RESEARCH AND DEMONSTRATION GRANTS OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

Release Date:  January 27, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAS-99-053

P.T.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

PURPOSE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is soliciting grant
applications for research and demonstration projects related to occupational
safety and health (see the section FUNDS AVAILABLE).

The purpose of this grant program is to develop knowledge that can be used in
preventing occupational diseases and injuries.  Thus, NIOSH will support the
following types of applied research projects: causal research to identify and
investigate the relationships between hazardous working conditions and
associated occupational diseases and injuries; methods research to develop
more sensitive means of evaluating hazards at work sites, as well as methods
for measuring early markers of adverse health effects and injuries; control
research to develop new protective equipment, engineering control technology,
and work practices to reduce the risks of occupational hazards; and
demonstrations to evaluate the technical feasibility or application of a new
or improved occupational safety and health procedure, method, technique, or
system.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

CDC is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention
objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a national activity to reduce morbidity
and mortality and improve the quality of life.  This announcement is related
to the priority area of Occupational Safety and Health.  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).

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Applications may be submitted by public and private nonprofit and for-profit
organizations and by governments and their agencies; that is, universities,
colleges, research institutions, hospitals, other public and private nonprofit
and for-profit organizations, State and local governments or their bona fide
agents, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments, Indian tribes, or
Indian tribal organizations.  Exceptions: foreign organizations are ineligible
to apply for the Special Emphasis Research Career Award (SERCA) Grant and
Small Grant programs (additional guidance provided under these mechanisms).

NOTE: An organization described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986 which engages in lobbying activities shall not be eligible to
receive Federal funds constituting an award, grant, contract, loan, or any
other form.  

FUNDS AVAILABLE

For fiscal year (FY) 1999, the budget is projected to be $19.8 million, which
is a $2.0 million increase over the FY1998 budget.  Of that amount, $13.6
million is committed to support 79 non-competing continuing awards. 
Therefore, $6.2 million is available for new and competing renewal awards. 
The overall budget includes funds for Small Business Innovation Research
(SBIR) grants.

Grant applications should be focused on the research priorities described in
the section "FUNDING PRIORITIES" that include new research priorities
developed in a process which resulted in defining a National Occupational
Research Agenda.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Grants are funded for 12-month budget periods in project periods up to five
years for research project grants and demonstration project grants; two years
for pilot study grants; three years for SERCA grants; and two years for small
grants.  Continuation awards within the project period are made on the basis
of satisfactory progress and on the availability of funds.  The types of
grants NIOSH supports are as follow:

Research Project Grants (R01)
A research project grant application should be designed to establish,
discover, develop, elucidate, or confirm information relating to occupational
safety and health, including innovative methods, techniques, and approaches
for dealing with problems.  These studies may generate information that is
readily available to solve problems or contribute to a better understanding of
the causes of work-related diseases and injuries.

Demonstration Project Grants (R18)
A demonstration project grant application should address, either on a pilot or
full-scale basis, the technical or economic feasibility of implementing a
new/improved innovative procedure, method, technique, or system for preventing
occupational safety or health problems.  The project should be conducted in an
actual workplace where a baseline measure of the problem will be defined, the
new/improved approach will be implemented, a follow-up measure of the problem
will be documented, and an evaluation of the benefits will be conducted.

Special Emphasis Research Career Award (SERCA) Grants (K01)
The SERCA grant is intended to provide opportunities for individuals to
acquire experience and skills while under the direction of at least one
mentor, and in so doing, create a pool of highly qualified investigators who
can make future contributions to research in the area of occupational safety
and health.  SERCA grants are not intended for individuals without research
experience, or for productive, independent investigators with a significant
number of publications and of senior academic rank.  Moreover, the award is
not intended to substitute one source of salary support for another for an
individual who is already conducting full-time research; nor is it intended to
be a mechanism for providing institutional support. 

Candidates must:  (1) hold a doctoral degree; (2) have research experience at
or above the doctoral level; (3) not be above the rank of associate professor;
and (4) be employed at a domestic institution. For non-U.S. citizens who will
be principal investigators, the grantee institution must indicate in the
application that the individual's visa will allow the person to remain in the
country a sufficient length of time to complete the project.  Also, a U.S.
citizen must be identified who is a permanent staff member of the grantee
institution and who, if the SERCA grant recipient is unable to stay in the
U.S., will be responsible for seeing the project through to completion.

This non-renewable award provides support for a three-year period for
individuals engaged in full-time research and related activities.  Awards will
not exceed $50,000 per year in direct costs for salary support (plus fringe
benefits), technical assistance, equipment, supplies, consultant costs,
domestic travel, publications, and other costs.  The indirect cost rate
applied is limited to 8 percent of the direct costs, excluding tuition and
related fees and equipment expenses, or to the actual indirect cost rate,
whichever results in the lesser amount.

A minimum of 60 percent time must be committed to the proposed research
project, although full-time is desirable.  Other work in the area of
occupational safety and health will enhance the candidate's qualifications but
is not a substitute for this requirement.  Related activities may include
research career development activities as well as involvement in patient care
to the extent that it will strengthen research skills.  Fundamental/basic
research will not be supported unless the project will make an original
contribution for applied technical knowledge in the identification,
evaluation, or control of occupational safety and health hazards (e.g.,
development of a diagnostic technique for early detection of an occupational
disease).  Research project proposals must be of the applicants' own design
and of such scope that independent investigative capability will be evident
within three years.  At the completion of this three-year award, it is
intended that awardees should be better able to compete for individual
research project grants awarded by NIOSH.

SERCA grant applications should be identified as such on the application form. 
Section 2 of the application (the Research Plan) should include a statement
regarding the applicant's career plans and how the proposed research will
contribute to a career in occupational safety and health research.  This
section should also include a letter of recommendation from the proposed
advisor(s).

Small Grants (R03)
The small grant program is intended to stimulate proposals from individuals
who are considering a research career in occupational safety and health; as
such, the minimum time commitment is 10%.  It is expected that a recipient
would subsequently compete for other grant mechanisms which are described
above.  The award is not intended to supplement ongoing or other proposed
research; nor is it intended to be a mechanism for providing institutional
support.  Please note that fundamental/basic research is generally not
supported.

Small grant candidates are predoctoral students, post-doctoral researchers
(within 3 years following completion of doctoral degree or completion of
residency or public health training), or junior faculty members (no higher
than assistant professor).  If university policy requires that a more senior
person be listed as principal investigator, it should be clear in the
application which person is the small grant investigator.  For non-U.S.
citizens who will be principal investigators, the grantee institution must
indicate in the application that the individual's visa will allow the person
to remain in the country a sufficient length of time to complete the project. 
Also, a U.S. citizen must be identified who is a permanent staff member of the
grantee institution and who, if the small grant recipient is unable to stay in
the U.S., will be responsible for seeing the project through to completion. 
Except for applicants who are assistant professors, there must be one or more
named mentors to assist with the project.  A biographical sketch is required
for the small grant investigator, as well as for the supervisor and other key
consultants, as appropriate.

This non-renewable award provides support for project periods of up to two
years to carry out exploratory or pilot studies, to develop or test new
techniques or methods, or to analyze data previously collected.  Awards will
not exceed $25,000 per year in direct costs for salary support (plus fringe
benefits), technical assistance, equipment, supplies, consultant costs,
domestic travel, publications, and other costs.  The indirect costs will be
based upon the negotiated indirect cost rate of the applicant organization. 
An individual may not receive more than two small grant awards, and then, only
if the awards are at different stages of development (e.g., doctoral student,
post-doctoral researcher, or junior faculty member).

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

In today's society, Americans are working more hours than ever before.  The
workplace environment profoundly affects health; each of us, simply by going
to work each day, may face hazards that threaten our health and safety. 
Risking one's life or health should never be considered merely part of the
job.  In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act to
ensure Americans the right to "safe and healthful working conditions," yet
workplace hazards continue to inflict a tremendous toll in both human and
economic costs.  Employers reported 5.8 million work injuries in 1996 and
439,000 cases of occupational illness.  An average of 16 American workers die
each day from injuries on the job.  Moreover, even the most conservative
estimates find that about 137 additional workers die each day from workplace
diseases.  Additionally, in 1996 occupational injuries and deaths cost $121
billion in wages and lost productivity, administrative expenses, health care
and other costs.  This does not include the cost of occupational disease.

These occupational injuries and diseases create needless human suffering, a
tremendous burden upon health care resources, and an enormous drain on U.S.
productivity.  To identify and reduce hazardous working conditions, NIOSH
carries out disease, injury, and hazard surveillance and conducts a wide range
of field and laboratory research.  Additionally, the Institute sponsors
extramural research in priority areas to complement and expand its efforts.  

Funding Priorities

NIOSH intends to support projects that facilitate progress in understanding
and preventing adverse effects among workers.  Of special interest are
proposals addressing the priorities identified in the National Occupational
Research Agenda (see below).  Investigators  may also apply in other areas
related to occupational safety and health; the rationale for the significance
of the research to the field of occupational safety and health must be
presented in the grant application. The NIOSH program priorities are
applicable to all of the types of grants listed under the section "MECHANISMS
OF SUPPORT", above. 

In 1996, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and
its partners in the public and private sectors developed the National
Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to provide a framework to guide
occupational safety and health research into the next decade þ not only for
NIOSH, but also for the entire occupational safety and health community.
Approximately 500 organizations and individuals outside NIOSH provided input
into the development of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). 
This attempt to guide and coordinate research nationally is responsive to a
broadly perceived need to address systematically those topics that are most
pressing and most likely to yield gains to the worker and the nation.  Fiscal
constraints on occupational safety and health research are increasing, making
even more compelling the need for a coordinated and focused research agenda. 

The agenda identifies 21 research priorities and reflects an attempt to
consider both current and emerging needs.  The priority areas are not ranked:
each is considered to be of equal importance.  The NORA priority research
areas are grouped into three categories: Disease and Injury, Work Environment
and Workforce, and Research Tools and Approaches.  The NORA document is
available through the NIOSH Home Page; http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.html.

NORA Priority Research Areas:

Disease and Injury
o  Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis
o  Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
o  Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities
o  Hearing Loss
o  Infectious Diseases
o  Low Back Disorders
o  Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
o  Traumatic Injuries
Work Environment and Workforce
o  Emerging Technologies
o  Indoor Environment
o  Mixed Exposures
o  Organization of Work
o  Special Populations at Risk
Research Tools and Approaches
o  Cancer Research Methods
o  Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
o  Exposure Assessment Methods
o  Health Services Research
o  Intervention Effectiveness Research
o  Risk Assessment Methods
o  Social and Economic Consequences of Workplace Illness and Injury
o  Surveillance Research Methods

Potential applicants with questions concerning the acceptability of their
proposed work are strongly encouraged to seek programmatic technical
assistance from the contact listed in this announcement under the section
"INQUIRIES."

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and will be accepted according to the deadlines indicated 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 Form 398 may be retrieved from
http://www.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

The title and number of the 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 five 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 timetable for receiving applications and awarding grants is given below. 
This is a continuous announcement, consequently, these receipt dates will be
on-going until further notice.

Research and Demonstration Project Grants:

Receipt      Initial     Secondary   Earliest Possible
Date*        Review      Review      Start Date

February 1   June/July   September   December 1
June 1       Oct/Nov     January     April 1
October 1    Feb/Mar     May         August 1

*Deadlines for competing continuation applications or revised applications are
1 month later.

SERCA and Small Grants

Receipt      Initial     Secondary   Earliest Possible
Date         Review      Review      Start Date

March 1      June/July   August      November 1
July 1       Oct/Nov     December    March 1
November 1   Feb/Mar     April       July 1

Applications must be received by the above receipt dates.  To prevent problems
caused by carrier delays, retain a legible proof-of-mailing receipt from the
carrier, dated no later than one week prior to the receipt date.  If the
receipt date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to Monday; if the date
falls on a holiday, it will be extended to the following work day.  The
receipt date will be waived only in extenuating circumstances.  To request
such a waiver, include an explanatory letter with the signed, completed
application.  No request for a waiver will be considered prior to receipt of
the application.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Human Subjects

If a project involves research on human subjects, assurance (in accordance
with Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, 45 CFR Part 46) of
the protection of human subjects is required.  In addition to other applicable
committees, Indian Health Service (IHS) institutional review committees also
must review the project if any component of IHS will be involved with or will
support the research.  If any American Indian community is involved, its
tribal government must also approve that portion of the project applicable to
it.  Unless the grantee holds a Multiple Project Assurance, a Single Project
Assurance is required, as well as an assurance for each subcontractor or
cooperating institution that has immediate responsibility for human subjects. 
The Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR) at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) negotiates assurances for all activities involving
human subjects that are supported by the Department of Health and Human
Services. 

WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to
ensure that individuals of both sexes and the various racial and ethnic groups
will be included in CDC-supported research projects involving human subjects,
whenever feasible and appropriate. Racial and ethnic groups are those defined
in OMB Directive No. 15 and include American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian,
Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other
Pacific Islander.  Applicants shall ensure that women, racial and ethnic
minority populations are appropriately represented in applications for
research involving human subjects.  Where clear and compelling rationale exist
that inclusion is inappropriate or not feasible, this situation must be
explained as part of the application.  This policy does not apply to research
studies when the investigator cannot control the race, ethnicity, and/or sex
of subjects.  Further guidance to this policy is contained in the Federal
Register,Vol. 60, No. 179, pages 47947-47951, and dated Friday, September
15,1995.

Animal Subjects Requirements

If the proposed project involves research on animal subjects, compliance with
the "PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals by Awardee
Institutions" is required.  An applicant (as well as each subcontractor or
cooperating institution that has immediate responsibility for animal subjects)
proposing to use vertebrate animals in CDC-supported activities must file (or
have on file) the Animal Welfare Assurance with the OPRR at the NIH.  The
applicant must provide in the application the assurance of compliance number
and evidence of review and approval (including the date of the most recent
approval) by the Institutional Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR.  If the proposed
project involves organizations or persons other than those affiliated with the
applicant organization, letters of support and/or cooperation must be
included.  Applications will then be reviewed for scientific and technical
merit by an initial review group convened by NIOSH.  Reviewers will identify
those applications with the highest scientific merit, which generally comprise
the top half of applications reviewed.  Those applications will be discussed
fully and assigned a priority score between 100 and 300 (100 is the best
possible score).  For all other applications, there will be a limited
discussion and they will not be scored.  Notification of the scientific review
results will be sent to the applicants after the initial review.

Following the initial review, applications will receive a secondary review for
programmatic importance.  Awards will be made based on results of the initial
and secondary reviews, as well as availability of funds.

Review Criteria for Technical Merit are as follows:

o  Significance - Does this study address an important problem related to the
topical research issues outlined in this solicitation?  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 (including composition of
study population), 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 approaches?

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

o  Principal Investigator - Is the investigator appropriately trained and well
suited to carry out this work (particularly but not exclusively) in the area
of the proposed project?  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 documentation of cooperation from
industry, unions, or other participants in the project, where applicable?  Is
there evidence of institutional support and availability of resources
necessary to perform the project?

o  Gender and minority issues - Are plans to include both sexes and minorities
and their subgroups adequately developed (as appropriate for the scientific
goals of the project)?  Are strategies included for the recruitment and
retention of human subjects?

o  Human Subjects - Are the procedures proposed adequate for the protection of
human subjects and are they fully documented?  Are all procedures in
compliance with applicable published regulations (see "OTHER REQUIREMENTS").

o  Vertebrate animals - Are the procedures proposed adequate for the welfare
of vertebrate animals and are they fully documented?  Are all procedures in
compliance with applicable published regulations?

o  Budget - Is the budget reasonable and appropriate for all direct costs and
period/s of requested support and are all entries adequately justified?

Additional consideration for technical merit of certain grant mechanisms is as
follows:

Demonstration grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the basis of
the following criteria:

o  Degree to which the project will document baseline measures and evaluate
the benefits of an intervention approach.

o  Degree to which the project can be expected to yield or demonstrate results
that will be useful and desirable on a national or regional basis.

o  Documentation of cooperation from industry, unions, or other participants
in the project.

SERCA grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the basis of the
following criteria:

o  The review process will consider the applicant's scientific achievements,
the applicant's research career plan in occupational safety and health, and
the degree to which the applicant's institution offers a superior research
environment (supportive nature, including letter(s) of reference from
advisor(s) which should accompany the application).

Small grant applications will be reviewed taking the following into
consideration:

o  Applicants for small grants do not have extensive experience with the
grants process, so there is leniency in assigning priority scores.

Review criteria for programmatic importance are as follows:

o  Relevance to occupational safety and health, by contributing to achievement
of research objectives specified in Sections 20(a) and 22 of the Occupational
Safety and Health Act of 1970 and Section 501 of the Federal Mine Safety and
Health Act of 1977.

o  Magnitude of the problem in terms of numbers of workers affected.

o  Severity of the disease or injury in the worker population.

o  Potential contribution to applied technical knowledge in the
identification, evaluation, or control of occupational safety and health
hazards on a national or regional basis.

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  Technical merit of the proposed project as determined by the initial peer
review.

o  Programmatic importance of the project as determined by secondary review.

o  Availability of funds.

o  Program balance among priority areas of the announcement.

Questions regarding the above criteria should be addressed to the Programmatic
Technical Information Contact listed under "INQUIRIES."

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this program announcement are encouraged.  The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome.  This and other CDC Announcements can be found on the CDC homepage
(http://www.cdc.gov) under the "Funding" section.  This announcement can also
be found on the NIOSH homepage (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh) under "Extramural
Program."

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic technical matters to:

Roy M. Fleming, Sc.D.
Director, Research Grants Program
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
1600 Clifton Road, NE.
Building 1, Room 3053, MS-D30
Atlanta, GA  30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-3343
Fax:  (404) 639-4616
Email:  rmf2@cdc.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Joanne Wojcik
Grants Management Branch
Procurement and Grants Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
255 East Paces Ferry Road, NE., MS E-13
Atlanta, GA  30305
Telephone:  (404) 842-6535
FAX:  (404) 842-6513
Email:  jcw6@cdc.gov.

AUTHORITY AND CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER

This program is authorized under the Public Health Service Act, as amended,
Section 301 (42 U.S.C. 241); the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970,
Sections 20(a) and 22 (29 U.S.C. 669(a) and 671); and the Federal Mine Safety
and Health Act of 1977, Section 501 (30 U.S.C. 951).  The applicable program
regulations are in 42 CFR Part 52.  The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
number is 93.262.

SMOKE-FREE WORKPLACE
CDC strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace
and promote the non-use of all tobacco products, and Public Law 103-227, the
Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities that receive
Federal funds in which education, library, day care, health care, and early
childhood development services are provided to children.


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