SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM FOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH IN CANCER CONTROL

Release Date:  April 20, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAR-99-006

P.T.

National Cancer Institute

Application Receipt Dates:  December 20, April 20, and August 20

PURPOSE

The Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences of the National Cancer
Institute (NCI) invites applications focused on cancer control behavioral
research. The Small Grants Program is designed to aid and facilitate the
growth of a nationwide cohort of scientists with a high level of research
expertise in behavioral cancer control research. Small grants are short-term
awards to provide support for pilot projects, development and testing of new
methodologies, secondary data analyzes, or innovative projects that provide a
basis for more extended research.

New investigators in relevant fields and disciplines (e.g., medicine, public
health, health promotion, health communications and informatics, epidemiology,
anthropology, social work, nursing research, nutrition, health policy, health
services research, and behavioral sciences, such as psychology, health
education, and sociology) may apply for small grants to test ideas or do pilot
studies.

This Program Announcement (PA) replaces and supersedes PAR-95-091, which was
published in the NIH Guide, Volume 24, Number 33, September 22, 1995.

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 PA, Small Grants Program for
Behavioral Research in Cancer Control, 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 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, 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.  Foreign organizations are ineligible to apply. 
Eligible applicants include new investigators who have not previously been
Principal Investigator (PI) on a NCI-funded cancer control research grant
(R03, R01, P01), or established scientists refocusing their research interests
to behavioral research in cancer.  Predoctoral investigators currently
enrolled in an accredited doctoral degree program also are eligible to apply. 
All applicants should identify a mentor or sponsor from whom they will receive
guidance regarding the proposed research.  Small research grants may NOT be
used to supplement research projects currently supported by Federal or non-
Federal funds, or to provide interim support of research project applications
under review by the Public Health Service.  Racial/ethnic minority
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as
Principal Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support of this program will be through the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) Small Research Grant (R03) mechanism.  The total project period may not
exceed two years.  The total budget must not exceed $100,000 in direct costs
for the entire project period.  The direct costs in any one year must not
exceed $50,000. The small grant award is not renewable.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

This program is designed to encourage investigators from a variety of
academic, scientific, and public health disciplines to apply their skills to
behavioral research investigations in cancer prevention and control.  The
research may occur in a variety of settings, such as universities, cancer
centers, communities, schools, health departments and worksites.

Investigators may choose any of the full range of scientific approaches to
their work.  Studies may contribute to the design, implementation or
evaluation of future phase III-V studies, e.g., descriptive baseline surveys,
testing, modification and validation of surveys or program materials for use
in the proposed population groups, testing of recruitment, intervention or
compliance procedures for participants, etc. Proposals should include
justification of study design, methods, and sample size, including any
relevant theoretical concepts which underlie the research, as well as clearly
indicate the significance of the research and where it will lead.

The following program areas focused on behavior and cancer are appropriate for
small research grant applications:

o  Screening and early detection - interventions to improve compliance with
and utilization of current technologies.  In the area of breast screening and
detection, studies of breast self-examination as a single modality will not be
accepted.

o  Cancer control sciences - studies to change current behaviors and/or
institute new behaviors or health promotion interventions effective in
reducing incidence, morbidity or mortality from cancer.

o Tobacco prevention and cessation - pilot studies targeted at improving
utilization of current technologies in target populations or organizations are
encouraged.

o  Applications research - in modifying, feasibility testing, and adopting
proven state-of-the-art intervention programs and strategies from other
research projects (e.g., screening, smoking prevention etc.) for use in
special populations, state and local health agencies, or other organizational
and community setting.

o  Health communications and bioinformatics - message development, risk
communication and evaluating the delivery of health information.

o  Basic behavioral research - studies to further understanding of fundamental
mechanisms underlying behavioral and social functioning of direct relevance to
cancer control, including development of behavioral theory, models, methods,
measures or pre-intervention approaches to inform cancer control interventions
and related social policies.

o  Surveillance - health services research and information data base linkage
studies to monitor cancer related behaviors.  Innovative approaches that
address surveillance problems using newly available data and modern
statistical methods (e.g., analytical methods employing GIS, microsimulation
or variance estimation for age-adjusted rate trends) are encouraged.

o  Survivorship -  psychosocial research to improve all aspects of the
survivor experience and the development of behavioral, informational or
educational interventions to improve quality of life.

Additionally, investigators may propose high priority secondary analyzes in
these areas.

Although the specific study proposed may attempt only to obtain preliminary
data and/or conduct pilot studies in support of a future, more detailed phase
III-V study, it is important that a long-term human cancer control hypothesis
and supporting scientific justification be presented.

Applications not fitting one of the program areas stated above will be
returned to the proposed Principal Investigator without undergoing peer
review.

EXCLUSIONS

Studies to determine the efficacy of chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and
other primary treatment interventions are not considered cancer control
research under this PA.  Laboratory animal studies will not be supported under
this PA.

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.

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

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  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: grantsinfo@nih.gov.  Applicants kits are also available
on the internet at:  http://www.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/forms_toc.html

A letter of support from the investigatorþs mentor or sponsor, outlining
specific plans for providing guidance to the candidate with respect to
development and execution of the research plan, should be included in the
Appendix.  The sponsor should be an experienced investigator in behavioral
research in cancer prevention and control who is willing to devote time and
effort to ensure that acceptable standards for the research are met.  The page
limitations in the PHS-398 Application Instructions must be observed or the
application will not be accepted.

Applicants responding to this PA should include one round trip, 2 day meeting
to Bethesda, MD in the budget.

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

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, 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)

The application receipt dates are December 20, April 20 and August 20.  If an
application is received after the specified date, it will be held for the next
review cycle.

Grants in response to this Program Announcement may receive an accelerated
review.  In order for applications to receive accelerated review, two
additional copies must be sent to the NCI Referral Officer by the application
receipt dates.

Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 636, MSC-7407
Bethesda, MD  20892-7407
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in
response to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The
CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one
already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial
revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must include
an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and
responsiveness by the National Cancer Institute.  Incomplete applications will
be returned to the applicant without further consideration.  Applications that
are complete and responsive to the program announcement will be evaluated for
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by
the 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 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 and assigned a priority score.  The applications will
receive a second-level review by the National Cancer Advisory board.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  The
reviewers will comment on the following aspects of the application in their
written critiques in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these
criteria will be addressed and considered by the reviewers in assigning the
overall score weighting them as appropriate for each application.  Note that
the application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged
likely to have a major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority
score.  For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work
that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

1.  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?

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

3.  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?

4.  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)?

5.  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,
minorities and their subgroups, and children 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.  Funding decisions will be based upon quality of the proposed
project as determined by peer review, availability of funds, and program
balance among research areas of the program announcement.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Veronica Chollette
Executive Plaza North, Room 232
Phone (301) 435-2837
FAX (301) 480-6637
e-mail vc24a@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Bill Wells
Grants Administration Branch
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza South, Room 243
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-7800 ext.
FAX:  (301) 496-8601
Email:  ww14j@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.399, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research.  Awards are made under
authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law
78-410, as amended by Public Law 990158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered
under HHS policies and grant regulations.  This program is not subject to the
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health
Systems Agency Review.

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant 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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