HAZMAT TRAINING AT DOE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX RELEASE DATE: July 13, 2004 RFA Number: RFA-ES-04-006 (Reissued as RFA-ES-09-003) (This RFA has been reissued, see RFA-ES-05-006) EXPIRATION DATE: November 23, 2004 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION: National Institutes of Health (NIH) (http://www.nih.gov) COMPONENT OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/) (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/) CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.142 LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: October 22, 2004 APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: November 22, 2004 THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION o Purpose of this RFA o Research Objectives o Mechanism(s) of Support o Funds Available o Eligible Institutions o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators o Special Requirements o Where to Send Inquiries o Letter of Intent o Submitting an Application o Supplementary Instructions o Peer Review Process o Review Criteria o Receipt and Review Schedule o Award Criteria o Required Federal Citations PURPOSE OF THIS RFA The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites applications for cooperative agreements to support the development of model programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response within the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Weapons Complex. The major objective of this solicitation is to prevent work related harm by assisting in the training and education of workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Safety and health training will transmit skills and knowledge to workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, facility decommissioning and decontamination, hazardous materials transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or chemical emergency response. Currently, tens of thousands of DOE employees require safety and health training to help reduce the risk of their being exposed in the course of their work to hazardous materials and hazardous waste products. One effort to enhance training capabilities at these sites has been through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Education and Training Program (WETP). A major goal of this program is to provide assistance to organizations in developing their institutional competency to provide appropriate model training and education programs to hazardous materials and waste workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Both NIEHS and DOE recognize the importance of effectively managing training resources to maintain and improve federal and contractor workforce competencies. Proper use of resources will result in federal and contractor employees who are highly skilled and capable of carrying out our critical missions in a safe and reliable manner consistent with recognized standards of excellence. Continuing improvements will assist in planning and conduct of training programs to ensure that these programs are closely aligned with mission priorities and administered efficiently. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES BACKGROUND INFORMATION The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 126(g), authorizes an assistance program for training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous waste generation, removal, containment or emergency response and hazardous materials transportation and emergency response. The Congress assigned responsibility for administering this program to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Public Health Service (PHS) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993 (42 USC 7274(d)) authorized the Secretary of Energy in section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B) to make awards: "to provide training and education to persons who are or may be engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency at Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities; and to develop response curricula for such training and education." The Secretary was further authorized in Section 3131(a)(2)(A)-(B) to make the training awards to non-profit organizations demonstrating capabilities in: "implementing and conducting effective training and education programs relating to the general health and safety of workers; and identifying, and involving in training, groups of workers whose duties include hazardous substance response or emergency response." As stated above, under Section 126(g) of Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), NIEHS developed and administers a Worker Education and Training Program. During 1992, the DOE evaluated this program developed by NIEHS for suitability of adaptation to its own program and training needs, and determined that the program was suitable. In an effort to rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage program resources, DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer the grants and to adapt its existing program to meet the needs of the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Protecting worker health and safety through the delivery of safety and health training is a priority of the Secretary of Energy and is a primary goal of the Office of Environmental Management (EM). As the DOE mission has shifted from weapons production to environmental restoration, the site worker will be exposed to new operations and hazards while conducting restoration activities, many of which will be associated with potential exposure to hazardous substances and wastes. To provide protection to workers' health and safety, all workers at DOE sites engaged or potentially engaged in environmental restoration activities, including hazardous substance response or emergency response, are required by CERCLA and respective DOE Orders to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulations 20 CFR 1910.120 and the EPA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training requirements (40 CFR 300.150). Environmental cleanup is a complex undertaking, which may often pose significant dangers to remediation workers as well as to residents of the surrounding community. Throughout the Department of Energy (DOE) complex, contamination issues resulting from the historic mission of weapons production, as well as from extensive use of radioactive materials and highly toxic chemicals - have created a unique challenge for those managing environmental cleanups. There is clearly a need for highly trained workers to carry out the actual remediation work. Model training programs for hazardous waste workers and emergency responders shall satisfy minimum requirements as specified in Federal OSHA rules and other related regulations which have been or may be promulgated. Training programs shall also meet the minimum requirements specified in the Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, published April 1990 as a result of an NIEHS sponsored technical workshop on training quality. Consideration should also be given to Appendix E of 29 CFR 1910.120 (59 FR 43268, August 22, 1994), which references much of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. This OSHA guidance is available at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9770. DOE Order 440.1A provides the basic foundation for a worker protection program and that some DOE elements or contractors may need or decide to go beyond the Order's minimum requirements in establishing programs to protect workers from hazards associated with their activities. This order should be a part of any training activities at DOE sites and may be referenced at: http://www.directives.doe.gov/pdfs/doe/doetext/neword/440/o4401a.pdf The DOE HAZWOPER Handbook is an important resource for DOE training program development and provides tools and guidance to establish and implement comprehensive, cost-effective, hazard-based worker health and safety programs that are an integral part of accomplishing work on time and within budget. This Handbook has been developed to assist Department of Energy (DOE) and contractor. It is available at: http://tis-hq.eh.doe.gov/docs/haz_waste_activity_handbook/hwa_handbook.html. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program, in partnership with the DOE Environmental Management Program, has supported qualified domestic nonprofit organizations to develop and administer model health and safety education programs for hazardous materials or waste workers within the nuclear weapons complex. Target populations for training in the DOE nuclear weapons complex include those covered by requirements of Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (CFR, Title 29, Part 1910, which is found at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9765) and Environmental Protection Agency (CFR, Title 40, Part 311) standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, regulations governing the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (CFR, Title 42, Part 65), as well as hazardous materials transportation workers regulated by the US Department of Transportation. Further guidance on DOT Hazmat Employees is available at: http://hazmat.dot.gov/regs/49cfr/172/172.704.htm Congress recognized this need and authorized the Secretary of Energy, through the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Section 3131, to award grants for training and education for persons engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency response at DOE nuclear weapons facilities. For purposes of Section 3131, the term "hazardous substance" in addition to its definition under CERCLA includes radioactive waste, mixed radioactive and hazardous waste. In an effort to rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage program resources, DOE studied the suitability of NIEHS as awards administrator for the DOE program. Based on a review of the NIEHS program, DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer the grants and to adapt the HAZWOPER program to meet the needs of DOE. The goal of the DOE/NIEHS Worker Training Program has been to provide site- specific, quality training to workers in a timely and cost-effective manner, through a partnership involving government, contractors, and labor organizations. A cornerstone of the program is the use of "worker-trainers," employees well-versed in performing a given task in a hazardous environment who are trained to instruct other workers. Benefits of the partnership include fostering cooperation between management and workers, improving efficiency and quality of training, improving the ability to address worker concerns, and empowering all stakeholders to address site-specific safety and health needs. NIEHS, through its awardees, has provided high quality hazardous substance response or emergency response training to ensure that: (1) DOE site workers are aware of the hazards that exist at DOE sites; (2) workers are prepared to work safely in such hazardous environments to prevent accidents from occurring; and (3) workers have sufficient knowledge of their work environment and hazardous conditions to identify hazardous situations and to take appropriate actions to protect themselves, fellow workers, and the environment. GENERAL TRAINING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Major program objectives for the future of the DOE/NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program include: o Establish DOE and contractor safety and health training programs with best practices by drawing on the skills and knowledge of experienced workers on the job. o Facilitate and promote a culture of continuous learning, integrated safety management and improving task readiness within the DOE complex. o Act as a prime source for new training methodologies, innovative techniques, and lessons learned for all DOE operations through partnering with site contractors, regulatory personnel and other stakeholders. o Reduce safety and health training costs through standardization, centralized partner development, and minimizing necessary travel and expenses. o Reduce redundancy within the DOE complex by utilizing existing quality, safety and health training programs located in partner organizations and integrating best-in-class technical training program capabilities. o Maximize the use of advanced training technology supported learning tools where available and appropriate for effective delivery and evaluation while integrating web-based, virtual and computer-based methods with traditional hands-on and classroom centered learning. Awards will be made for direct student and worker trainer training, technical support of training, and training program evaluation. It is believed that adequate curricula and training materials exist for worker training that can be adapted with minimal effort. Means of multiplying training are also encouraged to meet the need; thus, programs such as effective train the trainer programs are encouraged. Programs targeted to multi-state and nationwide coverage to reach wider worker populations will be given preference in review and funding. Applications will not be considered that cover municipalities or other jurisdictions covering less than two states. Applicants are also encouraged to develop plans for independently continuing the program. Applicants should refer to SARA Section 126 requirements for training. Coverage of all hazardous waste and emergency response workers is based on potential exposure and health risk. The language of section 126 (d)(1) and (g) is clear that training scope be broad. Section 126 states that the training be required for personnel engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities, such as those involved in transportation, which expose or potentially expose such workers to hazardous substances. The same section later requires that special training be provided to workers who may be exposed to unique or special hazards. Section (g)(1) authorizes this training assistance program for the training of workers who are or may be engaged in activities related to hazardous waste removal or containment or emergency response. The training scope covers worker health protection from hazardous waste work and exposure to hazardous substances in the broadest sense. The applicant shall identify workers or groups of workers who need to be trained in hazardous substance response or emergency response to ensure their health and safety. These target populations may include the existing DOE workforce; those likely to perform DOE environmental clean-up and waste management work within 120 days following the completion of training; those involved in waste transportation on, to, and from DOE sites; appropriate supervisors and managers of contractor and subcontractor activities; emergency response personnel with site mutual aid agreements; and appropriate Federal, State, and local government officials who are involved in compliance efforts. Cooperative agreement applicants are expected to make a reasonable effort to develop cooperative relationships with DOE training managers to: (1) identify what training courses are needed to ensure that applicable health and safety training requirements are met; (2) accurately determine the number of employees who need training; and (3) ensure that training meets site-specific needs and is consistent with established quality standards. Such arrangements should be described in detail in the training plan. An applicant may join with one or more nonprofit organizations in a single application and share resources in order to maximize worker group coverage, enhance the effectiveness of training, and bring together appropriate academic disciplines and talents. Such arrangements are strongly encouraged. The application must have specific plans to implement the cooperative arrangements necessary for program integration and to insure effectiveness. These plans must be contained in the prime applicant’s submission as well as budgets to implement these plans. Specific expertise, facilities or services to be provided by each participating member must be identified. Awardees submitting competing continuation applications should also describe how they have met special cooperative agreement terms and conditions of their awards, including their interaction with other investigators and NIEHS program staff. Essential components of health and safety programs for those who work with hazardous materials are appropriate education and training. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 addresses this in Section 126 which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to promulgate standards for the health and safety protection of employees in this area. OSHA final rule 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response Operations was promulgated on March 6, 1989 with an effective date of March 6 1990. Further information about OSHA resources and interpretations of HAZWOPER training requirements can be found at: http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/hazardouswaste/index.html. The immediate goal of worker health and safety training is educational in nature, designed to provide students with relevant information, program- solving skills, and the confidence needed to use these tools. Long-term goals of the model training programs should be to assure that workers become and remain active participants in determining and improving the health and safety conditions under which they work and that avenues for collaborative employer-employee relationships in creating safe workplaces are established. Worker safety and health training is adult-based, action-oriented, and result-centered. The goals and objectives of worker training focus on outcomes rather than on learning for its own sake. Workers come to training with a great volume of experience, and are, in many ways, the richest resources of a training class. Experience shows that successful adult education often emphasizes peer-sharing activities, such as problem-solving and simulation exercises, that tap the experience of the learner. Successful worker training often mirrors the way people learn at work -- from each other. After training, workers should be able to bring what they have learned in the classroom or work-site training back to their jobs. A list of curricula developed by current NIEHS awardees is available on the web at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/index.cfm?fuseaction=catalog. The Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response is available at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=569 or by contacting: National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response 1250 Connecticut Ave., Suite 610 Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: (202) 331-7733 Fax: (202) 331-0044 Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Web Page: http://www.wetp.org Ongoing Program Initiatives Due to the complexity and the number of new emerging training innovations and technologies occurring in the worker health and safety arena, NIEHS identified several training opportunities in the previous RFA (ES-99-010) that were specifically related to the advancement of the Worker Education and Training Program. It was important that these new emerging training technologies and approaches be woven and integrated into the framework of the program. NIEHS had learned that successful examples of training partnerships involve the creation of clear mechanisms for assuring avenues for input and collaboration by labor, management, local government officials and other stakeholders, as well as a vision for integrating training into other workplace programs and initiatives. In addition, it was clear that the context and technical approaches to safety and health training had undergone a rapid transition since 1990, as computer and telecommunications technology had unleashed a wealth of technical information resources and established innovative modes of training development, delivery and evaluation. Applicants should refer to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/rfaguidelines.html for a list of these important ongoing program initiatives. Applications should include plans for reaching underserved workers in the proposed target populations especially those disadvantaged in education, language skills or limited in literacy. The inclusion of institutions and organizations that have historical involvement and expertise in responding to environmental justice issues is also strongly encouraged. Participation of minority institutions and community-based organizations from people of color communities may include the: o Adaptation of curricula to address health disparities and environmental justice concerns; o Development of training programs that outreach to environmentally disadvantaged groups and non-English speaking populations; and o Delivery of high quality training that can augment efforts to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, chemical process safety and pollution prevention. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This RFA will use NIH cooperative agreement U45 award mechanism and provide support for a period of up to five years from FY 2005 through FY 2009. Each applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. The anticipated award date is September 1, 2005. The NIH (U45) is a cooperative agreement award mechanism. In the cooperative agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner with the Principal Investigator, as described under the section "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award." The type and degree of this substantial programmatic involvement is specified in the terms and conditions. The awardee will have lead responsibilities in all aspects of the program, including any technical modifications to the curriculum, conduct of the training, and quality control. Annual renewal will be based on availability of funds, sufficient progress toward achieving training objectives and compliance with the terms and conditions of awards. The awards will include funding for targeted training to specific populations that have been identified in the respective authorizing statute for this program. FUNDS AVAILABLE The DOE through NIEHS intends to commit approximately $8.5 million in FY 2005 to fund 5 to 10 new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to this RFA. An applicant must request a project period of five years. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the DOE and NIEHS 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. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following characteristics: o Non-profit organizations providing worker health and safety education and training. This includes universities, faith-based or community-based organizations and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU's). For profit, public or private institutions, such as hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, agencies of the Federal government, foreign organizations and foreign institutions are not eligible to apply. INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed training is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award NIEHS will provide appropriate assistance, advice and guidance as described below. The role of the NIEHS Coordinator will be to facilitate, not to direct, the development of a high quality national worker training resource. These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS and NIH Grant Administration policy statements The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is a cooperative agreement U45, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism) in which substantial NIH scientific and/or programmatic involvement with the awardee is anticipated during performance of the activity. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role, but it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activity. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility for the activity resides with the awardee(s) for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out training activities will be shared among the awardees and the NIEHS Program Coordinator. 1. Awardee Rights and Responsibilities Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of their studies and training activities. It is the responsibility of each awardee to develop the details of the training plan, which will be required to describe the technical approaches, target population access and recruitment, curricula modification, training methodology, and program evaluation procedures. o Each awardee is required to meet at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and to coordinate training activities. Principal investigators and business officials are required to meet at least annually. o Before use, awardees must submit draft copies of training manuals, instructor guides, course curricula and other materials developed for use in training activities supported by NIEHS to the NIEHS Program Coordinator to receive technical comments and suggestions regarding the adequacy, technical accuracy and suitability of materials to be used for worker safety and health training. Final copies of all materials developed with support from NIEHS will be transmitted by the awardees to the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response and made available to the general public, subject to any specific legal caveats on use or copyright protection. o Each awardee is required to submit an annual progress report to the NIEHS Program Official, which describes the number, location and nature of all training activities and the characteristics of the trainees reached during a particular fiscal year. Results and findings from training program evaluations will be summarized by each awardee and submitted to the NIEHS Program Official on an annual basis. Program evaluation reports shall quantitatively describe the current status of instructor effectiveness, trainee retention of knowledge and skills, and positive impacts of training activities on work practices, workplace safety and health conditions, and overall worker protection from on the job hazards. o Each awardee is required to participate annually in two technical workshops, which coincide with the two annual awardee meetings, to be sponsored and planned by the NIEHS Program Coordinator. The technical workshops will present relevant and topical information to assure the continued high quality of worker safety and health training activities carried out by the awardees and encourage the exchange of significant information regarding effective training techniques and approaches. o Each awardee is required to convene a Board of Advisors representing user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response. The Board of Advisors must meet annually to evaluate training activities and provide advice to the principal investigator. o Each awardee is required to have one individual assigned the responsibility for information technology transfer and dissemination as the point of contact for the NIEHS Program Coordinator. This person would ensure the effective communication and transfer of important training and administrative information to NIEHS and other appropriate audiences, including trainee tracking activities, computation and submittal of training data, coordination of special meetings/conferences, submission of curricula, and other training activities conducted by the program. o Each awardee will retain custody of and primary rights to the data and the curricula materials developed under these awards, subject to appropriate Government rights of access consistent with current HHS and NIH policies. 2. NIEHS Staff Responsibilities Specifically, the substantial programmatic involvement above and beyond normal program stewardship by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will include the following activities: o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate activities of mutual interest and benefit to awardees and the Institute. The primary objective of the Worker Education and Training Program will be to stimulate collaborative work between NIEHS and the awardees in the creation of model worker safety and health training programs. Substantial programmatic involvement by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assure that there is not duplication of efforts or overlap in worker safety and health training delivery and program development by the awardees. o In order to provide consistent use and delivery of existing curricula for high quality worker safety and health training, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will ensure that there will be close coordination among awardees, other state and federal governmental agencies, and other training providers. Such program coordination between NIEHS and the awardees will make maximum use of worker safety and health training materials and curricula that have already been developed, evaluated, and used. Training materials developed by the awardees will be submitted for review by the NIEHS Program Coordinator for consistency, appropriateness and technical accuracy before the initiation of worker safety and health training activities. o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will convene a working meeting at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and discuss technical issues and to coordinate training activities. o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will provide ongoing technical assistance to the awardees through arrangement of technical workshops related to the substantive technical issues that affect the program. Technical workshops will bring together program directors from each awardee with the relevant technical experts from a number of scientific fields involved in hazardous waste, occupational health, environmental health sciences, and adult education. Examination of training technologies and technical issues which are specific to the program will be developed and coordinated through technical workshops, which will be held at least twice per fiscal year. o To assure that training programs developed with assistance from NIEHS will comply with all applicable federal safety and health regulations, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees through continual involvement with other federal regulatory agencies. Operational monitoring by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees in complying with general federal statutory requirements regulating worker safety and health training activities. o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate overall program evaluations to show the impact of the training on improving work practices, reducing work related injury and illness and to document the increased understanding of relevant environmental health sciences by workers involved in environmental cleanups, hazardous waste management and emergency response to chemical releases. While each awardee must have its own evaluation program, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will strive to assess the overall effectiveness of the training programs supported under the cooperative agreements in terms of the nation's needs and in relation to the target populations identified by Congress in SARA Section 126 and related statutes which are referenced above. o NIEHS maintains a National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response to assist awardees by providing information and technical support services to the Principal Investigators of NIEHS funded hazardous materials, waste operations, and emergency response worker training programs. The Clearinghouse will also function as a national resource for the dissemination to the general public of program related information and curricular materials that have been developed by the awardees. o An NIEHS Program Official will be responsible for normal program stewardship of the award. The NIEHS Program Official may also serve as the NIEHS Program Coordinator. 3. Arbitration o When mutually acceptable agreement regarding program activities cannot be reached between the awardee and the NIEHS Program Coordinator, an arbitration panel composed of one member nominated by the awardee recipient group, one NIEHS nominee, and a third member with appropriate expertise chosen by the other two members will be convened. The ad hoc panel will receive written explanations of the disagreement from all parties, review relevant documents, interview representatives of the parties and render an opinion regarding resolution of the dispute. These special arbitration procedures in no way effect the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action in accordance with PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 16. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/training, peer review, and financial or grants management issues: o Direct your questions about scientific/training issues to: Joseph Hughes, Director Worker Education and Training Program Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-25 P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: (919)-541-0217 Fax: (919) 541-0462 Email: email@example.com Sharon Beard, Industrial Hygienist Worker Education and Training Program Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-25 P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: (919)-541-1863 Fax: (919) 558-7049 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ted Outwater Program Administrator/Public Health Educator Worker Education and Training Program Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-25 P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: 919-541-2972 Fax: 919-541-0462 Email: email@example.com o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D. Scientific Review Administrator Scientific Review Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-30 P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: 919-541-1446 Fax: 919-541-2503 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org o Direct your questions about fiscal or administrative matters to: Carolyn Mason, Deputy, Grants Management Officer Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-22 P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: (919) 541-1373 Fax: (919) 541-2860 Email: email@example.com INFORMATIONAL MEETING A briefing for applicants will be held at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina on Thursday, September 2, 2004, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM in Nottingham Hall, Conference Room 204A&B. NIEHS staff will explain the purpose of the Program, provide instructions about the application process, and answer questions. A summary of responses from the briefing, all relevant information for potential applicants and Supplementary Instructions will be available upon request from NIEHS (firstname.lastname@example.org) and will be posted on the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) home page at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp. LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: o Descriptive title of the proposed training o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator o Names of other key personnel o Participating institutions o 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 NIEHS staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document. The letter of intent should be sent to: Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D. Scientific Review Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, EC-30 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Telephone: 919-541-1446 Fax: 919-541-2503 Email: email@example.com SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a DUN and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/. The DUNS number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 398 document is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. For further assistance contact Grants Info, Telephone (301) 435- 0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS As the PHS 398 is used primarily for the traditional research project grant applications, several sections of the PHS 398 must be modified and expanded to provide the additional information needed for the Worker Education and Training Program applications. Detailed guidelines to supplement the PHS instructions are provided in the "Application Guidelines for the NIEHS/DOE Worker Training Program" and can be found on: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/DOErfaguidelines.html. These guidelines also provide information on the limitations for Facilities and Administrative costs. USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 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 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. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: 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) No appendices should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review. At the time of submission, two additional signed copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to: Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D. Scientific Review Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 79 TW Alexander Drive P.O. Box 12233, EC-30 Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 Telephone: 919-541-1446 Fax: 919-541-2503 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received on or before 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. Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within 8 weeks. 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. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application. PEER REVIEW PROCESS Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the NIEHS. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. If the application is not responsive to the RFA, NIH staff may contact the applicant to determine whether to return the application to the applicant or submit it for review in competition with unsolicited applications at the next appropriate NIH review cycle. 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 NIEHS in accordance with the review criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will: o 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 and assigned a priority score. o Receive a written critique. o Receive a second level review by the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences (NAEHS) Council. REVIEW CRITERIA The following factors shall be considered for review of all applications: 1) Evaluation of the methods and techniques to be used for identifying, describing, and accessing target specific worker populations for worker health and safety training and anticipated impact of the proposed program. o Applicants must identify, describe, and fully document access to specific DOE-related target worker populations, whether organized or not, that are engaged in hazardous materials and waste operations and transportation and related emergency response. o This information must include size of the target population, worker profiles, trades and job categories to be trained, geographic locations of workers and degree of worker health and safety training already received. o Applicants must demonstrate the ability to establish training relationships with site contractors employing workers who are or may be engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency response at DOE nuclear weapons facilities. 2) Evaluation of the organization's or consortia performance and effectiveness in planning, implementing and operating appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs. o Evidence should include demonstrated past experience in development and implementation of worker health and safety training and education programs and application of appropriate adult education techniques. o Evidence should include documentation of the program's achievement of compliance with the requirements of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response found at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=569. 3) Adequacy of the detailed program plan for worker health and safety training in adapting existing curricula, training of instructors, distributing course materials, direct worker training, and conducting program evaluations. o The plan must include information on the number of students to be trained, number of training classes to be held, and duration of training. o The plan must include protocols and procedures for the involvement and participation of DOE technical staff and site contractors in the nuclear weapons complex in the development, design, and implementation of worker training activities. o The plans must include the appropriate adult education techniques to be employed, identify the course content and clearly describe the curriculum to be used including hands on demonstration and instruction, and the strategy for monitoring student's progress and performance. o The plan must include involvement of appropriate health and safety disciplines and avenues for consultation with DOE and site contractor health and safety staff and training managers. o The plan must describe a system for tracking trainee employment in DOE hazmat-related jobs. o The plan must provide evidence of methods proposed for evaluating appropriateness, quality, impact and effectiveness of worker health and safety training. o The plan must include information on the training of instructors, including worker trainers, and on-going trainer development and support activities. 4) Evidence of appropriate combinations of classroom instruction and hands on demonstration and instruction that simulates site activities and conditions. o It is intended that offsite instruction funded by the NIEHS assistance program will be supplemented with onsite training under the direct supervision of trained, experienced personnel at the time of initial job assignment. o Appropriate adult education techniques must be applied and advanced training technologies, such as e-learning, if used, should be part of a blended learning approach that combines these new technologies with hands-on, small group and other learning activities. o Both initial and appropriate refresher training will be covered. 5) Ability to immediately initiate direct worker health and safety training, program evaluation, and related support activities. 6) Evidence of experienced and technically qualified key personnel. o The Principal Investigator must demonstrate the capacity for providing leadership and assuring productivity of appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs and for overall management of the training programs including quality assurance and program evaluation. o Evidence of the technical, managerial and professional expertise of present or proposed key personnel. Such expertise will be evaluated by resumes, minimum position qualifications and position descriptions. o Evidence that the administrative official has experience or knowledge in the management of federal programs and will participate in program decisions should be contained in the application. o Evidence of sufficient program staff with demonstrated training experience using appropriate adult education techniques to assure effective direct training, and quality assurance. o Continuing access to appropriate technical expertise must be maintained including but not limited to expertise in adult education for workers, toxicology, and industrial hygiene. 7) Evaluation of an applicant’s organizational structure or consortium, if applicable, that provides adequate knowledge and oversight of resources and administrative management of the program. The applicant must provide: o Details on how the proposed program fits into existing organizational and/or consortia structure of the non-profit, if applicable. o Organization chart of the proposed program. o Details of an external board of advisors that represents user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response. o Proposed and/or confirmed membership of the external board, detailed plans on when the board will meet, how the board will evaluate training activities, and what formal procedures the board will follow to provide advice to the principal investigator. 8) Availability of appropriate facilities and equipment to support the described worker health and safety training and education activities including hands on instruction. o Operation of training facilities must assure the protection of prospective trainees during program delivery. o Appropriate policies and procedures for assuring fitness for training and medical clearance, assuring the provision of first aid and emergency medical services and the implementation of high quality site safety and health plans must be included. 9) Evidence of lines of responsibility and accountability must be clearly delineated when two or more organizations are collaborating on an activity in that: o Detailed plans of this collaboration and budgets must only be described in the lead organizations application. 10) Feasibility of plans for independently continuing the program. o Plans for generation of program income, if applicable. o Plans for institutionalization of the program. o Other applicable procedures for assuring the long-term viability of the program. 11) Evaluation of plans for reaching underserved worker populations especially those disadvantaged in education, culture, or language or limited in literacy and access to training. o Evidence of arrangements to assure the inclusion of institutions and organizations, which have historical involvement and expertise in responding to health disparities and environmental justice issues. o A community outreach and involvement component which can augment the delivery of high quality training in order to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, and community awareness of chemical process safety and pollution prevention. 12) The reasonableness of all direct cost categories requested in the budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed program activities for worker health and safety training. 13) Prior awardees demonstration of: o Meeting established terms and conditions of prior awards; o Attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards; and o Ability to manage and expend funds in a timely manner in prior budget periods. 14) Evidence of inclusion of worker training initiatives and innovations. o The plan must integrate an appropriate mix of On-Going Program Initiatives as listed in this solicitation that meets the needs of each applicants target populations. ADDITIONAL REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 22, 2004 Application Receipt Date: November 22, 2004 Peer Review Date: February 2005 Council Review: May 2005 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 2005 AWARD CRITERIA Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include: o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review). o Availability of funds. o Programmatic priorities. Because the funding level of this program may vary from that appropriated, actual award levels for approved and funded applications will be based on program balance, coverage of target populations and the availability of funds, in addition to the technical merit considerations of the review process. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award. STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION: The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information,” the “Privacy Rule,” on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on “Am I a covered entity?” Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html. 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 because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. 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 RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.healthypeople.gov/. AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284)(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, No. 93.142, Superfund Worker Training Grants) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (and Section 126(g) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986), and under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993 (42 USC 7274(d)) section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B). All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the 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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