Full Text PAR-97-040
 
NIA PILOT RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM IN NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOLOGY
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 7, March 7, 1997
 
PA NUMBER:  PAR-97-040
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Neuroscience 
  Biology, Developmental/Evolution 
  Aging/Gerontology 

 
National Institute on Aging
 
Application Receipt Dates:  March 17, July 17, November 17, 1997
 
PURPOSE
 
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is seeking small grant (R03)
applications to: (1) stimulate and facilitate the entry of promising
new investigators into the neuroscience and biology of aging and (2)
encourage established investigators to enter new targeted, high
priority areas in these research fields.  This Small Grant (R03)
Program provides support for pilot research that is likely to lead to
a subsequent individual research project grant (R01) or a First
Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) (R29) award
application and /or a significant advancement of aging research.
 
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 program
announcement, NIA Pilot Research Grant Program in Neuroscience and
Biology, is related to the priority areas of unintentional injuries,
diabetes and chronic disabling conditions, and immunization and
infectious diseases.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of
"Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-11474-0 or
Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-11473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and
eligible agencies of the Federal government. Racial/ethnic minority
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to
apply as principal investigators. Foreign organizations and
institutions are not eligible. Participation in the program by
investigators at minority institutions is strongly encouraged.  Pilot
project grants awarded through this Program Announcement may not be
used to support thesis or dissertation research.
 
To be eligible for this award as a new investigator in aging, the
proposed Principal Investigator (PI) should be an independent
investigator at the beginning of her/his career.  If the applicant is
in the final stages of training, it is permissible to apply for an
R03 but awards cannot be made to anyone still in training status at
the time of award.  Established investigators proposing research
unrelated to a currently funded research program are also eligible to
apply for these grants.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
Applicants may request up to $50,000 (direct costs) for one year
through the small grant (R03) mechanism.  However, the grants will be
awarded under Expanded Authorities and are eligible for a single
one-year no cost extension.  These awards are not renewable.  Before
completion of the R03, investigators are encouraged to seek
continuing support for research through a research project grant
(R01) or FIRST (R29) award.
 
The award may not be used for salary support for the principal
investigator, but may be used to support the costs of technicians or
fellows to carry out the research.
 
Replacement of the Principal Investigator on this award is not
permitted. Revisions of applications previously reviewed under this
initiative but unfunded are not permitted.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
The Small Grant program is designed to support independent basic and
clinical scientists who are interested in entering the research
fields of the neuroscience or biology of aging.
 
Targeted aims
 
For 1997, investigators may apply for a small grant to support
research on one of the following topics relevant to aging research:
 
o  Age-related factors in HIV infection, latency, progression and
severity; and the susceptibility of the aging nervous system to HIV
infection and AIDS-associated opportunistic infections.
 
o  Immunobiology of aging including cellular and molecular
approaches, as well as neural and neuroendocrine mechanisms and
pathways modulating the aging immune system.
 
o  Molecular mechanisms regulating age-related alterations in gene
expression including transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and
translational processes and protein structural or conformational
changes in either neural or non-neural tissues.
 
o  Development of novel biological resources for aging research
(e.g., animal models, other models, molecular reagents and probes).
 
o  Basic underlying mechanisms of musculoskeletal aging (muscle,
bone, cartilage).
 
o  Molecular basis of cardiovascular aging.
 
o  Nutritional factors and aging.
 
o  Biology of age-related prostate growth.
 
o  Mechanisms underlying changes in sleep and circadian processes in
older organisms.
 
o  Neural mechanisms of age-related changes in attention and frontal
lobe executive processes.
 
o  Mechanisms underlying changes in sensory and motor processing in
the aging nervous system.
 
o  Novel tract-tracing procedures to identify age-related changes in
neuronal connections and degeneration in post-mortem tissues.
 
o  Investigations into neuroglia function in aging that examine
cellular and molecular factors controlling glial cell activation,
death, neurotransmitter receptor and transport functions, and
mitochondrial and other abnormalities leading to neuronal oxidative
damage.
 
Applications for support in areas other than those stated will be
returned to the proposed Principal Investigator without review. The
National Institute on Aging will modify the selected topic areas
annually by reissuing the program announcement. Information on other
initiatives supported by NIA may be found at the following internet
address: http://www.nih.gov/nia .
 
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 are
provided that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health
of the subjects or the purpose of the research.  This policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43).
 
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 in the NIH
Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 5/95) and prepared according to the directions in the
application packet, with the exceptions noted below. Application kits
are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and
may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714,
Email: ASKNIH@ODROCKM1.OD.NIH.GOV.  On the face page of the
application: Item 2 Type "NIA PILOT RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM IN
NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOLOGY". Check the "YES" box.
 
Only one Small Grant application may be submitted by a principal
investigator per receipt date.  Applicants may not submit R01 or R29
applications on the same topic concurrent (to be considered at the
same review cycle) with the submission of a Small Grant application.
The submission, review, and award schedule for this Small Grant
Program for 1997 is:
 
Application Receipt Dates:     Mar 17     Jul 17     Nov 17
Institute Committee Review:    Jun-Jul    Oct-Nov    Feb-Mar
Earliest Funding:              Sep 97     Jan 98     May 98
 
In a cover letter, identify the specific research topic relevant to
your research from the bulleted items in the RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
section of this program announcement.  Also indicate whether you are
a new investigator to aging or an established investigator entering a
new area of aging research.
 
Sections 1-4:  Do not exceed a total of ten pages for the following
sections:  specific aims, background and significance, progress
report/preliminary studies, and experimental design and methods.
Tables and figures are included in the ten page limitation.
Applications that exceed the page limitation or PHS requirements for
type size and margins  (Refer to PHS 398 application for details)
will be returned to the investigator.  The ten page limitation does
not include Sections 5-9 (Human Subjects, Consortia, Literature
cited).
 
"Just-in-Time" Instructions:
 
"Just-in-Time" (JIT) is an initiative of the National Institutes of
Health Extramural Reinvention Laboratory under the auspices of the
National Performance Review and government-wide efforts to create a
government that works better and costs less.  JIT postpones the
collection of certain information that previously was included in all
competing applications when submitted.  The information for the
applications with a likelihood of funding is submitted "just-in-time"
for awards to be made.  This delayed exchange of information
significantly relieves the administrative burden for the 75 to 80
percent of applicants who will not receive an award.  In addition,
the information that is exchanged "just-in-time" for award will be
current, rather than several months old as is currently the case
(which often necessitates a request for updated information, e.g.,
for other support).
 
Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period - Do not complete form page
4 of the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95).  It is not required nor will it be
accepted at the time of application.  In some cases it may be
requested prior to award.
 
Budget for Entire Proposed Period of Support - Do not complete the
categorical budget table on form page 5 in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95).
Only the requested total direct costs for each year and total direct
costs for the entire proposed period of support should be shown.
Begin the budget justification in the space provided, using
continuation pages as needed.
 
Budget Justification
 
o  List the name, role on project and percent effort for all project
personnel (salaried or unsalaried) and provide a narrative
justification for each person based on his/her role on the project
and proposed level of effort.
 
o  Identify all consultants by name and organizational affiliation
and describe the services to be performed.
 
o  Provide a narrative justification for any major budget items,
other than personnel, that are requested for the conduct of the
project that would be considered unusual for the scope of research.
No specific costs for items or categories should be shown.
 
o  Indirect costs will be calculated at the time of the award using
the institution's actual indirect cost rate.  Applicants will be
asked to identify the indirect cost exclusions prior to award.
 
o  If consortium/contractual costs are requested, provide the
percentage of the subcontract total costs (direct and indirect)
relative to the total direct costs of the overall project.  The
subcontract budget justification should be prepared following the
instructions provided above.
 
Biographical Sketch - Biographical sketches are required for all key
personnel, following the modified instructions below.  Do not exceed
the two-page limit for each person.
 
o  Complete the education block at the top of the form page;
 
o  List current position(s) and those previous positions directly
relevant to the application;
 
o  List selected peer-reviewed publications directly relevant to the
proposed project, with full citation;
 
o  Provide information on research projects completed and/or research
grants participated in during the last five years that are relevant
to the proposed project.  Title, principal investigator, funding
source, and role on project must be provided.
 
Other Support - Do not complete the other support page (format page 7
of the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95)).  Information on active support for key
personnel will be requested prior to award.
 
Checklist - Do not submit the checklist page. A completed checklist
will be required prior to award.
 
Submit a signed, original of the application, including the
checklist, and three exact photocopies in one package to:
 
DIVISION OF RESEARCH GRANTS
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040-MSC-7710
BETHESDA, MD   20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD   20817 (for courier/overnight service)
 
In addition, to expedite the review of the application, submit two
additional exact photocopies of the application directly to:
 
Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building Suite 2C212, MSC 9205
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
 
In order not to delay review, it is important that applicants comply
with this request.  Amended applications will not be allowed.
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established Public
Health Service referral guidelines.  Applications will be reviewed
for scientific and technical merit by a review group of NIA, in
accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures. Applications
will be evaluated with respect to the following criteria:
 
o  Importance of the area to aging research.
 
o  Feasibility of the proposed exploratory research.
 
o  Likelihood of the proposed pilot project leading to the
development of an R01/R29 grant application, or significant
advancement of aging research.
 
o  Adequacy of approach and scientific originality and significance.
 
o  Potential for high gain, perhaps with high risk.
 
o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget and timetable in relation
to the scope of the proposed research.
 
o  Qualifications and research experience of the principal
investigator.
 
o  Availability of resources necessary for the research, including
any needed to supplement the budget.
 
o  The adequacy of the proposed means for protecting against or
minimizing potential adverse effects upon humans, animals, or the
environment.
 
o  Adequacy of adherence to guidelines for including gender and
minority representation in any study population
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding
decisions:
 
o  quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o  availability of funds
o  program priority
 
INQUIRIES
 
Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome.
 
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
 
Dr. David B. Finkelstein
Biology of Aging Program
Telephone:  (301) 496-6402
FAX:  (301) 402-0010
Email:  BAPquery@gw.nia.nih.gov
 
Dr. Judy Finkelstein
Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program
Telephone:  (301) 496-9350
FAX:  (301) 496-1494
Email:  NNAquery@gw.nia.nih.gov
 
The address and general E-mail address for all the above is:
 
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C212
7201 Wisconsin Avenue MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892
Email:  NIAPILOT@gw.nia.nih.gov
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Robert Pike
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
7201 Wisconsin Avenue MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672
Email:  pikeR@gw.nia.nih.gov
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.866.  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.
 
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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