Full Text AG-94-001

CLAUDE D. PEPPER OLDER AMERICANS INDEPENDENCE CENTERS

NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 23, June 25, 1993

RFA:  AG-94-001

P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Aging/Gerontology 
  Neuroscience 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 
  Disease Prevention+ 
  Health Promotion 
  Treatment, Medical+ 


National Institute on Aging

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 1, 1993
Application Receipt Date:  December 9, 1993

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications for
support of Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers
(OAICs).  The purpose of these centers is to increase independence in
older Americans.  OAICs will provide support for research to develop
and test clinical interventions and core laboratories in the basic
sciences.  OAICs will also train individuals in research approaches
to develop and test methods of maintaining and increasing
independence and enhance expertise in aging research through the
provision of training in the relevant fundamental scientific
disciplines.  They will conduct demonstration projects and
information dissemination concerning the applications of such
research.  Centers should promote linkages between mechanistic and
outcome research and thereby foster the capacity of new investigators
to develop better clinical treatments and preventive approaches.  It
is recognized that the balance between support devoted to
intervention studies and fundamental science will differ among
Centers to take advantage of areas of strength in geriatric and
gerontologic research available at different institutions.  In those
instances where applications request significant core resources to
enhance ongoing projects, the number and quality of externally funded
peer-reviewed studies will be of special importance.  OAICs may
support a broad range of geriatric and aging research.  However,
applications with a predominant focus in neuroscience or the
behavioral and social sciences are more appropriate for other NIA
centers programs with a primary focus in these disciplines.

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 Request
for Applications (RFA), Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence
Centers, is related to the priority area of chronic disabling
conditions.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of Healthy People
2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.017-001-00473-1) or "Healthy People
2000" (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 REQUIREMENTS

Only U.S. organizations are eligible to apply.  Applications may be
submitted by 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.  Applications with Program Directors who are
minority individuals and/or women are encouraged.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Older Americans Independence Centers will be supported through the
comprehensive center grant (P60) mechanism.  The awarding of funds
pursuant to this RFA is contingent on availability of funds.  All
pertinent DHHS, PHS, and NIH grant regulations, policies and
procedures are applicable.  Business management aspects of the awards
will be administered in accordance with DHHS and PHS grant
administration requirements by the NIH, as stated in the Public
Health Service Grants policy statement, DHHS Publication No. (OASH)
90-50,000, revised October 1, 1991.  Applications and management of
grants will be subject to applicable PHS and NIH grant policies and
NIA guidelines.

First year budgets may not exceed $1,100,000 (direct plus indirect
costs).  Budget increments for subsequent years generally will be
limited to no more than one percent.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Although it is anticipated that up to $2.2 million will be directed
to the support of competing OAICs in Fiscal Year 1994, and that two
awards will be made, issuance of Older Americans Independence Center
awards is contingent upon the receipt of scientifically meritorious
applications and allocation of appropriated funds for this purpose.
In addition to FY 1994 awards, other applications responding to this
RFA may be funded in Fiscal Year 1995, depending on quality of
applications and availability of funds.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Millions of older Americans suffer from loss of abilities needed to
live fully independently.  Loss of independence imposes enormous
personal and financial burdens on older persons and their families.
The annual cost to the Nation for care of dependent older persons
totals billions of dollars.

Dependence is not inevitable in old age.  It results from disabling
conditions that are potentially, if not currently, preventible or
reversible.  The development and testing of interventions to reduce
disability and increase independence thus offers immense benefits and
potential savings in health care costs.

To date, efforts to develop such interventions and test their
efficacy in maintaining and increasing independence have been modest
and the number of researchers with the abilities to conduct such
research has been small.  There is a need for more researchers and
research teams with the ability to:

(1) Conduct controlled clinical trials of promising interventions
against disabling conditions of older persons.

(2) Fill gaps in knowledge of the pathophysiology of disabling
conditions, the mechanisms affecting the responses to treatment, and
development and testing of improved treatments based on this
knowledge.

(3) Develop and test ways of applying independence-enhancing advances
in treatment within the American health care system.

The combination of these three abilities would allow the conduct of
concerted research programs to increase independence for older
Americans.  The Claude D. Pepper OAIC program is designed to expand
this research and the number of researchers capable of conducting it.

Specifically, as authorized under amendments to Section 445A of the
Public Health Service Act, each OAIC will conduct:  "research into
the aging processes and into the diagnosis and treatment of diseases,
disorders and complications related to aging, including menopause,
which research includes research on such treatments, and on medical
devices and other medical interventions regarding such diseases,
disorders and complications, that can assist individuals in avoiding
institutionalization and prolonged hospitalization and in otherwise
increasing the independence of the individuals and programs to
develop individuals capable of conducting research in these areas."
As defined by Section 445A of the Public Health Service Act, "the
term independence, with respect to diseases, disorders, and
complications of aging, means the functional ability of individuals
to perform activities of daily living or instrumental activities of
daily living without assistance or supervision."

The overall goals of the OAIC program are to:

(1) facilitate the development and testing of interventions to
increase or maintain abilities needed for independence of older
persons.

(2) use knowledge gained in these intervention studies in developing
and testing improved interventions.

(3) strengthen core laboratories in the basic sciences as they relate
to aging research and to train researchers in the techniques of
fundamental research relevant to studies in aging and geriatric
medicine.

(4) train researchers capable of leading and conducting research
programs as described in (1), (2), and (3) above.  OAIC research
projects should provide opportunities for the training of such
researchers.

(5) translate OAIC research findings into improvements in health care
practice through demonstration and dissemination projects.

The components of OAICs derive from these goals.  OAICs will support:

Intervention Studies (IS) and Intervention Development Studies (IDS)

At least one Intervention Study or Intervention Development Study
which utilizes human subjects must be eligible for funding following
peer review to qualify as an OAIC.

Intervention Studies

Proposed intervention studies must test the efficacy of interventions
to prevent or ameliorate functional impairments contributing to loss
of independence.  Studies may be of effects on long-term disability
and/or temporary disability following illness or injury.  In studies
of prevention interventions, a focus on subgroups at high risk for
disability is encouraged where appropriate.

All Intervention Studies should measure direct effects on functional
status and have adequate statistical power to determine important
intervention effects on functional abilities.  Central in the
evaluation of these studies will be the adequacy and appropriateness
of the plans for measurement of changes in functional status.
Measures of related medical and physiologic endpoints are encouraged
wherever pertinent.

Because older persons with several health problems are at especially
high risk for disability, determinations of the efficacy of
interventions in such persons, and analyses of the effects of
different health problems on treatment efficacy, are encouraged where
feasible.  Tests of interventions specifically designed against
disabilities resulting from the interaction of two or more comorbid
conditions are also encouraged.

Besides measurements of intervention effects on the above outcomes,
each proposed intervention study must also include planned
investigations of:

o  Mechanisms underlying the interventions' effects on functional
status, to provide a basis for further improvements in interventions.
Intervention interactions with intermediary response variables such
as underlying disease mechanisms, symptoms, and behavioral factors
should be measured and analyzed as needed for this purpose.

o  Factors affecting recruitment into the study and participants'
compliance, to provide data for potential wider applications of the
interventions are considered pertinent and must be included.

o  Cost-effectiveness and effects on health care utilization (e.g.,
hospitalizations, nursing home admissions and stays, use of home care
services) of the intervention(s) tested.

Proposals for intervention studies that do not contain the above
elements will be returned to applicants.

Examples of types of interventions for study include:

o  Interventions to prevent or reduce frailty and increase physical
performance abilities.  Exercise, nutritional, pharmacologic,
rehabilitative, surgical, and other interventions against disorders
such as osteoarthritis, congestive heart failure, chronic pulmonary
disease, pathologic loss of muscle mass and/or strength,
protein-calorie malnutrition, dizziness, and gait and balance
problems are encouraged.

o  Interventions to reduce risk of disabling events such as hip
fractures and strokes, and to reduce impairments following these
events.  Studies of interventions against osteoporosis and to prevent
hip fracture, and studies of techniques to improve functional status
after hip fracture and strokes are encouraged.

o  Interventions to prevent or reduce disabling side effects from
medication use.  Examples include drug withdrawal studies and testing
of non-pharmacologic therapeutic alternatives, as well as testing
improved pharmacologic agents or regimens.

o  Interventions to prevent, lessen, or shorten temporary disability
from exacerbation or complications of chronic diseases of older
persons.  Examples include transient disability associated with
exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease, deconditioning during
hospitalization, and acute confusional states.

o  Interventions to prevent or reduce disabling sequelae of menopause
and associated estrogen deficiency.  Examples include osteoporotic
fractures and urge incontinence.

o  Combined intervention strategies to prevent or ameliorate
disabilities in older persons with several impairments.

The above list is not exhaustive and is not intended to reflect NIA
priorities.  All studies of promising interventions to enhance
independence in older persons are encouraged.  No priority is placed
on having a diversity of intervention topics associated with a single
OAIC.  Applicants may find it advantageous to concentrate on one or a
few topics in which their strengths are greatest.

Subjects for these studies may include older persons living at home,
recipients of home care, nursing home residents, hospitalized
patients, and those in other pertinent clinical settings, as
appropriate to each intervention study. Organizational liaisons
involving one or more medical centers, nursing homes, home care
services, and other care organizations are encouraged wherever
appropriate for the conduct of OAIC activities.

All activities to be performed by proposed cores as part of
Intervention Studies should be clearly described in the plans for the
Intervention Study itself.  Examples include functional assessment
and biostatistical support.

Intervention Development Studies

The OAIC center grant may also support other studies to identify,
develop, or refine potential interventions to preserve or increase
independence.  Each proposed Intervention Development Study should
present a complete plan for conduct of the proposed research,
analogous in the level of detail to an individual research project
grant proposal.  It should be presented in sufficient detail to allow
for full scientific review.

Types of such studies include:

o  Tests of therapies on physiologic factors known to affect
functional status.  Both beneficial and adverse effects may be
studied.

o  Studies to identify or confirm reversible or preventible risk
factors for disability and/or disabling events.  Examples include
diseases, and previously unidentified pathophysiologic changes
leading to functional impairment and/or disabling events.
Large-scale epidemiologic studies are outside the scope of this RFA.

o  Studies of experimental therapeutics directed at the prevention or
treatment of morbid conditions associated with aging.  Research
utilizing animal and/or human subjects is appropriate.  (If a study
utilizing animal subjects is proposed, another study utilizing human
subjects must be included in the IS/IDS section.)

All activities to be performed by proposed cores as part of
Intervention Development Studies should be clearly described in the
plans for the Intervention Development Study itself.  Examples
include functional assessment, biostatistical support, etc.

Research Resources Cores (RRC)

Applicants may request core resource support to enhance the quality
of OAIC research projects, i.e., Intervention Studies, Intervention
Development Studies, and Pilot Research Projects.  RRCs for the
support of laboratories in the fundamental sciences as they relate to
aging research or geriatric medical subspecialties may be requested
as well.  RRCs may also provide support for research projects
relevant to the mission of OAICs whose major support is independent
of the OAIC.  Opportunities to participate in the scientific
activities of RRCs should serve to enhance the development of
research skills of young investigators and where appropriate should
encourage linkages between fundamental science and clinical
intervention research.

Applicants may not propose a core unless it supports at least two
projects (otherwise the core could simply be included in the one
project it supports).  The justification for proposed cores
(including number of projects each would support) will be evaluated
by peer reviewers.  Routine patient care costs may not be requested,
but research-related patient care costs are eligible for support.

Examples of possible RRCs include:

o  Recruitment/screening/assessment/registry units for subjects for
different OAIC intervention study research protocols.

o  Functional assessment units to monitor functional status of
subjects in OAIC studies.

o  Diagnostic and pathophysiologic units for studies of mechanisms of
treatment response and interactions with disease.

o  Basic science laboratories providing state of the art technologies
and training to center investigators.

o  Biostatistical/data management units.

o  Cost-effectiveness analysis units.

o  Veterinary Units for the support of laboratory animals used in
aging research and the development of animal models of age-associated
diseases.

The above list is not intended to describe the full range of
activities to be supported, nor to direct applicants towards these
areas.  Inclusion of research resources cores of any or all these
types in a single proposed OAIC is neither required nor necessarily
advisable.  Innovative organizational approaches are encouraged.
Institutions that are recipients of NIH General Clinical Research
Center awards who wish to apply for an OAIC award are encouraged to
use core resources from these Centers for support of OAIC projects
where appropriate.

For each Research Resources Core proposed, an investigator should be
named, and plans for the scientific and administrative functioning
must be presented.  The method for prioritizing access to core
resources requested by multiple projects should be described.

Research Development Core (RDC)

The Research Development Core is a required component of all OAICS.
The RDC will provide salary and other support for junior faculty and
research associates to acquire abilities in research to enhance the
independence of older persons.  This includes all phases of research
to develop interventions to enhance independence, including clinical
trials, studies of mechanisms of treatment response, and
cost-effectiveness/health care utilization studies.  The development
of persons who will have the necessary breadth and depth of
experience needed to lead teams spanning this range of research is of
high priority.  The career development of individuals acquiring
skills in fundamental aging research related to the mission of OAICs
may also be supported here.

The research development core should promote linkages between
mechanistic and outcome research.  This will enhance the capacity of
young scientists to develop better clinical treatments and preventive
approaches.  This goal may be achieved in a variety of ways including
periodic meetings of center staff and other scientists and most
importantly through the provision of suitable training opportunities.
While the creation of these linkages is an important overall function
of the RDC, it is recognized that this will not in all cases be
feasible.  However, the plan for the educational program of the RDC
as a whole should describe the approach to be followed and the
training plan for at least one (preferably more) of the individuals
receiving support under the RDC should document how training
opportunities will be utilized to achieve the goal of creating these
linkages.

The components of the Research Development Core are:

Junior Faculty Development Support.  Support may be requested for
salary and fringe benefits for junior faculty participating in OAIC
Intervention Studies and other OAIC research.  The Research
Development Core should present a plan for achieving development of
junior faculty supported under this  component, including a mechanism
for monitoring their scientific progress and development toward
independent research.  Applicants should clearly specify the role of
senior mentors in training and supervising junior faculty and
research associates.  A biographical sketch (two pages maximum), a
list of active research support, and a brief description of the
mentor's role in proposed OAIC activities should be provided for all
proposed mentors.

Though applicants are not required to identify individual junior
faculty, research associates, and their specific roles in advance,
they are encouraged to do so if possible, since this information is
useful to peer reviewers.  If support is requested for "to-be-named"
junior faculty or research associates, applicants should present
their plans for recruiting, training, and supervising these persons.

The Research Development Core may also serve to encourage the
research career development of other junior faculty and research
associates (in addition to those receiving salary support from this
core) by coordinating the participation in OAIC research projects of
other junior faculty and research associates whose salary support may
come from other sources, such as NIAs Geriatric Academic Program
Award (GAP), Geriatric Research Institutional Training Award (GRIT),
Physician Scientist Award (PSA), NIA Academic Award, and Clinical
Investigator Award (CIA).  The overall contribution of the OAIC to
the development of researchers throughout the grantee institution who
can contribute to the development of independence-enhancing
interventions will be considered in the evaluation of OAIC proposals.

Didactic Training.  Support may be requested for didactic training in
such topics as clinical trials methodology, biostatistics, pertinent
topics in disease mechanisms and related basic sciences, behavioral
sciences, health services research, etc.  Such support is not
restricted to individuals receiving salary support from the core, but
may be provided to other personnel on OAIC research projects or OAIC
Intervention Development Studies.

Pilot Research Projects.  Support may be requested for pilot projects
on topics related to the activities of the OAIC.  Examples of project
topics include pilot studies of new interventions, and probes of
disease mechanisms and their interactions with interventions.  The
procedures by which awardees will solicit, select, monitor and
evaluate the results of pilot projects should be specified in the
application, but applicants are not required to present specific
pilot projects as part of the application.  Pilot projects are
limited to a maximum of one year in duration, a maximum of $25,000
(direct costs) per pilot project, and a maximum of $100,000 (direct
costs) per year for the total allocated to all pilot projects
contained in an OAIC.  Pilot project funds may be used for salaries,
equipment, and supplies.

Research Development Core Leader.  Support may be requested for a
core leader who will be responsible for coordination of the above
activities and must report annually on the progress of all
individuals supported thorough this core, and other core activities.

A maximum of $250,000 in total (direct plus indirect) first-year
costs may be requested for the Research Development Core. Budget
increments in future years will generally be limited to one percent.

Demonstration and Information Dissemination Projects (DIDP)

OAICS must include activities to translate findings from their
research into health care practice.  These activities would normally
be expected to be conducted beginning in the second year of the
project, with the first year devoted to planning. A maximum of
$50,000 first-year total (direct plus indirect) costs  and $80,000
annual total (direct plus indirect) costs for project years two
through five may be requested for these activities.  Specific
projects for demonstration/information dissemination activities
should be described.  The staffing plan and a rationale for the
organization of this core should be presented.  The methods and
techniques to be employed for information dissemination and the
audience targeted and size should be defined.  Attention should be
directed to issues of cultural sensitivity with regard to the target
audience.  Where appropriate, the information should be structured so
that it can effectively reach minority populations, including
non-English-speaking older people.

Examples of projects that may be supported include dissemination of
research results to the public, professionals, and paraprofessionals,
through symposia and in-service training.  Planning and pilot
activities for larger scale demonstration projects to evaluate the
practicability of interventions tested in OAICs within various health
care settings are also appropriate.

Leadership/Administrative Core

Applicants may request funds for the OAIC director, OAIC
administrator, and support staff.  The OAIC director should be a
scientist who can provide effective administrative and scientific
leadership and coordination with OAIC Intervention Studies.  An OAIC
administrator who will assist the director in managing the Center,
addressing issues of fiscal management, and compliance with
institutional, PHS, NIH and NIA policies, should be identified.  A
maximum of $120,000 (direct plus indirect costs) per year for this
core, for salary, travel, and other expenses of the director,
administrator and appropriate administrative staff may be requested.
Future year annual increases will generally be limited to no more
than one percent.

OAIC Advisory Panel.  OAIC applications, regardless of whether a
Leadership/Administrative Core is requested, must describe a plan and
budget for the selection of experts from outside the OAIC who will
meet yearly to review the progress of the OAIC and provide a written
report to the OAIC Director.  Potential outside experts should not be
named.  The outside experts' review will be included in the annual
OAIC Progress Report to the NIA.  (A member of the NIA extramural
staff assigned to each Center will routinely attend the Advisory
Panel meetings. It will be the OAIC Director's responsibility to
notify NIA Staff well in advance of the date scheduled).

Coordination Among OAICs.  OAICs are expected to meet together every
six months to compare research results and to explore possibilities
for collaborative efforts.  Funds should be requested to permit
travel of the OAIC director, administrator, and Principal
Investigators on all OAIC Intervention Studies, and Intervention
Development Studies for meetings with NIA staff and staff from other
OAICs.  Responsibility for organizing these meetings will rotate
among OAIC sites.

Required Components of an OAIC.  The minimum required components that
must be determined eligible for funding by the peer reviewers in
order to qualify for an OAIC Award are:  (1) at least one
Intervention Study or Intervention Development study, (2) a Research
Development Core, and (3) a Demonstration and Information
Dissemination Project.

The total first year budget may not exceed $1,100,000 (direct plus
indirect costs) and the total first year budget for the sum of the
Research Resources Cores, Research Development Core, Demonstration
and Information Dissemination Project and the
Leadership/Administrative Core may not exceed $725,000.  Thus, a
center application requesting the full $1,100,000 will have an
Intervention Study/Intervention Development Study first year total
budget request of at least $375,000.

STUDY POPULATIONS

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANTS REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF NIH
POLICIES CONCERNING INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL
RESEARCH STUDY POPULATIONS

NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and
cooperative agreements are required to include minorities and women
in study populations so that research findings can be of benefit to
all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or condition under
study; special emphasis must be placed on the need for inclusion of
minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders and conditions
which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is intended to
apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or minorities are
excluded or inadequately represented in clinical research,
particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear compelling
rationale must be provided.

The composition of the proposed study population must be described in
terms of gender and racial/ethnic group.  In addition, gender and
racial/ethnic issues must be addressed in developing a research
design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of
the study.  This information must be included in the form PHS 398
(rev. 9/91) in Sections 1-4 of the Research Plan AND summarized in
Section 5, Human Subjects.  Applicants are urged to assess carefully
the feasibility of including the broadest possible representation of
minority groups.  However, NIH recognizes that it may not be feasible
or appropriate in all research projects to include representation of
the full array of United States racial/ethnic minority populations
(i.e., Native Americans [including  American Indians or Alaskan
Natives], Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics).

The rationale for studies on single minority population groups should
be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research is defined as human
biomedical and behavioral studies of epidemiology, prevention (and
preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of diseases,
disorders or conditions, including, but not limited to, clinical
trials.

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research on clinical studies in which human tissues
cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,
every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and
racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of
the study broadly, and this should be addressed by applicants.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in
the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of
women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the
scientific question(s) addressed AND the justification for the
selected study population is inadequate, it will be considered a
scientific weakness or deficiency in the study design and reflected
in assigning the priority score to the application.

All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required
to address these policies.  NIH funding components will not award
grants or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these
policies.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by October 1, 1993, 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
NIA staff to estimate the potential review workload and to avoid
possible conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Stanley L. Slater at the
address listed under INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The applicant is to submit the application using PHS 398 (rev. 9/91),
following the OAIC (P60) Guidelines. These Guidelines may be
requested from the program staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Application
kits containing this form and the necessary general instructions are
available in most institutional offices of sponsored research and
from the Office of Grants Inquiries, Division of Research Grants,
National Institutes of Health, Westwood Building, Room 449, Bethesda,
MD 20892, telephone 301/435-0714.

On item 2a of the face page of the application, applicants must
enter: NIA RFA--Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center AG-
94-001.  The RFA label available in the application form PHS 398 must
be affixed to the bottom of the face page and placed on top of the
entire package.  Failure to use this label could result in delayed
processing of the application and prevent it from reaching the review
committee in time for review.  Please note that special OAIC
Guidelines mentioned above should be used to complete the
application.  The NIA recommends that the application be developed in
consultation with program staff.

The original and three copies of the application must be received by
December 9, 1993.  Applications are to be sent to:

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

At the same time the application is submitted to the Division of
Research Grants, a copy of the covering letter, two copies of the
application, and five sets of appendices must be sent to:

Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C-212
7201 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20892

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Page Limitation

Applications may not exceed a total of twenty pages for parts 1-4 of
the Research Plan for each project and core section.

Review Schedule

Applications will be received by the NIH Division of Research Grants
(DRG) and will be assigned to the NIA.  Responsive applications will
be assigned to a special review committee for review.  Applications
judged by the NIA Program Staff to be non- responsive (those that are
incomplete, fail to include all required components, request amounts
that exceed allowable limits, or are not directed at the goals of
this RFA) will be returned to the applicant without review.  Because
no site visits will be conducted, each application must be thorough
and complete enough to stand on its own.  Additional materials or
revisions will not be accepted after the receipt date.  It is
strongly recommended that Institutional Review Board and, if
appropriate, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval be
secured before the application is submitted.  Otherwise, it is the
applicant's responsibility to ensure these certifications are sent to
the Scientific Review Office, NIA, within 60 days of the receipt
date, unless an earlier date is set by the Scientific Review
Administrator.  Applications failing to comply with this requirement
well be returned without review.  There will be no further
notifications on this issue.  Applications may first receive a
preliminary review by a subcommittee of the review panel to establish
those applications deemed to be competitive.  Applications considered
to be non-competitive for funding will be so designated, and an
abbreviated summary report noting the major weaknesses will be sent
to the Principal Investigator.  The remaining applications will be
given full review.  The full committee may designate additional
applications as Not Recommended for Further Consideration.  Further
review will be by the National Advisory Council on Aging.  The
earliest start date will be July 1, 1994.

Applications must be complete when submitted.  Additional materials
will not be accepted after the receipt date.  Incomplete applications
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.  If
an application is received after the receipt date, it will be
returned to the applicant.  The DRG will not accept any application
in response to this announcement that is essentially the same as one
currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the
pending application, Nor will the DRG 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.

The primary criterion for review by the NIA review committee in
evaluating each OAIC grant application will be the effectiveness of
the proposed program in contributing to increasing independence for
older Americans through the conduct of research, demonstration, and
dissemination projects; and development of academic leaders in
geriatrics with effective research, teaching and clinical
capabilities.  Specific criteria related to this standard include:

1.  Scientific merit of research and its expected impact on the
maintenance of independent functioning of older persons.

2.  Contribution of Research Resources Cores, where included, to
enhancement of research, training and pilot projects.  Where major
resources are requested for the RRCs, the number and quality of
externally-funded peer-reviewed studies will of considerable
importance.

3.  Role of the Research Development Core in providing educational
and other career development opportunities for fellows, junior
faculty and other professional and paraprofessional personnel
associated with the Center. The quality of the plans to promote
linkages between mechanistic and applied research are an important
aspect in the evaluation of the RDC.

Other review criteria include:

1.  Leadership ability and scientific stature of the program director
and his/her ability to meet the program's demands of time and effort.

2.  Qualifications, experience, and commitment of the investigators
responsible for core units and their ability to devote the required
time and effort to the program.

3.  Presence of an administrative and organizational structure
conducive to attaining the objectives of the proposed program.

4.  Arrangements for internal quality control of ongoing research,
the allocation of funds, day-to-day management, contractual
agreements, the internal communication and cooperation among
investigators in the program.

5.  Quality of proposed external review process.

6.  Appropriateness of the total budget and budgetary requests for
the individual components.

7.  Academic and physical environment as it bears on patients, space
and equipment and on the potential for interaction among scientists
within the center and with scientists from other departments,
institutions and Claude D. Pepper Centers.

8.  Institutional commitment to the requirements of the program.

9.  The adequacy of the means for protecting against risks to human
subjects, animals and the environment.

10.  Issues relating to inclusion of women and minorities.

AWARD CRITERIA

The award criteria are:

o  priority score
o  availability of funds
o  programmatic priorities

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, requests for the OAIC
guidelines, and address the letter of intent to:

Stanley L. Slater, M.D.
Geriatrics Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 3E-327
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-6761

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Margaret Kuhn
Grants Management Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 2N-212
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.866.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410), as
amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered
under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45
CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental
review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency
review.

.

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