IN VIVO CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR IMAGING CENTERS (ICMICs)

Release Date:  March 30, 1999

RFA:  CA-99-004

P.T.

National Cancer Institute

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  June 17, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  July 23, 1999

PURPOSE

The Diagnostic Imaging Program, Division of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment of the
National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites applications for P50 Research Center
Grants for the establishment of In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers
(ICMICs).  A separate Request for Applications (RFA), CA-99-002, describing a
complementary initiative, the P20 Planning Grant for Pre-In Vivo Cellular and
Molecular Imaging Centers (Pre-ICMICs), is also being issued.  This RFA is available at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-CA-99-002.html).

Both of these initiatives are designed to capitalize on the extraordinary
opportunity for studying cancer non-invasively, and in many cases, quantitatively
due to recent advances in molecular imaging modalities, as well as molecular and
cellular biology.  They will facilitate the interaction of scientists from a
variety of fields such as, but not limited to: imaging sciences, chemistry,
radiopharmaceutical chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, pharmacology,
computer science, biomedical engineering, immunology and neuroscience, and
provide resources to conduct multidisciplinary research.

The 5-year P50 grants described in this RFA will be appropriate for those
Institutions in which investigator-initiated multidisciplinary research involving
imaging and molecular technologies are currently ongoing.  These efforts may be
generating important preliminary data, but the teams may be loosely associated,
not consistently supported and therefore lack the overall structure and resources
necessary to take full advantage of emerging opportunities.  The P50 Center grant
will provide a formal framework through which scientific synergy can occur on a
stable and continuing basis, and will provide 1) an organizational structure
specifically designed to facilitate scientific cross-fertilization between
seemingly disparate groups of investigators; 2) specialized resources to support
research activities; 3) developmental funds for feasibility testing of new
projects; and 4) career development opportunities for new and established
investigators.

The 3-year P20 Pre-ICMIC awards described in RFA CA-99-002 will be appropriate
for those  Institutions that have most of the separate scientific components
necessary for productive interaction but have no previous track-record of
performing multidisciplinary scientific research.  Following completion of the
P20 funding period, grantees will be expected to compete for a P50 award (see
below) that will be competitively reviewed on the organizational and scientific
progress made during the planning stage.

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 RFA, Planning Grants: In Vivo Cellular
and Molecular Imaging Centers (PRE-ICMICs), is related to the priority area of
cancer.  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), or at
http://www.crisny.org/health/us/health7.html.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications for P50 ICMIC grants may be submitted by domestic non-profit and
for-profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals and laboratories.  Applications from foreign institutions will not be
accepted.  Foreign components of applications from domestic organizations will
be accepted with adequate justification. Racial/ethnic minority individuals,
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal
Investigators.

Institutions may submit either a single P50 application, or a single P20
application, but not both. Each Institution must determine in advance whether it
will submit a P20 or a P50 grant.  The Pre-ICMIC (P20) and the ICMIC (P50)
require two distinct levels of existing resources.  Each Institution must
evaluate its existing research programs, and determine whether it will require
a planning phase, or whether it has sufficient resources to support a P50 ICMIC. 
If an Institution submits an application for a P20 Planning Grant, an application
from that same Institution for a P50 Center grant will not be accepted for the
first P50 receipt date.  However, P50 applications will be accepted from those
institutions for subsequent P50 receipt dates, which are anticipated to occur in
FY 2001, FY 2003 and FY 2004.

Each of the lead investigators (the Principal Investigator of the ICMIC, and the
Principal Investigator(s) of each Research Component)  must be the principal
investigator of a major, peer-reviewed research project, such as an R01, a P01,
or their equivalent from another funding agency.  In addition, each of the lead
investigators must demonstrate that they have had significant and productive
scientific interactions with at least one of the other lead investigators, either
as co-investigators on funded grants and/or as co-authors on peer-reviewed
publications.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support of this program will be through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
P50 Specialized Centers Grant Mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning,
direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the
applicant.  The total project period for a P50 application submitted in response
to this RFA may not exceed 5 years.  The anticipated award date is March 1, 2000.

There will be a single receipt date for P50 grants to be funded in FY 2000. 
However, contingent upon the future availability of funds for these grants, the
NCI anticipates 3 additional receipt dates for P50 applications, one each for
funding in FY 2001, FY 2003 and FY 2004.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NCI anticipates that two to three 5-year awards will be made in FY 2000, and
plans to set aside $4.0  million total for the initial year's funding.  Funding
in response to this RFA is dependent upon the receipt of a sufficient number of
applications of high scientific merit. Although this program is provided for in
the financial plans of NCI, the award of grants pursuant to this RFA is
contingent upon the anticipated availability of funds for this purpose.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background:

Imaging sciences are at a stage in which human anatomic imaging can occur in vivo
at submillimeter resolution, and significant advances have occurred in molecular
imaging modalities, including the nuclear medicine techniques of SPECT and PET, 
MR spectroscopy and optical imaging.  At the same time, a myriad of new cancer-
related genes and proteins are being uncovered at an increasing pace by molecular
and cellular biologists.  However, there remains a scientific gulf between basic
scientists who discover new cancer genes and intracellular pathways, any of which
could serve as a diagnostic or therapeutic target, and the imaging scientists who
could transform those discoveries into non-invasive means for a greater
understanding of neoplasia in humans.

Research Goals and Objectives:

The formation of multidisciplinary research teams will stimulate and streamline
cancer imaging research from inception to use in patient care.  Each Institution
will define the structure and research objectives that create the most
synergistic and creative scientific interactions.  In general, an ICMIC will
provide researchers with the following critical resources:

Special Features

1)  The ICMICs will provide an organizational structure specifically designed to
facilitate intellectual cross-fertilization between seemingly disparate groups
of investigators.  This structure will provide researchers with access to a
concentrated pool of expertise in a wide range of disciplines, and the resources 
necessary to analyze and predict the likelihood of success in areas outside their
immediate realm of expertise.  The structure of the ICMIC will be designed to
provide investigators with the means of conducting multidisciplinary research in
a highly collaborative atmosphere, and the consistent access to expertise with
minimal wasted time and effort.  Personnel may be scientists from a variety of
fields such as, but not limited to: imaging sciences, chemistry,
radiopharmaceutical chemistry, cell and molecular biology, pharmacology, computer
science and biomedical engineering.  Other specialists in fields such as MR
physics, immunology or neuroscience, for example, may also be involved.  Most
importantly, ICMIC personnel must demonstrate an eagerness to collaborate outside
of their own discipline.  The nature of these interactions will be determined by
the applicants, and emphasis will be placed on establishing creative, productive
interactions.

2) The ICMICs will provide Specialized Resource Facilities and Services.  A
barrier to productive scientific interaction is the lack of available facilities
for cross-disciplinary experiments.  Demands on equipment and reagents in every
scientific area are extremely high, and this demand prohibits ready access to
investigators interested in expanding their studies into new areas of research. 
The establishment of Specialized Resources dedicated to ICMIC-related research
will provide this access.  The Specialized Resource(s) would be determined by the
requirements of the Institution, the defined scientific goals of the Research
Components of the ICMIC, and budgetary limits.  Prioritization of the research
projects supported through ICMIC Specialized resources would be an essential
function of the ICMICs leadership, and the mechanism to be employed for
prioritization must be delineated by the applicants.  Resource facilities may be
utilized by active members of the ICMIC, and would also be available to
investigators supported through the Development Fund (see below).

3) ICMICs will provide Developmental Funds for feasibility testing of new
projects.  A high priority of each ICMIC will be the identification and support
of pilot projects that identify and stimulate interdisciplinary projects that
will take full advantage of emerging research opportunities.  The selection of
projects will be through a review process established by the ICMICs leadership. 
The portfolio of ongoing projects in any given Program is expected to be
extremely dynamic.  This fund is not to be used to support traditional, ongoing
projects that could readily be supported through R01s.  It is not appropriate for
projects that utilize single areas of expertise or to support the continuation
of previously funded research projects, and Developmental Projects may not be
supported for more than 2 years.  Necessary equipment should be provided through
the appropriate Specialized Resource. These projects are to be monitored closely
by the ICMIC leadership.  Investigators working on projects supported through the
Development Fund must understand that when the projects become sufficiently
mature, they will be expected to compete for independent R01 funding. 
Alternatively, if it becomes obvious that it will not provide the expected
results, a plan should be in place for terminating a development project.

4) ICMICs will provide career development opportunities for new and established
investigators.  Current graduate programs are generally focused on single
disciplines and may be inadequate to train the needed cadre of inter-disciplinary
imaging scientists.  The ICMICs will provide support for a limited number of pre-
and post-doctoral trainees in a program to be defined by the applicants.  Career
development opportunities through the ICMIC will be expected to be highly
cross-disciplinary.

An example of a ICMIC structure is described below.  This is just an example, and
other multidisciplinary formats are encouraged.

An ICMIC would be defined by a long-term, multidisciplinary scientific vision
focused on the advancement of cellular and molecular imaging.  In order to
accomplish its long-term goals, the ICMIC may be structured into a series of
Research Components.  A Research Component may be defined by one or more research
projects focused on a specific scientific goals, which are accomplished and
readily disseminated throughout the ICMIC.  For example, research project(s)
focused on the discovery, characterization and refinement of new genetic targets
might be accomplished within a Molecular Biology Component.  A
Chemistry/Radiochemistry Component might be responsible for projects aimed at
designing new imaging agents directed towards targets defined in the Molecular
Biology Component.  A Computing/Database Component would be responsible for
ongoing research in molecular modeling and structural analyses as it relates to
ICMIC projects.  A Biochemistry Component might be responsible for aspects of
imaging agent development that encompass cell biology and pharmacology, in
addition to development of kinetic models for studying complex issues involving
agent delivery and metabolism.  The most promising potential imaging agents would
be refined and tested in the Imaging Component.  Each Component would have access
to ICMIC Specialized Resources, designed to provide support facilities to ICMIC
research projects.  Developmental Projects would be initiated in response to new
discoveries made through the ICMIC, and would be supported through Specialized
Resources.  Opportunities for trainees would be available through the
investigators involved with the ICMIC, and their ongoing projects.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

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.

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, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.

Investigators may also 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 clear and compelling 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.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by June 17, 1999, 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 a
subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NCI staff to
estimate the potential review workload and avoid conflict of interest in the
review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to the program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in applying
for these grants.  Applications 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, email:
grantsinfo@nih.gov. For those applicants with internet access, the 398 kit may
be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm

Special Instructions for Preparation of the Application

1) Budgets:

The budget should be presented in logical, discrete units for each section of the
application, as well as the composite ICMIC request.  The standard PHS-398 form
pages 4-5 are to be completed for each individual Research Component and
Specialized Resource.  A single budget section should be prepared for the
Developmental Component, as well as a separate budget section for the Career
Development Component.  Additional pages for budget justification are to be used
when necessary.

2) Research Plan

The following format is suggested for completing the "Research Plan" section (see
pages 19 through 23 of the PHS 398 application brochure).  The "Research Plan"
section is not subject to the page limitations as stated in the form PHS 398. 
However, the suggested format and page recommendations are noted below.  The
application should be as concise as possible to ensure a thorough review.

A.  ICMIC Description (10 pages)

This section should be used to present the overall vision for the ICMIC, the long
and short-term scientific objectives, and how the research supported through the
ICMIC will significantly advance cellular and molecular imaging technologies. 
Summarize the organizational structure for the ICMIC, concisely defining Research
Components, Specialized Resources, the Developmental Fund and the Career
Development Component.  Describe how each component will contribute to the
functioning of the ICMIC.  The ICMIC description should serve as a broad overview
of the ICMIC, with more detailed description of each component to be presented
in a later section.

B.  Organization and Administration (20 pages, including any organizational
charts)

The Organizational and Administrative Component should describe all of the
infrastructure and decision-making needs of the ICMIC.  Appropriate for inclusion
in this component would be (not necessarily in the following order):
- description of the role(s) and responsibilities of lead investigators, internal
and external advisory committees as well as participating investigators.
- description of decision-making and oversight responsibilities for each
Component and/or Specialized Resource.
- description of decision-making and oversight responsibilities for the
Developmental Fund, including the process for selecting, monitoring and
terminating the Developmental Projects.
- description of decision-making and oversight responsibilities for the Career
Development Component, including the process for selecting, monitoring and
terminating trainees.
- description of ICMIC-sponsored activities designed to foster multidisciplinary
interactions, such as regularly scheduled forums for the presentation and
discussion of multidisciplinary research topics.
- detailed description of Institutional commitment to the ICMIC.
- commitment to interact with other ICMICs and Pre-ICMICs, including an annual
Inter-ICMIC meeting in the Washington DC area.
- evidence (grants and publications) of ongoing scientific interactions amongst
the PI and lead investigators (may be presented in tabular format - not to be
included in 20 page limit )

C.  Research Components (25 pages each)

Research components will be defined according to the scientific goals of the
ICMIC.  These components will provide the leadership and infrastructure for
ongoing ICMIC research focused on achieving its long-term goals.  The leader(s)
of each Research Component will be responsible for ensuring that ongoing research
project(s) are relevant to the ICMIC goals, and that the investigators and
projects remain highly integrated with other ongoing ICMIC research.  More than
one Research Project may be present within each Research Component.  However, each
Research Project is expected to be well developed, and careful consideration will
be given to the relevance and potential impact of each Project on the ICMIC goals
during the review process.  Research Components may rely on the support of the
Specialized Resources.  To ensure a sufficient level of multidisciplinary
interaction, no fewer than three Research Components should be included in the
application; the maximum number will be determined by the identified needs of the
investigators and budgetary constraints.

Include in each Research Component an overview of the scientific objective(s) of
the Component, a description of how the Component will contribute to the long-term
goals of the ICMIC, and a description of the specific Research Project(s) that
will be supported through the Component.  Each Research Project is to be presented
using the format of a traditional research project [Research Plan: Include
Sections a-d (Instructions for PHS 398, Pages 15-17)], but the total number of
pages for each Research Component is not to exceed 25.

D.  Specialized Resources (10 pages each)

Specialized Resources may include laboratory and clinical facilities, equipment,
and services. 
For each Specialized Resource, describe in detail the resource(s) that it will
provide to the ICMIC.  In addition, describe its role in the overall functioning
of the ICMIC, including how each resource will enhance multidisciplinary research,
and a description of the projects that will be supported by the Specialized
Resource.

E.  Developmental Fund (not to exceed 20 pages)

This section should include a description of the Developmental Project(s) that
will be initiated during the first year of ICMIC funding, including a summary of
which Specialized Resources will support the projects, and to what level that
support will occur.  The Developmental Fund projects must be multidisciplinary,
and each is to be presented using the format of a traditional research project
[Research Plan: Include Sections a-d (Instructions for PHS 398, Pages 15-17)]. 
The number of Developmental Projects to be initiated will be determined by the
ICMIC applicants.

F.  Career Development Component (not to exceed 15 pages)

Career Development opportunities sponsored by ICMICs  will provide a limited
number of trainees with access to a highly cross-disciplinary experience.  The
extent of the Career Development Component is to be defined by the applicant,
based on the needs and capabilities of the ICMIC participants.  Applicants for
career development support may be new investigators or established investigators
who wish to change research directions.  Candidates should be scientists who have
demonstrated outstanding research potential but who need additional time in a
productive scientific environment to establish an independent, multidisciplinary
research program.  Recruitment must include qualified women and minorities.  To
this end, each applicant should propose a clear policy and plan for recruitment
of career development candidates.  The ICMIC application should propose the number
of slots available, the criteria for eligibility and for selection of candidates,
and describe the selection process.  Also, the application should indicate
prospective mentors who are already in place at the proposed ICMIC, briefly
describe their research programs, and describe complementary activities that
contribute to the environment for career development (e.g., existing training
grants, other career development mechanisms and relevant programs).

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, typewritten original of the application, including the Checklist,
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 express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be sent
to:

Ms. Toby Friedberg
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 636, MSC-7399
Bethesda, MD  20892-7399
Rockville, MD 20850 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by July 23, 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.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and
responsiveness by the NCI.  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 NCI in accordance with
the review criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, a process
may be used by the initial review group in which applications receive a written
critique and 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 National Cancer Advisory Board.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of biological
systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  The reviewers will
comment on the following aspects of the application in their written critiques in
order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial
impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these criteria will be addressed
and considered by the reviewers in assigning the overall score weighting them as
appropriate for each application.

The overall ICMIC applications will be reviewed using the criteria listed below.

Significance:  Does the ICMIC address an important imaging research problem?  Are
the scientific objective(s) of the Research Components, Specialized Resources,
Developmental Projects and Career Development Plans appropriate and adequate to
achieve the long-term goals of the ICMIC?

Approach: Is the conceptual framework and the experimental design, methods and
analyses proposed for each of the ICMIC components  sound and feasible?

Innovation: Are the experimental designs of the proposed research  focused on
cellular and molecular imaging, and are they original, novel, and innovative?

Investigator(s): Is the ICMIC Director and leadership appropriately trained and
well suited to the organizational and scientific responsibilities of the ICMIC? 
Is there evidence that ICMIC participants are committed to productive,
multidisciplinary interactions?  Have the participating investigators demonstrated
significant scientific interaction and productivity prior to the submission of
this application?

Environment:  Is there evidence of significant commitment of the institution to
fulfilling the objectives of the ICMIC?  Does the scientific environment in which
the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed
experiments take advantage of unique features in the scientific environment?

In addition, each ICMIC component will be reviewed using the following criteria:

1)  Organization and Administration:

Is the organizational, scientific and operational framework reasonable,
well-integrated and appropriate to the aims of the ICMIC?  Does the ICMIC employ
novel approaches or methods for facilitating scientific interaction?  Is the ICMIC
Director and leadership appropriately trained and well suited to the
organizational and scientific responsibilities associated with this project?  Is
there sufficient oversight and monitoring of Research Components, Specialized
Resources, Developmental Funds and Career Development Programs?  Is there evidence
of significant commitment of the institution to fulfilling the objectives of the
ICMIC?  If collaborative arrangements are proposed, is there a convincing
demonstration that these interactions will be consistent enough to meet the needs
of the ICMIC?

2) Research Components:

The five criteria to be used to evaluate individual Research Components in ICMIC
applications are listed below.

1) Significance.  Does the Research Component address an important research
problem? Does the scientific merit and experimental design of the Research
Project(s) adequately address issues of substantive importance?

2) Approach.  Are the conceptual research framework, design, methods, and analyses
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? 
Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative
translational approaches? Is there clear evidence of significant multidisciplinary
basic and clinical interactions in the conception, design, and proposed
implementation of the project?

3) Innovation.  Does the Research Project(s) develop new methodologies or
technologies? Is the experimental design of sufficient  originality, novelty, and
innovativeness to make it highly relevant to the overall goals and objectives of
the ICMIC?

4)  Investigators.  Is the lead investigator and the co- investigators
appropriately qualified with demonstrated competence to conduct the proposed
research?  Is the proposed work appropriate to the experience level of the
principal investigator and project researchers?  Are the proposed time commitments
for all key laboratory and clinical researchers reasonable and adequately
associated with the project?

5)  Environment.  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done
contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments take
advantage of unique features in the scientific environment or reach out to useful
collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of adequate institutional support?
Is the project interactive with other components of the ICMIC

3) Specialized Resources:

Is each Specialized Resource essential for the conduct of ICMIC?  Is the access
to, and distribution of, Specialized Resources focused on meeting the goals of the
ICMIC?  Are the proposed managers of Specialized Resources adequately qualified
of to conduct high quality, reliable resource operations?  Are the requested
budgets appropriate to conduct each resource operation?

4) Developmental Projects:

Do the Developmental Projects demonstrate innovate approaches that integrate
multiple scientific disciplines?  Do the Developmental Projects establish new,
multidisciplinary collaborations focused on cellular and molecular imaging, and
are the projects original and innovative?

The five  review criteria delineated for the research projects will also be
applied to the Developmental Projects.  However, the Developmental Projects  will
be reviewed as a "cluster", reflecting the cumulative scientific merit of the
projects, rather than assigning each project an independent merit rating.

5) Career Development Program:

Is the Career Development Program well justified, and does it describe a program
that will successfully train investigators capable of establishing independent
multidisciplinary imaging research programs?  Are the proposed mentors in the
Career Development Program experienced in the types of training proposed?  Is the
process for selecting candidates for training adequate, and does it seek out and
include qualified minorities and women?

The initial review group will also examine: the appropriateness of proposed
project budget and duration; the adequacy of plans to include both genders and
minorities and their subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the
research and plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects; the adequacy of
plans for including children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the
research, or justification for exclusion; the provisions for the protection of
human and animal subjects; and the safety of the research environment.

In addition to rating the merit of individual components, peer reviewers will be
asked to judge the overall program in the following areas:

1.  scientific merit and innovativeness;
2.  evidence of interdependent, multidisciplinary design and conduct of the
research;
3.  impact, or potential for impacting on the in vivo cellular and molecular
imaging;
4.  institutional commitment;
5.  overall program organization.

A verbal descriptor will be recorded for each of the above areas.

A single numerical priority score will be assigned to the program as a whole.
Although primary emphasis will be placed on scientific merit and innovativeness,
significant consideration will be given to multidisciplinary interactions,
potential for impacting on the field, and institutional commitment.

AWARD CRITERIA

ICMIC awards will be based primarily on the basis of scientific merit as
determined by peer review, availability of funds, and programmatic priorities.

Schedule

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  June 17, 1999
Application Receipt Date:       July 23, 1999
Review by NCAB Advisory Board:  February 2000
Anticipated Award Date:         March 1, 2000

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:

Anne E. Menkens, Ph.D.
Diagnostic Imaging Program
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-9531
FAX:  (301) 480-5785
Email:  am187k@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding referral  issues to:

Ms. Toby Friedberg
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 636, MSC-7399
Bethesda, MD  20892-7399
Rockville, MD  20850 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 496-3428
FAX:  (301) 402-0275
Email:  tf12w@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms Carolyn Mason
Grants Administration Branch
National Cancer Institute
6120 Executive Boulevard, Suite 243
Bethesda, MD 20892-7340
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: (301) 496-7800, Ext. 259
Email: cm113g@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.394.  Awards are made under authorization of the Sections 301 and 405 of the
Public Health Service Act, as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered under
PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74 and 92. 
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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