CAREER AWARD PROGRAM IN DEMOGRAPHY OF AGING

Release Date:  March 11, 1999

RFA:  AG-99-006

P.T.

National Institute on Aging

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 9, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  May 13, 1999

PURPOSE

Because of the increasing need for research and data that can inform the
important policy issues raised by the rapidly changing population age structure
of the US and other nations, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) solicits
applications for the support of academic career development programs for faculty
in demography of aging. The objective of this award is to enhance the recruitment
of promising and exceptional scientists into demography of aging and to provide
appropriate mentoring in order to qualify them for independent funding support
in this field.  Under this award, candidates are to be selected and appointed to
this program award by the grantee institution.

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),
Demography of Aging Program Development Award, 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 Summary Report:  Stock
No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

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.  Minorities and women and individuals with disabilities are
encouraged to apply.

A Career Award Program in Demography of Aging (K12) requires substantial pre-
existing research activity on population aging (e.g. economics, epidemiology,
biology, sociology) at the institution.  Awardee institutions, however, must
recruit and develop candidates specifically in demography of aging which could
include, for example, economic demography, biodemography, etc.  However, a
general program to train candidates in, for example, economics, epidemiology,
biology, or sociology of aging would be considered non-responsive.  A minimum of
one peer-reviewed and externally funded, active (as of April 1, 1999) training
program (e.g., T32) in population aging or one peer-reviewed and externally
funded, active (as of April 1, 1999) Center (e.g., P20, P30) in demography or
population research is required.  In addition, a minimum of two peer-reviewed and
externally funded, active (as of April 1, 1999) research projects which are
directly in population aging and are held by the proposed faculty mentors is
required.  Ideally, applicant institutions will have a substantial base of
relevant grants.  Sub-projects on NIA P01 grants may be counted as individual
projects.  In addition, the applicant institution must have adequate numbers of
senior faculty in population aging.  Although applicant institutions must meet
the above eligibility requirements alone and no new consortia arrangements for
the purpose of this award are permitted, candidates may train at two or more
institutions.  Applicant institutions are encouraged, where relevant, to develop
programs that cut across academic departments and schools (e.g., schools of Arts
and Sciences, Business, Public Health, and Medicine).

Institutions awarded with a Career Award Program in Demography of Aging need not
submit a separate application on behalf of each prospective candidate as is done
for individual career awards.  Rather, awardee institutions select and appoint
candidates after having conducted a wide search to fill the awarded positions.

Individual candidates for support under this program award must have a research
or a health-professional doctorate or its equivalent and should have demonstrated
the capacity, or have shown the potential, for highly productive independent
research after the doctorate prior to being considered by the institution for
support under this award.  Such candidates may be (1) research scientists who
have established careers (in e.g., sociology, demography, economics, mathematics,
statistics, actuarial science, genetics, biology, physics, epidemiology,
medicine) and wish to change career direction towards demography of aging
research or (2) more junior researchers with training and a research record in
other aspects of population research (e.g., economics, biology, mathematics,
epidemiology, sociology) who need an additional period of mentored research
experience prior to becoming fully independent in the field of demography of
aging.

The candidates must be provided with a mentor(s) with extensive research
experience and a record of providing the type of training required under this
award.  Candidates also must be willing to spend a minimum of 75 percent of full-
time professional effort conducting research and research career development
activities for the period of the award.  It is not necessary for candidates to
be employees of the institution at the time the application of this award (K12)
is made.  Instead, the institution may use this award mechanism as a basis for
the recruitment of appropriate individuals.  Since institutions will recruit and
select candidates once the award is made, institutions are not required to name
candidates or describe specific research plans in the K12 application.

Candidates appointed under this program must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen
nationals, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence by the
time they are appointed.  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not
eligible for appointment under this program award.

Candidates may not concurrently hold any other PHS award that duplicates the
provisions of this award (e.g., K01, K02).  Candidates appointed under this
program award are strongly encouraged to apply for independent research grant
support (e.g., R03, R01) during the period of support under this award.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards in response to this RFA will use the K12 mechanism.  Planning, direction,
and execution of the program will be the responsibility of the appointee and
her/his mentor and consistent with the goals of the program award.  The program
award provides up to five years of support for two to three appointees per year
and may be renewed only if a recompetition is offered.  Appointees may receive
up to five years of support depending upon the number of years of prior research
experience and the need for additional experiences to achieve independence. 
Shorter term appointments may be appropriate for more senior candidates.  The
anticipated award date is September 30, 1999.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NIA anticipates that $750,000 in total costs per year for five years will be
committed to fund applications in response to this RFA.  The NIA expects to make
two to four awards.  Direct annual costs of the awards are expected to vary
between $200,000 and $300,000 depending upon the scale of activity that can be
reasonably supported by the institution in terms of the current level of funded
research on population aging.

This is a one-time only competition.  Whether this RFA is recompeted in five
years will depend upon progress during the first five years, a re-assessment of
human resource needs in the demography of aging, and available financial
resources at that time.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Demography of aging is a rapidly evolving field with links to several disciplines
including sociology, economics, mathematics and statistics, actuarial science,
genetics, biology, epidemiology, and medicine.  Over the last decade, Congress
has repeatedly emphasized the importance of developing demographic research at
NIA and in Fiscal 1999 specifically emphasized the need for training and career
development in demography of aging (see H. Rpt. 105-635 and S. Rpt. 105-300). 
Population aging will be one of the most important social phenomena of the next
half century.  The rapidly changing population age structure raises significant
policy issues that require the attention of more distinguished demographers. 
(See Demography of Aging and Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of
Longevity. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1994 and 1997, respectively. 
Both also available at http://www.nap.edu.  See also the special issue of
Demography devoted to the demography of aging.  Vol. 34, No. 1, Feb 1997).

Increased recruitment and mentoring of promising and exceptional scientists into
the field is imperative if this increased need is to be met.  Demography of aging
is a relatively new area within the field of demography and in the past has
benefitted from the fortuitous entry of exceptional scientists from other
disciplines.  Recruitment of additional demographers has been hampered for a
number of reasons.  There are only a very few academic demography departments and
most academic demographers have primary appointments in allied departments, and
within centers without the power to hire permanent faculty.  Efforts must be made
to increase the number of leading scientists in the demography of aging; this
award provides a mechanism to attract more such scientists.  High-quality
training in research and teaching is necessary for the development of such
leaders, and this can best be done in an environment where there are enough
researchers, teachers, and practitioners in the demography of aging to provide
thorough experience for future academic leaders.

Developing academic leadership requires a continuum of support from the
fellowship to the senior faculty level.  Support for demographic fellowships is
available in several forms, including NIA National Research Service Award
Institutional Research Training Grants (T32), NIH National Research Service
Awards for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32), NIH National Research Service
Awards Senior Fellowships (F33), Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
(K01), Independent Scientist Award (K02), Academic Career Leadership Award (K07),
and employment of graduate students on NIH research grants. Stable career
development support at the junior faculty level is also extremely important in
establishing academic careers. The NIA continues to encourage applications for
these awards for suitable candidates and institutions.  This announcement
describes an institutional form of the Academic Award, the Career Award Program
in Demography of Aging

Environment

This award is appropriate for institutions having sufficient faculty with a
stable base of ongoing research in population aging to serve as mentors for
several candidates in demography of aging over an extended period.  Because
strengthening the science base in the demography of aging is a goal of this award
and because the NIA recognizes that there are few academic demography departments
and that demography is often an undertaking that crosses traditional disciplinary
boundaries, collaboration among clinical, basic, epidemiologic, mathematical,
biological, behavioral, and social science researchers in support of career
development activities is particularly encouraged.  Institutions are strongly
encouraged to develop innovative arrangements that, if need be, transcend
departments and schools within the institution (e.g., schools of Arts & Sciences,
Business, Public Health, and Medicine).  Because the recruitment of promising and
exceptional candidates into demography of aging is a goal of this award, it is
appropriate for institutions that can recruit high quality candidates.

Program Director

The program director should possess scientific expertise and leadership in the
field of population aging, as evidenced by a strong record of research, and the
administrative abilities to coordinate and supervise a development program of
this scope.  The Director should also be experienced in the design and management
of programs for developing investigators and should have an accomplished record
of past mentorship, as evidenced by the research career success of former
trainees and mentored junior faculty.  The program must also include a plan for
external review of the selection of sponsored individuals.

Mentors

Each candidate appointed on the program award must have a primary sponsor who is
recognized as an accomplished investigator with a stable base of current research
support in population aging.  The primary sponsor must have a successful record
of providing the type of training required under this award.  An assigned mentor
will provide guidance for the development of each candidate assigned to the
program.  The mentor must be committed to continue this involvement throughout
the appointee's total period of development under the award.

Program

After having conducted a wide search, appointees under this award will be
selected for sponsorship by the program locally, which must develop a plan for
their recruitment and selection and for their academic advancement.  The program
must include a plan for providing research, teaching, and other activities for
developing academic leaders in the demography of aging that are consistent with
the goals and training needs of prospective candidates and with the research
opportunities available at the applicant institution.  The period of support for
each candidate must be appropriate given his/her prior experience and need for
additional experiences to achieve independence in demography of aging.  It is
expected that the plan will be carried out mainly at the sponsoring institution,
although short periods of off-site training in specialized areas may be included. 
Although no exact division of time among teaching and research activities is
required, at least 75 percent of time spent on program activities must be spent
in research.  Research support, beyond salary, will be permitted up to $20,000
per year for each candidate under this award.  It is anticipated, and strongly
encouraged, that candidates will have obtained independent funding support by the
third year of support under this award.  In the applications for Non-Competing
Continuation, institutions with a Career Award Program in Demography of Aging are
required to name the candidates supported during the previous budget period,
detail the criteria for appointing the supported candidates, and detail the
candidates' progress and future plans.

Allowable Costs

Salary --  The NIA will provide salary and fringe benefits for the candidate
only.  No compensation is provided for the program director or for the mentors. 
Individual candidates sponsored by the program award may be supported for up to
five years.  A minimum of two (2) and no more than three (3) candidates at an
institution may be supported under this program award at any point in time.

The total salary requested for each candidate must be based on a full-time, 12-
month staff appointment, but not to exceed $75,000 per year per individual.  It
must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution
and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to
other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in
the department concerned.  If full-time, 12-month salaries are not currently paid
to comparable staff members, the salary proposed must be appropriately related
to the existing salary structure.  The institution may supplement the NIH salary
contribution up to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary
scale; however, supplementation may not be from Federal funds unless specifically
authorized by the Federal program from which such funds are derived.  In no case,
may PHS funds be used for salary supplementation.  Institutional supplementation
of salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere
with the purpose of this award.  Under expanded authorities, however,
institutions may rebudget funds within the total costs awarded to cover salaries
consistent with the institution's salary scale.

Research and Development Support -- Each appointee will be allowed up to $20,000
per year for research project expenses and related support (e.g., technical
personnel costs, consultants, supplies, equipment, travel, tuition for necessary
courses, and any off-site training courses in specialized areas that may be
necessary).

Indirect costs -- Indirect costs will be reimbursed at 8 percent of modified
total direct costs, or at the actual indirect cost rate, whichever is less.

The NIA will consider requests to rebudget at the time of award.

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
sub-populations 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
policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public
Law 103-43).

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 in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No.
11, March 18, 1994.  These may be accessed at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html

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.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21)
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  This
policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates
after October 1, 1998.  However, the scientific goals of this RFA are focused on
aging. Therefore, in describing the plan to recruit human subjects, investigators
may cite a focus on aging or on aging-related aspects of disease as the
justification for why children will be excluded.  In this regard applicants may
use Justification 1, the research topic to be studied is irrelevant to children,
from the policy announcement.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 9, 1999, a letter of intent
that includes a descriptive title of the proposed program development award, the
name, mailing address, e-mail 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 a subsequent application, the
information that it contains allows NIA staff to estimate the potential review
workload and avoid conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Ms. Georgeanne E. Patmios
Demography and Population Epidemiology Unit
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 533, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-3138
FAX:  (301) 402-0051
Email:  Patmios@nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98) and prepared according to the directions in the application packet, with
the exceptions noted below.  Application kits are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714, FAX (301)
480-0525, Email: grantsinfo@nih.gov.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) 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 2 of the face page of the application form and the
YES box must be marked.

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

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, send two additional copies of the application to:

Mary Nekola, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205

It is important to send these copies at the same time as the original and three
copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review.

Applications must be received by May 13, 1999.  If an application is received
after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review.  The Center
for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in response to this
RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless
the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any
application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

The application must address the following issues:

(1) Provide information establishing the commitment of the applicant institution
and any collaborating institutions, the program director, and the faculty members
(mentors) who will provide developmental experiences that lead to independence
and excellence in demography of aging research.

(2) Describe how the institution will maximize its commitment of sponsored
individuals to aging research after the completion of support.  Describe how the
award will complement, extend and relate to existing externally-funded training
program(s) in population aging.

(3) Describe the pool of potential candidates including information about the
types of candidates (e.g., established scientists who wish to redirect their
careers to demography of aging, junior scientists with training and a research
record in population research who need additional mentoring in order to become
fully independent in demography of aging).  Also, describe how the appointments
will be made to the Career Award Program in Demography of Aging.  Describe the
composition of the selection committee and the criteria to be used for selection. 
Describe plans to recruit candidates from racial or ethnic groups that are
currently underrepresented in behavioral sciences.

(4) Without naming individual prospective candidates (since the positions must
be advertised at the time of award), describe the career development plans for
types of prospective candidates (e.g., established scientists who wish to
redirect their careers to demography of aging, junior scientists with training
and a research record in population research who need additional mentoring in
order to become fully independent in demography of aging);   Considering the
program goals and the likely goals of types of prospective candidates, describe
a plan to provide the necessary science background and research experiences
considering the expected range of prior research training in the applicant pool. 
The application should contain a description of how the career development plan
will be tailored to the needs of types of prospective candidates.

(5) Document the program director's record of past mentorship, and scientific
expertise and leadership in the field of population aging.  This should be done
in tabular format to include: relevant research, grant and publication history,
and names of former junior faculty who were mentored by the program director, and
evidence of their research career success.

(6) In tabular format, describe the faculty mentors' past and present research
and teaching activities in population aging, as well as their previous success
in training fellows and junior faculty, and the current status of all fellows and
other individuals whom they have previously trained.  Describe the faculty
mentors' currently funded research, outlining the types of training opportunities
that will be available to prospective candidates.  Describe the faculty and
institutional plans for providing mentoring, research, and teaching experience
for candidates, including examples of the types of research projects to be
undertaken, provision of experience at other institutions to learn pertinent
techniques (since candidates may train at more than a single institution), needed
didactic training in the demography of aging and related other disciplines, other
basic sciences, research methodology, statistics, and teaching responsibilities.

(7) Instructions in the responsible conduct of research.  Applications must
include plans for instruction in the responsible conduct of research, including
the rationale, subject matter, appropriateness, format, frequency and duration
of instruction; and the amount and nature of faculty participation.  No award
will be made if an application lacks this component.

Budget requests must be provided according to the instructions in form PHS 398
(rev. 4/98).  The request for tuition and fees, books, travel, research
development expenses, consultant costs, etc., must be justified and specified by
category.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and
responsiveness to the RFA by NIA.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.  Applications
that are complete and responsive to the RFA will undergo further scientific merit
review by a special study section convened by the NIA in accordance with the
criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications
will receive a written critique and may undergo a process in which only those
applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half
of applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and
receive a second level review by the National Advisory Council on Aging.

Review Criteria

The following review criteria will be applied:

Program Director

o  The program director's experience in managing career development programs in
population aging (e.g., NIH Career, Fellowship and Training Program awards) and
prior success in recruiting and preparing junior faculty for distinguished
research careers; the program director's research qualifications, and base of
funded research support, in population aging.

Candidate(s)

o  Availability of exceptional high quality potential candidates;

o  Plans for recruiting and selecting candidates (including minorities and
women); and

o  Plans to identify exceptionally qualified candidates with a commitment to
research in demography of aging and the potential to develop them as
distinguished independent researchers in demography of aging.

Career Development Plan

o  Likelihood that the career development plan will contribute substantially to
the scientific development of the candidates;

o  Appropriateness of the content, the phasing, and the proposed duration of the
career development plan for achieving scientific independence for the prospective
candidates;

o  Consistency of the career development plan with prospective candidate's career
goals; and

o  Quality of the training in the responsible conduct of research.

Mentor(s)

o  Caliber of faculty mentors as researchers, including successful competition
for research support; and appropriateness of the faculty mentors' research
qualifications in aspects of population aging;

o  Quality and extent of the mentors' proposed role in providing guidance and
advice to candidates;

o  The abilities and record of mentors in developing junior faculty in the
demography of aging; and

o  Appropriateness and quality of proposed mentoring plans for prospective
candidates.

Environment

o  Applicant institution's commitment to the scientific development of the
candidate(s) and assurances that the institution intends the demography of aging
program and the supported candidate(s) to be an integral part of its ongoing
research program.  Commitment to creating new faculty positions in demography of
aging by the end of the award period will be viewed positively.

o  How the Career Award Program in Demography of Aging relates to and extends the
institution's existing training program(s) in population aging.

o  Adequacy of research facilities and training opportunities; and

o  Quality of the environment for scientific and professional development.

Budget

o  Justification of budget requests (including number of positions requested) in
relation to career development goals and research aims.

AWARD CRITERIA

The NIA will notify the applicant of the National Advisory Council on Aging's
decision shortly after its meeting.  Funding decisions will be made based on the
recommendations of the initial review group and Council, the need for research
personnel in specific areas within demography of aging, and the availability of
funds.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Ms. Georgeanne E. Patmios
Demography and Population Epidemiology Unit
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 533, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-3138
Email: Patmios@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 PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In addition,
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain
facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or
routine education, library, day care, health care or early childhood development
services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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