Full Text PAR-95-058

MINORITY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT PROGRAM

NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 15, April 28, 1995

PA NUMBER: PAR-95-058

P.T. 34, FF

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 
  Emotional/Mental Health 


National Institute of Mental Health

PURPOSE

The Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP) has
been established by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in
response to recommendations made by scientists from predominantly
minority academic institutions to build mental health research
programs in these settings.  This program announcement supersedes the
Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA)
Minority Institutions Research Development Program (MIRDP) program
announcement, dated April 1989.

The purpose of M-RISP is to increase the capacity of minority
institutions and their faculty to conduct rigorous mental
health-relevant research.  The intent of the research infrastructure
program is to strengthen the research environments of minority
institutions through grant support to develop and/or expand existing
capacities for conducting behavioral and neuroscience research in all
fields related to mental health.  Minority students will benefit from
participation in projects as research assistants and will be
encouraged to pursue careers in fields related to mental health.

To facilitate the goals of assisting institutions increase their
capacity to conduct mental health research, the M-RISP program
provides support for two types of core activities: (1) Institutional
research development support, to strengthen the institutional
infrastructure and enhance the capability of individual faculty
members to undertake mental health-related research; and (2)
Individual investigator research support, for developing research
scientists to conduct small grant research activities that can lead
to successful applications for funding under regular research grant
mechanisms.

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 for setting priority areas.  This PA,
Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program, is related to the
priority area of mental health and mental disorders.  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

Applications for M-RISP may be submitted by domestic public and
private universities, four-year colleges, non-profit and for-profit
domestic organizations such as hospitals, laboratories, units of
public agencies of State or local governments, eligible agencies of
the Federal government, or other institutions conducting research in
mental health related fields.  The applicant must indicate which of
the following eligibility conditions applies to the institution:

o  An academic institution  with at least 55 percent minority (Black,
Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific
Islander) student enrollment.

o  An institution with more than 30 percent minority student
enrollment in each of the past three years that can provide evidence
of efforts to recruit members of ethnic or racial groups into
scientific careers.  Additionally, the institution should show
evidence of demonstrated commitment to minority faculty recruitment
and development in expenditure of resources, as well as documented
institutional need for support in its research development program.
Potential applicants who intend to apply under this eligibility
criterion are advised to consult with NIMH staff (as listed under
Inquiries) before submitting an application.

o  An Indian tribe may apply in conjunction with one or more
institutions of higher learning that offer undergraduate and graduate
degrees in mental health-related fields.  Such applicants must have a
recognized governing body and perform substantial governmental
functions, or qualify as an Alaska Regional Corporation (ARC) as
defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et
seq.).

Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Grants awarded under the M-RISP program will use the resource-related
research projects mechanism (R24) of the National Institutes of
Health (NIH). This mechanism is used to support research projects
that enhance capabilities to contribute to extramural research of the
Public Health Service (PHS).  Grants funded under M-RISP are awarded
directly to the applicant institution and are nontransferable.

Allowable Costs

Each application should include proposals related to both core
elements (Institutional Research Development Support and Individual
Investigator Research Projects) and indicate how the infrastructure
support will enhance the individual research projects.  In some
cases, the application may also request support for Research
Assistantships for students to work with faculty members who have
research funding through another mechanism of support.  Institutions
are encouraged to use funds under M-RISP to increase availability of
Research Assistants on these projects, not to be used to replace any
Research Assistant positions supported by other Federal or
non-Federal awards.

The NIMH recognizes that different types of institutions will require
different types of research infrastructure development activities and
initiatives, depending upon particular needs and circumstances.
Accordingly, this announcement provides general rather than specific
guidance as to the types of development activities appropriate under
M-RISP.  Support may be requested for, but is not limited to, the
following:

o  Partial salary support for persons engaged in the project
o  Research training for junior investigators
o  Scientific and statistical consultation, including expenses
incurred by a scientific advisory committee
o  Biostatistical and data management services
o  Research technicians and assistants
o  Research instruments
o  Small, project-specific equipment
o  Pilot and feasibility studies
o  Research subject costs
o  Data acquisition costs

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The average M-RISP grant is $300,000 per year plus negotiated
indirect costs.  The infrastructure core component of most M-RISP
grants averages $50,000 per year, direct costs.  Individual
Investigator projects average $50,000 per year, direct costs.
Support is limited to three years for the first-time application.
The core, infrastructure component of an M-RISP grant is renewable
for intervals of up to five years.  Competitive renewals are
permitted so long as new Individual Investigators of subprojects are
supported by the program.  Individual Investigators who participate
in subprojects on the M-RISP grant should not expect more than a
total of six years of support through the M-RISP program.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

M-RISP is designed to enable predominantly minority institutions with
small research programs in mental health to develop into
significantly stronger research settings.  It is part of an
integrated NIMH approach to developing a broader national
infrastructure for mental health research that includes NIMH support
for clinical and services research centers, minority research
centers, rural mental health research centers, social work research
development centers, research infrastructure support programs, and
M-RISP.  Together, these programs provide a continuum of research
infrastructure support for institutions.  To facilitate these goals,
M-RISP provides support for two types of primary activities:

Institutional Research Development Support M-RISP provides support to
strengthen the institutional infrastructure so as to enhance the
capability of individual faculty members to undertake mental health
research.  Requests may be made for infrastructure enhancements such
as laboratory development, including limited support for equipment,
support of collaborative linkages with senior scientists in other
institutions, and provision of resources for data management and
statistical analyses.  For individual faculty development, support
may be requested for such activities as enrolling in advanced
seminars in scientific techniques, and for pilot work to serve as a
basis for the development of individual research projects.

Individual Investigator Research Projects.

In addition to capacity development support, an M-RISP grant provides
support for at least two initial or developmental research
subprojects from at least two or more faculty members who serve as
Individual Investigators of these subprojects.  The  intent of this
component of M-RISP is to support research activities that will lead
to successful applications for funding under the usual
investigator-initiated grants programs of NIMH.  Individual
Investigator projects should be designed to take advantage of the
infrastructure development being supported by the program.

In addition to these two main elements in M-RISP, an optional
component is also available for faculty members who have obtained
research funding for mental health research through other sources of
funds.

Research Assistantships for Associate Investigator Projects.

Investigators under this program are research project directors whose
funding for the research project has been obtained from other sources
(including Federal, State, local, and/or private support).  In such
cases, additional funds may be requested through M-RISP to support
minority undergraduate or graduate students to serve as research
assistants on the funded research projects.

Application Characteristics

An M-RISP application must present a plan that (1) assesses current
institutional and faculty capacity to conduct mental health-related
research; (2) identifies unmet needs; and (3) describes activities
that will be undertaken to develop and strengthen the institutional
research infrastructure.  The plan should include both an
institutional research development program and two or more individual
investigator projects.  The plan should cover a period of three years
(up to five years for competitive renewals) and indicate how the
capacity to conduct mental health research will be improved
significantly in this time period.

The application should contain the following:

Institutional Research Development Plan

o  Specific aims

o  Summary of relevant ongoing mental health research

o  Assessment of institutional capacity to conduct state-of- the art
research on mental health issues; identification of gaps which M-RISP
is intended to fill

o  Design and procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims
of the research infrastructure  development plan over the time period
of the proposed project (3 years for new applications; up to 5 years
for competitive renewal applications), including plans for
administrative structure, recruitment and retention of persons
skilled in mental health research, staff training and mentoring,
statistical and other consultation and data management, and
collaboration with other institutions

o  Description of equipment, space, and other facility resources
available to support the development plan and extent to which
enhancement of these resources is needed

o  Description of institutional financial commitment to support the
proposed minority mental health research infrastructure development

o  Brief descriptions (1 page each) of individual research studies
that will be undertaken as part of infrastructure development,
including plans for data collection and analysis

The research plan section of the application is limited to 25 pages.

Individual Investigator Research Projects

o  Linkages to overall institutional capacity development plan
o  Specific aims
o  Background and significance
o  Progress report/preliminary studies
o  Literature review
o  Research plan, including experimental design and methods
o  Protection of human subjects, where applicable
o  Protection of vertebrate animals, if applicable
o  Consultants and collaborators
o  Consortium/contractual arrangements
o  Detailed budgets for each project

The research plans for the Individual Investigator Research Projects
are limited to 25 pages each.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations), which
have been in effect since 1990. The new policy contains some
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and reprinted
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11,
March 18, 1994.

Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 9/91).  Applications will be accepted annually on the
single receipt date of June 1 and reviewed on the following
schedules:

Application Receipt Date:  June 1
Initial Review Group:      Oct/Nov
Council Meeting:           Jan/Feb
Earliest Start Date:       April 1

Application kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and may be obtained 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:  NIMH
MINORITY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT PROGRAM.  Applicants should
specify in Item 2b that the R24 mechanism is being used.

The completed original application and five legible copies must be
sent or delivered to:

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

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications that are complete and responsive to the program
announcement will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by
an appropriate peer review group convened by the NIMH in accordance
with the standard NIH peer review procedures.  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
receive a second-level review by the National Advisory Mental Health
Council.

Review Criteria

Institutional Research Development Plan

o  significance of overall project to the goals of this program
announcement

o  appropriateness of the institutional research development plan for
applicant institution and extent to which this plan will build on
current institutional support for mental health research and
significantly augment and improve the support for research

o  quality of the institutional research development plan, including
plans for enhancing institutional capacity and individual faculty
research development plans and the degree to which the parts enhance
one another in achieving overall objectives

o  probability that proposal can be implemented successfully, and the
likelihood that it will result in competitive research proposals from
individual faculty members

o  experience and appropriateness of the Program Director

o  evidence of institutional support and commitment to the proposed
program

Individual Investigator Research Projects

o  significance and originality of proposed research and potential
for publication

o  adequacy of literature review and justification of the proposed
theoretical framework

o  appropriateness and scientific quality of the experimental
approach and methodology proposed to carry out the research,
including appropriateness of control or comparison groups, plans for
recruitment and retention of subjects, use of consultants, and
provisions for other scientifically necessary linkages

o  qualifications and research experience of the Individual Principal
Investigator and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the
area of the proposed research

o  for competitive renewals, progress report and publications
associated with prior funding period

o  availability of the resources necessary to perform the research,
including access to research subjects

o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research

o  adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research

o  contribution of Associate Investigator Projects to overall
objectives of institutional infrastructure plan and benefits to
students participating on the associated projects

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human and animal subjects.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications assigned to NIMH.  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.

Priority will be given to those institutions or departments with no
other support for infrastructure.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Grant funds may be used for expenses clearly related to
infrastructure development and necessary to conduct research
projects, including both direct costs which can be specifically
identified with the project and allowable indirect costs for the
institution.  Funds may not be used to establish, add a component to,
or operate a treatment, rehabilitation, or prevention intervention
service program.  Support for research related treatment,
rehabilitation, or prevention services and programs may be requested
only for costs required by the research.  These costs must be
justified in terms of research objectives, methods, and designs which
promise to yield generalizable knowledge and/or make a significant
contribution to theoretical concepts.  When independent research
funds become available to support Individual Investigator Research
Projects, the proposed reallocation of existing funds will be
discussed with appropriate Institute staff on a case by case basis.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome. Direct inquiries
regarding programmatic issues to:

Rodney R. Cocking, Ph.D.
Office for Special Populations
National Institute of Mental Health
Parklawn Building, Room 17C-14
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3641
FAX:  (301) 443-8552
Email:  RC4@CU.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-08
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3065
Email:  DT21A@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.242.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, 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.  Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy as
stated in the Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement (April 1,
1994).

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and to 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 routine
education, library, day care, health care or early childhood
development services are provided to children.

.

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