MINORITY ACCESS TO RESEARCH CAREERS (MARC) ANCILLARY TRAINING ACTIVITIES GRANTS

Release Date:  April 20, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAR-99-091

P.T.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Letter of Intent Receipt Dates:  January 1, May 1, September 1
Application Receipt Dates:  February 1, June 1, October 1

PURPOSE

The purpose of this program announcement (PA) is to support program-related
scientific meetings, conferences, technical assistance workshops, and other
ancillary training activities.

The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Branch of the National Institute
of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides research training opportunities for
students and faculty from minority groups underrepresented in the biomedical and
behavioral sciences relevant to biomedicine, including mathematics and
engineering. As part of its ongoing commitment to the development of students,
faculty, minority, and/or minority serving institutions and underrepresented
minority biomedical researchers, the MARC Branch will provide support for
ancillary research training activities that are harmonious with its overall
objective of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities who participate
fully in the biomedical enterprise of this country.

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, MARC Ancillary Training Activities
Grants, is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants
may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at
http://www.crisny.org/health/us/health7.html.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by U.S. institutions, including scientific or
professional societies, eligible to receive grants from the Department of Health
and Human Services. The NIGMS will not accept applications from foreign
organizations or for international conferences.

For purposes of this PA, underrepresented minority individuals are defined as
persons belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been determined
by the grantee to be underrepresented in biomedical research.  Nationally,
individuals who have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical research
include but are not limited to US citizens who are African American, Hispanic
American, Native American, and citizens of the US Pacific Islands.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards made under this program announcement will be administered under the T36
grant mechanism.  The responsibility for the planning, managing, and conduct of
the proposed activities lies solely with the applicant organization.  Facilities
and administration costs will be provided at a rate of 8% minus exclusions.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this PA may
not exceed 5 years.  Grants made under the program may submit competing renewals
at the appropriate time.

Because the nature and scope of the scientific or program related meeting,
conference, workshop or other ancillary training activity proposed in response
to this program announcement may vary, it is anticipated that the size of each
award will vary also.

Allowable Costs

Allowable expenditures and the applicable policies are listed below.  Any costs
not listed below must be either approved at the time of award, or if after the
award, have received prior written approval from the NIGMS staff.

Salaries:  Funds may be used to provide salaries, including fringe benefits, of
professional personnel, clerical assistants, editorial assistants, and other
support staff in proportion to the time or effort spent directly on the meeting,
workshop or other kind of activity.

Equipment:  Although funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment, they
may be used for the rental of necessary equipment such as projection and public
address systems, exhibits, or telephone.

Supplies:  The costs of supplies, such as stationery, programs, notices, badges,
signs, postage, distribution and mailing fees may be requested provided they are
necessary for the proposed activity and are used during the project period.

Travel Expenses: Funds may be requested for the travel of staff and attendees if
identified in the application and approved at the time of the award.

Per Diem: Per diem costs for speakers and activity participants may be requested
and will be limited to the days of attendance at the meeting, conference,
workshop, or other activity planned plus the actual travel time to and from the
meeting or conference location.  Where meals and/or lodging are furnished without
charge or at a nominal cost, such as part of the registration fee, an appropriate
deduction must be made from the authorized per diem.

Conference Services: Funds may be requested for necessary stenographic,
typewritten and photographic recording of proceedings, editorial service,
simultaneous translation, subsequent transcriptions, and rental or conference
rooms and office space.

Publication Costs: Funds to cover the costs of publishing the proceedings of a
scientific symposium or of special papers presented may be requested.

Registration Fees: Registration fees to support participants and students may be
requested.

Speaker Fees: Speakers fees for the specific services rendered at the meeting or
conference are allowable costs.

Unallowable Costs

Grant funds may not be used for entertainment tips, bar charges, personal
telephone calls or personal Internet connection, or laundry charges of
participants or guests.

Grant funds may not be used to pay per diem, travel or expenses other than local
mileage for local participants in the meeting or conference.

Dues to organizations, federations, or professional societies, exclusive of
registration fees, are not allowed as charges to the grant.

Grant funds may not be used to cover the costs of banquets, luncheons, coffee
breaks, theater, or entertainment of any sort.

Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction on
or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant funds.

MARC ANCILLARY TRAINING ACTIVITIES OBJECTIVES

Background

The MARC Program Branch goals are to increase the number and capabilities of
minorities engaged in biomedical research and to strengthen science curricula and
student research opportunities at minority and/or minority serving institutions. 
Attendance and participation of minority individuals in program related
scientific workshops, meetings, conferences and other ancillary training
activities that provide knowledge, skills, and/or networking capabilities empower
them to succeed in the pursuit of a research career. Thus, one of the objectives
of the MARC branch is to provide support for such activities. Because the scope,
purpose, and objectives of the proposals are anticipated to be very diverse, each
applicant organization will be required to clearly state its own specific goals
and measurable objectives and to provide an evaluation plan that explains how the
applicant organization will assess that the objectives have been met.

Additional Information

Examples of scientific or program related meetings, conferences, workshops or the
ancillary training activities that could support the overall goals of the MARC
Program Branch are listed below.  This list is not intended to be comprehensive
or directive.

o  meetings or conferences to facilitate communication between MARC program
directors and NIGMS staff;

o  research symposia/conferences;

o  workshops to provide technical assistance in areas identified as critical by
MARC program directors and NIGMS program staff;

o  conferences/workshops on graduate school survival skills that target MARC 
predoctoral fellows at either of two critical stages in their graduate careers -
- first year fellows and those nearing completion of their graduate studies;

o  summer workshops or workshops in conjunction with annual meetings of
scientific societies on research techniques (MARC faculty or students) or
teaching/pedagogical techniques (MARC faculty); and or

o  summer workshops or workshops in conjunction with annual meetings of
scientific societies for program directors on strategies and methods to evaluate
their program.

o  travel of MARC students/faculty to major scientific meetings or research
symposia/conferences.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are encouraged to submit, by the dates given above, a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed MARC Ancillary
Training Activities, the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal
Investigator, the identities of other key personnel and participating
institutions, and the number and title of the PA in response to which the
application may be submitted.

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter
into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains
allows NIGMS staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid conflict
of interest in the review.  The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Hinda
Zlotnik at the address listed under INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and will be accepted at the receipt dates indicated in the heading of this
program announcement.   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, e-mail: 
grantsinfo@nih.gov.

Applications must address the inclusion of women, minorities, and persons with
disabilities in both the planning and conduct of meetings, conferences, workshops
or other ancillary training activities.  Plans must be specified to seek
appropriate representation in the selection of organizing committees, speakers,
session chairs, and panel discussants.  NIH guidelines on this issue are
published in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, Volume 24, Number 15, April
28, 1995.

Applicants planning to submit a new application, competing continuation (type 2),
competing supplement, or any amended/revised version of the preceding grant
application types requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year are
advised that he or she must contact NIGMS program staff before submitting the
application, i.e., as plans for the activities are being developed. Furthermore,
the applicant must obtain agreement from NIGMS staff that the institute will
accept the application for consideration for award. Finally, the applicant must
identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the NIGMS staff member who
agreed to accept assignment of the application.

The NIH publication, "Support of Scientific Meetings" (May 1997), should be
obtained because it provides important information and supplemental instructions
for completing the application. In addition, this publication states NIH policy
regarding the application, review, award, administration, and reporting
requirements when funds are requested and awarded for the support of scientific
meetings.  This publication also is available from the Division of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources.

In the Activity Plan section of the application, describe the relevance of the
proposed meeting, conference, workshop, or other activity to the MARC program
goals.  This section should also be used to provide a detailed description of the
objectives, plans, and logistics of the meeting, conference, and/workshop, a
description of the methodology proposed to obtain the desired outcomes (i.e.
lectures, presentations, seminars, poster sessions, etc.) and indicate any other
pertinent information that contributes to a clear description of the training
activity, such as qualifications and previous experience of the activity
coordinators, and characteristics of the targeted participants.

The complete and signed original application and three exact copies, in one
package with any appendices, must be mailed or delivered 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)

At the same time, an additional two copies should be sent under separate cover
to:

Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1AS.19 - MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be administratively reviewed by NIH staff. 
Incomplete and/or unresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant
without further consideration.  Applications will be reviewed for scientific
merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIGMS.  The second level
of review will be provided by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences
Council.

Review Criteria:

o  the importance or benefits of the proposed scientific or program related
meeting, conference, or workshop to the targeted community.

o  the adequacy of the scope and content of the proposed activity.

o  the qualifications of the proposed director/organizer and other activity
coordinators.

o  the selection criteria (if any) and qualifications of the proposed
participants.

o  the appropriateness of the proposed format for achieving the stated goals.

o  the adequacy of plans to disseminate the information generated by the
activity.

o  the adequacy of the resources and appropriateness of the meeting site.

o  the validity and adequacy of the instruments to be used for evaluation of the
activity.

o  past performance where applicable.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  merit of the proposed scientific or program-related meeting, conference or
workshop as determined by peer review;

o  relevance to MARC program goals and objectives; and

o  availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcomed.

Direct inquires regarding programmatic issues to:

Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D.
MARC Program Director
National Institutes of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2573
Email:  hindaz@nigms.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 495-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-3423
Email:  hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance NO. 93-
880.  Awards 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 the NIH Grants Policy Statement and Federal Regulations
42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  Applications are 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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