NEUROINFORMATICS INSTITUTIONAL MENTORED RESEARCH SCIENTIST DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Release Date:  August 5, 1999 (see replacement PAR-03-034)

PA NUMBER:  PAR-99-136

National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Science Foundation
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Fogarty International Center
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Letter of Intent Receipt Dates:  August 15, 1999; April 1 and October 1 in
2000 and beyond

Application Receipt Dates:  October 20, 1999; July 11, and January 11 in 2000
and beyond

PURPOSE

The purpose of this program announcement is to encourage and support the
development of applications from U.S. educational institutions for
Institutional Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards (K12).  These
awards are intended to foster the career development of individuals with
interdisciplinary expertise bridging the fields of neuroscience and behavioral
science research with that in informatics.  This announcement seeks to further
technological and methodological advancement and the development of novel
scientific strategies in neuroinformatics research critical towards
elucidating the major principles of basic and clinical neuroscience that
underlie normal health, development, and the etiopathophysiology of mental and
neurological disease.  Eligibility is limited to individuals with advanced
degrees in either:  (a) informatics research (including computer sciences,
mathematics, physics, engineering, or closely related sciences); or (b) the
various subdisciplines of basic or clinical neuroscience and behavioral
science research.  Under this Institutional Mentored Research Scientist
Development Award, up to three scientists may be selected and appointed to
this program by the grantee institutions.  In general respects, the research
experiences of the candidates selected for support under this award should
resemble those supported by the individual Mentored Research Scientist
Development Award which is located at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-95-049.html

Applications for this award require a development plan that demonstrates both
significant inherent research and technological promise in neuroscience, while
concomitantly serving as a training vehicle for learning the requisite
theoretical knowledge and technical skills in informatics.  This training
should allow an individual to develop into a well-trained, independent
research investigator within the field of Neuroinformatics.  Appointees are
expected to enter into a well-structured, phased developmental program that
includes a designated period of didactic training, which is subsequently
followed, by a period of supervised research experience.  It is expected that
at the end of this career development period, individuals will successfully
transition into positions as fully independent investigators.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service 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 program announcement, Institutional
Mentored Research Scientists Development Award in Neuroinformatics Research
and Analysis, is related to the priority area of human resource development. 
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at
http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000/

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications will be accepted from domestic, non-Federal organizations of
higher education that have strong, well-established research and training
programs in both areas of interest: (1) in the disciplines of neuroscience
research; and (2) in the disciplines of informatics research (including
computer sciences, mathematics, physics, engineering, or any closely related
sciences).  The applicant institution must have adequate numbers of highly
trained faculty in scientific areas relevant to neuroinformatics and the
capability to provide guidance to individuals who wish to work at the
interface of neuroscience, ongoing molecular biology or genomics research with
the informatics, computer, communications or engineering sciences in the
development of research independence.  The environment should be one that
fosters interactions between basic and/or clinical neuroscientists with
informatics scientists.

Institutions with a K12 Award may recruit and select candidates into their
programs on a local or national basis.  In all aspects, the K12 Awards are
intended to provide support for the development of research scientists in the
same manner and under the same conditions as the Mentored Research Scientist
Development Award K01 (PA-95-049); 
(see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-95-049.html).  It is the intent 
of this program to support both basic and physician researchers.

The appointment of minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities under
this program is encouraged.  Candidates appointed under this program award
must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen 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 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.

Candidates who are or have been former principal investigators on NIH research
projects (R01), FIRST Awards (R29), sub-projects of program project (P01) or
center grants (P50), or the equivalent, are not eligible for appointment under
this program.  Candidates may not concurrently hold any other PHS award that
duplicates the provisions of this award.  Appointees to the K12 program are
encouraged to apply for independent research grant support, exclusive of
salary during the period of support under this award.

It is strongly suggested that awardees initiate their own grant application
for independent support during the last year of the K12 award in order to
ensure the continuation of their research program following the termination of
the K12 award.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards in response to this program announcement will use the Institutional
Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K12) program mechanism.  This
program is organized and supported by multiple Agencies and NIH Institutes and
is coordinated by the National Institute of Mental Health (see INQUIRIES). 
The coordination takes place under the activities of the Federal Interagency
Coordinating Committee for the Human Brain Project (FICC-HBP) and is chaired
by the NIMH.  The program awards will normally be for a five-year period.  Up
to three positions may be requested.  Individuals may be appointed for three
to five years; appointments are not renewable.  The duration of the
appointment depends upon the number of years of prior research experience and
the need for additional experiences to achieve independence.  Planning,
direction, and execution of the program will be the responsibility of the
principal investigator, the appointee, and her/his mentor.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development's Megascience Forum (OECD-MSF) raises the clearly vital
national/international need to better understand the structure, function, and
development of the human brain in health and disease.  The report presents
this need as one of the great challenges for science in the upcoming 21st
century.  To date, neuroscientists have collected large quantities of complex
research data from multiple levels of analysis (i.e., from those at the
molecular, cellular, subcellular and genetics levels to those at the more
macroscopic levels of neural networks, systems, and whole brains of different
species) and methodological experimental approaches.  The goal of this
research is to elucidate the highly complex structure-function relationships
of the brain and central and peripheral nervous systems in the mature and/or
developing organism.  This report posits the current burgeoning need to
further develop theoretical models and research tools to enhance management
and organization of this neuroscience data for their improved analyses,
interpretation, shared communications and the creation of knowledge.

Towards this latter objective, since its initial inception in 1993 (under
Program Announcement PA-93-068), the FICC-HBP sponsored Program has greatly
benefitted from the application of the concepts and principles developed in
the traditional quantitative disciplines of informatics (including computer
sciences, mathematics, physics, engineering, or closely related sciences). 
The Neuroinformatics field has rapidly emerged by its combined use of research
tools employed in the neuroscience and behavioral sciences with those in
informatics.  Due to the advantages created by this synergistic
interdisciplinary approach, neuroinformatics is currently uniquely well-
positioned to develop and apply advanced technologies and methodological
strategies towards addressing the great challenges of understanding the brain
and elucidating research problems in neuroscience related to medicine, biology
and behavior (i.e., including those in cellular and molecular neurobiology,
genetics, developmental biology, neurodevelopment, neuropharmacology,
neurochemistry, physiology, biophysics, biochemistry, and the cognitive,
behavioral, developmental and psychobiological sciences).

The development and utilization of these improved technologies and unique
research strategies require appropriate training about the fundamentals of
basic and clinical neuroscience research and the application of informatics
technologies to help fathom the experimental questions under investigation. 
To facilitate the goals of the Human Brain Project, and one of the major
recommendations proffered by the OECD-MSF report, we seek to establish and
promote national interdisciplinary educational, training and career
development initiatives for the preparation of future generations of
neuroinformatics scientists.  This Program Announcement is to promote the
career development of individuals who will subsequently serve as leaders in
neuroinformatics research and as mentors for training future generations of
technologically advanced neuroscientists.

Program Description:

The purpose of this Neuroinformatics Institutional Mentored Research Scientist
Development Award is to provide eligible educational institutions the
opportunity to develop and implement a program to recruit scientists
interested in and capable of bridging interdisciplinary research in areas
critical to the advancement of the research goals of the Human Brain Project. 
The K12 award offers opportunities for training either:  (1) in various
disciplines of neuroscience research, for those individuals who currently
already possess doctoral degrees in any of the non-biological scientific
disciplines related to the computer sciences, mathematics, physics,
engineering, or any closely related sciences; or, conversely, (2) in various
disciplines of informatics research, for those individuals who currently
posses a doctoral degree in any of the neuroscience related disciplines.  The
primary objective of the current announcement is to bridge interdisciplinary
training across both of these major scientific investigative domains.  Thus,
this Program Announcement's goal is to help foster further technological and
methodological development essential to the success of the Human Brain
Project, thereby allowing these appointees to benefit by continuing to pursue
a career in Neuroinformatics research.

Several key representative examples of career development and research
projects activities and technological design advances that are of a special
interest to the Human Brain Project would include improved developments within
the following areas: computational biology; two- and three-dimensional, cross-
reference macroscopic and microscopic brain atlases and hierarchical systems
of various species at different stages of development (i.e., for co-
registering molecular, cellular, subcellular, and genetics data, and their
complex spatiotemporal structural organization and functional
interrelationships); and novel acquisition tools, hardware, software, and
computational algorithms and informatics databases (i.e., to enhance the
collection, analysis, integration, interpretation, simulation modeling, and
dissemination of data derived from newly evolving imaging and other data
visualization technologies within these different disciplines); and the
further creation of interoperable neuroscience information management systems
and federations of databases and supercomputer data warehouses, specialized
and cross-platform software database search engines, and data query mining
systems to stimulate continued advances within and across these various
neuroscience and behavioral science disciplines. For a more detailed
description on the research objectives of the FICC-HBP sponsored Human Brain
Project/Neuroinformatics Initiative, refer to PAR-99-138, The Human Brain
Project (Neuroinformatics): Phase I & Phase II.
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-99-138.html)

The Human Brain Project also is openly interested in promoting career
development plans and research projects under this announcement that utilize
and promote the broadest developments in neuroinformatics technologies and/or
experimental strategies to help address the plethora of complex
multidisciplinary data relationships derived from the many neuroscience and
behavioral science research levels of analysis.

Individual programs of appointees are generally separated into two distinctive
phases:  (1) a basic informatics training component; and (2) an intensive
neuroscience research experience under the general guidance of a qualified
mentor.  The basic informatics component is to be used to develop the special
knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to the candidate's
career development goals, and must include relevant didactic and laboratory
experiences.  For those appointees who already possess doctoral or medical
degree(s) in any of the neuroscience disciplines, this first training phase
requires greater, although not exclusive, focus upon the theories and
techniques of informatics applicable to neuroscientific research.  Conversely,
if the appointee(s) possess degree(s) in any of the informatics disciplines,
the greater focus of this component requires training focused upon the
theories and methodologies employed in basic or clinical neuroscience; for the
latter, the relevance of informatics approaches for examining these specific
neuroscience issues is still a mandatory requirement for completing this
component.

In all cases, the types of developmental experiences provided by this training
should be consistent with the candidate's prior experiences and career needs. 
During the period of the appointment, individuals will participate in career
development activities and research projects under the supervision of mentors
who have distinguished themselves in the area of neuroinformatics research,
i.e., in research that bridges both the neuroscience and the informatics
components.  At the conclusion of their career development and research
experience, appointees are expected to pursue an independent career in
neuroinformatics research.

The award aims to develop a close and extended working relationship between
the awardees and one or more highly qualified neuroscientists and
informaticians working in neuroscience research or a closely relevant field
using neuroinformatics techniques.  The relationship should optimize the
opportunity for establishing ample interdisciplinary communications and
collaborations.  As a result of this experience, the awardees should develop
the capacity to continue to apply the knowledge and research methods of their
neuroinformatics training to other relevant problems in the neuroscience
research field.  For the sponsoring institution, the relationship should
stimulate awareness among neuroscientists and informaticians about the
potential to conduct interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary research within
the various disciplines of neuroscience research.

Program Director:

The proposed Program Director should possess the scientific expertise,
leadership, and administrative capabilities required to coordinate and
supervise an interdisciplinary program at the interface between neuroscience
and informatics research, and be willing to develop a career development
program of the scope described within this program announcement.  The Program
Director should also be experienced in the design and management of programs
for developing investigators, and should be able to demonstrate a superior
record of preparation of neuroscientists or Informaticians for independent
research careers.  In addition, a committee with representatives from
appropriate sciences departments of both of these major bridging fields should
be established to help advise the Program Director and assure that the
appointees meet the expected background and requirements for selection into
the program.

Mentor(s):

For the appointee(s) to receive training under a single mentor, the latter
individual must have extensive, well-demonstrated experience in developing and
applying neuroinformatics approaches towards addressing specific neuroscience
research questions or in conducting their structural and functional analyses. 
Otherwise, if the mentor has exclusive experience in conducting only
neuroscience research, without having had well-demonstrated experience in
performing neuroinformatics applications, then a second co-mentor possessing
this requisite informatics experience must be selected by mutual agreement
among these two co-mentors and the appointee.

The mentor(s) will sponsor and oversee the proposed training and research
program, and will ensure that the appointee(s) receives the proper experience
for developing a future independent career in interdisciplinary
neuroinformatics research.  The mentor(s) is(are) expected to collaborate on
the appointee's research project.  However, the appointee may conduct
collaborative research with other experienced neuroinformaticians and
neuroscientists, subject to the approval of the mentor.  Where feasible,
women, minorities and individuals with disabilities should be involved as
mentors.

Appointees:

The objective of this program announcement, as described above, is to provide
mentored career development and research training on the application of
neuroinformatics technologies and experimental strategies to neuroscience
research.  Therefore, appointees are to be recruited from relevant disciplines
representing either of these two components, who will then receive training in
the reciprocal component.  As such, appointees must hold a Ph.D. or an M.D.
degree, or an equivalent professional degree in any of the disciplines:  (1)
of basic or clinical neuroscience and/or behavioral science research; or (2)
of a non-biological, quantitative discipline such as informatics and/or
computational research (including computer sciences, mathematics, physics,
engineering, or any closely related sciences).

In exceptional cases, individuals who do not have doctoral degrees, but have
significant research experience may be eligible.  The candidates must
demonstrate a commitment to pursue a career in neuroinformatics research
following completion of the award.  Individuals at all career levels may be
appointed.  Candidates must be willing to spend 100 percent of full-time
professional effort conducting research; career development, teaching and/or
research related activities.  Tenure-track faculty are eligible for
appointment if they can demonstrate that they can spend a substantial portion
of their professional effort (at a minimum 75 percent) in research and career-
development related activities, and if the proposed program has the potential
of accomplishing the goals of this Neuroinformatics K12 Program. The NIH will
provide salary and fringe benefits for the K award recipient.  The salary
limits are not uniform throughout the NIH and are determined independently by
each component of the NIH.  Therefore, prospective candidates should contact
the NIH component to which the application is targeted to ascertain the
maximum contribution to the candidate's salary.  The total salary requested
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.

Appropriate individuals who have had some postdoctoral experience in
neuroscience may be eligible for appointment to the program, if they can
demonstrate that they need additional time to transition into developing as
independent neuroinformatics investigators.  If such individuals are
appointed, their research program must include sufficient didactic activities
to ensure that they receive the appropriate exposure to concepts in
neuroinformatics, and their appointments should generally be limited to three
years or less.

Environment:

The institution must:  (1) have well-established research programs in both
components (i.e., neuroscience and informatics).  Furthermore, the latter
component should include several closely related disciplines, including
computer sciences, mathematics, physics, and/or engineering or a related
sciences; (2) have a commitment to pursuing interdisciplinary research at the
interface of these two disciplines; (3) be interested in promoting career
development programs at this interface; and (4) have qualified faculty to
serve as mentors.

Institutions where there are highly integrated clusters of neuroscientists
working with informaticians, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists,
and/or engineers; or scientists in closely related disciplines working in the
areas of basic and/or clinical neuroscience research, or on approaches for the
analyses of their structural and functional data and/or their parametric
interrelationships are particularly appropriate training environments for
appointees.  The appointee(s), mentor(s), and institution must be able to
maximize the use of a relevant interface between neuroscience and informatics
research, and their combined technological and methodological laboratory and
educational resources.

Allowable Costs:

Appointee's Salary: The salary limits on career awards are not uniform
throughout the NIH and are determined independently by each component of the
NIH.  Therefore, prospective applicants should contact the component to which
the application is targeted to ascertain the salary cap for appointees.  The
total salary requested must be based upon a full-time 12-month staff
appointment.  It must be consistent both with the established salary structure
at the institution and with the 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.

The institution may supplement the contribution from this grant up to a level
that is consistent with the institution's salary scale; however,
supplementation may not be from Federal funds unless specifically authorized
by the Federal program from which such funds are derived.  In no case, may
DHHS funds be used for salary supplementation.  Institutional supplementation
of salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would
interfere with the purpose of the K12 award.

It is expected that the appointee will devote full-time to career development
and research activities.  However, up to 15 percent of the appointee's time
may be used for activities, such as teaching, research-related activities or
advising on research, which make use of the awardees own discipline as a
special contribution of this Neuroinformatics Career Development Program to
relevant interdisciplinary research programs of the sponsoring institution. 
In the case of tenure-track faculty, the appointee must be willing to spend a
substantial amount (a minimum of 75 percent) of their professional effort in
research and career development activities related to the interface between
neuroscience and neuroinformatics research and analyses, and the goals of the
K12 program.

Research Development Support: Each appointee will be allowed up to $20,000 per
year for the following expenses:  (a) tuition, including fees, and books
essential for specific identified training courses during the first two years
on a course-by course basis related to the career development program; (b)
research expenses, such as supplies, equipment and technical personnel; (c)
travel to research meetings or training; (d) statistical services including
personnel and computer time which are essential to the proposed research
program.  Requests for research support must be well justified in the
application.

Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for mentors, secretarial and
administrative support, etc., is not allowed.

Funds to support travel to the two-day Annual Spring Human Brain Project 
Meeting of Agencies and Grantees in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area
should be included in the budget for the principal investigator and other
relevant individuals supported under this program announcement.

Facilities and Administrative Costs: These costs will be reimbursed at eight
percent of modified total direct costs, or at the actual indirect cost rate,
whichever is less.

Evaluation:  In carrying out its stewardship of human resources related
programs, the sponsoring agency may request information essential to an
assessment of the effectiveness of this program.  Accordingly, recipients may
be contacted both for annual progress reports as well as for periodic updates
after the completion of this award on various aspects of their employment
history, publications, support from research grants and contracts, honors and
awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating
the impact of the program.  Such reports should also include such specific
information for any new appointees onto the awarded grant.

Other Income: Fees resulting from professional consultation or other
comparable activities required by the research and research-related activities
of this award may not be retained by the career award recipient.  Such fees
must be assigned to the grantee institution for disposition by any of the
following methods:

The funds may be expended by the grantee institution in accordance with the
various FICC-HBP agencies and organization policies on supplementation of
career award salaries and to provide fringe benefits in proportion to such
supplementation.  Such salary supplementation and fringe benefit payments must
be within the established policies of the grantee institution.

The funds may be used for health-related research purposes.

The funds may be paid to miscellaneous receipts of the U.S. Treasury.  Checks
must be made payable to the Department of Health and Human Services, NIH and
forwarded to the Director, Division of Financial Management, NIH, Bethesda,
Maryland 20892.  Checks must identify the relevant award account and reason
for the payment.

Appointees may retain royalties and fees for activities such as scholarly
writing, service on advisory groups, or honoraria from other institutions for
lectures or seminars, provided these activities remain incidental and provided
that the retention of such pay is consistent with the policies and practices
of the grantee institution.

Usually, funds budgeted in this Neuroinformatics supported research or
research training grant for the salaries or fringe benefits of individuals,
but freed as a result of a career award, may not be rebudgeted.  The awarding
component will give consideration to approval for the use of released funds
only under unusual circumstances.  Any proposed retention of funds released,
as a result of a career award must receive prior written approval of the
Sponsoring agency.

Special Leave: Leave to another institution, including a foreign laboratory,
may be permitted if directly related to the purpose of the award.  Only local,
institutional approval is required if such leave does not exceed three months. 
For longer periods, prior written approval of the sponsoring organization is
required.  To obtain prior approval, the appointee must submit a letter to the
sponsoring organization describing the plan, countersigned by his or her
department head and the appropriate institutional official.  A copy of a
letter or other evidence from the institution where the leave is to be taken
must be submitted to assure that satisfactory arrangements have been made. 
Support from the career award will continue during such leave.

Leave without award support may not exceed 12 months.  Such leave requires the
prior written approval of the sponsoring organization and will be granted only
in unusual situations.  Support from other sources is permissible during the
period of leave.  Such leave does not reduce the total number of months of
program support for which an individual is eligible.  Parental leave will be
granted consistent with the policies of the relevant sponsoring organizations
and the grantee institution.

Termination or Change of Institution: When a grantee institution plans to
terminate an award, the funding organizations must be notified in writing at
the earliest possible time, so that appropriate instructions can be given for
termination.  If the individual is moving to another eligible institution of
higher education, no relocation costs will be allowed and career award support
may be continued provided:

A new career award application is submitted from the new eligible institution
of higher education;

All conditions of the award are met at the new institution including the
presence of a qualified mentor;

The period of support requested is no more than the time remaining within the
existing award period; and

The new application is submitted far enough in advance of the requested
effective date to allow the necessary time for review.

The sponsoring organization may require a review by an initial review group
and/or the National Advisory Councils of each of the specific sponsoring FICC-
HBP organizations.  Alternatively, review may be carried out by program staff
and the Directors Office within the various specific FICC-HBP funding
organizations, depending upon the particular circumstances.

The Director(s) of the specific FICC-HBP sponsoring organizations and agencies
may discontinue an award upon determination that the purpose or terms of the
award are not being fulfilled.  In the event that an award is terminated,
these relevant Directors shall collectively notify the grantee institution and
career award recipient in writing of this determination, the reason thereof,
the effective date, and the right to appeal the decision.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are
required upon either termination of an award or relinquishment of an award in
a change of institution situation.

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, Vol. 23,
No. 11, March 18, 1994 available on the web at the following URL address: 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html).

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://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm

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

LETTER OF INTENT

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate program
official(s) listed under INQUIRIES and submits a letter of intent.  The letter
should include a descriptive title of the proposed research, the name,
address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, names of other
key personnel, and participating institutions, and the number and title of the
program announcement 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 subsequent applications, the information that it
contains is helpful in planning for the review of applications.  The letter is
to be submitted to Dr. Stephen H. Koslow at the address listed under
INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the standard grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 4/98) and will only be accepted at the application receipt dates
listed 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.  The PHS 398 application kit is also available on
the Internet at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/funding.htm

Applicants planning to submit an investigator-initiated new (type 1),
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 the Institute or Center (IC) program staff
before submitting the application, i.e., as plans for the study are being
developed.  Furthermore, the application must obtain agreement from the IC
staff that the IC will accept the application for consideration for award. 
Finally, the applicant must identify, in a cover letter sent with the
application, the staff member and Institute or Center who agreed to accept
assignment of the application.  This policy requires an applicant to obtain
agreement for acceptance of both any such application and any such subsequent
amendment.  Refer to the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 20, 1998 at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-030.html

Follow the PHS 398 additional instructions for "Preparing Your Application"
with modifications and additions as described in the sections below.  Refer to
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/instructions2/p1_preparing
_individual_CDA_app.htm. Note that, as in the standard 
PHS 398 Instructions, sections "a-d" of the Research Plan in 
the Table of Contents (form CC; page 3) are limited to 25 pages.

Specific instructions for all applications submitted under this Program
Announcement:

To identify the application as a response to this Program Announcement, check
"Yes" on item 2, and the title and number of this program announcement must be
typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form.

Research Plan: part "c" of this section should be retitled "Preliminary Data
and Activities" and included if applicable.  This section should contain
information on steps that have led to the proposed Education Project.  Future
competitive renewals should include a section entitled "Progress Report."
Research Plan: part "d" of this section should be retitled "Education Program
Plan" and should contain material organized under the following subheadings,
as appropriate to the specific project:

Provide information establishing the commitment of the applicant institution,
the program director, and the faculty mentors to providing developmental
experiences that lead to independence in an interdisciplinary program in
neuroinformatics research.

Summarize the immediate and long-term objectives of the program, explaining
how the program and the K12 award will contribute to their attainment.

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.  For example, candidates with little previous research
experience may require a phased developmental period in which the first year
or two of support under this program award are comprised largely of didactic
training in the basic sciences.  For these candidates, a second phase would be
an intensive, supervised research experience to complete the five-year
developmental program.  More experienced candidates may benefit from moving
immediately to a mentored research environment and a shorter period of support
under this program award.  The application should contain a description of how
the career development plan will be tailored to the needs of the prospective
candidates.

Describe the pool of potential candidates including information about the
types of prior research training.  Also, describe the criteria used for 
selection of the appointments to the K12 Award.  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 research.

Describe, to the extent possible, the types of interdisciplinary research
experiences available to the candidates.

Instructions in the responsible conduct of research.  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.

Non-competitive renewal Type 5 applications must include a detailed evaluative
account of the career outcomes of all candidates supported by this grant,
including employment history, publications, support from research grants and
contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information
that this program award is meeting the objectives of the FICC-HBP sponsored
Program and the specific awarding organizations of the grant.

Budget:

Budget requests must be provided according to the instructions in form PHS
398.  The request for Research Development Costs, i.e. tuition and fees, books
necessary for specific courses, travel to related meetings, and other research
development expenses, etc., must be justified and specified by category.

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)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application (including
appendices) also must be sent to:

Stephen H. Koslow, Ph.D.
Office on Neuroinformatics
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6167 MSC 9613
Bethesda, MD  20892-9613
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: (301) 443-1815
Fax: (301) 443-1867
Email: koz@helix.nih.gov

It is important to send these two additional copies at the same time that the
original and three copies are directly sent to the CSR; otherwise, it cannot
be guaranteed that the applications will be reviewed in competition with other
applications received in response to this Program Announcement.

Schedule

                                1999            Calendar Year 2000 & Beyond

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  Aug 15, 1999    Apr 1, 2000    Oct 1, 2000
Application Receipt Date:       Oct 20, 1999    Jul 11, 2000   Jan 11, 2000
Administrative Review:          Oct 1999        Jul 2000       Jan 2001
Scientific Review:              Feb/Mar 2000    Sep/Oct 2000   Mar/Apr 2001
Advisory Council Review:        May/Jun 2000    Jan/Feb 2001   May/Jun 2001
Earliest Starting Date:         Jul 2000        Mar 2001       Jul 2001

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical
merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by one of the FICC-HBP
organizations sponsoring the Human Brain Project.  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.  Subsequent processing of the application will
follow the procedures of the respective agency, institute and/or center to
which it has been assigned.  For applications assigned to a Public Health
Service (PHS) institute or center, the application will receive further review
by the appropriate National Advisory Council.  All successful projects will be
identified as "A Unit of the NIH/NSF/DOE Human Brain Project/Neuroinformatics"
program.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In
the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects
of the application 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 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 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.

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?

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?

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?

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)?

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?

These five review criteria should be applied, as relevant, to the evaluation
of the following key components of the application:

Program Director:

The strength of the program director's research program at the interface of
neuroscience and neuroinformatics research and other related scientific
disciplines; and

The program director's experience in managing research training or career
development programs, and success in preparing investigators for independent
interdisciplinary research careers representative of the interface between
neuroscience and neuroinformatics research (or another closely related
informatics discipline as described above).

Candidate(s):

Availability of high quality potential candidates;

Plans for recruiting and selecting candidates (including minorities, women and
individuals with disabilities);

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

For renewal applications, the career successes of candidates that have
received support and completed their appointeeship under this award.

Career Development Plan:

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

Likelihood that the career development program of the candidates will result
in preparing investigators who will contribute to the goals of the Human Brain
Project;

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

Consistency of the career development plan with prospective candidate's career
goals; and

Quality of the training in the responsible conduct of research.

Research Opportunities and Mentors:

Availability of research opportunities appropriate to the purpose of this
program;

Commitment of proposed mentors to the requisite interdisciplinary training in
neuroinformatics; and

Previous experience of the mentors in fostering the development of
researchers.

Environment:

Applicant institution's commitment to the scientific development of the
candidate(s); and

assurances that the institution intends the program and the supported
candidate(s) to be an integral part of its research program;

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following: the
reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the goals of
the program; 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; adequacy of
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 recommended
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions: 
Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, availability of
funds, and program priority.

POST-AWARD MANAGEMENT

The FICC-HBP committee maintains a WWW site containing information about this
and related programs and activities.  Each funded grant application will be
listed and briefly described and hotlinks provided to connect interested
parties to the grantees web site that should provide greater details about
research activities and the state and availability of research tools and
products.  In addition, grantees are expected to participate in the Annual
Spring Human Brain Project Meeting of Agencies and Grantees.  These meetings
will promote communications among different groups of investigators, who are
involved in research, curricula development, and career development and/or
other cross-training activities in Neuroinformatics.  Therefore, budget
requests should include travel funds for the principal investigator and other
relevant individuals supported under this program announcement to attend this
meeting in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
regarding an application from potential applicants is welcome.  The FICC-HBP
representatives from each of the participating agencies, institutes and center
can be contacted for further information or clarification.  Potential
applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the agency or institute
representative to discuss their plans prior to preparing an application.

General programmatic inquiries regarding the Human Brain Project/
Neuroinformatics program may be directed to the chair of the coordinating
committee:

Stephen H. Koslow, Ph.D.
Office on Neuroinformatics
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6167, MSC 9613
Bethesda, MD 20892-9613
Telephone: (301) 443-1815
Fax: (301) 443-1867
Email: koz@helix.nih.gov

Inquiries regarding fiscal matters may be directed to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6120, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD  20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-3065
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  dtrunnel@mail.nih.gov

Questions regarding scientific issues, management issues, issues on cores
related to participating Institutes and Centers (ICs), and fiscal matters
should be directed to the programmatic and fiscal contacts for each
participating IC.  A current list of the contacts for the participating ICs
may be found at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/neuroinformatics/agencycontacts.cfm.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos.
93.281 (NIMH), 93.279 (NIDA), 47.074 (NSF), 93.866 (NIA), 93.865 (NICHD),
93.173 (NIDCD), 93.879 (NLM), 93.934 (FIC), 93.273 (NIAAA), and 93.838
(NHLBI).  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 as implemented
through Department of Health and Human Services regulations at 45 CFR part 100
or Health Systems Agency Review.  Awards by PHS agencies will be administered
under PHS grants policy as stated in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, October
1, 1998.

PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the nonuse 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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