Full Text PAR-97-071
 
INTERDISCIPLINARY TRAINING IN GENETIC EPIDEMIOLOGY OF CANCER
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 21, June 20, 1997
 
PA NUMBER: PA-97-071
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  PHYSIOLOGICAL/DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 
  Genetics 
  Immunology 

 
National Cancer Institute
 
Application Receipt Dates:  September 15, 1997; January 15, May 15,
and September 15, 1998
 
PURPOSE
 
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) uses Program Announcements (PAR)
to designate areas of high priority. Special consideration for
funding will be given to scientifically meritorious applications that
meet the objectives and program priorities described in the PAR.  The
Cancer Training Branch invites applications providing the
multidisciplinary research training essential to furthering the field
of genetic epidemiology of cancer.
 
The purpose of this Program Announcement is to stimulate the
development of a diversity of comprehensive research training
programs in the genetic epidemiology of cancer.  A major goal of
these programs is to provide students, young investigators and
established researchers interested in diverse aspects of the genetic
epidemiology of cancer with new research skills and a breadth of
expertise that encompasses the many disciplines now merging into this
expanding field.  Therefore, a wide spectrum of research training
(T32, F32, F33), career (K07, K08), and education (R25) grant
mechanisms will be used to further the goals of this PAR (see
MECHANISMS OF SUPPORT section).
 
A previous basic research initiative and other efforts have
stimulated the expansion of the research base which is necessary to
support research training programs in genetic epidemiology.  A second
parallel goal of this PAR is, therefore, to build on the developing
research base by promoting the development of the inter- and intra-
institutional infrastructures necessary for providing training in the
genetic epidemiology of cancer that would be accessible to interested
investigators at different stages of career development.
 
This announcement is intended primarily to solicit new applications.
However, because it is critical to increase the number of
comprehensively trained researchers in this area, and because the
proposed training milieu could benefit from the experience of an
existing program, grantees with existing institutional National
Research Service Award (T32) training grants in cancer genetics or
epidemiology are encouraged to submit competing supplemental
applications in order to expand their programs.
 
Existing institutional National Research Service Awards (T32)
programs focused on the genetic epidemiology of other diseases are
encouraged to submit new applications if they would like to expand
their programs to include the genetic epidemiology of cancer.
 
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 PAR,
"Interdisciplinary Training in Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer," is
related to the priority area of cancer.  Potential applicants may
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (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 and for-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, research laboratories, units of State and local
governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal Government.
Foreign organizations are not eligible to apply for these grant
awards.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.
Specific eligibility requirements for individuals will vary for the
different grant mechanisms; therefore, guidelines should be requested
for the appropriate grant program(s) in which one is interested (see
INQUIRIES section).
 
In general, applicant organizations should have well-established
research programs with adequate peer-reviewed grant support and
highly qualified faculty. Candidates for career and fellowship
awards, and trainees or students appointed to institutional awards
must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or have been lawfully
admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration
Card (I-151 or I-551) or some other verification of legal admission
as a permanent resident. Non-citizen nationals, although not U.S.
citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the U.S. They are usually born
in lands that are not States, but are under U.S. sovereignty,
jurisdiction, or administration.  Individuals on temporary or student
visas are not eligible.
 
MECHANISMS OF SUPPORT
 
Applications will be accepted for the following types of grant awards
in order to provide interdisciplinary research training and education
programs in the genetic epidemiology of cancer for investigators at
different stages of their scientific careers:
 
National Research Service Awards (NRSA) to institutions (T32 Awards),
which will support predoctoral and/or postdoctoral students;
 
National Research Service Awards (NRSA) to individuals at the
postdoctoral (F32) and junior and senior faculty (F33) levels;
Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Awards (K08) for individuals
with clinical degrees, and Preventive Oncology Academic Awards (K07)
for academic or professional doctorates; and Educational Awards (R25)
for Short-Term Training/Education Courses.
 
There is a wide range of salaries, stipends, other expenses and
budgetary caps among the different grant mechanisms. Therefore, it is
important to obtain specific guidelines for these grant mechanisms of
support which are available from the NCI (see INQUIRIES Section).
The Institutional NRSA (T32) and the Education Program (R25) Short-
Term Training Courses are likely to involve active collaborations or
special arrangements between institutions, departments, and/or
research/cancer centers, and others that have the necessary expertise
and resources to fulfill the objectives of this PAR.  Any of these
entities may act as the applicant organization, as long as the
qualifications of the preceptor faculty and the focus of the program
are on interdisciplinary research training in the genetic
epidemiology of cancer.
 
Except as otherwise stated in this PAR, awards will be administered
under PHS grants policy as stated in the Public Health Service Grants
Policy Statement, DHHS Publication No. (OASH) 94-50,000, revised
April 1, 1994.
 
FUNDS AVAILABLE
 
Funds will be provided from the following three budgets: National
Research Service Awards Program (T32, F32, F33); Careers Program
(K07, K08), and the Cancer Education Program (R25).
 
RESEARCH TRAINING OBJECTIVES
 
Background
 
There is a paucity of scientists versed in the cross-disciplinary
techniques and issues necessary to perform and review modern genetic
epidemiology investigations, particularly in a fast paced field such
as cancer research.  Cross-disciplinary approaches in the genetic
epidemiology of cancer have traditionally been difficult to achieve.
Cancer geneticists have focused on the genetic components of this
disease with less consideration for the effect of environment on
phenotype, while cancer epidemiologists have primarily focused on
environmental factors with little attention to exploring genetic
mechanisms that might explain the epidemiologic data.  During the
last decade, genetic epidemiology has entered a new era with recent
advances in molecular genetics technology, the mapping of the human
genome, the understanding of biological and genetic mechanisms
underlying cancer, and the evolution of statistical techniques for
analyzing data from complex disorders.  These advances have given new
impetus and direction to research efforts in the genetic epidemiology
of cancer. Additionally, the availability of predictive genetic
testing for cancer predisposition has stimulated the development of
new approaches to the ethical, behavioral and legal issues engendered
by these tests.
 
In April/May 1992 the NCI convened a conference/workshop entitled
"Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer:  a Multidisciplinary Approach" with
the purpose of developing recommendations to facilitate the transfer
and adaptation of the technological, methodological and conceptual
approaches of the many disciplines merging into genetic epidemiology
(Seminara, D; Obrams, G.I.:  Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer: A
Multidisciplinary Approach.  Genet Epidemiol, 1994; 11 (3):
235-254).  The consensus of the workshop was that existing cancer
training programs are primarily focused on specific areas of
expertise, and are not providing the continuum of cross-disciplinary
exposures necessary for trainees to become proficient and to
thoroughly understand the current issues in genetic epidemiology of
cancer.  These recommendations were amplified at a subsequent
workshop on the genetic epidemiology of cancer, held in June, 1996,
in Frederick Maryland.  Further information about the conference is
available on the NCI website at:
 
http://www-dceg.ims.nci.nih.gov/conference/
 
Efforts have been made to address the issues identified in these
workshops.  However, there still remains a distinct lack of
integration between the appropriate departments in the schools of
medicine and schools of public health.  In addition, there is little
or no research training support available specifically for middle and
senior level scientists and clinicians who would like to acquire
expertise in the requisite disciplines for genetic epidemiology.
Therefore, individuals embarking on a research career, as well as
established scientists interested in this multifaceted field, may
find it difficult to gain the required knowledge and exposure to
research areas different from those in which they were trained.
 
Program Objectives and Scope
 
This PAR seeks to establish a variety of comprehensive research
training programs in the genetic epidemiology of cancer accessible to
investigators at different stages of their scientific careers.
Therefore, applicants should use the grant mechanism(s) appropriate
to their career level and the type of program which they are
proposing.
 
Applicants are encouraged to propose programs to establish
appropriate research training infrastructures, recruit students and
other scientists into the field, and develop preceptor-student
relationships in an environment with a peer-reviewed research base.
Programs should provide students and junior scientists embarking on
research careers in the genetic epidemiology of cancer with
interdisciplinary training in such specialized areas as molecular
genetics, biostatistics, epidemiology, behavioral science, and
bioethics.
 
Some examples of programs that would be responsive to this PAR are
the following:
 
A. Pre- and/or post-doctoral training in the genetic epidemiology of
cancer within a cohesive interdepartmental and/or interinstitutional
program providing a multidisciplinary exposure (T32, F32, and K08
Awards).
 
B. Postdoctoral training in the development and/or experimental
testing of the techniques of genetic epidemiology in human
populations for cancer prevention and control (K07 Award)
 
C. A 6 month to2 year training program or sabbatical for scientists
at the middle or senior career level, to gain first-hand experience
and exposure in the discipline(s) of interest (F33 Award).
 
D. Short training courses (e.g. one to three weeks) in pertinent
topics, to enable basic scientists and physicians to understand the
principles of genetic epidemiology study design and analysis, and to
equip epidemiologists and biostatisticians with an understanding of
cutting edge laboratory techniques in molecular genetics (R25 Award).
 
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 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, Volume 23, Number 11, March 18,
1994.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to call or E-mail NCI staff with
any questions regarding whether or not their proposed program/project
is within the scope of the programmatic area of emphasis described in
this PAR (see INQUIRIES section).
 
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev.  5/95 or latest
version) is to be used in applying for the Institutional Research
Training Award (T32), the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development
Award (K08), the Preventive Academic Oncology Award (K07), or the
Cancer Education Award (R25).  The fellowship application form PHS
416-1 (rev. 8/95 or latest version) is to be used in applying for the
Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (F32) or the Senior Fellowship Award
(F33).  Applications 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; and from
the program administrator listed under INQUIRIES.
 
"Just-in-Time" procedures must be followed for the Preventive
Academic Oncology (K07) and the Mentored Clinical Scientist
Development (K08) Awards.  These procedures postpone the collection
of certain information until just prior to making an award.
Instructions for these procedures are provided in the following NIH
Guide to Grants and Contracts notices:  Volume 25, Number 10, March
29, 1996 and Volume 25, Number 16, May 17, 1996.
 
An application that proposes research training and education within
the programmatic areas described by this PAR must be identified by
marking the "YES" box and typing the number and title of this PAR in
section 2 of the face page of the PHS 398 application, or for
fellowships by typing the number of this PAR in section 3 of the face
page of the PHS 416-1 application.  This will facilitate the
assignment of the application by the Referral Office.  However, the
fundamental factor upon which the assignment will be based is the
content of the proposed programs/projects.
 
While the grant mechanisms for unsolicited applications described in
this PAR have variable receipt dates, all applications submitted in
response to this PAR will use a single receipt date for each review
cycle as follows: September 15, 1997; January 15, 1998; May 15, 1998;
and September 15, 1998.  One exception is that just for the initial
cycle, Fellowship (F32, F33) applications should be submitted
beginning with the January 15, 1998 cycle since they will be reviewed
with other applications from the September 15, 1997 cycle thus
avoiding a long delay to review.  Subsequently, Fellowship
applications may be submitted on all other receipt dates.
 
Submit a signed, typewritten, single-sided original of the
application and three signed 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 express/courier service)
 
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
must be sent to:
 
Ms. Toby Friedberg
Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Executive Plaza North, Room 636
Bethesda, MD 20892-7405
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
NIH Division of Research Grants.  Incomplete applications will be
returned to the applicant without further consideration.
 
Applications for research training and education topics that are not
within the areas described by this PAR will be assigned and reviewed
according to standard procedure. Applications that are complete and
responsive within the scope of this PAR will be evaluated for
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group
convened by NCI in accordance with the standard NIH peer review
procedures.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications
will receive a written critique and may undergo a process in which
only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit
will be discussed and assigned a priority score.  All applications
will receive a second level of review by the National Cancer Advisory
Board or in the case of Fellowships, the NCI Secondary Fellowship
Review Committee.
 
Review Criteria
 
The review criteria will vary for the different grant mechanisms.
Guidelines containing specific review criteria for the respective
grant mechanisms can be obtained from NCI program staff listed under
INQUIRIES.
 
Examples of general review criteria include the following:
 
A. Institutional Training Grant (T32)
 
o Scientific and administrative leadership qualifications and
experience of the Principal Investigator.
 
o Qualifications of faculty mentors:  adequacy of peer-reviewed
research projects, publications and training experience.
 
o Recruitment and selection plans for appointees and the availability
of high quality candidates.
 
o Appropriateness of detailed plans for a comprehensive,
multidisciplinary research training program.
 
o Adequacy of facilities and other resources.
 
B. Career Grant (K)
 
o Quality of the candidate's academic or clinical record.
 
o Potential to develop as an independent investigator.
 
o Commitment to a research career.
 
o Appropriateness of a career development plan that will contribute
substantially to the scientific development of the candidate.
 
o Scientific and technical merit of the research plan.
 
o Appropriateness of the mentor's research qualifications in the area
of the research plan.
 
o Quality and extent of mentor's proposed role in providing guidance
and advice to the candidate.
 
o Previous experience of the mentor in fostering the development of
researchers.
 
o Adequacy of research facilities and training opportunities.
 
C. Education Grant (R25)
 
o Significance of the education program to cancer research and/or to
the reduction of cancer incidence, mortality, and morbidity and the
improvement of quality of life.
 
o Quality of the program leadership and faculty.
 
o Overall quality and adequacy of the design of the program to
achieve its short-term objectives and long-term goals.
 
o Adequacy of the program's plan to evaluate its effectiveness in
achieving objectives.
 
The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human and animal subjects and the safety of the
research environment and conformance with the NIH Guidelines for the
Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications assigned to the NCI.  Awards will be made based upon the
following considerations:
 
o Scientific merit as determined by peer review
 
o Programmatic priority based on areas of emphasis described in this
PA
 
o Availability of funds
 
o Geographic and scientific discipline balance among awards
 
INQUIRIES
 
Inquiries concerning this PAR are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.
 
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues (guidelines,
appropriate grant mechanism, eligibility, application procedures,
review criteria, etc.) to:
 
For the following states:  ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND,
NE, NH, NY, OH, PA, SD, VT, WI, WV, WY contact:
 
Lester S. Gorelic, Ph.D.
Program Director
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 520
Bethesda, MD 20892-7390
Telephone: (301) 496-8580
FAX: (301) 402-4472
Email: GORELICL@DCBDCEP1.NCI.NIH.GOV
 
For the following states:  AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA,
HI, IA, KS, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SC, TN, TX,
UT, VA, WA and District of Columbia contact:
 
Andrew Vargosko, Ph.D.
Program Director
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 520
Bethesda, MD 20892-7390
Telephone: (301) 496-8580
FAX: (301) 402-4472
Email: AV8B@NIH.GOV
 
Direct inquiries regarding scientific matters concerning the research
area of genetic epidemiology to:
 
Daniela Seminara, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Extramural Epidemiology and Genetics Program
Executive Plaza North, Room 535
Bethesda, MD 20892-7395
Telephone: 301 496-9600
FAX: 301 402-4279
Email: SEMINARD@EPNDCE.NCI.NIH.GOV
 
Direct inquiries regarding scientific matters concerning behavioral
research and bioethics to:
 
Amy R. Sheon, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Extramural Epidemiology and Genetics Program
Executive Plaza North, Room 535
Bethesda, MD 20892-7395
Telephone:  301 496-9600
FAX:  301 402-4279
Email: AS31R@NIH.GOV
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative matters to:
 
Ms. Michelle Burr
NCI Grants Administration Branch
Executive Plaza South, Room 243
6120 Executive Blvd. MSC 7150
Bethesda, MD 20892-7150
Telephone: 301/496-7800, ext. 231
FAX: 301/496-8601
Email: BURRM@GAB.NCI.NIH.GOV
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance Number 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower.  Awards are made
under the 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 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 Public Health Service 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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