Full Text PAR-96-028
 
AHCPR SMALL PROJECT GRANT PROGRAM
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 5, February 23, 1996
 
PA NUMBER:  PAR-96-028
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Health Services Delivery 
  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

 
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
 
PURPOSE
 
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) was
established to improve the quality, appropriateness, and
effectiveness of health care services and access to these services.
These purposes are achieved by supporting research and by promoting
improvements in clinical practice and in the organization, financing,
and delivery of health care services.
 
The AHCPR announces a program of small grants, designed to take
advantage of time-dependent opportunities; reduce the costs of
developing applications for small research projects, including
demonstrations and evaluations; and shorten the time and burden of
the review process.
 
This announcement supersedes PA-94-072 on AHCPR's small grant
program, which was published in the NIH Guide, Vol. 23, No. 22, June
10, 1994.
 
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.  AHCPR urges
applicants to submit grant applications with relevance to the
specific objectives of this initiative.  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
 
Applications may be submitted by domestic, non-profit organizations,
public and private, including universities, clinics, units of State
and local governments, nonprofit firms, and non-profit foundations.
AHCPR encourages women, members of minority groups, persons with
disabilities, and new investigators to apply as Principal
Investigator.
 
Projects can be self-contained or part of a larger effort. However,
projects presented as subcomponents of a larger effort must be
sufficiently distinct to be reviewed and evaluated on their own
merits.
 
The aims of the proposed project must be distinctly different from
those of any pending grant application or funded research project
submitted by the Principal Investigator.  The request may not be used
to supplement currently supported projects, provide interim support
for projects under review by the PHS, or obtain funding as a
competing continuation of a small grant.  Requests for support for
dissertation research will not be considered under this small grant
program.  Applications to support dissertations should be submitted
for consideration under the AHCPR small grant program for Health
Services Dissertation Research.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
The Program Announcement (PA) will use the small research grant (R03)
mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution
of the proposed project will be solely that of the proposed Principal
Investigator.  The total direct costs must not exceed $50,000 for the
entire project period.  An application that requests more than this
amount will be returned to the applicant.  Support will normally not
exceed 24 months.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
Background
 
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) was
established by Congress in 1989 to improve the quality,
appropriateness, and effectiveness of health care services and access
to such services.  Title IX of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act
gives AHCPR flexibility in review procedures for awarding grants with
direct costs of $50,000 or less.  Such grants are called "small
grants."  AHCPR uses the small grant authority to support three kinds
of activities:  conferences, doctoral dissertations, and small
project grants, including research, demonstrations and evaluations.
 
Purpose and Scope of Activity
 
This program announcement describes the AHCPR Small Project Grant
Program, which provides support for focused research projects,
developmental studies, and high risk projects.  These projects
include:  research, evaluation, demonstrations, and pilot studies.
 
The AHCPR is also interested in projects that involve collaborative
efforts between medical and public health organizations.
 
Focused Research Projects
 
Projects can be descriptive or involve the testing of hypotheses.
Projects must be discrete; that is, only projects that can be
completed within the budgetary and time constraints imposed by the
small grant program are eligible for support.  Other projects can
include: opportunistic, quantitative analysis of existing secondary
data; policy research; evaluations of demonstrations or programs;
case studies; historical, legal, or ethical analysis; or primary data
collection and analysis.
 
Developmental Studies
 
Developmental projects can involve feasibility studies or pilot
projects.  They can also include formative or exploratory activities
such as construction or modification of a survey instrument, research
to test the design of a large-scale study, and collection and
analysis of quantitative or qualitative information for the purpose
of hypotheses generation.
 
High Risk Projects
 
High risk projects involve the study of a novel issue or problem or
the application of a novel methodological approach.  These projects
might employ techniques or theories from other fields, not
traditionally linked to health services research.  Such projects have
the potential for providing new insights into methodological or
substantive issues.  Because these projects may be groundbreaking,
there is also a greater probability that they may not achieve the
desired or planned outcome.
 
INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH STUDY POPULATIONS
INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS
 
It is the policy of AHCPR that women and members of minority groups
be included in all AHCPR supported research projects involving human
subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification
are provided that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the
health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.
 
The NIH policy resulting from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43) supersedes and strengthens NIH's
previous policies (Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study
Populations, and Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study
Populations), which were in effect since 1990 and which AHCPR had
adopted.  The new NIH policy contains provisions that are
substantially different from the 1990 policies.  All investigators
proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH
Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in
Clinical Research," which was published in the Federal Register of
March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513), and printed in the NIH GUIDE FOR
GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of March 11, 1994, Volume 23, Number 10.  AHCPR
follows the revised NIH Guidelines, as applicable.
 
Applicants may obtain copies of the Guidelines from the sources
listed above or from the AHCPR contractor, Global Exchange, listed
under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.  AHCPR program staff may also provide
information concerning this policy (See INQUIRIES).
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
There are no set deadlines for submission of the Small Project Grant
Program applications, rather they are accepted on an ongoing basis.
 
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  State and local government agencies
may use the Application for Federal Assistance form PHS 5161-1 (rev.
9/92) and follow these submission requirements for copy submission.
Applications kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and may be obtained from the Grants Information
Office, Office of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources,
National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910,
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, email:
girg@drgpo.drg.nih.gov.  For AHCPR support, applicants are encouraged
to obtain application materials from the AHCPR contractor: Global
Exchange, Inc., 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 400, Bethesda, MD
20814-3015; telephone: 301/656-3100 or Fax: 301/652-5264.
 
Mark the "Yes" box and enter "Small Project Grant Program" in Section
2 on the face page of the application.
 
Applicants must follow the specific instructions in the research
grant application form PHS 398 in preparing the application, with the
following changes:
 
The section entitled Research Plan must not exceed 15 pages in
length.  Applicants determine the appropriate length of the areas
that must be addressed in the Research.  Plan but the statement must
not exceed the 15 page limit.
 
In listing references, only literature immediately relevant to the
application may be cited.  The reference list is not counted as part
of the 15 pages.
 
No appendices should be included with the application except for
survey instruments.  These should be attached if they are judged to
be crucial for the review of the project.  The instruments will not
count as part of the 15 pages.
 
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the grant application Form
PHS 398 (rev. 5/95), including the Checklist, and five signed
photocopies, in one package to:
 
SMALL GRANTS: RESEARCH PROJECTS
AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE POLICY AND RESEARCH
2101 EAST JEFFERSON STREET, SUITE 400
ROCKVILLE, MD  20852-4908
 
This program announcement pertains only to applications for grants of
$50,000 or less in total direct costs.  Applications requesting
support in excess of $50,000 in total direct costs must be completed
in accordance with instructions in the Form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) and
sent to the following address:
 
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)
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness and
relevance to the AHCPR mission by staff.  Incomplete applications and
applications proposing research in areas outside the mission of the
Agency will be returned to the applicant without further
consideration.
 
AHCPR small project grant applications are reviewed typically by
three experts.  AHCPR selects reviewers on the basis of knowledge and
expertise in areas germane to the application.  Federal reviewers may
be used when the expertise of a Federal employee is consistent with
the science and topic of an application.
 
The reviewers' assessment of technical merit is only one of the
factors taken into account by AHCPR when funding decisions are made.
 
Statements summarizing the review of applications recommended for
approval are prepared by AHCPR staff.  These statements are used by
the Agency in making funding decisions and are sent to the applicant.
For applications that are to be given no further consideration, only
minor editing of the reviewer comments is provided before the
information is sent to the applicant.  Summary Statements are usually
completed within eight weeks of receipt of applications.
 
Applications not selected for funding under AHCPR's small grant
program cannot be resubmitted.  At AHCPR's discretion, efforts may be
made to resolve problems in applications that hold real promise.
Applicants should not assume on the basis of efforts to resolve these
problems that AHCPR is committed to making an award.
 
Review Criteria
 
The review criteria for AHCPR grant applications are:
 
o  significance and originality of the project.
 
o  organization of the project.
 
o  qualifications and experience of the investigators.
 
o  appropriateness of approach, methods, and data.
 
o  availability of data, when appropriate.
 
o  adequacy of facilities and resources for the project.
 
o  human subjects involvement and protection (when appropriate).
 
o  representation of women and minorities (when appropriate).
 
o  appropriateness of the budget, including other sources of funding.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
AHCPR sets aside monies each fiscal year for the Small Project Grant
Program.  The amount of the set aside is dependent upon the
availability of funds.
 
In making funding decisions for small grants, the reviewers'
assessment of technical merit is important but this alone does not
determine what will be funded.  AHCPR takes into account additional
factors in making decisions.  These include the focus of the project,
potential significance of the study, and the overall contributions
the project will make to the field of health services research.
Special consideration is also given to new investigators.
 
The earliest possible date of award is three months after the receipt
of the application by AHCPR.
 
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
 
Allowable Costs and Non-Allowable Costs
 
Expenses allowed under the AHCPR Small Project Grant Program follow
the guidelines described in the Application for a Public Health
Service Grant (PHS Form 398: rev. 5/95) with some exceptions.
 
Direct Cost Expenditures
 
1.  Equipment.  Small Grant Projects may not use grant funds for the
purchase of equipment.
 
2.  Supplies.  Grant funds may be used for the purchase of supplies
up to a limit of $1,000.  These supplies must be received and used
during the project period.
 
3.  Federal Employees.  Grant funds may not be used to cover the cost
of travel or any payment to a Federal employee.
 
4.  Alterations and Renovations.  Grant funds may not be used to
support facility alteration or renovations of any kind.
 
Indirect Cost Expenditures
 
Indirect costs are allowable and will depend upon the institution's
IDC rate.  This cost is the most recent rate established with the
appropriate Federal cognizant agency.
 
Conditions of Acceptance of Award
 
1.  To receive an award, applicants must agree to submit an original
and 2 copies of an abstract, executive summary, and full report of
the research results in the format prescribed by AHCPR no later than
90 days after the end of the project period.  The executive summary
should be sent at the same time in a computer disc which specifies on
the label the format used (WP5.1 or WP6.0 is preferable).
 
2.  Applicants must also agree to notify AHCPR when a manuscript
based on research supported by the grant is accepted for publication,
and the expected date of publication.
 
3.  Applicants must agree, as well, to notify AHCPR of any plans to
publish or otherwise release significant findings from the project
supported by the grant.
 
INQUIRIES
 
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged.
Copies of this PA are available from:
 
Global Exchange Inc.
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 400
Bethesda, MD  20814-3015
Telephone:  (301) 656-3100
FAX:  (301) 652-5264
 
The following contacts may provide further guidance for specific
program areas:  Primary care, access, and public health, Carolyn M.
Clancy, M.D., phone: 301/594-1357, ext. 137; cost, financing, and
market forces, Ross H. Arnett III, phone: 301/594-1400; organization
and delivery, Irene Fraser, phone: 301/594-1321; quality measurement
and improvement, Sandra K. Robinson, M.S.P.H, phone: 301/594-1352,
ext. 113; outcomes and effectiveness research, Claire MaKlan, Ph.D.,
phone: 301/594-1485; information dissemination, Christine G.
Williams, M.Ed., phone: 301/594-1360, ext. 145; or, for general
program areas:  Jill Bernstein, Ph.D., phone: 301/594-1455.
 
The AHCPR welcomes the opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants.  Direct inquiries regarding program
matters, to the contacts listed by specific program areas under
Research Objectives; or to:
 
Jill Bernstein, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Office of Planning and Evaluation
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson St., Suite 603
Rockville, MD  20852-4908
Telephone:  (301) 594-1455
FAX:  (301) 594-2157
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Carol Roache
Acting Chief, Grants Management Staff
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601
Rockville, MD  20852-4908
Telephone:  (301) 594-1447
FAX:  (301) 594-3210
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance Numbers 93.180 and 93.226.  Awards are made under
authorization of Title IX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C.
299-299c-6) and Section 1142 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.
1320b-12).  Awards are administered under HHS and PHS grants policies
and Federal regulations 42 CFR 67, Subpart A, and 45 CFR Parts 74 and
92.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or to the Public Health System
Reporting Requirements in PHS circular 93.01.
 
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 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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