INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND ACADEMIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Release Date:  June 24, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PAR-98-085

P.T.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Application Receipt Date:  October 1

PURPOSE

The Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Division announces an
Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA)
Initiative that would combine a traditional mentored postdoctoral research
experience with an experience to develop teaching skills through innovative
programs that involve mentored assignments at a Minority Serving Institution
(MSI).  The combined program would facilitate the progress of postdoctoral
candidates toward research and teaching careers in academia.  An objective of
the initiative would be to provide an important new resource to motivate the
next generation of scientists at MSIs.  It could also enhance linkages between
faculty at MSI and their counterparts at research intensive institutions. 
Thus, the objectives of this initiative are three-fold: 1) to enhance research
oriented teaching at MSIs; 2) to increase the research and other skills needed
by developing scientists to conduct high quality research in an academic
environment; and 3) to promote linkages between research intensive
institutions and MSIs that can lead to further collaborations in research and
teaching.  Finally, a desired long-term outcome is to increase the number of
well-qualified underrepresented minority students entering competitive careers
in biomedical research.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

An application must be submitted on behalf of a consortium of domestic private
or public, educational institutions.  The applicant institution should be the
primary site of the postdoctoral research experience.  An institution may not
submit more than one application.  A consortium must include one or more
partners that are MSIs as defined below:

A public or private nonprofit university, two-year or four-year college, or
other institution offering undergraduate, graduate, or health-professional
degrees, with a traditionally high (more than 50 percent) underrepresented
minority student enrollment,

A public or private nonprofit university, two-year or four-year college, or
other institution offering undergraduate, graduate, or health-professional
degrees with a student enrollment, a significant proportion of which (but not
necessarily more than fifty percent) is derived from underrepresented
minorities, provided the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Services determines that said institution has a demonstrated commitment to the
special encouragement of, and assistance to, under represented minority
faculty, students, and investigators; or an Indian tribe that has a recognized
governing body and that performs substantial governmental functions, or an
Alaska Regional Corporation (ARC), as defined in the Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

The primary objective of the research career development program is to prepare
qualified individuals for careers that significantly impact the Nation's
research agenda.  Within the framework of the program's commitment to
excellence and projected need for investigators in particular areas of
research, attention must be given to recruiting postdoctoral candidates from
minority groups underrepresented nationally in the biomedical and behavioral
sciences.

For the purposes of this program announcement, underrepresented minorities are
individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been
determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or
behavioral research.  Historically, individuals who have been found to be
underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research include, but are not
limited to, U.S. citizens who are Hispanic Americans, African Americans,
Native Americans (including Alaskan natives) and natives of the U.S. Pacific
Islands.

The traditional postdoctoral research experience must fall within the scope of
the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) mission as detailed
in the publication, "Divisions and Grant Award Mechanisms," available from the
NIGMS Public Information Office (301-496-7301); additional information can be
found on the NIGMS home page at http://www.nih.gov/nigms/.  In brief, NIGMS
supports research in (a) cell biology and molecular biophysics, including
basic studies of the structure and function of cells, cellular components, and
the biological macromolecules that make up these components; (b) fundamental
mechanisms of inheritance and development that typically utilize non-human
model systems; (c) basic studies in pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry,
biorelated chemistry; (d) basic studies in anesthesiology; (e) basic studies
in biotechnology, including biocatalysis and metabolic engineering; (f)
bioengineering, including instrumentation development and refinement and
development of bioanalytical methods and biomaterials; and (g) trauma and burn
injury.

Institutions with an IRACDA may recruit and select candidates directly into
their programs rather than submitting a separate application on behalf of each
prospective candidate.  Candidates appointed under this program award must be
U.S. Citizens or noncitizen nationals, or have been lawfully admitted for
permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or
I-551) or some other verification of legal status as a permanent resident. 
Noncitizen nationals, although not U.S. citizens, owe permanent allegiance to
the U.S. They are generally born in lands, which are not states but are under
U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration.  Individuals on temporary
or student visas are not eligible.

Postdoctoral candidates must have received, as of the beginning date of the
appointment to the program, a Ph.D., M.D. or comparable doctoral degree from
an accredited domestic or foreign institution.  Eligible doctoral degrees
include, but are not limited to, the following: D.D.S., D.M.D., D.O., D.V.M.,
O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., D. Pharm., D.S.W., and Psy.D. 
Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution
certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date
of their appointment is acceptable.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards under this program will use an Institutional Research and Academic
Career Development Award (K12).  Responsibility for the planning, direction,
execution, and tracking for evaluation of the proposed project will be solely
that of the applicant.  The total project period for an application submitted
in response to this program announcement may not exceed five years and is
renewable.

OBJECTIVE

Background

As of 1992, underrepresented minorities constituted only 4.5 percent of the
postdoctoral fellows in the life sciences and less than 2.7 percent of the
principal investigators of NIH research grants.  In addition, the number of
underrepresented minority applicants for research grants and training
positions is very low.  In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NIH was
encouraged to increase the number of underrepresented minorities participating
in biomedical and behavioral research.  In response to the Act, NIGMS seeks
innovative ways to enhance the training of students at MSIs.  This mission is
important because there are declining numbers of underrepresented minority
group members entering graduate school and even lesser numbers of them who
choose careers in biomedical science.  The reasons for this are numerous and
complex.  Exposure to research oriented courses is desirable to motivate
minority students to consider research careers.  While teaching is, in
general, a strength of the MSIs, it is a challenge to enrich the curriculum
with the most contemporary topics and laboratory experiences presented by
faculty actively engaged in research.  Many MSIs, in part because of their
small size, are limited in the number of advanced courses in the biomedical
sciences that they are able to offer.  Furthermore, if faculty turnover is
low, students may have lesser access to young faculty who are steeped in their
respective research areas.

A separate but contemporary problem is that many young scientists find that
the traditional postdoctoral research experience does not give them the best
preparation for entering an academic environment in which teaching and other
problem solving skills are essential.  This program announcement will
establish an opportunity for universities and other eligible institutions that
are involved in cutting edge biomedical research and training to design
research career development programs that include and build upon a teaching
experience at a MSI.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

This initiative encourages innovative solutions to the problems of attracting
and training post-doctoral candidates in both research and academic skills and
also of increasing opportunities for students at MSIs.  It therefore, gives
the applicant institutions wide latitude in the design of the program. 
However, career development activities, which should last two to four years,
must include the following components:

1) A research experience typical of other competitive postdoctoral
opportunities.  The research mentor will sponsor and oversee the proposed
research development program and will ensure that the candidate receives the
proper experience for a future research career.  The mentor is expected to be
a collaborator on the candidate's research project.  However, the candidate
may conduct collaborative research with other experienced researchers, subject
to approval of the mentor.

2) A mentored teaching experience, the practicum of which will take place at a
MSI.  At least 33% of the effort must be spent on this activity, the timing of
which may be flexible over the duration of the award.  The activity must
emphasize modern pedagogy.  The teaching mentor will sponsor and oversee the
proposed academic development program and will ensure that the candidate
receives the proper experience for the future academic career.

3) Other mentored and/or didactic experiences to improve problem solving or
management skills deemed important for an individual to prosper in an academic
research environment.

4) Flexibility in program design may include flexibility in scheduling.  For
example, a plan might involve large blocks of time devoted to research
separated by a large block of time devoted to teaching (research 1 year, teach
1 year, research 1 year). Alternatively, for institutions in close proximity,
the teaching may represent a 33% effort throughout the award.

5) Combining research and teaching in a single career development program
offers certain challenges.  Designing a program that moves a postdoc between
partners of a consortium offers other challenges.  A strong application will
evidence a solid working relationship among partners of the consortium and
will include plans that anticipate and mitigate the challenges.  It should
involve all partners in the planning and execution of the elements of the
career development program.

Applicants should describe their proposed program in detail.  They should
explain how the program will meet their institutional and consortium goals and
specific measurable objectives and how meeting these goals will fulfill the
objectives of this program announcement.

Evaluation is central to activities supported by the MORE Division. 
Therefore, the entire career development award must be evaluated in terms of
goals and specific measurable outcomes as explicitly stated in the
application. Outcomes should include, but are not limited to, progress of the
candidates toward a productive research career, documented enhancement of
academic skills and importantly, a measurable value for the MSI. Examples of a
measurable value might include but are not limited to: an increase in the
revised or upgraded lecture or laboratory courses at the MSI; an increased
awareness and use of teaching tools such as intranet or internet based tools;
an increase in the number or diversity of research oriented courses in the MSI
curriculum; an increase in the number of MSI students who have research
experiences at the research institution; an increase in the number of
collaborations between faculty at the MSI and the research institution. 
Annual progress reports and renewal applications will report on the program's
ongoing evaluation.

Allowable Costs

Candidates.  The budget request may include salary/wages and fringe benefits
to support full-time effort of the IRACDA candidates.  The total salary
requested for each candidate must be based on a full-time, 12-month staff
appointment.  It must be consistent both with the established salary structure
at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from
its own funds to other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and
responsibilities in the department concerned.  If full-time, 12-month salaries
are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary proposed must
be appropriately related to the existing salary structure.

Research Development Support.  Grant funds may be used to support the
following expenses:  (a) salary as above, (b) tuition, fees and books related
to career development, (c) research expenses, such as supplies, (d) travel to
one training or scientific meeting per year, (e) statistical services
including personnel and computer time.

Academic Development Support.  Funds may used to support mentoring activities
in academic skills development and teaching practicum at the MSI . That is,
release time may be granted for teaching mentors at the MSI.  Funds may be
requested for supplies and small equipment necessary for course development at
the MSI.

Program Administration.  Funds may be used for program administration and for
evaluation of the overall program.  Up to 10% of the program directors' time
and up to 50% of a program assistant may be supported if specifically and
strongly justified.

Facilities and administrative costs will be reimbursed at 8% of the modified
total direct costs, or at the actual facilities and administrative costs,
which ever is less.

Grant funds may not be expended on the following: (a) compensation for the
Principal Investigator or research mentors, (b) direct support of the mentors'
laboratories, (c) compensation of administrative personnel normally paid from
institutional overhead charges, (d) administrative activities such as public
relations, (e) health or educational services, (f) travel of the Principal
Investigator, Program Director or mentors to scientific meetings, (g) costs of
clinical care, alterations and renovations.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women, children, 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 in
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects of 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.

NIH POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON THE INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN
RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21)
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. 
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt
dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL
address: http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

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.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are requested to submit by September 1, 1998, a letter
of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed plan, the name,
address, and telephone number of the program director, the identities of other
key personnel and participating institutions, and the number and title of the
RFA.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does
not enter into the review of subsequent applications, the information that it
contains is helpful in planning for the review of applications.  It allows
NIGMS staff to estimate the potential review workload and to avoid conflict of
interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to the program director listed under
INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research from the Office of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive,
MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20872-7762, telephone (301) 435-0714, email:
GrantsInfo@nih.gov and from the NIGMS program director listed under INQUIRIES. 
The title and number of the program announcement must be typed in Section 2 on
the face page of the application.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, and five legible copies of the signed application in one package
to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817-7710 (for express/courier service)

Application receipt date is October 1.

The application should address the following issues:

(1) Provide information establishing the commitment of the applicant
institution and the consortium partners, the program director, and the faculty
mentors to providing developmental experiences that lead to independence in
biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research and teaching.

(2) Summarize the immediate and long-term career objectives of the program,
explaining how the program and the IRACDA will contribute to their attainment.

(3) Describe the career development plans for prospective candidates. 
Considering the program goals and the likely goals of prospective candidates,
describe a plan to provide the necessary basic science background and research
experiences considering the expected range of prior research training in the
applicant pool.

(4) Describe the plan for enhancing teaching and management skills of the
candidates.

(5) Describe the pool of potential candidates including information about the
types of prior clinical and research training.  Also, describe how the
appointments will be made to the IRACDA.  Describe the composition of the
selection committee and the criteria to be used for selection.  Describe plans
to recruit candidates from racial or ethnic groups that are currently
underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral sciences.

(6) Describe to the extent possible the types of research experiences
available to the candidates.  The research experiences may include either
basic or clinical science approaches to biomedical or behavioral problems.

(7) Describe the types of activities, courses or workshops that will be used
to enhance academic skills.  Describe the range of teaching opportunities and
how teaching skills will be assigned.

(8) Applications must include plans for instruction in the responsible conduct
of research, including the rationale, subject matter, appropriateness, format,
frequency and duration of instruction; and the amount and nature of faculty
participation.  No award will be made if an application lacks this component.

(9) Describe the plan and criteria to be used for program evaluation.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, NIH staff will administratively review applications.  Incomplete
and/or unresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant without
further consideration.  Applications that are complete and responsive will be
evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific and
technical merit by appropriate peer review groups convened by NIGMS.  The
second level of review will be provided by the National Advisory General
Medical Sciences Council.

Review Criteria

Applications are evaluated for merit by NIH initial review groups based on the
following criteria:

(1) Program Director

o  The program director's experience in managing career development programs
and success in preparing investigators for independent research careers,

(2) Candidate(s)

o  Availability of high quality potential candidates,

o  Plan for recruiting and selecting candidates (including minorities and
women); and objectives, design, and direction of the research career
development program.

o  Plan to identify candidates with a commitment to research and the potential
to develop as an independent researcher.

(3) Career Development Plan

o  Likelihood that the career development plan will contribute substantially
to the scientific development of the candidates,

o  Appropriateness of the content, the phasing, and the proposed duration of
the career development plan for achieving scientific and academic independence
for the prospective candidates,

o  Quality of the training in the responsible conduct of research,

o  Usefulness of the plans for enhancing the academic skills as described in
the career development plan.

(4) Plan to Develop Academic Skills

o  Technical merit of the mentored teaching experience including, design and
methodology for enhancing skills,

o  Relevance of the proposed activities to the career objectives of the
potential candidate,

o  Adequacy of the plan's attention to gender and minority issues,

(5) Mentor

o  Appropriateness of the research faculty mentor's qualifications in the area
of this application,

o  Appropriateness of the teaching faculty mentor's qualifications,

o  Quality and extent of the mentor's proposed role in providing guidance and
advice to candidates,

o  Previous experience of the mentors in fostering the development of academic
researchers,

(6) Environment

o  Applicant institution's commitment to the scientific development of the
candidate and assurances that the institution intends the candidate to be an
integral part of its research program,

o  Adequacy of research facilities and training opportunities,

o  Quality of the environment for scientific and professional development,

o  Applicant institution's commitment to the appropriate weighing of research
and teaching responsibilities,

o  Evidence of a functional consortium, with commitment and involvement in
planning on the part of all partners, to foster the career development,
including underrepresented minority students, in the skills necessary for
success in the biomedical sciences.

o  Evidence of institutional commitment, and strength of the efforts of the
partner institutions, to foster the professional development of
underrepresented minorities.

AWARD CRITERIA

Award decisions will be based on the technical merit of the applications, and
the geographical distribution of the awardee institutions.  Awards can be made
only to institutions with financial management systems and management
capabilities that are acceptable under PHS policy.  Awards will be
administered under the PHS Grants Policy Statement.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this program announcement are
strongly encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from
potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Clifton Poodry, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37 MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2753
Email:  poodryc@nigms.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Antoinette Holland
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-3423
Email:  hollanda@ nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.960. Awards are authorized by Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health
Service Act, as amended, and administered under PHS grants policies and the
code of Federal Regulations 45 CFR Part 74, 45 CFR Part 92 and 42 CFR Part 52. 
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 work place 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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