Full Text PAR-95-082

DEVELOPING AND IMPROVING INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL RESOURCES

NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 28, August 4, 1995

PA NUMBER:  PAR-95-082

P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Animal Breed. & Facil., Scientific 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 


National Center for Research Resources

Application Receipt Dates:  October 1, June 1

PURPOSE

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) encourages the
submission of individual animal resource improvement grant
applications from biomedical research institutions.  The major
objective of this program is to upgrade animal facilities to support
the conduct of PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research.  A
related objective is to assist institutions in complying with the
USDA Animal Welfare Act and DHHS policies related to the care and use
of laboratory animals.  Support is limited to alterations and
renovations (A&R) to improve laboratory animal facilities, and the
purchase of major equipment items for animal resources, diagnostic
laboratories, transgenic animal resources, or similar associated
activities.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Any domestic public or private institution, organization, or
association is eligible to apply for this grant if the institution
has one or more research projects currently supported by the Public
Health Service (PHS) that involve the use of laboratory animals.
Institutions and commercial firms providing only services or products
and without a clearly defined animal related research component are
not eligible to apply.  Also, this program will not support requests
for equipment used for teaching purposes and for housing non-research
animals.  Applications from other Federal agencies or institutions
(e.g., Department of Veterans Affairs) are limited to requests for
equipment only.  Applicants may not submit more than one application
or apply for other NCRR support for developing and improving
institutional animal resources in the same Federal fiscal year.

For purposes of these guidelines, an "institution" is defined as the
organizational component identified on page 1, item 11 of the PHS 398
(rev. 5/95), for which descriptive information is provided on pages
9-10 in the grant application form PHS 398 kit.  Separate
applications may be submitted from different colleges or schools on
the same campus of a university within the same Federal fiscal year
if they have different organizational component codes.  If this is
done, documentation from an appropriate institutional official,
stating that the applications are part of a coordinated, campus-wide
plan to improve the animal facilities, must be provided.  The
applicant institution is strongly encouraged to develop a single
application for a campus-wide program with a single, centralized
animal care program whenever possible or feasible.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The mechanism available for the support of these improvement projects
is the Grant for Repair, Renovation, and Modernization of Existing
Research Facilities (G20).  The total budget request for the
improvement grant application and award is limited to $700,000
(direct costs), of which not more than $500,000 may be used for
alterations and renovations (A&R) and not more than $200,000 may be
used for moveable equipment.  Matching funds from non-Federal sources
are required, equal to or exceeding one-half of the total allowable
costs (equipment and A&R) of the requested project ($1 Federal to $1
non-Federal).  These matching funds must be applied to the specific
project described in the application and cannot be met by citing
other expenditures.

Because the nature and scope of the projects proposed in response to
this PA may vary, it is anticipated that the size of an award will
vary also.

Allowable Costs

Items that may be requested under this grant mechanism include:

o  A&R to improve existing laboratory animal facilities, and
allowable fees associated with the A&R project
o  Major resource equipment related to the improvement project, such
as animal cage systems and cage washers
o  Equipment items, or an aggregate of identical equipment items,
that have a total cost of at least $1,000.  Items that are part of a
system and require the purchase of small component parts (e.g., a
rack and cages or microisolator units) may be requested and priced as
a single item.  A description of the individual components of such
systems must be provided.
o  General purpose equipment items for centralized surgeries,
diagnostic laboratories, transgenic animal facilities, and other
similar associated activities when an integral part of the animal
facility and available to all investigators
o  Basic equipment such as microscopes necessary for operation of the
facility
o  Environmental monitoring systems.  However, if such a system has
multiple uses (e.g., the monitoring of research data or security),
only those costs related to monitoring or providing for animal care
(e.g., environmental monitoring) are allowable.

Improvement grants are not intended to provide support for:

o  General operational support for the resource (e.g., funding for
personnel, consumable supplies for routine animal care, or small
equipment items)
o  Specialized research equipment or facilities for use by only a few
investigators
o  New construction, including the completion of shell space
o  Equipment intended for teaching or non-research purposes
o  Office and research equipment, computers or data processing items
o  Physical security systems

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Animal resource improvement grants are awarded to assist biomedical
research institutions in upgrading animal facilities and developing
administratively centralized and uniformly effective programs of
research animal care in support of PHS-funded research.  Another
major objective is to assist institutions in complying, and
maintaining compliance, with provisions of the USDA Animal Welfare
Act and DHHS policies related to the care and use of laboratory
animals.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95).
Application forms may be obtained from the institution's office of
sponsored research and from the Office of Grants Information,
Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge Drive, Room 3034, MSC 7762, Bethesda, MD 20892-7762,
telephone (301) 435-0714.  There are two receipt dates per year of
October 1 and June 1.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the PHS Grants Policy
Statement (rev. 4/94) sections dealing with alterations and
renovations and equipment prior to completing the PHS 398 form.

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

Form Page 1:

Item 2 - Check the box marked "YES" and type in the number and title
of this program announcement.

Item 5 - Check the box marked "No" at Item 5a.  Item 5b - Not
applicable.

Form Page 2:

Personnel - Only key personnel should be listed here even though
salary support may not be requested.  This must include the chief or
consulting veterinarian.

Form Page 4: Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period

Personnel Category - List only key individuals, and complete columns
1-4; salary support should not be requested.

The total cost of the equipment and A&R needed should be entered in
the rectangular space under the appropriate headings on the left.
Equipment should be classified as movable or fixed, using the
institution's own classification guidelines.  Fixed equipment is
considered as part of the A&R request.  The right hand column should
reflect only the PHS request.  The Total Direct Costs (bottom right
hand column total) should be the total request to the PHS.  The total
request for PHS support may not exceed $700,000.  Of this total, the
A&R request may not exceed $500,000, and the moveable equipment
request may not exceed $200,000.

Form Page 5 - Budget for Entire Proposed Project Period - Not
applicable (do not complete this section).

A cost estimate should be provided, and placed after Form Page 4.
This estimate should detail:

1.  For moveable equipment, the dollar request from NIH, amount to be
funded from other sources, and total cost.
2.  For eligible A&R costs, the dollar request from NIH, amount to be
funded from other sources, and total cost.
3.  For total project cost, the dollar request from NIH, amount to be
funded from other sources, and total cost.
For funding from other sources, indicate the source(s).

For alterations and renovations requests, list separately the
projected costs of:  (a) Demolition; (b) General; (c) Plumbing; (d)
HVAC; (e) Electrical; (f) Architect/Engineer Fee; (g) Other Costs
(Specify); and (h) Fixed Equipment, with the total eligible A&R costs
listed.  If multiple sites are involved, the A&R and cost estimates
should be described separately for each site.  List the total net
square feet of floor space to be renovated and the estimated cost per
net sq. ft., excluding fixed equipment.

Additional Form Pages

Biographical Sketch Page - Provide a biographical sketch for all key
personnel, strictly adhering to the two-page limitation for each.

Other Support Page - Provide the information requested for all key
personnel.

Specific Instructions - Research Plan

The following instructions should be used in lieu of the PHS 398
instructions for this section of the application; however, revised
applications must include an introduction addressing criticisms and
must highlight changes in the application as described in the
instructions for PHS 398.  The Research Plan section of the
application (Items a-d) must strictly adhere to a limit of 25 pages.
The outline suggested below should be followed in describing the
program.  All information critical to the review must be in the
Research Plan, not in an appendix.

1.  Specific Aims - Clearly present the aims of the animal resource
improvement project and relate them to the short- and long-term goals
of the institution's animal resource program, and the research needs
of the institution.

2.  Background and Significance - This section should address the
overall animal care and use program and the need for improvements to
meet current and future laboratory animal needs for biomedical
research.

Background

Provide an overall description of the institution's animal care and
use program.  Provide relevant background information and describe
the current status of the institution's animal resource facilities
and program as they relate to biomedical research and research
training. Describe the institution's overall involvement in
animal-related research.  This section should include a description
of the following aspects of the animal resource:

a.  Administrative arrangements and structure of the animal resource.
The lines of authority and responsibility for administering the
institution's animal care and use program should be clearly
presented. The role and composition of the IACUC and how compliance
with relevant laws, policies, and guidelines is achieved should be
included.

b.  Animal care procedures and the animal health program.  This
section should describe housing, caging, feeding, record keeping,
sanitation, and other animal care practices; animal health program
which includes clinical services, laboratory support, preventive
medicine programs, and any relevant specialized procedures;
veterinary oversight; vendor surveillance; conditioning programs;
colony and environmental monitoring; and diagnostic capabilities in
anatomic pathology, clinical chemistry, hematology, and microbiology.
Data should be provided to characterize the extent of these
activities, such as numbers of laboratory procedures for monitoring
animal health, veterinary inspections for animal health, etc.  If
specialized equipment items are requested, the husbandry program to
utilize this equipment should be outlined.

c.  Staffing.  Outline the total staff and organization of the animal
resource, both currently in place and as planned following the
requested improvements.  Briefly describe the qualifications of the
animal care staff and the training opportunities available to them.

d.  Animal Program Data.  Indicate the number of animals (by species)
used or produced per year and the average daily census (by species)
for each facility.  Provide a brief description of all on-campus and
off-campus animal facilities, including sites where experimental
surgery is performed.  Indicate who manages each facility.  Indicate
whether the institution is accredited by the American Association for
Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). If equipment is
requested for surgical or diagnostic facilities, the case load,
species, types and numbers of surgeries or diagnostic tests must be
documented.

e.  Animal Program Funding.  Provide, for the most recently completed
Federal fiscal year information on:  (1) Investigators currently
using the facility, including types of animals involved and level of
usage; (2) the institution's total number and total direct costs of
research projects using laboratory animals, indicating separately the
number and costs of those funded from PHS and non-PHS sources; (3)
for facilities for which improvement support is requested, list by
facility name the number of research projects and total direct costs
of the projects relevant to each.

List all current financial support for the animal resource, including
sources and amounts (e.g., recharge, core funding from the
institution, etc.) and the annual operating budget (listed by major
categories).  Provide a copy of per diem and service charge schedules
and indicate their method of determination (this information may be
included in an Appendix).

f.  Previous and Future Improvements.  Expenditures for capital
improvements (facilities and equipment) during the past five years
and future plans for meeting such needs should be described.  Any
previous support for improvement of the institution's animal
facilities from the CMP, NCRR, NIH should be noted.  The use of this
support and its impact on the animal care program should be briefly
described.

g.  Program Needs.  List deficiencies in the animal care program that
have been cited by the AAALAC, the Institutional Animal Care and Use
Committee (IACUC) facility review reports, and the institution's PHS
Animal Welfare Assurance Statement.  Any problems in meeting the
provisions of the Animal Welfare Act should also be addressed.

Significance

Describe the significance of the proposed resource improvement
project to the institution's overall biomedical research programs, as
well as to specific research projects that will be affected.  If
appropriate, the application should demonstrate both the need for the
requested items and a sound plan for obtaining or maintaining the
entire animal resource at required standards.

3.  Progress Report/Preliminary Studies - Not applicable.

4.  Research Design and Methods

Clearly show how the proposed improvements will expand, improve or
maintain existing research and research support activities.  Brief
descriptions of major research projects using the resource should be
provided including source and amount of funding and level of animal
usage.  Future scientific needs to be addressed as part of the
improvement should also be described. It is important to describe how
the requested improvements will correct the deficiencies and problems
described in the Background section. Demonstrate how the proposed
facility improvement program fits into the institution's overall plan
to meet or maintain PHS standards for animal care and use.  If the
project is part of an overall (larger) facility improvement plan, the
application should describe the larger plan and how the project fits
into that plan.

Describe and provide detailed justifications for the requested
equipment items.  The manufacturer, model number, size, capacity, or
design criteria, total unit cost and facility where it will be used
should be included.  Requests for surgical equipment must be
justified by listing the number of investigators and PHS grant
support received (can be provided in tabular form), the case load,
and the types of surgical procedures performed.  Failure to
adequately justify each requested item will likely result in its
deletion from the recommended budget.  For any proposed A&R, a
narrative summary (as outlined below), line drawings, and cost
estimates must be provided.  The following sample format is
suggested:

Narrative Summary

(1) Relate the proposed renovations to projected animal populations
(by species) and research projects that will use the facility; (2)
list the functional components, including the size (dimensions) and
square footage of each component (room, alcove, cubicle, etc.) that
will be directly affected by the renovation project; (3) list
engineering criteria applicable to each component (mechanical,
electrical, and utilities).  Include information such as the number
of air changes per hour, electrical power, light levels, hot and cold
water, steam, etc.; (4) list appropriate architectural criteria, such
as width of corridors and doors, surface finishes, etc.; (5) list all
fixed equipment items requested for the renovated area; and (6) list
all movable equipment items requested for the renovated area.

Line Drawings

(1) Submit line drawings on 8-1/2" x 11" paper only. (DO NOT SUBMIT
BLUEPRINTS.) These drawings will not be counted against the 25 page
limit.  All floor plans must be legible, with the scale clearly
indicated.
(2) The line drawings of the proposed renovation must be at a scale
adequate to explain the project.  The drawings should indicate size
(dimensions), function, and net and gross square feet of space for
each room.  The total net and gross square feet of space to be
renovated should also be given.
(3) The plan should indicate the location of the proposed renovation
area in the building.
(4) Include the as-built drawings of the proposed renovation area and
indicate any areas which will be demolished.
(5) Changes or additions to existing mechanical and electrical
systems should be clearly described in notes made directly on the
plan or attached to the plan.
(6) Indicate the type(s) of new finishes to be applied to room
surfaces.

Cost Estimates

Detailed cost estimates must be included.

Assurance to Provide Matching Funds

A letter of assurance to provide matching funds and the projected
source of those funds, signed by the responsible institutional
official, must be provided by the applicant prior to the time an
award is made.  If such a letter is not included with the
application, the applicant must include a letter of intent, also
signed by the appropriate institutional official, to provide the
necessary matching funds.

The letter of assurance or the letter of intent should be placed as
the final page of the application.

The completed original application (signed original including
appendices, if any) and three exact photocopies of the signed
application and appendices must be submitted 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 additional copies of the application
(with appendices, if any) must be sent under separate cover to:

Dr. Jill L. Carrington
Office of Review
National Center for Research Resources
One Rockledge Centre, Room 6018
6705 Rockledge Drive MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965*
email:  jillc@ep.ncrr.nih.gov

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
Division of Research Grants and responsiveness by NCRR.  Those
applications judged to be unresponsive, incomplete, or ineligible
will be returned to the applicant.  Applications that are complete
and responsive will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit by
the Scientific and Technical Review Board on Biomedical and
Behavioral Research Facilities established for this purpose by the
NCRR.  The second level of review will be conducted by the National
Advisory Research Resources Council.

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 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 appropriate national advisory council or
board.

Factors considered in the appraisal of an animal resource improvement
project include:

A.  The Improvement Request

1.  Research to be supported - The overall scope of the ongoing
PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research involving laboratory
animals which will be affected by the proposed improvements will be
considered.  In addition, the resulting expanded or proposed future
biomedical and behavioral research activities will be considered.

2.  Need - The application should show how the grant support will
meet current and future laboratory animal research needs,
particularly for smaller or developing institutions, and how this
will help the institution meet or maintain standards of the Animal
Welfare Act and PHS policies concerning the care and use of
laboratory animals.

3.  Design Considerations - The proposed project will be judged for
technical soundness, appropriateness and suitability of the proposed
renovation project for addressing current and future needs of the
institution.

4.  Budget - the budget will be evaluated in relationship to the
application's responsiveness to these guidelines, justification
provided for each of the requested items, cost effectiveness, and the
institution's perceived commitment to the animal care program.

B.  The Animal Care Program

The scope of the animal care and use program to be enhanced by this
facility improvement request should be carefully defined.  For the
purpose of this application, the animal care program should cover the
entire applicant institution.

1.  Animal Care - The quality of the animal husbandry program at the
applicant institution will be assessed.  The extent to which the
project will enhance the welfare of animals maintained in the
facility will be evaluated, including advances in the humane
treatment of the animals due to husbandry changes allowed by the
improvements.

2.  Personnel - The technical and professional staff will be
evaluated. The institution should have a sufficient number of
professional staff with appropriate qualifications and experience to
operate the animal resource in a competent manner.  The facility
should also have qualified non-professional staff and supporting
services.

3.  Administrative Arrangements - An evaluation will be made of the
administrative arrangements for routine management of the animal
resource. The institutional plan to assure a comprehensive and
acceptable animal care and use program will be evaluated.  The
institution should have a record of commitment and a sound plan for
financial support of the resource, through a recharge system, per
diem charges, institutional support, etc.

4.  Resources and environment - The suitability of the institutional
setting for achieving the goals of the program will be considered.
This will include an appraisal of the academic environment and the
support for the animal resource by the administration and faculty.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete with all others in the G20 category for
available funds.  An institution must have current PHS funding for
research involving laboratory animals to be eligible for an award.
The following will also be considered when making funding decisions:

o  Merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o  Institutional assurance of non-federal matching funds
o  Availability of funds
o  Needs of the institution

Evidence of continued PHS research funding will be verified prior to
award.

Award Conditions

Following the actual award, funds for A&R will not be released until
final architectural drawings, specifications, and updated cost
estimates are approved by NCRR.  No requests to initiate alterations
or renovations will be entertained prior to receipt of the grant
award from NIH and subsequent approval of working drawings and
specifications by NIH staff. Renovations and equipment purchases must
be initiated no later than twelve months after the start date of
award.  Awards will be made for one year and are not renewable.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Charles L. Coulter, Ph.D.
Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
One Rockledge Centre, Room 6030
6705 Rockledge Drive MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0766
FAX:  (301) 480-3770
Email:  charlesc@ep.ncrr.nih.gov

Questions regarding fiscal matters may be directed to:

Mr. Paul Karadbil
Office of Grants and Contracts Management
National Center for Research Resources
One Rockledge Centre, Room 6086
6705 Rockledge Drive MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0844
Email:  paulk@ep.ncrr.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.306, Laboratory Animal Sciences and Primate
Research.  Awards will be made under the authority of the Public
Health Service Act, Title III, Section 301 (Public Law 78.410, as
amended;  42 USC 241) and administered under PHS grant policies and
Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 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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