Full Text PAR-96-003

INDIVIDUAL PREDOCTORAL NATIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE AWARDS FOR
M.D./PH.D. FELLOWSHIPS

NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 37, October 20, 1995

PA NUMBER:  PAR-96-003

P.T. 22

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research Training 
  Alcohol/Alcoholism 
  Drugs/Drug Abuse 
  Mental Disorders 


National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provide National Research Service Awards
(NRSAs) to individuals for research training in specified areas of
biomedical and behavioral research.  The purpose of the combined
M.D./Ph.D. program described in this Program Announcement (PA) is to
help ensure that highly trained physician/scientists will be
available in adequate numbers and in the appropriate research areas
and fields to meet the Nation's mental health, drug abuse and
addiction, and alcohol abuse research needs.  This PA supersedes and
replaces the previous announcement of the Predoctoral Individual
M.D./Ph.D. Fellowship (March 1989).

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,
Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award for M.D./Ph.D.
Fellowships, is related to the priority area of human resource
development. 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 202-512-1800).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United
States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for
permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien
Registration Receipt Card (1-551) at the time of application.
Noncitizen nationals are persons born in lands that are not States,
but are under United States sovereignty, jurisdiction, or
administration (e.g., American Samoa).  Individuals on temporary or
student visas are not eligible.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals,
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

An applicant for an NIMH, NIDA, or NIAAA NRSA M.D./Ph.D. individual
fellowship must show evidence of both high academic performance in
the sciences and significant interest in research.  The applicant
must be enrolled in an M.D./Ph.D. program at an approved medical
school, accepted in a related scientific Ph.D. program, and
supervised by a mentor in that scientific discipline when the
application is submitted.  The typical applicant will apply during
the first year of medical school for funding to begin in the second
year; however, applications may be submitted at any stage of medical
school.  An individual may not have more than one NRSA competing
application pending with PHS concurrently.

Applicants must propose to conduct research in areas of demonstrable
mental health, drug abuse and addiction, or alcohol abuse relevance
and document that the proposed graduate program offers them an
opportunity to develop expert research skills and knowledge.
Although NRSAs are not usually made for study leading to the M.D.,
D.O., D.D.S., or similar professional degrees, or for study that is
part of residency training leading to a medical specialty, this
program is specifically designed to support training in an
established, combined M.D./Ph.D. program. The institutional setting
must be a domestic, nonprofit private or public institution.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards made under this PA will use the Individual National Research
Service Award (NRSA) for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowship (F30) mechanism to
provide combined medical school and predoctoral Ph.D. support for a
maximum of six years; no other predoctoral NRSA support may be
received during this time.  Any exception to these limitations
requires a waiver from the Director of the awarding Institute based
on a review of the justification provided by the individual awardee
and his or her sponsor.

Continued support beyond the first year is dependent upon
satisfactory progress toward the combined degree.  Annual reports are
to be provided by the fellow, the Ph.D. department and sponsor, and
the medical school.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The NRSA legislation requires that the Nation's overall need for
biomedical research personnel be taken into account by giving special
consideration to training physicians who propose to become active
biomedical researchers.  The NIMH, NIDA, and NIAAA recognize the
critical importance of training physicians to become researchers and
is thus providing M.D./Ph.D. students with the opportunity for
training through this fellowship mechanism.

The enormous complexity of biomedical and behavioral science today
prevents the standard course of study at most medical schools from
providing the experience necessary to develop researchers.  Since
scientists who are both medical doctors and trained investigators
play a vital role in helping to bring the highest scientific
standards into basic, clinical, epidemiologic, prevention, and
services research settings, integrated curricula that combine
training for the M.D. degree with extensive research experience have
been developed.  There is a critical need in the mental health, drug
abuse and addiction, and alcohol abuse research arena for
physician/scientists with the medical training to investigate
problems of disease in humans.  The graduates of an M.D./Ph.D.
program differ from most other clinicians in having had research
experience in basic science to foster fundamental scientific
knowledge and insight into basic, clinical, epidemiologic,
prevention, and services investigations.  The NIMH, NIDA and NIAAA
expect the fellows trained under this program to become outstanding
scientists interested in research on mental health and mental
illness, drug abuse and addiction, and alcohol abuse both as members
of interdisciplinary teams and as individuals able to design,
interpret, and analyze a sophisticated program of research.

There is a critical need for investigators at the
basic/clinical/epidemiologic/prevention/services interface.  New
developments (for example, in neuroscience, especially molecular and
cellular neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, and neural
modeling) have made it possible to study underlying mechanisms of
etiology and pathophysiology of mental disorders, drug abuse and
addiction, and alcohol-related disorders.  Clinical and epidemiologic
research now involves linkage studies to determine the genetic locus
of abnormal genes in a mental disorder, differential hybridization
methods to detect possible abnormalities in genomic regulation, and
other basic science methods in clinically and epidemiologically
driven research.  In like fashion, major changes in research
direction and paradigms have fostered the development of health
services and prevention research in NIMH, NIDA, and NIAAA.  Because
of an acute shortage of physician/scientists in these critical
research areas, potential applicants who are interested in such
careers are especially encouraged to apply.

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 Individual NRSA grant
application form PHS 416-1.  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, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3034 - MSC
7762, Bethesda, MD 20892-7762, telephone 301/435-0714, email:
GIRG@DRGPO.DRG.NIH.GOV.  The title and number of the program
announcement must be typed in Section 2 on the face page of the
application.

At least three completed sealed letters of reference must be
submitted with the application (see Part 1 F of PHS 416-1).
Applications without the required number of reference letters will be
returned without review.  Non-citizen applicants must include a
notarized statement of permanent residence indicating possession of
an Alien Registration Receipt Card.

Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the following
important items in PHS 416-1:

Part I (Prepared by Applicant):

Item 3.  Program Announcement Area.  The applicant should type in
"NIMH (or NIDA) (or NIAAA) M.D./Ph.D. Predoctoral Fellowship
Program."

Item 5.  Training Under Proposed Award.  Identify the Ph.D.
discipline according to the NIH Lexicon of NRSA disciplines on page
27 of the instructions.  Candidates who expect to receive a Ph.D. in
Neuroscience should enter a code number of 188 (Neurobiology).

Item 29a.  Activities Under Award.  Typically, an M.D./Ph.D. student
spends the first 2 years of the program in medical school courses
with a limited amount of time devoted to Ph.D. work; the third,
fourth, and fifth years of support are spent on Ph.D. work; and the
last 2 years are used to complete medical school.  Applicants should
describe how they expect to divide their time between medical and
graduate school, e.g., medical school courses, graduate school
courses, research, research training, etc., during both the school
year and the summer for each year of the program.

Item 29b.  Research Proposal.  All applicants should provide a
research plan, including a description of a research proposal in
which they will be involved as part of their training.  The plan
should include substantive detail that adds to the information about
time allocations requested in Item 29a.

In addition to the above items, applicants should provide scores for
MCAT, GRE, and other exams relevant to medical and graduate school
that they have taken recently.

Part II (Prepared by Sponsor):

Items 32 and 33.  Sponsor's Previous Fellows/Trainees, Training Plan,
Environment, and Research Facilities.  The sponsor must currently be
funded to conduct independent research (e.g., Principal Investigator
on an R01 or equivalent) and must describe past experience in the
guidance of other research trainees and fellows.  In addition, the
sponsor must describe in detail his/her commitment to and proposed
role in guiding the individual applicant.  The chairman of the
graduate committee for the Ph.D. program must also describe the
department's commitment to and proposed role in guiding the
individual applicant and any modifications to the department's usual
Ph.D. requirements that are necessary to facilitate this trainee's
special needs.

The application must include evidence that training in the principles
of responsible conduct of research will be incorporated in the
research experience of each fellow.  This should be presented under
Item 33.  Issues such as conflict of interest, data recording and
retention, professional standards and codes of conduct, responsible
authorship, and ethics in biological and behavioral research can
provide the substantive base of such training.

Application Receipt and Review Schedule

Applications for the NIMH, NIDA or NIAAA M.D./Ph.D. predoctoral
fellowship will be accepted and reviewed three times a year according
to the following schedule:

Application Receipt Date:      Apr 5      Aug 5     Dec 5
Review Meeting:                Jun/Jul    Oct/Nov   Feb/Mar
Notification:                  Aug/Sep    Dec/Jan   Apr/May
Earliest Possible Start Date:  Sep        Jan       May

The completed original and two legible copies of the application 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 service)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS
referral guidelines.  Applications that are complete will be
evaluated for educational, 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 and assigned a priority score.  Only these
scored applications will receive subsequent consideration for funding
by Institute staff.

Review Criteria

It is important to emphasize that the F30 program is a training
mechanism and not a research mechanism.  The central issues in review
are the applicant's potential for a productive scientific career, the
role of the sponsor in the research training that is proposed, the
record of the sponsor and the Ph.D. program in producing active,
funded research scientists, and the probability that the graduate
training will enable the fellow to engage in research with mental
health or drug abuse and addiction relevance.

Detailed review criteria are listed below:

Applicant:

o  evidence of the applicant's commitment to a career in research

o  the applicant's demonstrated potential for a productive research
career

o  quality of the applicant's academic record, awards, and honors

o  extent and quality of applicant's previous research and/or
clinical training

Research Training Plan:

o  specificity and clarity of the description of the research skills
and knowledge to be acquired

o  overall coherence and potential of the research training plan to
provide the fellow with individualized supervised experiences that
will foster research skills

o  clarity, completeness, originality, and significance of the goals
of the proposed research training plans

o  adequacy of knowledge of relevant literature and current methods
in the proposed research area

o  adequacy of plans for the protection of human subjects and/or care
of animals, if applicable

o  adequacy of plans to include women and minorities as subjects in
research, if applicable

o  adequacy of plans for training in the responsible conduct of
research

Sponsor:

o  adequacy and relevance of sponsor's academic and research
qualifications and experience in providing guidance to fellows and
trainees

o  evidence of the proposed sponsor's understanding of and commitment
to fulfilling the role of sponsor

o  evidence of an understanding of the applicant's research training
needs and a demonstrated ability, on the part of the sponsor, to
assist in meeting these needs

o  adequacy of the sponsor's ongoing research program as a context
for the expected research training

Environment:

o  evidence that there is an established M.D./Ph.D. program

o  access to facilities and related resources (e.g., equipment,
laboratory space, computer time, subject populations) necessary to
provide the applicant a high-quality training environment

o  strength of the institution's commitment to research training as
demonstrated by ongoing programs, experienced faculty, and, in
particular, commitment to the proposed M.D./Ph.D. student

o  track record of the department and sponsor in training students
who become active researchers

o  track record of the department in training and graduating women
and racial/ethnic minorities

References:

o  strength and specificity of the proposed sponsor's endorsement of
the applicant, including identification of the applicant's strengths
and weaknesses

o  strength and specificity of additional references as well as
adequacy of these reports based on the referee's opportunity to
observe and evaluate the applicant's potential as a research
scientist

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications assigned to NIMH, NIDA or NIAAA.  The following will be
considered in making funding decisions:  Quality of the application
as determined by peer review, availability of funds, program
priority, and balance among types of research training supported by
NIMH, NIDA or NIAAA.

Terms and Conditions

Revision of Requirement for Payback

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act of 1993,
signed into law on June 10, 1993, includes provisions that
substantially modify the service payback for individuals supported as
NRSA predoctoral fellows. Predoctoral fellowship awards activated on
or after June 10, 1993 DO NOT incur a service payback obligation.

Conditions of Award

Awards are made for full-time efforts to achieve the M.D./Ph.D.
Fellows are expected to use their time in course studies, clinical
duties, research training, research, and other necessary and relevant
activities in such a way as to optimize their training experience.

Awardees in academic institutions are not entitled to vacations as
such.  They are, however, entitled to the normal short student
holidays observed by their training institution.  The time between
the spring and fall semester is to be used as an active part of the
training period.

An NRSA may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored
fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.  An NRSA recipient may,
however, accept concurrent educational remuneration from the Veterans
Administration and loans from Federal funds.

No funds may be disbursed until the individual has started training
under the award and an Activation Notice (PHS-416-5) has been
submitted to PHS.  At the end of the total support period, the
individual fellow must submit a Termination Notice (PHS-416-7) to
NIMH, NIDA or NIAAA in order to ensure proper documentation of the
fellow's records.

Tuition and Fees

The applicant may request funds for tuition and fees.  Up to four
years of medical school tuition and up to four years of graduate
school tuition and fees may be requested under this fellowship, but
no more than six years of tuition and fees support in the aggregate
can be awarded.

Annual Stipends

The annual stipend for predoctoral fellows at all levels is $10,008.
The stipend is intended to help provide for the fellow's living
expenses during the period of training.  The stipend is not a payment
for services performed.  Fellows supported under individual awards
are not considered to be employees either of the Public Health
Service (PHS) or their sponsoring institution, even though the
payment of the stipend is made through the sponsoring institution.
Additional support may be provided to the fellow without obligation
by the sponsoring institution or may be conditioned on his or her
performance of certain services such as teaching or serving as a
laboratory assistant.  Under no circumstances, however, may the
service requirements detract from or prolong the training.

Tax Liability:  The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514,
affects the tax liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA
program.  NIH is not in a position to advise students or institutions
about tax liability.

Stipends are subject to State and Federal income tax.  The taxability
of stipends, however, in no way alters the relationship between NRSA
fellows and institutions.  NRSA stipends are not salaries.  NRSA
fellows are not in an employee-employer relationship with the
institution in which they are pursuing research training, nor are
they considered to be self-employed. Stipends are not subject to
self-employment tax (FICA).

Degree candidates may exclude from gross income reported for tax
purposes any amount used for tuition and related expenses such as
fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of
instruction at their sponsoring institution.

The business office of the sponsoring institution will be responsible
for the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS form 1099 for
fellows paid through the institution.  NIH will issue the form for
all fellows paid directly by them (fellows training at Federal
laboratories).

Institutional Allowance

Upon request, the awarding Institute will provide an allowance of
$2,000 per fellow per 12-month period to the non-Federal sponsoring
institution to help defray such expenses as research supplies,
equipment, travel to scientific meetings, and related items.

Funds will not be provided to cover the cost of travel between the
fellow's place of residence and the training institution, except that
the institution may authorize from the institutional allowance a
one-way travel allowance in a case of extreme need or hardship.

The sponsoring institution shall be entitled to the approved
institutional allowance only upon official activation of the award.
However, if the fellow is not enrolled or engaged in training for
more than 6 months of any award year, only one-half of that year's
allowance may be charged to the grant.  The notice of grant award
will be revised and the balance must be refunded to the awarding
Institute.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Mary Curvey
Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11-103
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3107
FAX:  (301) 443-1731
Email:  mcurvey@nih.gov

Henry Khachaturian, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11-103
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-8033
FAX:  (301) 443-1731
Email:  hkhach@helix.nih.gov

Kenneth G. Lutterman, Ph.D.
Division of Epidemiology and Services Research
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-95
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3373
FAX:  (301) 443-4045
Email:  klutterm@nih.gov

George Niederehe, Ph.D.
Division of Clinical and Treatment Research
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 18-105
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3264
FAX:  (301) 594-6784
Email:  gniedere@aoamh4.ssw.dhhs.gov

Charles W. Sharp, Ph.D.
Division of Basic Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10A-31
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-1887
FAX:  (301) 594-6043
Email:  cs107m@nih.gov

Arthur Horton, Ed.D.
Division of Clinical and Services Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10A-30
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-4060
FAX:  (301) 443-2317
Email:  ah61x@nih.gov

Ann Blanken
Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9A-55
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-6543
FAX:  (301) 443-9847
Email:  ab108v@nih.gov

Jamie Biswas, Ph.D.
Medications Development Division
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11A-55
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-5280
FAX:  (301) 443-2599
Email:  jb168r@nih.gov

Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D.
Office of Science Policy and Communications
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10A-55
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-6072
FAX:  (301) 443-6277
Email:  tc52x@nih.gov

Ernestine Vanderveen, Ph.D
Division of Basic Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 402 MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-1273
FAX:  (301) 594-0673
Email:  tvanderv@wilco.niaaa.nih.gov

Ms. Frances Cotter
Division of Clinical and Prevention Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 505 MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-1207
FAX:  (301) 443-8744
Email:  fcotter@wilco.niaaa.nih.gov

Mary C. Dufour, M.D., M.P.H.
Deputy Director
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 400 MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-3851
FAX:  (301) 443-7043
Email:  mdufour@willco.niaaa.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
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  diana_trunnell@nih.gov

Gary P. Fleming, J.D.
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 8A-54
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-6710
FAX:  (301) 594-6847
Email:  gf6s@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.282.  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 66 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 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.  This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the
American people.

.

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