Full Text AA-94-008

ALCOHOL RESEARCH CENTER GRANTS

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 22, June 10, 1994

RFA:  AA-94-008

P.T. 04

Keywords: 
  Alcohol/Alcoholism 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  December 1, 1994
Application Receipt Date:  January 19, 1995

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
provides grant support for Alcohol Research Centers to conduct
interdisciplinary research on alcoholism and alcohol abuse.  The
Center grants program is interrelated with and complementary to all
other research support mechanisms and scientific activities that
comprise the NIAAA programs of research on the nature, causes, and
consequences of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, including diagnosis,
treatment, prevention, and health services research related to
prevention and treatment of alcoholism.

The NIAAA currently supports 14 Centers and anticipates that the
level of support for this program will not expand during this
competition.  Support for four of the current five-year Center grant
awards will expire in late 1995.  Research within each of these four
Centers is organized around a central theme, respectively, adolescent
alcohol abuse, alcoholism treatment, epidemiology of alcohol
problems, and pathologic effects of alcohol.  Applications for new
Centers in these and other research areas will be accepted with
applications from currently funded Centers seeking renewal support.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This RFA,
Alcohol Research Center Grants, is related to the priority area of
alcohol abuse and alcoholism reduction.  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 202-783-3238).

ELIGIBILITY

Any domestic public (non-Federal) or private non-profit or for-profit
institution may apply for a Center grant.  However, the proposed
Center must be affiliated with an institution, such as a university,
medical center, or research center, that has the resources to sustain
a long-term, coordinated research program.  An applicant institution
must demonstrate the ability to attract high-quality scientists from
biomedical, behavioral, and/or social science disciplines who are
willing to make a long-term commitment to research.  An application
must also have a detailed five-year plan for a proposed research
program.  In addition, the applicant must assure that research
training opportunities will be available.  Women and minority
investigators are encouraged to apply.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The Alcohol Research Centers Grant program is designed to complement
the regular research project grants program of the NIAAA by providing
long-term (typically, for five years) support for interdisciplinary
research programs with a distinct focus on a particular theme
relating to alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and other alcohol-related
problems.  The program is intended to encourage outstanding
scientists from biomedical, behavioral, social science, and other
relevant disciplines to bring a full range of expertise, approaches,
and advanced technologies to the study of problems related to alcohol
abuse and alcoholism.  Center grants help to provide a stable
environment for investigators to engage in alcohol research in a
coordinated and integrated effort.  A Center is expected to be a
source of scientific excellence and, through sustained excellence, to
become a significant regional or national research resource.  In
addition, the applicant institution is expected to afford
opportunities for research training to persons from various
disciplines and professions.

A specialized Center (P50) is a comprehensive, broad-based
multidisciplinary, multi-investigator, long-term program of combined
research and research support activity planned around a specific
major research objective or research theme.  In addition to providing
support for shared resources, this type of Center supports a full
range of basic, developmental, clinical, and/or applied research
components; allows for growth and development through pilot projects;
and is intended to provide state-of-the-art leadership in the alcohol
field.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

It is estimated that approximately $6 to 7 million will be available
in FY 1996 to fund approximately four Centers.  The total cost for a
Center may not exceed $1.7 million per year.  Continuation support in
the future years is anticipated.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

All proposed research to be conducted within a Center must be clearly
directed toward one or more of the following goals: prevalence,
etiology, diagnosis, prediction, clinical course, management or
treatment of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, or alcohol-related health
problems; health services research; consequences of alcoholism or
alcohol abuse; and factors that relate to prevention of alcohol
abuse, alcoholism, or other problems associated with alcohol
consumption.  For example, research to improve knowledge of the
impact of alcohol use on related health problems, such as liver and
gastrointestinal disorders; nicotine and other drug abuse;
neurological impairment; and mental disorders that co-occur with
alcohol abuse disorders, is also encouraged.

The Alcohol Research Center grant provides a mechanism for fostering
interdisciplinary cooperation in a group of established investigators
conducting high-quality alcohol research.  Therefore, existence of a
strong research capability is fundamental to the establishment of a
new Center or the continuation of an existing Center.  A Center
should be an identifiable organizational unit within an institutional
or organizational structure such as a university, medical center, or
a consortium of affiliated cooperating institutions.

Center Components

The following paragraphs describe the specific components of
a Center application:

Administrative Core Component

A Center should promote synergistic interaction of broad and diverse
elements that require clearly specified lines of authority and
accountability by appropriate institutional officials.  The purpose
of the administrative core component is to provide the organizational
framework for the management, direction, and coordination of the
Center.  The administrative core component must be managed by the
Center Director or Scientific Director and may include funds for
scientific enrichment activities such as special lectures, visiting
scientists, symposia, seminars, workshops etc.; and for education and
research dissemination activities for the public.

Scientific Core Components

Core components for this RFA are defined as shared research resources
that enhance productivity or in other ways benefit a group of
investigators working in alcohol-related research to accomplish the
stated goals of the Center.  A core component is a laboratory,
facility, service, or other resource that interacts synergistically
with research projects of the Center.  Research projects that use the
core may be funded primarily from the Center grant award (Specialized
Research Center), from other support mechanisms such as Research
Project Grants, Program Projects, or a combination thereof, that have
relevance to the NIAAA mission.  Core components should provide
investigators with some technique, instrumentation, service, or
resource in a way that will enhance research progress and contribute
to effectiveness.  Each core component is directed by an investigator
with established expertise relative to the support or service to be
provided, usually a faculty-level individual. Some examples of
research support that core components typically provide are:  (1)
technology that implements automation or large batch preparation; (2)
tissue and/or cell culture facilities; (3) complex instrumentation,
e.g., electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, electrophysiology; (4)
animal care and preparation; (5) service and training; (6) patient
coordination; and (7) information processing, data management, and
statistical services.

Research Components

Research components are individual scientific research projects,
interrelated within the overall Center program so that the components
contribute collectively to the goals of the Center program to a
greater extent than if each project were pursued separately.  Each
research component must be a highly focussed project under the
direction of a component director.  The component director should be
an established researcher of independent and scientifically
recognized standing who is responsible for the scientific direction
and conduct of the individual research component.  A Center Director
or Scientific Director may also serve as a component director.

Pilot Project Component

The purpose of pilot projects is to provide the Center with a
flexible means to develop and explore new research activities or
directions, and unique scientific opportunities that could evolve
into independently funded research projects.  These funds are not
intended to supplement ongoing research projects.  Pilot projects
must be in a separate pilot project component that incorporates all
of the pilot studies of the proposed Center grant.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The following paragraphs describe the general requirements for a
Center application.  Details for preparing the application are
provided in the "Supplemental Instructions," which are available from
the program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

Center grant applications should be organized into discrete
components that comprise a proposed program of research.  Each
component is either a research component or a core component for
which a separate detailed budget is included in the application.  The
application must include an administrative core and at least three
research components; it may also include shared resource cores and/or
a pilot project component.

The minimum acceptable combined number of research components and
core components is four (an administrative core and three research
components).  The maximum combined number of research components and
core components, including a pilot project component, is 10 for the
total project period.  More than a total of 10 components is not
acceptable even if some components are in operation for less than the
five-year period.  The research plan for each core component and each
research component is limited to 25 pages.  Pages not used for one
component may not be used to extend the page limit of other
components/cores.  These page limits do not apply to pilot projects.
For pilot project requirements, see section entitled "Pilot Project
Component," (below).

Administrative Core Component

The administrative core component plays a key role in the
coordination and operation of the Center.  This core should be
described in sufficient detail to assure that all proposed components
and related activities will function optimally.  An important
function of this core is the administration of the budget.  Through
this component, the Center Director provides substantive leadership
and manages the administrative core component.  This component may
also include the costs of scientific enrichment, education, and
information dissemination activities.  The administrative core should
also provide for integration of Center functions.

Scientific Core Components

Each shared resource component should be clearly described in terms
of the services/resources to be provided to investigators.  The
description should include a discussion of the core's contributions
to the research objectives of the Center.  Relevant aspects of cost
effectiveness, time-saving, and increased efficiency attributable to
the existence of the cores should also be addressed.  A core
component may support Center grant research components and separately
funded research project grants that are related to the Center's
theme.  Each separately funded research project associated with the
Center and utilizing core facilities should have a brief description
that includes its research objectives and how the Center's core
facility will impact upon it.  The minimum number of research
components/projects supported by a core component is two.  A core
component director who has documented experience and scientific
expertise relative to the purpose of the core must be designated for
each core.  This person should be an established scientist in his or
her field.  The description of the organization and mode of operation
of the shared resource core should include discussion of quality
control for the service or resource, and the procedures for
evaluating and selecting projects eligible for use of the facility.
Training in complex techniques and methods should be described if
they are functions in proposed cores.  Core components are intended
to enhance opportunities for investigators at the Center to include
new technologies that broaden their research initiatives.  Research
support or evaluation activity is appropriate for a core when it is
directly related to improving operation, resources, quality, or
utility of the core.

In renewal applications, ongoing or completed core activity that has
enhanced or facilitated research should be described.  Past
performance and accomplishments of cores should be described, as
should the effect of services provided by cores on investigators'
productivity.

Research Components

For each proposed research component, a clear description of the
major goals, objectives, and its integration with the other
components in relation to the overall Center program should be
provided.

o  The question(s) to be addressed and the hypotheses to be tested by
the proposed research should be highly focused and fully explained.

o  A discussion of the design and procedures should describe the
strategies proposed to accomplish the specific aims of the project
and highlight innovative aspects of the approach.

o  A description of the resources and working arrangements required
to implement and conduct the proposed research should be fully
elaborated with particular attention devoted to a description of
necessary resources, subjects, clinical populations, tissue
resources, etc., which will be involved in proposed studies.

All proposed research components need not be ongoing at any one time,
but may be phased in at different time points during the life of the
proposed Center grant.  At least 3 research components must be
ongoing at all times, and no more than 10 research and/or core
components may be proposed over the entire project period.  This
aspect should receive careful attention in the application and
individual component preparation.

Pilot Project Component

Pilot projects should be adequately, though concisely described.  For
every year that funds are requested for pilot projects, the
application must provide descriptions of the project to be supported.
While the specific number of pilot projects to be proposed is at the
discretion of the applicant, requested funding for pilot studies may
not exceed $100,000 or 10 percent (whichever is larger) of the direct
cost budget proposed for any one year.  All proposed pilot projects
need not be ongoing at any one time, but may be phased in at
different points during the life of the proposed Center grant. It is
also recognized that the relative priority or need for specific pilot
projects may change over the course of time.

While the Center's framework for management of pilot funds and the
mechanism for operating the program are left to the discretion of the
Center, the application must provide specific information to enable
adequate scientific evaluation by a peer review committee.  The
application should include:
o  A full description of the management of the pilot project
component, including a description of the process to be followed by
the Center Director in selecting new pilot projects should a need
arise to replace any of the pilots contained in the application.

o  A full description of each proposed pilot study including its
rationale, objectives, approach, investigators, and significance for
the Center.  The research description of any individual pilot project
may not exceed eight pages; the entire narrative for this Pilot
Project Component may not exceed 50 pages irrespective of the number
of pilot projects proposed.

o  For competing renewal applications, information should be provided
on the past experience of the Center in utilizing pilot funds to
further the goals.  The narrative should include an assessment of the
overall benefits derived from the availability of pilot resources.

A budget should be submitted for the pilot project component as a
whole.  In addition, budget information should be provided for each
individual pilot project.

See "Supplemental Instructions" for further information on pilot
project description requirements.

Renewal Applications

A comprehensive progress report is required for competing
continuation (renewal) applications.  A statement must be included in
the application regarding the progress made by the Center as a whole
in its development as a national or regional research resource.  In
addition, for each research component of the existing Center grant, a
succinct account of its published and unpublished results must be
provided, indicating progress toward achieving aims regardless of
whether the component has been submitted for renewal.  More specific
details are provided in the special instructions appended to this
announcement.

Facilities and Environment

Applicants must demonstrate the availability of adequate laboratory,
clinical, and office facilities needed to carry out the objectives of
the proposed Center program.  Although not required, it is desirable
for all Centers to have a commitment for sufficient contiguous space
so that the Center has a high degree of cohesion and visibility.
Reference facilities affording access to the relevant literature must
be readily available.  It is expected that such reference facilities
will be the primary repository of additional reference materials that
may be obtained through Center funding.  Relevant support services,
including adequate data processing facilities, must also be readily
accessible within or through the institution.  Assurances of such
support must be included with the proposal.

Organization and Administration

A Center must be an identifiable organizational unit with an
administrative structure and clear lines of authority which will
facilitate coordination among Center personnel to assure maximum
accountability and efficiency in Center operations.  An applicant
must designate an institutional official to serve as principal
investigator for the Center grant and as Director of the Center.  The
institutional appointment of this person must provide sufficient
authority to allocate space, personnel, and other resources essential
to the Center.  This individual must demonstrate the ability to
organize, administer, and direct the Center.  The Director of the
Center will have responsibility for planning and coordination of the
Center program, preparation of the budget and oversight of
expenditures, staff appointments, space allocation, and other aspects
of management and operation of the Center.

Overall program management, coordination, communication, progress
assessment, and quality control are typically responsibilities of the
Director and are facilitated through the administrative core.  The
administrative core should be described in sufficient detail to
assure that all proposed components and related activities will
function optimally.  In addition, day-to-day operations involving
procurement, finances, personnel, planning, and budgeting should be
detailed in the description of this core.

The applicant may also designate a Scientific Director who will be
responsible to the Center Director and provide direct supervision of
the scientific and operational aspects of the research program.  Such
a person should be an individual who has established scientific
credentials and who is capable of providing the leadership essential
to the success of the research program.  The Scientific Director will
be responsible for assuring interaction and collaboration among
scientists conducting research within the Center to facilitate a
concerted approach to the research goals of the Center.  The
Scientific Director also will be responsible for the direct
monitoring of ongoing research and for identifying (with the
assistance of colleagues) research activities to be expanded or
decreased and needs for additional resources or reallocation of
resources.  If the Center Director also serves as the Scientific
Director, his or her functions as Scientific Director should also be
described.

Key professional staff, such as directors of individual research
components and core components of the Center, should have the
necessary training/experience to assure that the objectives and goals
of the proposed studies will be achieved.  Such persons must be
established investigators with proven track records.

A Program Advisory Committee shall be established and chaired by the
Center Director.  Its membership, selected by the Center Director
from individuals outside the Center, should be composed of at least
five members who should be identified in the application.  Members
should be persons of recognized scientific standing who are generally
familiar with the Center's activities and represent a cross-section
of disciplines that are relevant to the work of the proposed Center.
It shall be the responsibility of this Committee to review and make
recommendations to the Center Director on the conduct of all
activities of the Center, including the conduct of pilot projects.

Training

While the primary function of each Center is the conduct of
high-quality interdisciplinary research, an important component
related to the Center and its research efforts is the training of
research and clinical personnel.  The applicant institution must
therefore demonstrate or give reasonable assurances that it has:

(a)  the capacity to train predoctoral and/or postdoctoral students
for careers in alcohol research; and

(b)  the capacity to conduct programs of continuing education in the
Center's designated research theme in the medical, behavioral, and
health service fields.

While the Center need not necessarily have formal training programs
of its own, there must be specific provision for coordination between
the Center and the training programs of the applicant institution
and/or affiliated institutions.  Center grant funds may not be used
to pay stipends or other trainee costs; however, Center staff may
participate in the development of training programs, and Center
resources may be made available for use of trainees.

STUDY POPULATIONS

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations) which
have been in effect since 1990.  The new policy contains some new
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research", which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 9, 1994 (FR 59 11146-11151), and reprinted
in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of March 18, 1994, Volume
23, Number 11.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the
program staff or contact person listed below.  Program staff may also
provide additional relevant information concerning the policy.

Terms and Conditions of Support

Center grant funds may be requested for support of core components
and individual research components associated with the Center
program.  Administrative core resources may include, for example,
salaries of personnel responsible for management of the Center,
program enrichment activities such as special lectures, visiting
scientists, symposia, seminars, workshops, etc., and costs related to
dissemination of research information to the scientific community and
lay public.  Funds may be requested for costs associated with
individual research components which are part of the Center program.
Examples of such costs include:  research staff salaries, supplies,
travel, special consultation, research patient costs, publication
costs, and the like.  Funds also may be requested for the allowable
indirect costs of the applicant organization.  In addition, costs of
advisory committees, steering committees, and consultants may be
included in the administrative core.  Consultants for specific
research components should be included in the budgets for those
components.  If committees other than the Program Advisory Committee
are included, specific plans as to how the committees will be
selected and how they will function should be presented in the
application.

Alcohol Research Center grant funds may be used only for costs that
are necessary to carry out the research and research support
activities of the Center program, and must be in conformance with HHS
cost principles (encompassed in 45 CFR Part 74) and the Public Health
Service Grants Policy Statement (rev. 4/94).  This publication should
be available from your office of sponsored research.

Funds provided under this program may not be used for the purchase of
land; nor for the purchase, construction, preservation, or repair of
any building.  However, costs of alteration and renovation of
existing facilities necessary to accomplish the objectives of the
grant may be allowed subject to PHS grants policy limitations.  Funds
provided through Center grants may not be used for support of trainee
stipends, fees, or other expenses directly relating to training
activities.  Support will be provided for a period of up to five
years (renewable for subsequent periods) subject to continued
availability of funds and scientific progress.  Applicants may
request up to $1.7 million total cost (including direct and indirect
costs combined) per year.  The actual amount of support awarded will
depend upon consideration of factors listed under AWARD CRITERIA.

The Center grant is neither expected nor intended to cover all costs
of running a successful Alcohol Research Center program.  Research
and training activities associated with the Center may receive
additional funding from Federal sources as well as from State and
local sources.  NIAAA expects and encourages the institution and
scientists attracted to such Centers to seek and compete actively for
such funding.  Research staff in funded Centers may submit
applications for independent research project grants for support of
research projects that do not overlap with their Center project.

Centers will be required to submit detailed annual progress reports
including substantive information about research results to date,
status of ongoing research, research plans for the next year, and any
modifications in long-term research plans.  Also required are
reporting of inventions, reports of expenditures, final reports, and
other reports in accordance with PHS policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by December 1, 1994, 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 subsequent applications, the information
that it contains allows NIAAA staff to estimate the potential review
workload and to avoid conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Ernestine Vanderveen, Ph.D.
Centers Program
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 402
6000 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-1273
FAX:  (301) 594-0673

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research; from the Office of Grant
Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of
Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, Maryland 20892,
telephone 301-435-0714; and from the NIAAA program administrator
named below under INQUIRIES.  Applications must be received by
January 19, 1995.

The RFA label available in the PHS (rev. 9/91) application form must
be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.
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 2a of the face page of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.  Page limits and limits on size of type are strictly
enforced.  Page limitations, including those for appendices, are
specified in the Supplemental Instructions for Preparing an Alcohol
Research Center Grant application.  Non-conforming applications will
be returned without being reviewed.

Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research
Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH Division of Research Resources may
wish to identify the Center as a resource for conducting the proposed
research.  If so, a letter of agreement from either the GCRC program
director or principal investigator should be included in the
application material.

The signed original, including the checklist, and three signed,
legible copies of the completed application must be sent to:

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

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

Mark Green, Ph.D.
Extramural Project Review Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 409
6000 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-4375
FAX:  (301) 443-6077

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

The Division of Research Grants (DRG), NIH, serves as a central point
for receipt of applications for most discretionary PHS grant
programs.  Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for
completeness by DRG and responsiveness by the NIAAA.  Incomplete
applications will be returned to the applicant without further
consideration.  If NIAAA staff find that the application is not
responsive to the RFA, it will be returned without further
consideration.

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, a
process (triage) may be used by the initial review group in which
applications will be determined to be competitive or non-competitive
based on their scientific merit relative to other applications
received in response to the RFA.  Applications judged to be
competitive will be discussed and be assigned a priority score.
Applications determined to be non-competitive will be withdrawn from
further consideration and the principal investigator/program director
and the official signing for the applicant organization will be
promptly notified.

Review Criteria

The initial review for scientific and technical merit of applications
will emphasize two major aspects:  (1) review of the Center as an
integrated research effort focused on a central theme, including the
administrative core; and (2) the review of each research component
and all other core components.  The review will also include an
assessment of the academic and physical environment and special
considerations, e.g., compliance with human subject and animal
welfare requirements, and compliance with policies concerning
inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research study
populations.

1.  The Center as an Integrated Effort

o  The significance of the overall research goals and development of
a well-defined central research theme.

o  Multidisciplinary scope of the Center.

o  Center cohesiveness, coordination, and interrelation; and the
synergistic potential among the Center components and core units.

o  The qualifications, experience, and administrative competence of
the Center Director; and his or her commitment and ability to devote
substantial time and effort to the Center.

o  The scientific ability of the Scientific Director and his or her
professional experience and leadership.

o  The justification of the core components in terms of accomplishing
the Center objectives, and their usefulness to the research
components and/or independently supported investigators who utilize
the core services or facilities.

o  The justification of individual research components in terms of
the overall research goals and the central research theme of the
Center and their relation to other research components.

o  The scientific qualifications and ability of the directors of the
research project components and/or the core components, the extent to
which each of the directors will contribute to overall Center goals,
and their commitment to the Center.

o  Administrative arrangements and organizational structure of the
administrative core to facilitate and monitor attainment of Center
objectives and maintain quality control of ongoing projects.  These
factors include:

-  plans for communication and cooperation among investigators
involved in the Center;

-  mechanisms for allocation of funds and core resources and
selecting meritorious replacement pilot projects if this becomes
necessary;

-  quality control, oversight;

-  day-to-day management, long-term planning, and periodic
evaluation;

-  contractual and consortium arrangements; and

-  procedures for replacement of key persons, if necessary.

o  Appropriateness of the overall budget for the work proposed in the
Center.

o  Potential of the Center to become or maintain itself as a regional
and national resource, including capacity to provide quality research
training, opportunities for independent research career development,
and plans for research information dissemination and education
activities.

o  In addition, applications for renewal support will be evaluated in
terms of the degree to which the Center has achieved stated goals
with special attention to:

-  the scientific merit of completed research;

-  recruitment of new scientists into alcohol research;

-  development of a multidisciplinary research team; and

-  coalescence of the Center staff into an effective team.

2.  Individual Research Components and Core Components, including the
Pilot Project Component

o  The scientific and technical merit of each research component and
each core component.

o  The significance of each research and core component and its
relation to the central theme of the Center.

o  Evidence of quality control of proposed core component's services,
resources, facilities.

o  The qualifications, experience, and commitment of the component
director responsible for the research component and/or core
component, including his or her ability to devote adequate time and
effort to the Center.

o  The appropriateness of the budget request for each of the proposed
research project components and/or core components, administrative
core, and any pilot project core component.

o  For pilot projects, the potential of the proposed study as a
building block in the development of future research.

3.  Resources and Environment

In addition to the scientific components, e.g., research project and
core components, the initial review group will also evaluate:

o  The academic and physical environment in which the research will
be conducted, including availability of space, equipment, research
subjects and materials, and the potential for interaction with
scientists from other departments and other institutions.

o  The institutional strength, stability, commitment to research and
support for the Center, including fiscal responsibility and
management capability to assist the Center Director and staff in
complying with HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

o  Opportunities for research training and education for persons from
various disciplines and professions.

4.  Other Considerations

o  When an application proposes research or research-related activity
that involves potential risks to human subjects, animals, and/or the
environment, the adequacy of the proposed means for protecting
against such risks must be demonstrated for each component.

o  Specific statements addressing compliance with NIH policies on
inclusion of women and minorities in studies involving human
subjects.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications recommended for approval by the National Advisory
Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism will be considered for
funding on the basis of the overall merit of the application, as well
as such considerations as program balance, relevance to the mission
and goals of NIAAA, research program priorities, equitable geographic
distribution, continuity of support, and availability of funds.
Awards will be made for up to five-year project periods with separate
fiscal awards made annually.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Ernestine Vanderveen, Ph.D.
Centers Program
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 402
6000 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-1273
FAX:  (301) 594-0673

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Edward Ellis
Office of Planning and Resource Management
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 504
6000 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-4703
FAX:  (301) 443-3891

Relationship to NIAAA

In view of the special significance of this program, close
coordination and communication between the NIAAA staff and staff of
the Alcohol Research Centers is intended.  The NIAAA program official
will have responsibility for maintaining liaison with appropriate
Center leadership, serving as resource consultant to the Center
program, and keeping NIAAA staff informed on progress and
accomplishments of the Centers.  In addition, the program official
with other NIAAA staff and consultants will, from time to time, make
on-site visits for purposes of program coordination and exchange of
information.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, No. 93.891.  Awards are made under the authorization of
the Public Health Service Act, Sections 301 and 464J, and
administered under the PHS policies and Federal Regulations at Title
42 CFR Part 549, "Grants for National Alcohol Research Centers;"
Title 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, "Administration of Grants;" and 45 CFR
Part 46, "Protections of Human Subjects."  This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The Public Health Service strongly encourages all grant recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco
products.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and
advance the physical and mental health of the American people.

.

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