI PD will interface with the administrative structure.
Describe the lines of authority and indicate how the proposed
structure will allow the PD to best accomplish the goals identified
for the RIMI grant.

D.  RIMI PD

Describe the qualifications of the faculty member selected for this
role, including his/her scientific training, biomedical research
experience, administrative leadership skills, and commitment to the
RIMI initiative.

E.  RIMI Advisory Committee

Describe the composition and function of the committee (existing
and/or proposed), and list the names and titles of the members
including their institutional affiliations. Identify the areas of
expertise that each member contributes to this committee.

F.  Institutional Commitment

Provide evidence of the applicant institution's commitment to
biomedical research and to enhancing its biomedical research
environment.  Examples might include the availability of research
space, cost sharing, promotion and tenure policies emphasizing the
importance of research, an institutional strategic plan that
complements the RIMI initiative, ongoing collaborations with
research-intensive institutions, participation in PHS research and
training activities, and any other activity that encourages faculty
and student involvement in biomedical research.

G.  The Institutional Plan

1.  Identify the specific aims and objectives of the planning grant.

2.  Describe in detail the elements of the plan for achieving each of
these specific aims and objectives.

For each element described, explain the rationale for the approach
chosen, identify the resources currently available, document the need
for the resources requested, and indicate the timeline for completion
of each phase in the planning process.  Address any anticipated or
potential problems and describe proposed alternative plans to resolve
them.

3.  Describe the essential elements of any existing collaborative
agreements between the applicant institution and a research-intensive
Ph.D. degree-granting institution, that address the goals of this
initiative.  (The existence of such an agreement is an eligibility
requirement for baccalaureate degree-granting institutions).  If
modifications and improvements in these agreements are planned,
describe these as an element in the plan for achieving this specific
objective (Item 2 above).

Checklist - complete as requested.

Appendix - no appendix material will be allowed.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the Checklist, and three signed, exact photocopies, in one package
to:

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

At the time of submission, two (2) additional copies must also be
sent to:

Office of Review
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965

Applications must be received by June 1, 1995.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant
without review.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by NIH staff for
completeness and responsiveness.  Applications that are incomplete,
nonresponsive to this PA, or exceed the 12-month budget limit of
$50,000 in direct costs will be returned to the applicant.

Applications that are complete and responsive will be evaluated in
accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific and
technical merit by a review committee convened by the NCRR Office of
Review.  Applications may be subjected to triage by the committee to
determine their specific merit relative to other applications
received in response to this PA.  The NCRR will withdraw from further
competition those applications judged by triage to be noncompetitive
for award and notify the applicant and institutional official.
Applications judged to be competitive will undergo further scientific
merit review.  The second level of review will be provided by the
National Advisory Research Resources Council (NARRC).

Major factors to be considered in the evaluation of the applications
include:

o  Feasibility and timeliness of the proposed plan, based on the
mission, recent development history and current biomedical research
capability of the applicant institution.

o  Adequacy of the planning process, including concept development
and involvement of advisory resources.

o  Appropriateness of the organizational and administrative structure
established to accomplish planning grant goals.

o  Qualifications, experience and commitment of the PD, and his/her
ability to provide effective leadership in developing the
institutional RIMI plan.

o  Appropriateness of the RIMI Advisory Committee.

o  Adequacy of institutional commitment to biomedical research.

o  Merit of the applicant's institutional plan for developing an
enhanced biomedical research infrastructure.

o  Appropriateness and feasibility of plans to establish, enhance
and/or maintain collaborative agreements with doctoral
degree-granting institutions.

AWARD CRITERIA

Award decisions will be based on the technical merit of the
application as determined by peer review, availability of funds, and
other programmatic priorities to ensure a balance among the various
types of programs, populations served, and/or geographic
distribution.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning the PA are encouraged.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. Robert F. Hendrickson
Research Centers in Minority Institutions
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 594-7944
Email:  roberth@ep.ncrr.nih.gov

Direct inquiries concerning fiscal matters to:

Mr. Paul Karadbil
Office of Grants and Contracts Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive,  MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 594-7955
Email:  paulk@ep.ncrr.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.389.  Awards will be made under authorization of
the Public Health Service Act, Title III, Part A (Public Law 78-410,
as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) 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 of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency
review.

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

.

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