MINORITY DISSERTATION RESEARCH GRANTS IN AGING

Release Date:  September 15, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PAR-98-110 (This PA has been replace by PAR-05-061)

P.T.

National Institute on Aging

Application Receipt Date:  November 15, March 15

PURPOSE

Small grants to support doctoral dissertation research will be available for
underrepresented minority doctoral candidates.  Grant support is designed to aid
the research of such investigators and to encourage underrepresented minority
individuals from a variety of academic disciplines and programs to conduct
research related to aging.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

Each NIH PA addresses one or more of 22 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
priority areas identified.  These areas can be found via the WWW at
http://www.crisny.org/health/us/health7.html

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

For the purpose of this program announcement, underrepresented minority students
and investigators are defined as 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.  Awards will be limited
to citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or to individuals who
have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of an
Alien Registration Receipt Card) at the time of award.  In awarding grants for
dissertation support, the NIA will give priority to dissertation candidates such
as African American (Black), Hispanic American, Native American or Alaska
Natives, or Pacific Islanders, and other ethnic or racial group members who have
been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research
nationally.  The doctoral candidate must have a dissertation topic approved by
the named committee.  This information must be verified in a letter of
certification from the chair of the candidate"s dissertation committee and
submitted with the grant application (see APPLICATION PROCEDURES).  Research
topics must be on aging-related issues and fit within one or more of the areas
described below for each individual program (see RESEARCH OBJECTIVES).

The applicant organization must be a domestic institution supporting doctoral
level training, such as a university or college.  The performance site may be
foreign or domestic.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The mechanism of support is the NIH small grant (R03).  Grants may be made for
up to two years.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

A total of $ 200,000 will be committed by the NIA in FY 1999 and FY 2000 to fund
applications of high scientific merit submitted in response to this Program
Announcement.  It is anticipated that a total of five to six new applications
will be funded in each of the two fiscal years.  The maximum budget request
should be limited to $25,000 in direct costs for the initial budget period.  No
more than $30,000 in total direct costs will be provided across the two years. 
Salary may be requested only for the principal investigator (the dissertation
candidate).  Although this program is provided for in the financial plans of the
NIA, the award of grants pursuant to this PA is contingent upon the availability
of funds for this purpose.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

This research initiative is to provide underrepresented minority students
assistance to complete their dissertation research on an aging-related topic and
thereby increase their representation in aging research.  The descriptions of the
four extramural programs below are provided to help potential applicants
determine whether or not their topic may be appropriate for this initiative. 
Questions on the relevance of a particular topic may be addressed to the program
contact listed under INQUIRIES.  Information on other initiatives supported by
NIA may be found at the following URL: http://www.nia.nih.gov/

Biology of Aging Program

This program supports studies that focus on the molecular mechanisms involved in
aging processes, and how these are affected by genetic and environmental factors. 
The overall objectives of the program are to understand these natural processes
and how alterations of normal function can lead to age-related pathology.  The
program interests include biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, genetics,
immunology, endocrinology, and basic nutrition.

Behavioral and Social Research Program

This program supports research on social and psychological aging processes and
the place of older people in society and its social institutions.  The emphasis
is on promoting health, effective functioning, productivity, and independence
throughout the middle and later years.  Areas of special interest include health
and behavior, cognitive functioning, health care and long term care, work,
retirement and productivity, family and intergenerational relationships, the
demography of population aging, biodemography, aging among minorities, women,
oldest old, and rural populations, and the aging of adults who are retarded.

Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program

This program supports research on the structure and function of the aging nervous
system and the behavioral manifestations of the aging brain.  Areas of special
interest include age-related changes in the nervous system, especially as these
affect sensory processes, learning, cognition, memory and sleep.  The study of
Alzheimer"s disease and other disorders associated with the aging nervous system,
including the causes, diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and management of such
disorders is of special interest.

Geriatrics Program

This program supports research on clinical issues and problems that occur
predominantly among middle-aged and older persons or that are associated with
increased morbidity and mortality in older people.  Areas of interest include
cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, infectious diseases, osteoporosis,
digestive diseases, rehabilitation, menopause, and physical function and
performance in older persons.

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
sub-populations 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, Vol. 23, No.
11, March 18, 1994.  These guidelines can also be found at:
http://www4.od.nih.gov/orwh/inclusion.html

Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program staff listed
under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may provide additional information concerning the
policy.

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.  The scientific goals of this program announcement are
focused on aging, therefore, this policy is waived for applications responding
to it.  Reviewers will not consider the inclusion of children as part of the
initial review.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the most recent revision of grant application
form PHS 398 and prepared according to the directions in the application packet,
with the exceptions and additions 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: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Applications are also available at the
following URL: http://www.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

The program announcement title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face
page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

Research plan: Do not exceed a total of ten pages for the following parts (a-d):
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
parts e through i.  (Human Subjects, Vertebrate Animals, Literature Cited,
Consortium Arrangements, Consultants).

Background and significance (within the research plan): In addition to the
information described in the PHS 398 form, applicants should briefly describe
their career goals.

Appendix: The only items that may be included in an appendix are original glossy
photographs or color images of gels, micrographs, etc., provided that a photocopy
(that may be reduced in size) is also included within the 10 page limit of items
a-d in the research plan.  No photographs or color images may be included in the
appendix that are not also represented in the Research Plan.  Do not include
publications or preprints.

Materials submitted after the receipt date: No additional materials pertaining
to a particular application will be accepted after the receipt date for which the
application is submitted except for certifications of Institutional Review Board
(IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval.  As
specified in the PHS 398 form, certifications of IRB or IACUC approval must be
received within 60 days after the receipt date for which the application is
submitted.

The following MUST be included with the application at the time of submission. 
Failure to include any of these items may delay review of the application:

o  A letter from the university official (the chair of the dissertation
committee) directly responsible for supervising the development and progress of
the dissertation research.  The letter should address the student"s progress to
date and the individual"s perceptions of the student"s ability to develop into
an independent researcher on aging.  In addition, the letter must: (a) fully
identify the members of the faculty committee and certify their approval of the
dissertation topic, (b) certify that, as defined by the institution, the
candidate is a member of an ethnic minority group underrepresented in biomedical
or behavioral science (see ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS), (c) certify that the author
of the letter has read the application and that it reflects the work to be
completed in the dissertation, and (d) note that the university official expects
the doctoral candidate to proceed with the approved project proposal with or
without NIA support.

o  A transcript of the investigator"s graduate school record.

o  Biography of the chair of the dissertation committee (i.e., the mentor of the
investigator), limited to 2 pages (use the Biographical Sketch page in form PHS
398).

Although not required, identification of the investigator"s particular minority
group would be helpful so that NIA may continue to monitor and improve the
effectiveness of this program.

Submit a signed, original of the application, and three exact photocopies,
including the checklist, 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 (for express/courier service)

In addition, to expedite the review of the application, submit two additional
exact photocopies of the application directly to:

Dr. Mary Nekola
Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C212, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205

In order not to delay review, it is important that applicants comply with this
request.  Amended applications will not be accepted.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established Public Health Service
referral guidelines.  Applications that are complete will be evaluated for
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by
the NIA in accordance with 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,
assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the appropriate
national advisory council or board.

Review Criteria

o  Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the
application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? What will
be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?

o  Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the
project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider
alternative tactics?

o  Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method? Are
the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms
or develop new methodologies or technologies?

o  Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to
carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of
the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

o  Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done
contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take
advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful
collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

The initial review group will also examine: the appropriateness of proposed
project budget and duration, the adequacy of plans to include both genders and
minorities and their subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the
research, and plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects, the provisions
for the protection of human and animal subjects, and the safety of the research
environment.

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

Schedule

Application Receipt Dates:   November 15     March 15
Institute Committee Review:  Feb/Mar         Jun/Jul
Earliest Funding:            May 15          September 15

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Robin A. Barr, D.Phil.
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C218, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-9322
FAX:  (301) 402-2945
Email:  rb42h@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Mr. Joe Ellis
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2N212, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672
Email:  je14j@nih.gov@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog 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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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