SMALL GRANTS FOR MINORITIES IN DIABETES, DIGEST and KIDNEY DISEASES

NIH Guide, Volume 26, Number 36, October 24, 1997

RFA:  DK-98-004

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 20, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  February 19, 1998

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
recognizes the need to increase the number of underrepresented minority
individuals committed to scientific careers in research areas served by the
NIDDK.  This program is aimed primarily at recently trained M.D. and/or Ph.D.
minority investigators.  The program will enable the minority applicant to accept
a tenure-earning position, gain additional research experience and obtain
preliminary data on which to base a subsequent research grant application (R01
or R29) in an area of diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, digestive diseases and
nutrition, kidney, urology or hematology.

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, Support of Minorities in
Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease, is related to the priority area of
increasing underrepresented minority health scientists.  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 or local governments, and eligible agencies of the
Federal government.  Foreign organizations are not eligible to apply.  Applicant
must be African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander or other
ethnic or racial group members underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral
research.  To apply, one must be a citizen of, or have been lawfully admitted to,
the United States for permanent residence.

An applicant must have a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M.). 
He or she should have received at least two years of postgraduate research
training in an area of research applicable to research supported in this
institute, and have direct access to an expert in the area of the proposed
research.

Applicants may not hold, nor apply concurrently for any other PHS research
project grant at the time of this application.  Priority will be given to those
applicants who have not previously been a Principal Investigator on a major
research grant.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for other research project
grants (R01, R29) during the course of, or following, this award.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support will be provided through the small research grant (R03) program
administered by the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, the
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, and the Division of Kidney,
Urologic and Hematologic Diseases in the NIDDK.  Responsibility for the planning,
direction, and execution of the proposed project will be that of the applicant. 
Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy as stated in the PHS Grants
Policy Statement.

Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research Center (GCRC)
funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources may wish to identify the
GCRC as a resource for conducting the proposed research.  If so, a letter of
agreement from either the GCRC program director or principal investigator should
be included with the application.

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Future unsolicited continuation
applications will compete with all investigator-initiated applications and be
reviewed according to the customary peer review procedures.  If the NIDDK
determines that there is a sufficient continuing program need, a request for new
applications will be announced.  The total project period for an application
submitted in response to this RFA may be for one or two years.  In specific
circumstances resulting from the requirements of a particular research project
and the applicant's  need to acquire skills original to the project, three years
may be requested.  Direct costs requested must not exceed $50,000 per year.  A
grant cannot be renewed.  The anticipated award date is September 30, 1998.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

For FY 1998, $250,000 in total direct costs for year 01 will be committed in each
of the three research divisions in the NIDDK.  It is anticipated that up to five
awards will be made in each of the three divisions in FY 1998. This level of
support depends on the receipt of a sufficient number of applications of high
scientific merit.  Although this program is provided for in the financial plans
of the NIDDK, the award of grants pursuant to this RFA is contingent upon the
availability of funds for this purpose.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The primary purpose of this RFA is to increase the number of underrepresented
minority Principal Investigators conducting research in areas supported by the
NIDDK. Surveys of research and training programs administered by the NIDDK
disclose the need to increase the access to NIDDK support of recently-trained
minority scientists who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Those who receive several years of training via an individual postdoctoral
fellowship or an institutional training grant funded by a National Research
Service Award may still require research experience and preliminary data to
support an independent research career at this stage of development.  An
additional period of training may not be feasible for minority individuals with
pressing economic burdens.  Such individuals may be lost to academic research
through a lack of opportunity to obtain an additional one or two years of support
essential for establishing a research career.

This program was designed to help alleviate some of the above-noted problems
experienced by underrepresented minorities who may wish to pursue a career in
academic research.  The program will allow the minority investigator to hold a
tenure-earning position, gain additional research experience and to obtain
preliminary data on which to base a subsequent research grant application.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Applicants are required to have available a recognized expert in the area of
proposed research for guidance and consultation.  It is expected that this expert
will assist the applicant in the design and conduct of his/her research.  It is
not necessary that the expert be at the same institution as the applicant, but
he/she should be within a reasonable proximity to be available for guidance and
consultation.

Following the research plan, the applicant is required to provide a brief summary
of his/her long-term career plans and objectives.  The application should state
how this award would make a difference in and enhance the applicant's development
as a scientist.

The department chairman/head should provide a brief paragraph indicating his/her
plans for the applicant. This official should indicate the extent to which time,
space and other necessary support will be provided to the applicant to conduct
the proposed investigation(s). A letter from a recognized expert in the area of
the proposed research should accompany the application packet. The letter should
attest to his/her willingness to provide counsel and advice to the applicant, and
an initial plan for ongoing contacts with the applicant.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their
subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and behavioral
research projects involving human subjects unless a clear and compelling
rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with
respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.  This
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 Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.

Investigators may also obtain copies from these sources or from the program staff
or contact person listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by January 20, 1998, 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 NIDDK staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid conflict
of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS 37-F, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8885
FAX:  (301) 480-3505

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
5/95).  The form is 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: asknih@od.nih.gov.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) 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, exact photocopies, in one package to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW (formerly Division of Research Grants)
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, and five
copies of any appendix material, must be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS 37-F, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600

Applications must be received by February 19, 1998.  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.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of
applications previously reviewed, but such applications must include an
introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications for the R03 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 NIDDK in accordance with NIH peer review procedures.  As part of
the initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and
undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest
scientific merit will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a
second level review by the NIDDK program division to which the application has
been assigned.

Review Criteria

o Significance:  Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims of
the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  What
will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this
field?

o Approach:  Are the conceptual 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 tactics?

o Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method? Are
the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing paradigms
or develop new methodologies or technologies?

o Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to
carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level
of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

o 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 of the scientific environment or employ useful
collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?

o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
proposed research.

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

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the protection of
human and animal subjects, and the safety of the research environment.

o  Availability of special opportunities for furthering research programs through
the use of unusual talent resources, populations, or environmental conditions in
other countries which are not readily available in the United States or which
provide augmentation of existing U.S. resources.

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is September 30, 1998. Applications will compete
for available funds with all other applications submitted in response to this RFA
and recommended by the initial review group.  The following will be considered
in making funding decisions:

o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o  Availability of funds
o  Program balance among research areas of the RFA.
o  History of research support

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome. Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Charles H. Rodgers, Ph.D.
Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS 19J, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-7717
Email:  rodgersc@ep.niddk.nih.gov

Judith M. Podskalny, Ph.D.
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AN 12E, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8876
Email:  podskalnyj@ep.niddk.nih.gov

Ronald Margolis, Ph.D.
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 5AN 12J, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8819
Email:  margolisr@ep.niddk.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms Nancy C. Dixon
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AN 44C, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8854
Email:  dixonn@ep.niddk.nih.gov

Schedule

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 20, 1998
Application Receipt Date:       February 19, 1998
Technical/Scientific Review:    June/July 1998
Review by Divisions/NIDDK:      September 1998
Anticipated Award Date:         September 30, 1998

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.849.  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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