Full Text AG-95-002

CLAUDE D. PEPPER OLDER AMERICANS INDEPENDENCE CENTERS

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 45, December 23, 1994

RFA:  AG-95-002

P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Aging/Gerontology 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 
  Sociology 


National Institute on Aging

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 10, 1995
Application Receipt Date:  May 23, 1995

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications for
support of Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers
(OAICs).  These centers are for the purpose of increasing
independence in older Americans.  OAICs will provide support for
research to develop and test clinical interventions, and for core
laboratories in the basic sciences.  OAICs also will train
individuals in research approaches to develop and test methods of
maintaining and increasing independence, and to 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 that have 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.017-001-00474-0) 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 REQUIREMENTS

Only  U.S. organizations are eligible to apply.  Applications may be
submitted by domestic 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.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and
persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal
Investigators.

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.

First year budgets may not exceed $1,200,000 (direct plus indirect
costs).  Budget increments for subsequent years generally will be
limited to no more than one percent.  Awards are made initially for
no less than five years and may be renewed for five-year periods.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Although it is anticipated that up to $1.2 million will be directed
to the support of competing OAICs in Fiscal Year 1995, and that one
award will be made, issuance of an Older Americans Independence
Center award is contingent upon the receipt of scientifically
meritorious applications and allocation of appropriated funds for
this purpose.  In addition to the FY 1995 award, it is anticipated
that up to $3.6 million will be directed to the support of OAICs in
Fiscal Year 1996 and that three awards will be issued to applicants
responding to this RFA, depending on the quality of applications and
the 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 which are potentially, if not
currently, preventable 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 the knowledge of the pathophysiology of disabling
conditions, and of the mechanisms affecting their responses to
treatment, and develop and test 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 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:

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

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

3.  To 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.  To train researchers capable of leading and conducting research
programs as described in 1, 2, and 3 above.  OAIC research projects
should provide opportunities to train such researchers.

5.  To 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
that utilizes older persons as 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 measurements of changes in functional status.
Measures of related medical and physiologic endpoints are encouraged
wherever pertinent.

Because older persons with multiple 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, but are not
limited to:

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 multiple impairments.

The above list is not exhaustive and its order 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 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 application.  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 older
persons as subjects must be included in the IS/IDS section to satisfy
the requirements of this RFA.)

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 new investigators and where appropriate should
encourage linkages between fundamental science and clinical
intervention research.

Applicants should not propose a core unless its services/resources
are required by at least two projects (otherwise the core could
simply be included in the one project it supports).  The
justification for proposed cores (including the merit and number of
projects they 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, a core leader 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 NIA's 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 Core (DIDC)

OAICS must include a DIDC that supports activities to translate
findings from their research into health care practice.  A maximum of
$80,000 annual total (direct plus indirect) costs 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 include a Leadership/Administrative Core that requests
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
selected or 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 yearly
to compare research results and to explore possibilities for
collaborative efforts.  Funds should be requested to permit travel of
the OAIC director, administrator and 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 to be 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 that utilizes
older persons as subjects (2) a Research Development Core, and (3) a
Demonstration and Information Dissemination Core.  All required
components must be recommended for the full five years in order for
the application to be eligible for funding.

The total first year budget may not exceed $1,200,000 (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 Core and the Leadership/Administrative
Core may not exceed $825,000.  Thus, a center application requesting
the full $1,200,000 will have an Intervention Study/Intervention
Development Study first year total budget request of at least
$375,000.

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.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 10, 1995, 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 Dr. Stanley L. Slater at the
address listed under INQUIRIES.

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
Grants Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes
of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892,
telephone 301/435-0714.  The application should be prepared using the
OAIC (P60) Guidelines available from the program administrator listed
under INQUIRIES.

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 must be typed on
line 2a of the face page of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, in one package 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 be sent to:

Michael Oxman, Ph.D., Chief, SRO
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892

Complete applications must be received by May 23, 1995.  If an
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the
applicant without review.  The Division of Research Grants (DRG) will
not accept any application that is essentially the same as one
already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of
substantial revisions of applications already reviewed, but such
applications must include an introduction addressing the previous
critique.

Applications may not exceed a total of 25 pages for parts 1-4 of the
Research Plan for each project and 10 pages for parts 1-4 of the
Research Plan for each core section.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by DRG
and responsiveness by the NIA.  Incomplete applications will be
returned to the applicant without further consideration.  The
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.

Applications judged by the NIA Program Staff to be non-responsive
(those that 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.  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.

Review Criteria

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 the proposed 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 are:

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

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 to:

Stanley L.  Slater, M.D.
Geriatrics Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 3E-327
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-6761
FAX:  (301) 402-1784
Email:  slater%nihniagw.bitnet@cu.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Margaret Kuhn
Grants Management Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 2N-212
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
Email:  kuhn%nihniagw.bitnet@cu.nih.gov

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.

The Public Health Service (PHS) 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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