ALCOHOL-RELATED PROBLEMS AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS:  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND PREVENTION

Release Date:  October 1, 2001

RFA:  RFA-AA-02-001

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 18, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       February 19, 2002

THIS RFA USES "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS.  MODULAR 
INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE USED FOR RESEARCH GRANT APPLICATIONS UP TO $250,000 PER 
YEAR. MODULAR BUDGET INSTRUCTIONS ARE PROVIDED IN SECTION C OF THE PHS 398 
(REVISION 5/2001) AVAILABLE AT 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html.

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is seeking 
research grant applications on alcohol use by college students.  
Investigations are needed which focus on the epidemiology and natural history 
of college student drinking and related problems and on designing and/or 
testing interventions to prevent or reduce alcohol-related problems among 
college students.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion 
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national 
activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for Applications (RFA), 
Alcohol-Related Problems Among College Students: Epidemiology and Prevention, 
is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 
http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and non-
profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal government. Faith-based organizations are eligible to 
apply for these grants.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and 
persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project 
grant (R01) and the NIAAA exploratory/developmental (R21) award mechanism.  
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicant.  The total project period for a 
research project grant (R01) application submitted in response to this RFA may 
not exceed 5 years.  Exploratory/developmental grants (R21) are limited to 3 
years for up to $100,000/year for direct costs. (See Program Announcement PA- 
99-131, “NIAAA Exploratory/Developmental Grant Program,” 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-99-131.html, for a complete 
description of the R21 mechanism.) This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  
Future unsolicited competing continuation applications will compete with all 
investigator-initiated applications and be reviewed according to the customary 
peer review procedures.  The anticipated award date is July 1, 2002.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR 
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts that have been adopted by the 
NIH. Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grant 
applications have been incorporated into the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001).  
Additional information on Modular Grants can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NIAAA intends to commit approximately $4,000,000 in FY 2002 to fund 
approximately ten new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to 
this RFA. Because the nature and scope of the research proposed may vary, it 
is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary. Although the 
financial plans of NIAAA provide support for this program, awards pursuant to 
this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a 
sufficient number of meritorious applications. At this time, it is not known 
if this RFA will be reissued.

Introduction

Alcohol use on college campuses is not a new problem; it has been documented 
in the United States for at least 50 years.  Available research indicates that 
approximately 80 percent of college students drink and that half of college 
student drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking.  Excessive drinking among 
college students is associated with a variety of negative consequences 
including fatal and nonfatal injuries; alcohol poisoning; blackouts; academic 
failure; violence, including rape and assault; unintended pregnancy; sexually 
transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS; property damage; and vocational and 
criminal consequences that could jeopardize future job prospects.

In recognition of the need to address the serious consequences of alcohol 
abuse among college students, the National Advisory Council to the National 
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) established the Subcommittee 
on College Drinking in 1998.  The subcommittee, which is composed of college 
presidents and administrators as well as selected experts in alcohol research, 
is divided into two panels.  The two panels were concerned respectively with 
the Contexts and Consequences of college student drinking (Panel 1) and 
potential interventions for Prevention and Treatment (Panel 2).  Participants 
reviewed the relevant scientific literature and discussed how to frame the 
next generation of research on alcohol consumption and consequent problems 
among college students.

In response to the seriousness of this public health problem, NIAAA is issuing 
this new Request for Applications which focuses on: 1) studying the 
epidemiology and natural history of college student drinking and related 
problems and 2) designing and/or testing interventions to prevent or reduce 
alcohol-related problems among college students. 

Epidemiology and Natural History of Alcohol-related Problems Among College 
Students

Background

To effectively tackle the difficult public health problem of excessive and 
underage drinking by students on US college campuses, a more extensive and 
finely tuned understanding of the problem than we currently possess is needed.  
Prior studies have provided important information about the problem of alcohol 
consumption by college students; however, much remains to be learned.  
Epidemiologic studies are needed to increase our understanding of the 
incidence, prevalence and etiology of alcohol related problems and disorders 
in the collegiate population and the risk and protective factors associated 
with them.  Studies are also needed to augment our understanding of the 
factors (e.g. demographic, social, economic and personal) associated with 
different patterns of consumption by college students and to ascertain more 
accurately the range and extent of alcohol-related consequences both for 
students and for the institutions they attend. 

Research Objectives

In recognition of this important need, NIAAA is soliciting applications for 
research projects which will enhance our understanding of alcohol consumption 
by college students.  Research objectives which fall under the epidemiology 
and natural history portion of this announcement involve: (1) studying the 
incidence, prevalence and etiology of alcohol-related problems including 
alcohol use disorders among the collegiate population and among subgroups of 
that population, and (2) advancing our understanding of the natural history, 
causes, course, and short- and long-term outcomes of alcohol consumption by 
college students.

More specifically these objectives include but are not limited to: (a) 
studying patterns of alcohol consumption and the distribution of alcohol-
related problems in the collegiate population as a whole and in specific sub-
populations of students, for example ethnic minorities and women; (b) studying 
risk and protective factors (including ethnic, cultural, family, genetic and 
environmental influences) for alcohol-related problems in the college 
population as a whole and in specific subpopulations of students;  (c) 
elucidating differences between racial/ethnic groups in college with respect 
to alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems; (d) studying special 
populations particular to campus life such as members of Greek sororities and 
fraternities, members of other social or religious groups, and student 
athletes, (e) examining the influence of school characteristics (e.g. size, 
location, religious affiliation if any) in attracting students with varying 
drinking proclivities and habits and in affecting the drinking behavior of 
students on campus, (f) investigating the course of alcohol use and misuse by 
college students and its impact on academic progress and attainment, on 
physical and psychological health, on social and emotional development and on 
the establishment of personal and financial independence, (g) enumerating and 
elucidating the consequences of alcohol consumption by college students 
including second hand consequences  (second hand consequences are those 
experienced not by the drinker but by those around him or her; they range from 
disrupted sleep and study to physical and sexual assault), (h) understanding 
the impact of alcohol consumption on high risk sexual behavior, sexual assault 
and other types of aggression among college students, and (i) comparing 
patterns of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among college 
students and their same aged non-collegiate peers.

Studying students longitudinally to elucidate the direction of influence of 
the many factors associated with student drinking and the development and 
course of alcohol-related problems, including alcohol use disorders, is 
desirable. Longitudinal studies are well suited to address the following kinds 
of questions, which are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive:

- Individual level questions about alcohol use and its consequences (e.g. the 
development of alcohol problems over time and the impact of alcohol use on 
educational attainment)

- The extent to which students come to college with drinking habits/problems 
in place and the extent to which the problem is due to or exacerbated by the 
college environment

- The extent to which students self-select into colleges based on the schools’ 
drinking reputations and into Greek life based on its reputation regarding 
drinking

- Comparisons of college and same age-peers not in college

Methodological Considerations 

Research methodology is important to consider as we seek to improve our 
epidemiologic information. We need reliable estimates of the magnitude and 
extent of the drinking problem on US campuses. Available information points to 
a serious problem, but the quality of this information varies.  To date, a 
number of research methodologies have been employed with varying success.  
Some prior studies have used random samples; others have relied on convenience 
samples.  Some large prior studies have been nationally representative; others 
have not.  Prior large-scale surveys, often mail surveys, have typically 
achieved response rates of 60 to 70 percent; it would be desirable to improve 
on this.  Numerous smaller studies on one or a few campuses have augmented our 
knowledge, but have been of uneven quality.  In general, study designs should 
include representative, randomly selected samples of adequate size to address 
the proposed hypotheses. 

To move the field forward, NIAAA encourages comparability of measures across 
studies.  To date the specific drinking variables collected have often varied 
across projects.   In addition, nearly all studies of drinking by college 
students have relied on self-report, which may introduce bias into the 
results.  In any proposed study, the drinking variables to be collected are of 
paramount importance and should reflect the state of the art in measuring 
alcohol consumption. 

Overall, applications should reflect a careful evaluation of pertinent 
methodological considerations in order that the information produced is 
accurate and reliable and advances the state of our knowledge. 

Preventing Alcohol-related Problems Among College Students

Background

Over the past 10 to 15 years, colleges and universities have addressed the 
problem of underage and “binge” drinking in a variety of ways.   Preventive 
interventions have been implemented in response to: policy directives from the 
U.S. Department of Education, administrator and faculty concerns about alcohol 
problems on their campuses, and community reactions to nationally publicized 
alcohol-related deaths among college students.  However, rigorous studies of 
the effectiveness of these naturally occurring policies and initiatives have 
been rare, as have studies of investigator-initiated interventions that focus 
on changing campus environments as a means of preventing alcohol problems.  

With rare exceptions, scientifically-grounded research on strategies to 
prevent college-based alcohol abuse has focused on so-called “individual” 
interventions, such as motivational counseling for high-risk students and 
groups, or approaches that challenge positive expectancies (beliefs) about the 
benefits of alcohol use.  These types of interventions seek to change 
individuals’ knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and skills regarding alcohol 
use, without attempting to change factors in the environment which facilitate 
and promote alcohol misuse.  

In November 1998, NIAAA (in collaboration with the Department of Education and 
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) issued a 
Request for Applications that encouraged research that would “ultimately lead 
to the reduction of alcohol-related problems among college students.”  The RFA 
emphasized the need for research on environmental interventions, but studies 
of strategies focused on individuals were not excluded.  As a result of the 
RFA, the number of college-based prevention studies increased appreciably.  
While several are assessing social marketing strategies, only one of the new 
studies specifically focuses on environmental change.  Environmental 
interventions seek to prevent or reduce alcohol abuse and problems by changing 
external contingencies that promote drinking or by changing the cost-risk-
benefit matrix within which drinking decisions are made.  Thus, enforcement of 
laws that punish drunk-driving offenders can increase the perceived risk of 
drinking and driving, and risk perception has proved to be a key mediating 
variable in reducing such problematic behavior.   

Because there is still a dearth of research on the efficacy and effectiveness 
of alcohol-focused environmental interventions for college populations, this 
RFA restricts prevention research to applications that develop and/or test 
environmental interventions as described below. 

Interventions To Be Tested

Survey data indicate that environmental factors play a major role in promoting 
and supporting excessive drinking among college students.  Campuses differ 
significantly in the amount of “binge” drinking that takes place, suggesting 
that more than selective factors are at work.   For example, lower levels of 
“binge” drinking are found among students who attend “commuter” colleges where 
most students live off-campus (Chaloupka and Wechsler, 1996).  Students who 
live at home drink less than those who live in apartments or dormitories; and 
students who live alone drink less than those with roommates (Gfroerer et al., 
1997).  This type of information can help inform the choice of target groups 
for interventions and aspects of their design.  

Environmental interventions (particularly laws and policies that target youth) 
have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing drinking and related problems in 
the underage population at large.  Therefore, it has been argued that these 
types of interventions (constraining the availability of alcohol, enhancing 
enforcement of existing policies) have the potential to reduce alcohol 
problems among college students (Hingson et al., 1997).  One study of the 
effects of State drunk-driving laws that target youth and young adults 
indicated that the restrictiveness of these laws was inversely related to 
measures of college-student drinking, especially for males (Chaloupka and 
Wechsler, 1996).  That study also concluded that the number of alcohol outlets 
within one mile of campus and the presence of a bar on campus correlated 
positively with levels of drinking and "binge"drinking on campus.   

Generally speaking, however, the effects of existing environmental 
interventions and relevant environmental factors, such as campus bars, have 
not been tested in college communities.  Furthermore, environmental 
interventions specific to the unique characteristics of college campuses, such 
as campus alcohol policies, have not been systematically evaluated.  The 
intent of this RFA is to encourage research in this relatively neglected area, 
through tests of investigator-initiated interventions or through evaluations 
of naturally occurring interventions.  

For the purpose of this RFA, the concept of “environment” encompasses, but is 
not limited to:

- Availability of alcohol to students and alcohol promotions on and off 
campus;

- Campus policies, such as rules and administrative proclamations regarding 
alcohol use on campus, in dormitories, and at campus events;

- Disciplinary procedures, such as parental notification, mandatory 
counseling, and other sanctions for rule violations;

- Community characteristics and policies, including the proximity and density 
of bars, enforcement of the minimum legal drinking age and drunk driving 
laws, and tolerance for vandalism and public drunkenness;

- Housing patterns and characteristics, including the provision of substance 
free housing, supervision of residents, and enforcement of housing rules;

- The academic environment, including class and examination schedules and 
academic standards;

- Campus-wide alcohol norms and cultural factors that can contribute to 
expectations for heavy drinking and perceived permissiveness ,or 
alternatively serve as protective factors that restrain drinking;

- Policies and practices of campus health-care systems and providers with 
regard to alcohol abuse;

- Policies directed toward high risk groups, such as athletes or students in 
the Greek system;

- Emergency action plans by campus administrators in response to adverse 
alcohol-related injuries and deaths;

- Physical features of the campus and community, such as campus isolation.

The interventions being tested may involve changes in campus or community 
policies and practices to directly address factors contributing to abusive 
drinking, or they may involve changes in campus systems or structures to 
promote non-drinking norms.  Multi-component interventions may be tested that 
combine environmental strategies or link them with interventions that focus on 
individuals.  For example, the institution of new policies or changes in 
policy enforcement might be combined with interventions that target high-risk 
students.  The selection of interventions for study should be justified in 
terms of their potential impact on specific alcohol problems, adverse drinking 
practices, high-risk populations, and/or permissive social norms.  In 
addition, the feasibility of implementing the intervention should be 
discussed, as well as its generalizability, even where the choice of 
interventions is beyond the investigator’s control (i.e., natural 
experiments). 

A host of questions of concern to college administrators merit research under 
this RFA.  Illustratively:  To what extent should campuses be alcohol free?  
If alcohol is served on campus, what control measures are most effective in 
preventing drinking by minors and alcohol misuse among students of any age?   
Does reducing alcohol availability on and near campuses increase drinking and 
driving?  What disciplinary procedures are most effective? Is parental 
notification of policy violations an effective deterrent?  How might such a 
procedure be implemented?  Does reducing alcohol availability in the community 
reduce drinking by underage students?  Do promotions by the alcohol industry 
contribute to campus alcohol problems?  What preventive role could the media 
play?

Methodological Considerations

Tests of interventions must employ sound experimental designs or, where 
necessary and appropriate, quasi-experimental designs.  Both within-campus and 
multi-campus designs will be considered.  Even under conditions of a natural 
experiment, appropriate control or comparison groups are necessary.  Efforts 
should be made to ensure equivalency of intervention and comparison groups, 
which may require matching.  In selecting intervention and control sites, 
alcohol-related problems must be evident; and outcome measures must involve 
alcohol-related behaviors or events.  Examples include incidence or prevalence 
of drinking, high-risk drinking, alcohol-related public disturbances, 
destruction of property, vandalism, violence, date rape, emergency room 
admissions, arrests, and car crashes.  

Cognitive or attitudinal changes may be of interest as indicators of mediation 
processes, but they are not sufficient indicators of outcome.  Careful 
attention must be paid to the identification of outcome measures that are 
valid, reliable, and sensitive to change.  This may be problematic for campus-
wide or community indicators of alcohol problems that have a low baseline 
frequency and/or may not be reported consistently (e.g., assaults, car 
crashes; overdoses).  Measurement of outcome variables may be especially 
challenging in studies of policy changes or new campus-wide initiatives when 
investigators are not in control of the timing of "natural experiments.”   
There may not be sufficient lead time to collect adequate baseline data.  
Archival data may be used, but unless their scientific quality can be assured, 
additional outcome measures will be needed.  Pre-existing survey databases may 
be helpful, provided appropriate sampling techniques have been used.

Measurement of the intervention itself (the independent variable) can also be 
problematic when naturally-occurring or program-driven interventions are being 
evaluated, primarily because of the investigator’s lack of control over 
implementation.  However, similar problems arise when researchers themselves 
design and implement interventions in real-world environments.  In both cases 
process evaluations and the collection of retrospective data may be helpful.  
Where possible, sample sizes should be sufficiently large to permit subgroup 
analyses in terms of such factors as gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, 
involvement in campus activities, and pre-intervention risk.

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 sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification are provided indicating 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 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm:  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

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/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html. 

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.

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS

NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited 
publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has 
the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  
It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this 
amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the application. 
In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent 
statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider 
use of data collected under this award.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a 
descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, address, and telephone 
number of the Principal Investigator, the identities of other key personnel 
and participating institutions, and the number and title of the RFA in 
response to which the application may be submitted.  Although a letter of 
intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of 
a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NIAAA staff 
to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent January 18, 2002.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html must be used in 
applying for these.  This version of the PHS 398 is available in an 
interactive, searchable PDF format. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone 301/435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets. Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The 
just-in-time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when 
there is a possibility for an award. It is anticipated that these changes will 
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and NIH staff.  
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html is to be used in 
applying for these grants, with modular budget instructions provided in 
Section C of the application instructions.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be 
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Type the RFA 
number on the label.  Failure to use this label could result in delayed 
processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee 
in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on 
line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be 
marked. The RFA label is also available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf.

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 must be 
sent to:

Extramural Project Review Branch
ATTN: RFA AA02-001
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Blvd, Suite 409, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in the 
heading of this RFA.  If an application is received after that date, it will 
be returned to the applicant without review.
  
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The 
CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one 
already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of substantial 
revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must include 
an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by NIAAA.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will 
be returned to the applicant without further consideration.  If the 
application is not responsive to the RFA, CSR staff may contact the applicant 
to determine whether to return the application to the applicant or submit it 
for review in competition with unsolicited applications at the next review 
cycle.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by 
the NIAAA in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  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 the applications under review, 
will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level 
review by the NIAAA National Advisory Council.

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.

(1) Significance:  Does this study address an important problem? If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive 
this field?

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

(3) Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method? 
Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing 
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience 
level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

(5) Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional 
support?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o  The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their 
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 
evaluated.

o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research.

o  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans or the environment, to 
the extent they may be adversely affected by the project  proposed in the 
application.

Schedule

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    January  18, 2002
Application Receipt Date:         February 19, 2002
Peer Review Date:                 March-April 2002
Council Review:                   May 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 1, 2002

AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o  scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o  availability of funds
o  programmatic priorities.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

For Epidemiology and Natural History:

Vivian B. Faden, Ph.D.
Division of Biometry and Epidemiology
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard MSC 7003, Suite 514
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express mail/courier)
Telephone:  (301) 594-6232
FAX:  (301) 443-8614
Email:  vfaden@willco.niaaa.nih.gov

For Prevention and Intervention:

Gayle Boyd, Ph.D.
Division of Clinical and Prevention Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard MSC 7003, Suite 505
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express mail/courier)
Telephone:  (301) 443-8766
FAX:  (301) 443-8774
Email:  gboyd@willco.niaaa.nih.gov


Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Judy Fox Simons
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 505
6000 executive Blvd. (MSC-7003)
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
(For express mail use:  Rockville, MD  20852)
Telephone:  (301) 443-2434
Email:  jsimons@willco.niaaa.nih.gov


AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.273.  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the 
Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered 
under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 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 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.

REFERENCES

Chaloupka, F.J. and Wechsler, H. (1996) Binge drinking in college: The impact 
of price, availability, and alcohol control policies. Contemporary Economic 
Policy, 14 (4), 112-124.
Gfroerer, J.C., Greenblatt, J.C. & Wright, D.A. (1997) Substance use in the US 
college-age population: Differences according to educational status and living 
arrangement. AJPH, 87, 62-65.
Hingson, R., Berson, J. and Dowley, K. (1997) Interventions to reduce college 
student drinking and related health and social problems. In Plant, M., Single, 
E., and Stockwell, T. (eds.) Alcohol: Minimising the Harm, What Works? New 
York: Free Association Books.


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