Full Text AG-94-004

MINORITY DISSERTATION RESEARCH GRANTS IN AGING

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 2, January 14, 1994

RFA:  AG-94-004

P.T. 34, FF

Keywords: 
  Aging/Gerontology 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 


National Institute on Aging

Application Receipt Date:  March 18, 1994

PURPOSE

Small grants to support doctoral dissertation research will be
available for minority doctoral candidates.  Grant support is
designed to aid the research of new minority investigators and to
encourage individuals from a variety of academic disciplines and
programs to study problems in aging.

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), Minority Dissertation Research Grants in
Aging, is related to several priority areas applicable to aging.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full
Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) 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

The applicant investigator applying for a dissertation research grant
must be a member of an ethnic or racial minority group that is
underrepresented in biomedical research, enrolled in an accredited
doctoral degree program in the biomedical, social, or behavioral
sciences and must have approval of the dissertation topic by a named
dissertation committee or other formal group for that purpose.  The
student must also be conducting or intending to conduct dissertation
research on aging or problems related to aging.  Research topics
should fit within one or more of the areas described below for each
individual program (see INQUIRIES).

The applicant doctoral candidate must have a dissertation topic
approved by the named committee.  This information must be verified
in a letter of certification from the thesis chairperson and
submitted with the grant application (see APPLICATION PROCEDURES).

The applicant institution must be domestic and will administer the
grant on behalf of the proposed investigator.  The applicant
investigator for dissertation research grant support must be a
citizen of the United States or hold a permanent resident visa.  The
performance site may be foreign or domestic.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The mechanism of support is the NIH small grant (R03).  Grants to
support dissertation research will provide no more than $25,000 in
total direct costs.  Dissertation research grants will be
administered in accordance with the U.S. Code Annotated, Title 42,
Part B, Section 284.  Awards will depend on the availability of
funds.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NIA anticipates funding approximately 20 grants with a total cost
of up to $600,000.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Grant Conditions.  The following conditions apply to dissertation
grants:

o  Work on the funded project must be initiated within three months
after the date of the award.

o  An awardee may be invited to participate in a meeting or
presentation of other NIA dissertation awardees.

o  The dissertation constitutes the final report of the grant. Two
copies of the dissertation must be submitted.  The dissertation must
be officially accepted by the faculty committee or university
official responsible for the candidate's dissertation and must be
signed by the responsible officials.

Continuation of Support.  Grantees who have been funded for 12 months
of a project requiring 24 months must submit a request for an
extension without funds, with a progress report ten months after the
award begins.

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 will be 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 should 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
ethnic or racial minority groups are excluded or inadequately
represented in clinical research, particularly in proposed
population-based studies, a clear compelling rationale should 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 should be addressed in developing a research
design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of
the study.  This information should be included in the form PHS 398
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 includes human
biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology,
prevention (and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of
diseases, disorders or conditions, including but limited to clinical
trials.

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research or 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.

If the required information is not contained within the application,
the application will be returned.

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 will be
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.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Scope of Awards.  Applicant investigators may request support for the
amount of time necessary to complete the dissertation. However, a
dissertation research grant usually is awarded for a period of 12
months, but may be extended for up to 24 months.  Investigators who
need 24 months to complete the research project will be required to
submit a request for an extension without funds for support beyond
the first 12 months.  Continuation support may be awarded if
satisfactory progress is being made, but the total direct costs of
the entire project may not exceed $25,000.  An application that
exceeds this amount will be returned.

An applicant who receives support for dissertation research under a
grant from the NIA may not at the same time receive support under a
predoctoral or fellowship grant awarded by any other Federal agency,
nor be supported under any other research project grant.

Allowable Costs.  Expenses usually allowed under PHS research grants
will be covered by the NIA dissertation research grants, but may not
exceed $25,000 for the project.  Allowable costs include the
investigator's salary (not to exceed $10,000); direct research
project expenses such as travel to one scientific meeting (limited to
$500), data processing, supplies, and dissertation costs.  Any level
of effort that is less than full time by the candidate must be fully
justified.  No tuition or permanent equipment is allowed.  Small
equipment requires special justification.  Indirect costs are limited
to eight percent of requested direct costs, less equipment.

Application form.  Special guidelines for dissertation grant
applications are available from the Office of Extramural Affairs (see
address below).  The application is to be submitted on form PHS 398
(rev. 9/91) available from the university's office of sponsored
research and the Office of Grants Information, Division of Research
Grants, National Institutes of Health, Westwood Building, Room 449,
Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone 301/435-0714.  The special instructions
described here and in the application kit must be followed.  Write
"Minority Dissertation in Aging" under Item 2a of the face page.  If
human subjects and/or vertebrate animals will be involved, evidence
of the required institutional review must be given on the face page
of the application.  Furthermore, instructions on pp. 22-23 of the
application kit must be followed.  The RFA label available in the
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.  Applications will be assigned to the NIA
for review and possible funding.

Applications must be received by March 18, 1994.

The applicant must submit the original and three copies of the
completed application, which includes a detailed narrative project
description (not to exceed 10 pages) and letters of support, directly
to:

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

An additional two copies of the application must be sent to:

Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892
ATTN:  Minority Dissertation

Additional Material

o  A letter from the faculty committee or university official
directly responsible for supervising the development and progress of
the dissertation research must be submitted with the application.
The letter must:  (a) fully identify the members of the committee and
certify their approval of the dissertation topic and (b) note that
the university official or faculty committee expects the doctoral
candidate to proceed with the approved project proposal with or
without NIA support.

o  Transcript of applicant's graduate school record

o  Biography of mentor limited to 2 pages

o  Statement of the applicant's career goals to be placed under
"Background"

o  Although not required, identification of the applicant's minority
group would be helpful so effectiveness of the program can be
evaluated

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Dissertation research grants are competitive.  Review will be
conducted by a special committee convened by the NIA for this
purpose.  Applications may first receive a preliminary review by a
subcommittee to establish those applications deemed to be
competitive.  Applications identified as non-competitive will be
returned to the applicant.  Reviewers will be selected on the basis
of their research accomplishments and knowledge and their experience
in research training.  All elements of the application will be
considered in the review process.  Emphasis will be given to the
scientific merit, feasibility, and relevance of the project to aging
research, and to the qualifications of the candidate.  Review results
and funding decisions will be announced within six months after the
submission date.  Review criteria, funding decisions, and
continuation of support are described below.

Review Criteria.  Review criteria include significance of the
research problem, relationship of proposed research to NIA mission,
research design, research methods, personal qualifications of the
candidate, supervision to be provided the candidate, institutional
facilities and support structure, and budgetary appropriateness.

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is September, 1994.  Final funding
decisions are based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the
relevance of the project to NIA priorities, and the availability of
funds.

INQUIRIES

Interested applicants must request additional guidelines for
preparing the application and discuss the suitability of the
mechanism by letter or by telephone with the person named below.  The
applicant will then be referred to the relevant program director to
discuss the suitability of the research topic.

Mr. Charles A. Blackwood
Office of Extramural Affairs
Gateway Building, Suite 2C218
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-9322

Direct inquiries relating to fiscal matters to:

Mr. Joseph Ellis
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472

Program Areas and Contacts

Biology of Aging Program

This program supports studies that focus on diseases associated with
increasing age and the basic mechanisms involved in aging processes.
The overall objectives of the program are related to understanding
normal functions and alterations in them that can be induced by
interaction with the environment and disease processes as aging
proceeds.  The program interests are in molecular and cellular
biology, genetics, immunology, basic nutrition, and endocrinology.

Richard L. Sprott, Ph.D.
Gateway Building, Room 2C231
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892

Behavioral and Social Research Program

This program supports research on social and psychological aging
processes and the place of older people in society and its social
institutions.  The emphasis is on promoting health, effective
functioning, productivity and independence throughout the middle and
later years.  Areas of special interest include health and behavior;
cognitive functioning; long term care; work, retirement and
productivity; family and intergenerational relationships; aging
demographics; and minorities, women, oldest old, rural and retarded
older adults.

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Gateway Building, Room 5C533
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892

Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program

This program supports research on the structure and function of the
aging nervous system and the behavioral manifestations of the aging
brain.  Areas of special interest include age-related changes in the
nervous system, especially as these affect sensory processes,
learning, cognition, memory and sleep.  The study of Alzheimer's
disease and other disorders associated with the aging nervous system,
including the causes, diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and
management of such disorders are of special interest.

Zaven Katchaturian, Ph.D.
Gateway Building, Room 3C307
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892

Geriatrics Program

This program supports research on clinical problems that occur
predominantly among older persons or that are associated with
increased morbidity and mortality in older people.  Areas of interest
include cardiovascular-pulmonary diseases, infectious diseases,
osteoporosis, digestive diseases, rehabilitation and physical
function and performance in older persons.

Evan C. Hadley, M.D.
Gateway Building, Room 3E327
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.366.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act Title IV, Part A (Public Law 79-410, as
amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 DSC 241 and 285) and administered
under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45
CFR Part 74.  The requirements of Executive Order 12372,
"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," are not applicable to
NIA research grant programs.

.

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