Full Text AG-95-001

MINORITY DISSERTATION RESEARCH GRANTS IN AGING

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 33, September 16, 1994

RFA:  AG-95-001

P.T. 34, FF


Keywords: 


National Institute on Aging

Application Receipt Date:  December 9, 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
candidates for the awards 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

For the purpose of this RFA, individuals who are eligible to apply are
minority students who are defined as belonging to a particular  racial
or ethnic group.  In awarding dissertation grants the National
Institute on Aging (NIA) will give priority to African Americans,
Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders or other
ethnic or racial group members who have been found to be
underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research.  The student
must also be conducting or intending to conduct dissertation research
on aging or problems directly related to aging.  Research topics should
fit within one or more of the areas described below (see INQUIRIES).

The 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 must administer the
grant on behalf of the proposed investigator.  The applicant for
dissertation research grant support must be a citizen, or noncitizen
national, of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for
permanent residence.  The performance site may be foreign or domestic.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The mechanism of support is the NIH small grant (R03).  Grants may be
made for up to two years.  Grants to support dissertation research will
provide no more than $30,000 in total direct costs, and no more than
$25,000 in direct costs in  any one year.  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  The doctoral candidate must be the designated Principal Investigator
on the grant and the doctoral candidate must be the only individual on
the grant for whom salary support is requested.

o  The principal investigator's salary may not exceed $12,000 per
twelve months.

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.

Scope of Awards.  Investigators may request support for up to 24
months.  An application that requests support beyond this time 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 $30,000 for the project.  Allowable costs include the
investigator's salary (not to exceed $12,000 per 12 months); direct
research project expenses such as travel to one scientific meeting per
year (limited to $800 per year), 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 is allowed.  It is
expected that most equipment needed for the research will be available
at the site or laboratory in which the dissertation is to be performed.
Therefore, any requests for equipment must be specially justified.
Indirect costs are limited to eight percent of requested direct costs,
less equipment.

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 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 28, 1994 (FR 59
14508-14513) and reprinted in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,
Volume 23, Number 11, March 18, 1994.  Investigators also may obtain
copies of the policy from the program staff listed under INQUIRIES.
Program staff may also provide additional relevant information
concerning the policy.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be prepared on the grant application form PHS 398
(rev. 9/91).  The application form is available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research and from 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 RFA label available in the PHS 398 (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
(Minority dissertation research grants in aging, AG-95-001) must be
typed on line 2a of the face page of the application form and the YES
box must be marked.

Instructions for completing the applications are found in the PHS 398
form.  These instructions should be followed except that under C.
Specific Instructions - Research plan, no more than 10 pages should be
used for items 1 to 4 (instead of 25 pages as stated in the standard
instructions).  Applications that exceed the 10 page limit for this
section will be returned.

Applications must be received by December 9, 1994.  The investigator
must submit the original and five copies of the completed application
containing a detailed narrative project description (not to exceed 10
pages) and letters of support.  The original and three of these copies
must be submitted 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
ATTN: Minority Dissertation
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C212
7201 Wisconsin Avenue MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205

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 be countersigned by a representative of the graduate school
of the sponsoring institution.  The letter must: (a) fully identify the
members of the committee and certify their approval of the dissertation
topic, (b) certify that the candidate is eligible to apply under the
guidelines described in this announcement, (c) certify that the author
of the letter has read the application and that it reflects the work to
be completed in the dissertation, and (d) 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 investigator's graduate school record

o  Biography of mentor limited to 2 pages

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

o  Although not required, identification of the investigator's minority
group would be helpful so that NIA may continue to monitor and improve
the effectiveness of this program.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Dissertation research grants are competitive.  Review will be conducted
by a special committee convened by the NIA for this purpose.
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 NIA 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 and the official signing for the applicant
organization will be notified.

Reviewers will be selected on the basis of their research
accomplishments, knowledge, and 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, award criteria, and continuation of support are described
below.

Review Criteria.  Review criteria include significance of the research
problem, adequacy of the literature review, relevance of the topic to
the 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 May 1995.  Final funding decisions are
based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the relevance of the
project to NIA priorities, and the availability of funds.

Continuation of support.  Grantees who are approved for two years of
support must submit a satisfactory progress report no later than 10
months after the start of the first year of the grant.  This report
should contain a brief summary of the work completed to date together
with copies of any publications supported wholly or in part by the
dissertation grant.  Investigators who need more than 24 months to
complete the research project will be required to submit a request for
an extension without funds for support beyond the first 24 months.  An
unfunded continuation of the grant may be awarded if satisfactory
progress is being made, but the total direct costs of the entire
project may not exceed $30,000 overall and $25,000 in any one year.

INQUIRIES

Interested investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the person
named below who can provide clarifying information about material
described in this RFA.  The investigator will then be referred to the
relevant program director to discuss the suitability of the research
topic.

Dr. Robin A. Barr
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Aging

7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C218 MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-9322

Direct inquiries relating to fiscal matters to:

Mr. Joseph Ellis
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
7201 Winconsin Avenue MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472

Program Areas and Contacts

Richard L. Sprott, Ph.D.
Biology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 2C231
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-4996

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.

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 5C533
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-3136

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.

Zaven Khachaturian, Ph.D.
Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 3C307
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-9350

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.

Evan C. Hadley, M.D.
Geriatrics Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 3E327
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-6761

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.

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.

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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