MENTORED CLINICAL SCIENTIST DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Release Date:  November 10, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PA-00-010 (Reissued as PAR-07-443)

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

PURPOSE

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) announces its 
interest in supporting the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development 
Award (K08) in health services research.  The K08 provides support for 
the development of outstanding research scientists.  It provides 
specialized study support for trained professionals who are committed 
to a career in research and have the potential to develop into 
independent investigators.  Because of the focus on progression to 
independence, the prospective candidate should propose a period of 
study and development consistent with his/her  needs, and previous 
research or clinical experience.  The proposed length of the award must 
be well explained and justified.  Support will only be provided for the 
period deemed necessary to achieve independence, as recommended by peer 
review and Agency decision making.

AHCPR supports and conducts research to improve the outcomes, 
effectiveness, quality, access to, and cost and utilization of health 
care services.  AHCPR achieves this mission through health services 
research designed to: (1) improve clinical practice, (2) improve the 
health care systems leader"s ability to provide access to and deliver 
high quality, high-value health care, and (3) give policy makers the 
ability to assess the impact of system changes on outcomes, 
effectiveness, quality, access, cost and use of health care services.  

AHCPR programs and products are designed to be responsive to the needs 
of consumers, patients, clinicians, and other providers, institutions, 
plans, purchasers, and public and private policy makers at all levels 
for evidence-based information they may need to improve quality and 
outcomes, control costs, and ensure access to needed services.  A copy 
of AHCPR"s strategic plan is available at http://www.ahcpr.gov

AHCPR is committed to achieving the goals of the President"s Race and 
Health Disparities Initiative: Eliminating by the year 2010 the 
differences in outcomes and health status for racial and ethnic 
minority populations in six clinical areas (infant mortality, cancer 
screening and management, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV 
infection, and child and adult immunization).  Many of these 
disparities are not due to gaps in knowledge regarding disease 
processes, but are largely the result of provider factors, patient 
factors, and organizational factors which impair the implementation of 
existing knowledge. AHCPR seeks research projects which will advance 
the implementation of existing research findings to assist in achieving 
this ambitious goal. 

In addition, AHCPR recognizes the need for collaborative and 
integrative work that addresses issues of access to care, outcomes, 
quality, and the cost and use of services for children.  

Applications that focus on developing the careers of investigators who 
will study minority,  child, and older adult health services research 
with the above interests are also strongly encouraged.  It is 
anticipated that some awards will be made specifically to highly 
meritorious applications that foster the research careers of 
investigators studying these populations.     

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 health improvement priorities for 
the United States.  AHCPR encourages applicants to submit grant 
applications with relevance to the specific objectives of this 
initiative.  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, D.C. 20402-9325, telephone 202-
512-1800.  

Nondiscrimination

The AHCPR career development program is conducted in compliance with 
applicable laws that provide that no person shall, on the grounds of 
race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age, be excluded from 
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to 
discrimination.  Applicant organizations are required to have 
appropriate Assurance of Compliance forms filed with the Office of 
Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary, DHHS before a grant may be made 
to that institution.  The Division of Research Education, Office of 
Research Review, Education, and Policy (ORREP) should be contacted with 
any questions concerning compliance (See INQUIRIES).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The candidate must have a clinical doctoral degree (e.g., M.D., D.O., 
D.C., O.D., D.D.S., Pharm.D., or doctorally-prepared nurses), have 
identified a mentor with extensive research experience, and be willing 
to spend a minimum of 75 percent of full-time professional effort 
conducting research and developing a research career during the award.  
The candidate must demonstrate that the requested period of research 
focus will foster his/her career as a highly productive scientist in 
the indicated field of research. 

An applicant may not apply concurrently for any other DHHS award that 
duplicates the provisions of this award, nor have another application 
pending award.  Current and former principal investigators of a small 
PHS grant (R03) or Exploratory/Developmental grants (R21) are eligible 
to apply.  Former individual or institutional National Research Service 
Award trainees, or those nearing completion of their training are also 
eligible.  Recipients are strongly encouraged to apply for independent 
research grant support, either Federal or private, during the latter 
period of this award.   

Applicants for the K08 must have a clinical doctoral degree, and must 
have initiated postgraduate clinical training.  Applicants for the K08 
awards are not eligible to apply if they have been or currently are 
principal investigators on large DHHS research grants (R01), FIRST 
awards (R29), SBIR/STTR awards, sub-projects of program projects (P01) 
or center grants (P50), or comparable career development awards (e.g., 
K01, K07, K08, K23). 

Applications may be submitted on behalf of candidates by domestic, 
non-Federal public or private non-profit organizations, including 
medical, dental, public health, or nursing schools or other 
institutions of higher education.  AHCPR, by statute, can make grants 
only to non-profit organizations.  Organizations described in section 
501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying are not 
eligible.

Members of minority groups, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply.  Candidates must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen 
nationals, or must 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.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards in response to this Program Announcement (PA) will use the K08 
mechanism.  The K08 provides support for the development of outstanding 
clinician research scientists.  This mechanism provides specialized 
study for clinically-trained professionals who are committed to a 
career in health services research and have the potential to develop 
into independent investigators. 

The proposed research should have both intrinsic research importance 
and be a suitable vehicle for learning the methodology, theory, and 
conceptualizations necessary for a well-trained independent 
investigator.  Planning, direction, and execution of the program will 
be the responsibility of the candidate and his or her mentor on behalf 
of the applicant institution.  The project period for an award may be 
for three to five years, depending on the number of years of prior 
research experience and the need for additional experience to achieve 
independence.  Awards are not renewable.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Through the K08 career development program, AHCPR seeks to expand the 
number of researchers who conduct health services research in areas 
identified in the AHCPR Health Services Research Program Announcement 
(PA) published in the NIH Guide on March 26, 1998. (See Funding 
Opportunities at http://www.ahcpr.gov)  The PA outlines broad research 
interests that would:

o  support improvements in health outcomes, at both the clinical and 
system levels,

o  strengthen quality measurement and improvement including the use of 
evidence-based practice information and tools, 

o  identify strategies to improve access, foster appropriate use, and 
reduce unnecessary expenditures including research on the organization, 
financing, and delivery of health care and the characteristics of 
primary care practices. A special focus is on health issues related to 
priority populations including minority populations, older adults, 
women, and children,

o  advance methodologies in health services research, especially cost-
effectiveness analysis, and 

o  focus on ethical issues across the spectrum of health care delivery.

Applications responding to this program announcement should also 
reflect the following:

A. Environment: The institution must have a well-established research 
career development program and qualified faculty in health services 
research to serve as mentors.  The institution should have a 
demonstrated commitment to research and a commitment to the continuing 
development of the candidate as an independent investigator.  The 
institution must provide assurance that the candidate is an integral 
part of its research and academic program.  The candidate, mentor and 
institution must be able to describe a multi-disciplinary career 
development program that will maximize the use of relevant research and 
educational resources.

B. Program: The award provides three to five consecutive, 12 month 
appointments.  At least 75 percent of the recipient"s full-time 
professional effort must be devoted to the program.  The remainder may 
be devoted to clinical, teaching, or other research pursuits consistent 
with the objectives of the award.  Both the didactic and the research 
phases of an award period must be designed to develop the necessary 
knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to the 
career goals of the candidate.

Because of the focus on progression to independence as a researcher, a 
candidate for the K08 should propose a period of study and career 
development consistent with his or her previous research and clinical 
experience.  For example, a candidate with limited experience in a 
given field of research may find a phased developmental program lasting 
five years that includes a designated period of didactic training 
followed by a period of closely supervised research experience the most 
efficient means of attaining independence.  A candidate with previous 
research experience and training may not require extensive additional 
didactic preparation, and a program that focuses on providing an 
intensive, supervised clinical research experience may be appropriate.  
All programs must be tailored to meet the individual needs of the 
candidate ensuring that he or she will gain the skills and knowledge 
necessary to carry out high quality research.  The candidate and the 
mentor are jointly responsible for the preparation for the program 
plan, and the proposed length of the award must be well explained and 
justified.  The mentor may form an advisory committee to assist with 
the development of a program of study or to monitor the candidate"s 
progress through the career development program.  

C. Mentor(s):  Candidates must name a primary mentor, who together with 
the applicant is responsible for the planning, direction, and execution 
of the program.  The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished 
investigator in the proposed research area and have a track record of 
success in training independent investigators.  The mentor should have 
sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the 
proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of this 
award.  Candidates may also nominate co-mentors as appropriate to the 
goals of the program.  Where feasible, women and minority investigators 
should be involved as mentors. 

D. Allowable Costs:

1.  Salary:  The AHCPR will provide salary and fringe benefits for the 
K award recipient for a total requested percentage of the candidate"s 
institutional salary, of up to $75,000 annually plus associated fringe 
benefits.

The institution may supplement the AHCPR contribution 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 PHS 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 K08.  
Under expanded authorities, however, institutions may rebudget funds 
within the total costs awarded to cover salaries consistent with the 
institution"s salary scale.

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.

2.  Research Development Support: AHCPR will provide generally up to 
$25,000 per year for the following expenses: (a) tuition, fees, and 
books related to career development, (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.  All expenses must be directly related to the proposed 
research career development program.

3.  Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for mentors, secretarial, 
technical, and/or administrative assistance, etc., is not allowed.

4.  Indirect costs:  Indirect costs will be reimbursed at 8 percent of 
modified total direct costs, or at the actual indirect cost rate, 
whichever is less.

E.  Evaluation:  In carrying out its stewardship of human resource 
related programs, the AHCPR, at some point in the future, may begin 
requesting information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness 
of this program.  Accordingly, recipients are hereby notified, that 
they may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic 
updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, 
support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, 
professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating 
the impact of the program.

F.  Other Income:  Fees resulting from clinical practice, 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 AHCPR policy 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 also be 
used for health-related research purposes.

Awardees 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 if the retention of such pay is consistent with the 
policies and practices of the grantee institution.

Usually, funds budgeted in an institute-supported research or training 
grant for the salaries or fringe benefits of individuals, but freed 
because of a career award, may not be rebudgeted.  AHCPR will consider 
approval for use of released funds only under unusual circumstances.  
Any proposed retention of funds released because of an AHCPR career 
award must receive prior written approval of the awarding component.

G.  Special Leave:  Leave to another institution, including a foreign 
health services research program, 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 AHCPR written approval is required.  To obtain prior 
approval, the award recipient must submit a letter 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 prior written approval 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.  

Under unusual and pressing circumstances, an awardee may submit a 
written request to the awarding component, requesting a reduction in 
professional effort below 75 percent.  Such requests will be considered 
on a case-by-case basis during the award period.  In no case, will it 
be permissible to work at a rate of less than 50 percent effort.  The 
nature of the circumstances requiring reduced effort might include 
medical conditions, disability, or pressing personal or family 
situations such as child or elder care.  Permission to reduce the level 
of effort will not be approved to accommodate other sources of funding, 
job opportunities, clinical practice, or clinical training.  In each 
situation, the grantee institution must submit documentation supporting 
the need for reduced effort along with assurance of a continuing 
commitment to the scientific development of the awardee.  Further, the 
awardee must submit assurance of his or her intention to return to 
full-time professional effort (at least 75 percent) as soon as 
possible.  During the period of reduced effort, the salary and other 
costs supported by the award will be reduced accordingly. 

H.  Termination or Change of Institution:  When a grantee institution 
plans to terminate an award, AHCPR 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, career award support may be continued provided that a new 
career award application is submitted by the new institution, 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. 

Awardees planning a change of institution must submit to AHCPR, in 
advance of the change, a written request for transfer, countersigned by 
the appropriate institutional business official, describing the reasons 
for the change and including the new mentor"s name and biosketch.  The 
awardee must establish in this request that the specific aims of the 
research program to be conducted at the new institution are within the 
scope of the original peer-reviewed research program.  Additionally, 
the new mentor must have the appropriate research expertise to 
supervise the program and sufficient research support to ensure 
continuation of the research program to the end of the award, and the 
original grantee institution must submit to AHCPR a statement to 
relinquish the grant.  AHCPR staff will review the change request, and 
depending upon the circumstances, AHCPR may require a new review by a 
study section or a review may be carried out internally by AHCPR staff.  
Upon approval of this request, a new career award application must be 
submitted by the new institution far enough in advance of the requested 
effective date to permit review.  The period of support requested in 
the new application must be no more than the time remaining within the 
existing award period.  

When a mentor at the grantee institution is to be replaced, the 
institution must submit a letter from the proposed mentor documenting 
the need for substitution, the new mentor"s qualifications for 
supervising the program, and the level of support for the candidate"s 
career development.  The letter must also document that the specific 
aims of the research program will remain within the scope of the 
original peer reviewed research program.  AHCPR staff will review the 
request, and will notify the grantee institution of the results of the 
evaluation.  

The AHCPR Administrator may discontinue an award upon determination 
that the purpose or terms of the award are not being fulfilled.  In the 
event an award is terminated, the AHCPR Administrator shall notify the 
grantee institution and career award recipient in writing of this 
determination, the reasons thereof, the effective date, and the right 
to appeal the decision.  Replacement of the Principal Investigator on 
the grant will not be approved.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status 
Report are required upon either termination of an award or 
relinquishment of an award due to a change of institution.  Annual 
reports describing project progress, and including articles that are 
published or in-press, are also required. 

Applicants who have questions regarding the relevance of their research 
to AHCPR goals should contact, by telephone, E-mail or letter, staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  The Notice on Request for Planning Ideas 
published in the Federal Register April 15, 1999 
(http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont99.html) also lists 
AHCPR Strategic goals and types of activities in support of those 
goals.

Data Privacy 

Pursuant to section 903(c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 
299a-1(c)), information obtained in the course of any AHCPR-study that 
identifies an individual or entity must be treated as confidential in 
accordance with any promises made or implied regarding the use and 
purposes of the data collection.  Applicants must describe in the Human 
Subjects section of the application procedures for ensuring the 
confidentiality of such identifying information.  The description of 
the procedures should include a discussion of who will be permitted 
access to the information, both raw data and machine readable files, 
and how personal identifiers and other identifying or identifiable data 
will be safeguarded.

The grantee should ensure that computer systems containing confidential 
data have a level and scope of security that equals or exceeds those 
established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB 
circular No. A-130, Appendix III - Security of Federal Automated 
Information Systems.  The National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST) has published several implementation guides for this 
circular.  They are: An Introduction Computer Security: The NIST 
handbook, Generally Accepted Principle and Practices for Securing 
Information Technology Systems, and Guide for Developing Security Plans 
for Information Technology Systems.  The circular and guides are 
available on the web at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/circulars/a130/a130.html,
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-12/handbook.pdf, 
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistbul/csl96-10.txt,
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistbul/itl99-04.txt, respectively.

Rights in Data 

AHCPR grantees may copyright or seek patents, as appropriate, for final 
and interim products and materials including, but not limited to, 
methodological tools, measures, software with documentation, literature 
searches, and analyses, which are developed in whole or in part with 
AHCPR funds.  Such copyrights and patents are subject to a Federal 
government license to use and permit others to use these products and 
materials for AHCPR purposes.  In accordance with its legislative 
dissemination mandate, AHCPR purposes may include, subject to statutory 
confidentiality protections, making research materials, data bases, and 
algorithms available for verification or replication by other 
researchers, and subject to AHCPR budget constraints, final products 
maybe made available to the health care community and the public by 
AHCPR, or its agents, if such distribution would significantly increase 
access to a product and thereby produce public health benefits.  
Ordinarily, to accomplish distribution, AHCPR publicizes research 
findings but relies on grantees to publish in peer-reviewed journals 
and to market grant-supported products.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH STUDY 
POPULATIONS

It is the policy of AHCPR that women, and members of minority groups be 
included in all AHCPR-supported 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.  

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Guidelines on the 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 of March 18, 1994.  AHCPR follows the 
NIH Guidelines, as applicable.  

Investigators may obtain copies from the above sources or from the 
AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse listed under INQUIRIES, or from the 
NIH Guide Website http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html

AHCPR is also encouraging investigators to consider including children 
in study populations, as appropriate.  AHCPR announced in the NIH Guide 
of May 9, 1997, that it is developing a policy and implementation plan 
on the inclusion of children in health services research.  This Notice 
is available through the AHCPR Website http://www.ahcpr.gov  (Funding 
Opportunities) and InstantFAX (see instructions under INQUIRIES). 

AHCPR program staff may also provide information concerning these 
policies (See INQUIRIES).  

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 
(rev. 04/98) using the instructions for Research Career Award 
Applications in Section IV as appropriate.   Applications will be 
accepted on the standard application receipt dates as indicated in the 
PHS 398 application kit.  Application kits are available at most 
institutional offices of sponsored research, 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, on the NIH 
Website at  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html. 
and from:

AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse 
P.O. Box 8547
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547
Telephone:  800-358-9295

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

The PHS 398 type size requirements (p.6) will be enforced rigorously 
and non-compliant applications will be returned.

The completed, signed, typewritten, original application and four 
copies must be sent or delivered to:
 
Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 or
Bethesda, MD 20817 for express/courier service

At the same time of submission, one additional copy must be sent to 
AHCPR at:

Division of Research Education
Office of Research Review, Education, and Policy
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852-4908

The application must address the following issues (a concise 
introductory statement on A  and B below should precede the description 
of the research plan):

A.  Candidate

o  Describe the candidate"s commitment to a career in health services 
research.

o  Establish the candidate"s potential to develop into an independent 
investigator.

o  Describe immediate and long-term career objectives, explaining how 
the award will contribute to these goals.  

o  Describe a level of commitment that is at least 75 percent effort 
devoted to research career development activities.

o  Letters of recommendation.  Three sealed letters of recommendation 
addressing the candidate"s potential for a research career must be 
included as part of the application.  The Mentor"s Statement (see 
below) should not be included as one of the letters of recommendation, 
although the mentor(s) may submit a separate letter(s) of 
recommendation.  Reference guidelines are described in Form MM of the 
PHS 398 application kit.

B.  Career Development Plan

o  Describe the career development plan incorporating consideration of 
the candidate"s goals and prior experience.  It should describe a 
systematic plan to obtain the necessary health services research 
background and research experience to launch an independent research 
career.  More junior candidates with little previous research 
experience may require a phased developmental period in which the first 
year(s) of the award is largely of a didactic nature followed by a 
period of intense, supervised research experience.  Candidates with 
more experience at the time of application may need a shorter 
developmental period and may already have an adequate theoretical 
background.  In any case, the career development plan must be tailored 
to the needs of the individual candidate and the ultimate goal of 
achieving independence as a health services researcher.  The adequacy 
of the proposed length of support must be well justified and will be 
evaluated by peer review and Agency decision makers.

o  Candidates must describe plans to participate in courses related to 
instruction in the  responsible conduct of research.  These plans must 
detail the proposed subject matter, format, frequency, and duration of 
instruction as well as the amount and nature of the candidate"s 
participation.  No award will be made if an application lacks this 
component.

C.  Research Plan

o  Describe the research plan.  The research plan must be described as 
outlined in form PHS 398 including sections on the  Specific Aims, 
Background and Significance, Progress Report/Preliminary Studies, 
Research Design and Methods.  The candidate should consult with the 
mentor regarding the development of this section.

o  Describe how the research will advance AHCPR"s mission and goals.

D.  Mentor"s Statement

o  The application must include information on the mentor(s), including 
information on research qualifications and previous experience as a 
research supervisor.  The application must also include information to 
describe the nature and extent of supervision that will occur during 
the proposed award period.  

o  Similar information must be provided by any co-mentor.  If more than 
one mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and 
responsibility should be described.

E.  Environment and Institutional Commitment

o  The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established 
research program related to the candidate"s area of interest including 
a high-quality research environment with staff capable of productive 
collaboration with the candidate.  Indicate the types of facilities, 
supplies, equipment, and human resources that will be made available to 
the applicant.  The sponsoring institution also must provide a 
statement of commitment to the candidate"s development into a 
productive, independent investigator.  This must include an indication 
of support for the candidate"s proposed level of effort related to this 
award, commitment to release time, as well as the availability of 
support and supervision during the award period.

F.  Budget

o  Budget requests must be provided according to the instructions in 
form PHS 398.  The request for tuition and fees, books, travel, 
research development support, etc., must be justified and specified by 
category.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness and 
responsiveness to the PA by the AHCPR Referral Officer and Scientific 
Review Administrator.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications or 
applications not following form PHS 398 instructions for Research 
Career Award applications will be returned to the applicant without 
further consideration.  Applications that are complete and responsive 
to the PA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an 
appropriate peer review group convened in accordance with standard 
AHCPR peer review procedures. 

As part of the merit review, all applications will receive a written 
critique, and also may undergo a process in which only those 
applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit will be 
discussed and assigned a priority score.

The following review criteria will be applied:

A.  Candidate

o  Quality of the candidate"s academic and clinical record,

o  Potential to develop as an outstanding independent researcher,

o  Commitment to a research career, and

B.  Career Development Plan

o  Likelihood that the career development plan will contribute 
substantially to the research career development of the candidate,

o  Appropriateness of the content and proposed duration of the career 
development plan for achieving research independence,

o  Consistency of the career development plan with the candidate"s 
career goals, and

o  Quality of the proposed training in responsible conduct of research.

C.  Research Plan

Reviewers recognize that applicants will have variable amounts of 
previous research experience.  Those with limited research experience 
are less likely to be able to prepare a research plan with the breadth 
and depth of that submitted by a more experienced investigator.  All 
applications must include a fundamentally sound research plan, but 
reviewers will consider the applicant"s prior research experience in 
judging the level of detail provided. 

o  Appropriateness of the research plan to the stage of research 
development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills as 
described in the career development plan,

o  Scientific and technical merit of the research question, design, and 
methodology,

o  Relevance of the proposed research to the candidate"s career 
objectives, 

o  Relevance of the proposed research to AHCPR"s goals and priorities, 
and

o  Adequacy of the plan"s attention to both genders, children, and 
minorities and their subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals 
of the research. 

D.  Mentor/Co-Mentor

o  Appropriateness of mentor(s) research qualifications in the area of 
this application,

o  Quality and extent of mentor(s) proposed role in providing guidance 
and advice to the candidate,

o  Mentor(s) previous experience in fostering the development of 
researchers, 

o  Mentor(s) history of research productivity and support, and

o  Information on the nature and extent of supervision that will occur 
during the proposed award period.

E.  Environment and Institutional Commitment

o  Applicant institution"s commitment to the scientific development of 
the candidate and assurances that the institution intends the candidate 
to be an integral part of its research program,

o  Adequacy of research facilities and training opportunities,

o  Quality and relevance of the environment for research and 
professional development of the candidate, 

o  Applicant institution"s commitment to the research development of 
the candidate and assurances that the institution intends the candidate 
to be an integral part of its research program, and

o  Applicant institution"s commitment to an appropriate balance of 
research and clinical responsibilities including the level of 75 
percent effort proposed by the candidate.

F.  Budget

o  Justification of the requested budget in relation to career 
development goals and research aims.
AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other 
applications under this PA.  

In making the funding decisions, AHCPR will consider the quality of the 
proposed career development plan and proposed project as determined by 
peer review, as well as overall program balance.  Funding of 
applications in response to this PA in fiscal year 2000 will be 
contingent upon funds available.  AHCPR will publish a notice on its 
web-site at http://www.ahcpr.gov identifying funds available for K08 
awards in fiscal year 2000. 

It is anticipated that some awards will specifically be made to highly 
meritorious applicants pursuing research with a focus on minority, 
child, and older adult populations, or to individual investigators from 
predominantly minority institutions.

INQUIRIES

Copies of this PA and copies of the grant application form PHS 398 
(rev. 4/98) are available from:

AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 8547
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547
Telephone: 1-800-358-9295

The PA is also available on AHCPR"s Website, http://www.ahcpr.gov and 
through AHCPR InstantFAX at (301)594-2800.  To use InstantFAX, you must 
call from a facsimile (FAX) machine with a telephone handset.  Follow 
the voice prompt to obtain a copy of the table of contents, which has 
the document order number (not the same as the PA number).  The PA will 
be sent at the end of the ordering process.  AHCPR InstantFAX operates 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For questions abut this service, call 
AHCPR"s Division of Communications at (301) 594-6344.

AHCPR welcomes the opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from 
potential applicants who have read the PA.  Written and telephone 
inquires concerning this PA are encouraged.  Direct inquiries regarding 
programmatic issues, including information on the inclusion of women, 
minorities, and children in study populations to:

Division of Research Education
Office of Research Review, Education, and Policy
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone: (301) 594-1452
E-mail:  Training@AHCPR.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative matters to:

George "Skip" Moyer 
Grants Management Specialist 
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone: (301) 594-1842
E-mail:   smoyer@AHCPR.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
Number 93.226.  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 901(b), 
902(c), and 925(c) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42 USC 
299(b), 299a(c) and 299c-4(c)) and Section 1142 of the Social Security 
Act (42 USC 1320b-12) as applicable.  Awards are administered under the 
PHS Grants Policy Statement and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 67, Subpart 
A, and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This program is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to 
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco 
products.  In addition, Public Law 103-227, The Pro-Children Act of 
1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any 
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, 
day care, health care, or early childhood development services are 
provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to 
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American 
people.



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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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and Human Services (HHS)
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