NCCAM INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM (T32) FOR MINORITY RESEARCHERS

Release Date:  February 7, 2001

RFA:  RFA-AT-01-003

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
 (http://nccam.nih.gov)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 16, 2001
Application Receipt Date:       May 14, 2001

PURPOSE

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) 
announces the availability of grant funding to support research training at 
minority and minority-serving institutions for individuals who are training 
for careers in biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research related to 
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  The Institutional Research 
Training Program for Minority Researchers is a National Research Service 
Award (NRSA) Program intended to support individuals in predoctoral and 
postdoctoral training at minority and minority-serving institutions that have 
the potential to develop meritorious research training programs in CAM.  
There are limited training opportunities for graduate and health professions 
students and other individuals at minority and minority-serving institutions 
to develop biomedical and behavioral research skills in CAM.  The NCCAM 
Institutional Research Training Program for Minority Researchers is designed 
to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to 
assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s research agenda, and to 
encourage pursuit of  research career opportunities in CAM.  

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of “Healthy People 2010,” a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for 
Applications (RFA), NCCAM Institutional Research Training Program (T32) for 
Minority Researchers, is related to one or more of the priority areas.  
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of “Healthy People 2010" at 
http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.     
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Minority and Minority-Serving Institutions

Institutions applying for this RFA must be minority or minority-serving 
institutions.  For the purposes of this RFA, a minority institution is 
defined as a domestic college or university in which students from 
underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups comprise a majority (more than 
50%) of the school’s enrollment.  A minority-serving institution is defined 
as a domestic college or university which has demonstrated a commitment to 
the education and training of underrepresented minority students.  The 
applicant institution either must have the staff and facilities required for 
the proposed program, or establish collaboration with a research center to 
provide collectively the staff and facilities necessary for the proposed 
program.  The program director at the applicant institution will be 
responsible for the selection and appointment of students and the overall 
direction of the program.

Trainees 

Individuals appointed to the training grant must be citizens of the United 
States, non-citizen nationals, or persons lawfully admitted to the United 
States for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid 
alien registration receipt card I-551) at the time of appointment and must be 
enrolled at the applicant institution.  The NCCAM particularly encourages 
institutions to identify individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have 
been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research nationally.  
These groups include African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska 
Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.  Individuals must be 
training at the post-baccalaureate level (i.e., predoctoral or postdoctoral 
level) in relevant biomedical or behavioral science fields.  Trainees are 
required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, devoting at 
least 40 hours per week to the program. Within the 40 hours per week training 
period, research trainees in clinical areas must devote their time to the 
proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are 
an integral part of the research training experience. 

Research training grants are a desirable mechanism for the postdoctoral 
training of physicians and other health professionals who may have extensive 
clinical training but limited research experience. For such individuals, the 
training may be a part of a research degree program. In all cases, 
postdoctoral trainees should agree to engage in at least 2 years of research, 
research training, or comparable activities beginning at the time of 
appointment since the duration of training has been shown to be strongly 
correlated with post-training research activity.

Predoctoral trainees:  As of the appointment date for each trainee, 
predoctoral applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree and must be 
enrolled in a program leading to a research doctorate, such as the Ph.D. or 
D.Sc., relevant to CAM, or a combined research and clinical degree (i.e., 
Ph.D. and e.g., D.C., D.O., M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., or N.D.).  This program may 
not support studies leading to the D.C., D.O., M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., N.D. or 
similar professional degree unless they are part of a combined degree 
program.  Students enrolled in health-professions programs who wish to 
postpone their professional studies in order to engage in full-time research 
training may receive an appointment to this program.  Predoctoral applicants 
must have made a strong commitment to complete a doctoral degree or 
equivalent in a biomedical or behavioral science relevant to CAM. 

Postdoctoral trainees:  Post-doctoral applicants must have received, prior to 
beginning the award, a Ph.D., D.C., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., 
D.Sc., Eng.D, Dr. P.H., N.D., Pharm.D., D.S.W., or D.Psy. or equivalent 
doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution.  Research 
training at the postdoctoral level must emphasize specialized training to 
meet CAM research priorities in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical 
sciences.  Trainees may not accept NRSA support for studies that are part of 
residency training leading to clinical certification in a medical or dental 
specialty or subspecialty.  It is permissible and encouraged, however, for 
clinicians to engage in NRSA-supported, full-time, postdoctoral research 
training even when that experience is creditable toward certification by a 
clinical specialty or subspecialty board. 

Research training grants are a desirable mechanism for the postdoctoral 
training of physicians and other health professionals who may have extensive 
clinical training but limited research experience.  For such individuals, the 
training may be a part of a research degree program.  In all cases, 
postdoctoral trainees should agree to engage in at least 2 years of research, 
research training, or comparable activities beginning at the time of 
appointment since the duration of training has been shown to be strongly 
correlated with post-training research activity.

Short-Term Health-Professional Trainees:  To be eligible for short-term, 
full-time, predoctoral research training positions, health-professional 
students must be enrolled and in good standing and must have completed at 
least one quarter in a program leading to a clinical doctorate prior to 
participating in the program.  Individuals matriculated in a formal research 
degree program, or those holding a research doctorate or masters degree or a 
combined health-professional/research doctorate are not eligible for short-
term training positions.  Within schools of pharmacy, only individuals who 
are candidates for the Pharm.D. degree are eligible for short-term positions.

Research Center   

The research training center should have strong, well-established CAM 
research and research training programs.  Each trainee should have a mentor 
who is recognized as an accomplished investigator in CAM research.  In 
circumstances where the applicant institution is not able to provide such 
support, it should identify and collaborate with a research center (school of 
medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy or comparable institution) that has 
strong CAM research and training programs, and identify mentors to advise 
trainees and the applicant institution regarding CAM research training.  
Plans for summer training as well as academic year training should be 
developed by the student and institutional advisors.  It is expected that 
institutional advisors will guide the trainee through the initial training 
period and continue interacting throughout the award.  The development of 
strong mentoring relationships is essential to the success of the trainees 
and the program.  If collaboration is necessary, the applicant institution 
will complete arrangements with an established CAM research center(s) before 
submitting an application.  Arrangements between collaborating institutions 
for the recruitment of trainees, selection of faculty, and for ongoing 
cooperation and collaboration between the institutions in the implementation 
of the program should be outlined clearly in the application. 

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional 
National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanism (T32).  Responsibility for 
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed training program will 
be solely that of the applicant.  The total project period for an application 
submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed five years.  Funds will be 
provided on an annual basis to develop and maintain a stable research 
training experience for qualified students.  This is a one-time solicitation.  
Future unsolicited competing continuation applications will compete with all 
investigator-initiated applications and be reviewed according to the 
customary peer review procedures.  

Funding beyond the first year of the grant is contingent upon satisfactory 
progress during the preceding year and availability of funds.  Facilities and 
Administrative Costs will be awarded based on 8 percent of total direct costs 
exclusive of equipment, tuition, and fees.  The anticipated award date is 
September 2001.

Because the research training environment provides a powerful context in 
which to promote responsible research practices, all competing applications 
must include a description of formal or informal activities or instruction 
related to the responsible conduct of research that will be incorporated into 
the proposed CAM research training program.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NCCAM intends to commit approximately $500,000 in FY 2001 to fund 
approximately two  new grants in response to this RFA.  An applicant may 
request a project period of up to five years and a budget for total costs of 
up to $250,000 per year.  Because the nature and scope of applications may 
vary, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary.  Although 
the financial plans of the NCCAM provide support for this program, awards 
pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the 
receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.  At this time, it 
is not known if this RFA will be reissued.  

OBJECTIVES

Racial and ethnic minority investigators are underrepresented in biomedical 
research and need increased training opportunities in order to build the 
minority biomedical research community.  Although several NIH programs focus 
on training opportunities for minority students at various educational 
levels, no program targets directly the development of a diverse CAM research 
community.  In view of the broad cultural diversity of the American 
population and the presence of several CAM traditions, diversification of the 
CAM research community is necessary to train researchers who have experience 
and knowledge in various cultures and will understand the nuances of CAM 
practices and traditions.  Limited opportunities for individuals from 
racial/ethnic minority groups to receive training in CAM research activities 
often result from a lack of CAM research resources at their home 
institutions, a lack of opportunities to develop the research skills 
necessary to investigate CAM through both didactic training and interactions 
with a critical mass of CAM research scientists, and a lack of access to 
state-of-the-art technology relevant to CAM.  This initiative will address 
these limitations by providing training opportunities for individuals from 
underrepresented minority groups to secure research training applicable to 
CAM. 

This program is designed to attract students in the developmental stages of 
their careers, to increase their awareness of CAM research, and to encourage 
them to pursue research opportunities in this area.  The initiative will fund 
training for individuals, selected by the grantee institutions, in specified 
areas of biomedical and behavioral research related to CAM.  In addition, the 
inclusion of short-term summer training opportunities for health professions 
students (a feature of T32s) will assist in developing the pipeline of 
minority students interested in pursuing research careers in CAM related 
fields.  Applicants to this initiative will be limited to minority 
institutions and minority-serving institutions (e.g., Hispanic Serving Health 
Professions Schools) -- institutions that have demonstrated a commitment to 
the education and training of racial and ethnic minority individuals.  

This initiative may be used to fund research training at any or all of three 
levels:  pre- or post-doctoral training, and short-term research training for 
health professions students.  Predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates must 
meet the requirements under ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS above.  Research 
training at the predoctoral level must emphasize fundamental training in 
areas related to CAM and at the postdoctoral level must emphasize specialized 
training to address national research issues relating to CAM.  Applications 
may include a request for short-term predoctoral positions (lasting 2-3 
months) reserved specifically to train health-professions students on a full-
time basis during the summer or other "off-quarter" periods.  Short-term 
appointments are intended to provide health-professions students with 
opportunities to participate in CAM research in an effort to attract these 
individuals to research careers.  

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Provisions of the Award 

The trainees may be appointed for 9 - 12 months at any time during the course 
of the budget period.  Students must be enrolled on a full-time basis.  For 
predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, a strong interest in a CAM research 
career must be evident.  Short-term training positions for health professions 
students are allowed under this program. 

Predoctoral trainees appointed to the grant may receive up to five years of 
support.  Postdoctoral trainees appointed to the grant may receive up to 
three years of support.  

The applicant institution must assure that mentoring is provided in CAM 
research by including CAM expertise on the T32 training grant faculty.  This 
may be accomplished by having an experienced CAM researcher as the mentor or, 
in circumstances where the expertise is not available at the applicant 
institution, the trainee and his or her faculty research advisor at the 
applicant institution will select jointly an additional faculty mentor with 
research and/or practice  expertise in CAM.  A written commitment to the 
training plan must be provided and must be signed by the faculty mentors of 
all involved departments as well as by institutional officials at all 
participating sites. 

ALLOWABLE COSTS

Stipends.  National Research Service Awards provide funds, in the form of 
stipends, to graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.  A stipend is 
provided as a subsistence allowance to help trainees defray living expenses 
during the research training experience.  It is not provided as a condition 
of employment with either the Federal Government or the awardee institution.  
Stipends must be paid to all trainees at the levels approved by the Secretary 
of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Stipend levels are adjusted 
from time to time and current stipend levels are available on the NIH website 
at: http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm. 

Predoctoral Trainees. Consult the NIH website above for the announcements of 
stipend levels.  For appointments of less than a year, the stipend will be 
pro-rated.

Postdoctoral Trainees. The current annual stipend for postdoctoral trainees 
is determined by the number of FULL years of relevant postdoctoral experience 
at the time of appointment.  Relevant experience may include research 
experience (including industrial), teaching, internship, residency, clinical 
duties, or other time spent in full-time studies in a health-related field 
following the date of the qualifying doctoral degree.  Consult the NIH 
website above for the announcements of stipend levels.

Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance. The NIH will offset the combined cost of 
tuition, fees, and health insurance (either self-only or family as 
appropriate) at the following rate:  100 percent of all costs up to $3,000 
and 60 percent of costs above $3,000.  Costs associated with tuition, fees, 
and health insurance are allowable only if they are required for all 
individuals in a similar research training status at the institution 
regardless of the source of support.  A full description of the tuition 
policy is contained within the NRSA Policy Guidelines on the NIH website at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm 

Other Trainee Costs. Trainee travel, including attendance at scientific 
meetings that the institution determines to be necessary to the individual's 
research training, is an allowable trainee expense.  In addition, travel 
support for a research training experience away from the applicant 
institution may be permitted.  Research training experiences away from the 
applicant or collaborating institution must be justified considering the type 
of opportunities for training available, the manner in which these 
opportunities differ from and complement those offered at the applicant or 
collaborating institution, and the relationship of the proposed experience to 
the trainee's career stage and goals.   These research training experiences 
require prior approval from the NCCAM.  Letters requesting such training may 
be submitted to the NCCAM at any time during the award period.  Under 
exceptional circumstances, which can include providing accommodations for a 
trainee with disabilities, it is possible to request institutional costs 
above the standard rate.  Requests for additional trainee costs must be 
explained in detail and carefully justified in the application. Consultation 
with NCCAM program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised. 

The applicant institution may receive up to $167 per month to offset the cost 
of tuition, fees, health insurance, travel, supplies, and other expenses for 
each short- term, health-professional research training position. 

Training Related Expenses: Institutional costs of $2,000 a year per 
predoctoral trainee and $3,500 a year per postdoctoral trainee may be 
requested to defray the costs of other research training related expenses, 
such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and 
staff travel. 

Facilities and Administrative Costs. A facilities and administrative 
allowance (indirect cost allowance) based on 8 percent of total allowable 
direct costs (this excludes amounts for tuition, fees, health insurance, and 
equipment) may be requested.  Applications from State and local government 
agencies may request full indirect cost reimbursement. See NRSA Policy 
Guidelines on the NIH Website at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm.

Procedures for annual evaluation of the program should include plans to 
measure the impact of the program on the individual student and plans to 
measure the trainee’s progress.  The evaluation procedures should also 
describe plans to monitor the future career course of individual trainees, to 
evaluate the effectiveness of the overall program, and assess the impact of 
the training program on the applicant institution.  It should also include 
plans for assessing the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship and the 
training plan.

STIPEND SUPPLEMENTATION, COMPENSATION, AND OTHER INCOME 

No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the 
institution with the trainee. For postdoctoral trainees, the stipend for each 
additional full year of research training support is the next level in the 
stipend structure and does not change in the middle of an appointment. The 
grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in addition 
to the stipends paid by the NIH. Such additional amounts may be either in the 
form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in the form of compensation, 
such as salary or tuition remission for services such as teaching or serving 
as a laboratory assistant, provided the following conditions described below 
are met. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation 
or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or 
prolong the trainee's approved NRSA training program. 

Stipend Supplementation. Supplementation or additional support to offset the 
cost of living may be provided by the grantee institution. Supplementation 
does not require any additional effort from the trainee. Federal funds may 
not be used for supplementation unless specifically authorized under the 
terms of both the program from which such supplemental funds are to be 
received and the program whose funds are to be supplemented. Under no 
circumstances may DHHS funds be used for supplementation. 

Compensation. An institution may provide additional funds to a trainee in the 
form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services such 
as teaching or serving as a research assistant. A trainee may receive 
compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other position 
on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant. However, 
compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from 
the normal research training activities, which require a minimum of 40 hours 
per week. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research grant 
supporting research that constitutes the research training experience. 

Educational Loans or G.I. Bill. An individual may make use of Federal 
educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment 
Benefits Act (G.I. Bill). Such funds are not considered supplementation or 
compensation. 

Concurrent Awards. A NRSA may not be held concurrently with another federally 
sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or 
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA. 

Tax Liability. Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment 
of all scholarships and fellowships. Under that section, non-degree 
candidates are required to report as gross income any monies paid on their 
behalf for stipends, or any course tuition and fees required for attendance. 
Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount 
used for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and 
equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational 
organization. The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the 
relationship between NRSA trainees and institutions. NRSA stipends are not 
considered salaries. In addition, trainees supported under the NRSA are not 
considered to be in an employee- employer relationship with the NIH or the 
awardee institution. It is therefore, inappropriate and unallowable for 
institutions to charge costs associated with employment (such as FICA, 
workman's compensation, or unemployment insurance) to the training grant. It 
must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of the tax laws 
are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts. The NIH 
takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, and it does not 
have the authority to dispense tax advice. Individuals should consult their 
local IRS office about the applicability of the law to their situation and 
for information on their tax obligations.

PAYBACK PROVISIONS

As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NRSA recipients incur a 
service payback obligation only during their first 12 months of postdoctoral 
support.  Additionally, the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 specifies that the 
second and subsequent years of postdoctoral NRSA training will serve to pay 
back a postdoctoral service payback obligation.  Accordingly, the following 
guidelines apply:

o  Predoctoral trainees are not required to sign the payback agreement and do 
not incur a service payback obligation.

o  Postdoctoral trainees in the first 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support 
must sign the payback agreement form (PHS form 6031) before initiating an 
appointment.  Postdoctoral trainees in their first 12 months of support will 
incur a period of service payback obligation equal to the period of support.

o  Postdoctoral trainees in the 13th and subsequent months of NRSA 
postdoctoral support are not required to sign the payback agreement form and 
will not incur a service payback obligation.  

o  The 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral NRSA support are considered 
acceptable payback service for prior postdoctoral support. For example, 
postdoctoral trainees who continue under that award for 2 years have 
fulfilled the obligation incurred during the first 12 months of support by 
the end of the second year.   Service payback obligations can also be paid 
back by conducting health-related research or teaching averaging more than 20 
hours per week of a full work year after terminating NRSA support.

o  Recipients with service obligations must begin to provide service on a 
continuous basis within two years of termination of NRSA support.  The period 
for undertaking payback service may be delayed for such reasons as temporary 
disability, completion of residency requirements, or completion of the 
requirements for a graduate degree.  Requests for an extension must be made 
in writing to the NIH specifying the need for additional time and the length 
of the required extension.

o  Recipients of NRSA support are responsible for informing the NCCAM of 
changes in status or address.

o  For individuals who fail to fulfill their obligation through service, the 
United States is entitled to recover the total amount of NRSA funds paid to 
the individual for the obligated period plus interest at a rate determined by 
the Secretary of the Treasury.  Financial payback must be completed within 
three years beginning on the date the United States becomes entitled to 
recover such amount.

o  Under certain conditions, the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (or those delegated this authority) may extend the period for 
starting service or repayment, permit breaks in service, or in rare cases in 
which service or financial repayment would constitute an extreme hardship, 
may waive or suspend the payback obligation of an individual.

o  Officials at the awardee institution have the responsibility of explaining 
the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective training candidates 
before appointment to the training grant.  Additionally, all trainees 
recruited into the training program must be provided with information related 
to the career options that might be available when they complete the program.  
The relationship of the positions available and the training provided must 
also be discussed along with the applicability of these positions to any 
outstanding service payback obligation.

Trainee Reporting Requirements 

The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 
2271) for each trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant at the 
beginning of the appointment period. Additionally, a completed Payback 
Agreement (PHS Form 6031) must be submitted for each trainee in their first 
twelve months of postdoctoral support. Within 30 days of the end of the total 
support period for each trainee, the institution must submit a Termination 
Notice (PHS Form 416-7). Failure to submit the required forms in a timely, 
complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a 
delay in any continuation funding for the award. 

LEAVE 

In general, trainees may receive stipends during the normal periods of 
vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training 
positions at the grantee institution. For the purpose of these awards, 
however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be 
an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be 
a vacation or holiday. Trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar 
days of sick leave per year. Sick leave may be used for the medical 
conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Trainees may also receive 
stipends for up to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the 
adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions 
at the grantee institution have access to paid leave for this purpose and the 
use of parental leave is approved by the program director. 

A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may not be made from 
grant funds for leave not taken. Individuals requiring periods of time away 
from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek 
approval from the NIH awarding component for an unpaid leave of absence. At 
the beginning of a leave of absence, the trainee must submit a Termination 
Notice (PHS Form 416-7) and upon return from the leave of absence, the 
trainee must be formally reappointed to the grant by submitting an updated 
Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271). Trainees within the first twelve 
months of postdoctoral support must also submit a Payback Agreement (PHS Form 
6031) upon return from a leave of absence. 

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 are provided indicating 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 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm.  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences. 

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. 

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 
address: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html. 
Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review since reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 16, 2001, a letter of 
intent that includes 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 this RFA.  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 NCCAM staff 
to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.  Mail or fax 
the letter of intent to:

Morgan N. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Office of Special Populations
Division of Extramural Research, Training and Review
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 106, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD  20892-5475
tel:  301-402-1278
fax:  301-480-3621

APPLICATION PROCEDURES
The PHS grant application Form PHS-398 (Rev. 4/98) and its Additional 
Instructions for Preparing Institutional National Research Service Award 
Applications (Pages V-1 - V-8; Substitution Pages NN - PP) are to be used in 
applying for these grants.  These forms are  available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research, and from:

Division of Extramural Outreach
and Information Resources
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910
Telephone 301-435-0714
E-mail: grantsinfo@nih.gov
Internet address: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

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.  Type the RFA 
number on the label.  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 the review.  In addition, the RFA title (NCCAM Institutional 
Research Training Program (T32) for Minority Researchers) and number AT-01-
003 must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the 
YES box must be marked.  The sample RFA label available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to 
reflect this change.  Please note this label is in pdf format.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application and three signed 
photocopies 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 courier service)

At the time of submission, send two (2) additional copies of the application 
to:

Chief, Review Branch
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Room 106, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD  20892-5475
(for courier service use Bethesda, MD  20817)
tel:  301-496-4792
fax:  301-480-3621

It is important to send these two copies at the same time as the original and 
three copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). These copies 
are used to identify conflicts and help ensure the appropriate and timely 
review of the application.  Applications must be received by the application 
receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA.   If an application is 
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without 
review.  

The 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.  This does 
not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of applications already 
reviewed, but such applications must include an introduction addressing the 
previous critique.

Applicants who wish to include a request for short-term research training 
positions should identify short-term positions separately within the 
"stipends" and "training related expenses" categories on the budget page.  
Under "stipends", short-term positions should be listed in the "other" 
category.  Tuition, fees, health insurance, and trainee travel, and other 
expenses are to be included in "training related expenses".  The description 
of the short-term research training program should be included in the 
application for the regular research training program, but should be 
separated from the description of the regular program within each section of 
the application.  In addition to the information requested in the "program 
plan" section, the applicant should address the relationship of the proposed 
short-term program to the regular research training program and provide 
assurance that the short-term program will not detract from the longer term, 
regular program.  Applicants must observe the 25-page limit on the narrative 
section.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NCCAM.  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 be evaluated 
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group 
convened by the NCCAM in accordance with the review 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 the applications 
under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a 
second level review by the NCCAM Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in evaluating the NCCAM 
Institutional Research Training Program (T32) for Minority Researchers 
applications:  

o Design of the proposed training program and CAM focus.

o Qualifications, dedication, and previous training record of the program 
director and all participating faculty, particularly with regard to prior 
experience with similar programs and CAM.

o Adequacy of facilities, environment, and resources for the proposed CAM 
research training, both at the applicant institution and (if included) the 
collaborating institution.

o Adequacy of the arrangements (as applicable) between the applicant 
institution and the collaborating institution.

o Recruitment and selection plans for trainees, and the identification of the 
potential pool of high quality candidates.

o Methods for retaining and tracking students.

o Commitment of the participating faculty and the institution(s) to the goals 
of the CAM training program.

o Procedures for evaluation of the impact of the program on the trainees 
involved.

TRAINING IN THE RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH 
Every predoctoral and postdoctoral NRSA trainee supported by an institutional 
research training grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct 
of research. (For more information on this provision, see the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, Volume 21, Number 43, November 27, 1992; URL: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html.)

Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal or 
informal instruction in scientific integrity or the responsible conduct of 
research. Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be returned to the 
applicant without review. 

o  Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal 
requirements, all programs are encouraged strongly to consider instruction in 
the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies 
for handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of human and animal 
subjects, and data management.  Within the context of training in scientific 
integrity, it is also beneficial to discuss the mutual responsibilities of 
the institution and the graduate or postdoctoral students appointed to the 
program. 

o  Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction, the format of 
the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee attendance, and 
the frequency of instruction. 

o  The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided. 

o  Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics covered, and 
other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and faculty 
participation, must be included in future competing continuation and 
noncompeting applications.  The NIH encourages institutions to provide 
instruction in the responsible conduct of research to all graduate and 
postdoctoral students in a training program or department, regardless of the 
source of support. 

The NCCAM initial review group will assess the applicant's plans on the basis 
of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of faculty 
participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.  The plan will 
be discussed after the overall determination of merit, so that the quality of 
the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the priority score. 
Plans will be judged as acceptable or unacceptable. The acceptability of the 
plan will be described in an administrative note on the summary statement. 
Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will 
not be funded until a revised, acceptable plan is provided by the applicant. 
The acceptability of the revised plan will be judged by NCCAM staff. 

Following initial review, applications are also reviewed by the NCCAM 
Advisory Council which will consider, in addition to the assessment of the 
scientific and educational merit of the research training grant application, 
the initial review group's comments on the plan for instruction in the 
responsible conduct of research. 

Schedule

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    April 16, 2001
Application Receipt Date:         May 14, 2001
Earliest Anticipated Award Date:  September 1, 2001

AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o Scientific, technical, and research training merit of the application as 
determined by peer review.
o Availability of funds.  
o Programmatic priorities.

INQUIRIES

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:

Morgan N. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Office of Special Populations
Division of Extramural Research, Training and Review
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 106, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD  20892-5475
tel:  301-402-1278
fax:  301-480-3621
email:  mj145m@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding review issues to :
Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research, Training and Review
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Room 106, MSC 5475
Bethesda, MD  20892-5475
tel:  301-496-4792
fax:  301-480-3621

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Mrs. Victoria Carper
Grants Management Officer
Division of Extramural Research, Training and Review
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 106 MSC 5475
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-5475
tel:  (301) 594-9102
fax: (301) 480-3621
email: vp8g@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, 
numbers:  93.233, 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839.  Awards are made under 
authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as 
amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered under NIH grants policies and 
Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This program is 
not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 
12372 or a 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 PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the 
American people.


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