Full Text ES-94-007

SUPERFUND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES BASIC RESEARCH PROGRAM

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 8, February 25, 1994

RFA:  ES-94-007

P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Environmental Health 
  Environmental Effects 


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 18, 1994
Application Receipt Date:  June 17, 1994

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is
proposing the continuation of a special Program of basic research and
training grants directed towards understanding, assessing, and
attenuating the adverse effects on human health resulting from
exposure to hazardous substances.  Grants made under the Superfund
Hazardous Substances Basic Research and Training Program [Superfund
Basic Research Program (SBRP)] will be for coordinated,
multicomponent, interdisciplinary programs, and the objective is to
establish and maintain a unique Program linking biomedical research
with related engineering, hydrogeologic, and ecologic components.

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986
established a university-based program of basic research within the
NIEHS to complement existing activities within the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), the principal manager of the Superfund
Program, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(ATSDR).  The EPA has specific mandated research responsibilities in
the area of hazardous substances at hazardous waste sites; hazardous
waste containment and destruction technologies; and environmental
transport and fate of chemicals; as well as for monitoring and
testing for hazardous substances in the environment.  The ATSDR
provides site-specific, public health assessments and advisories to
the EPA and to state and local agencies, citizens, and health care
providers.  Its research mission includes applied research into the
development and evolution of toxicologic profiles of hazardous
substances found at Superfund sites and the assurance that
toxicologic testing of these substances is conducted when necessary.

The SARA legislation specifically mandates that the basic research
program administered by NIEHS include the following:

o  Methods and technologies to detect hazardous substances in the
environment.

o  Advanced techniques for the detection, assessment, and evaluation
of the effects on human health of hazardous substances.

o  Methods to assess the risks to human health presented by hazardous
substances.

o  Basic biological, chemical, and physical methods to reduce the
amount and toxicity of hazardous substances.

Accordingly, the NIEHS will support projects in the areas of
engineering, ecological, and hydrogeological research as long as they
are to be performed in conjunction with biomedically related
components.  The NIEHS has encouraged true collaborative efforts
among researchers in these various areas, and hopes to continue this
endeavor.  While emphasizing the necessity for a strong biomedical
core, it intends that the non-biomedical projects will be an integral
part of the overall effort and not a support or core function.

The NIEHS is committed to research that seeks to understand the
impact of exposures to hazardous substances in all populations,
including those that are composed of minority and economically
disadvantaged persons.  It would be useful, in defining the problem
in disadvantaged populations, to understand those issues of
environmental justice as pertains to the health effects associated
with living in proximity to hazardous wastes sites, as well as
describing the detrimental health effects of such exposures,
including associated psychological, social, and cultural
consequences.

Description of the Program

The NIEHS SBRP is intended to support a wide range of research to
address the broad public health concerns arising from the release of
hazardous substances and hazardous wastes into the environment,
particularly from uncontrolled, leaking waste disposal sites.
Although some of the research currently supported by NIEHS is
relevant to these concerns, the SBRP is distinct in that its primary
objective is to expand the base of scientific knowledge, reduction in
the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances, and, ultimately,
prevention of adverse human health effects.

The research sponsored in the fields of ecology, engineering, and
hydrogeology (designated collectively as non-biomedical research)
integrated into a biomedical research program core is designed to
provide a broader and more detailed body of scientific information to
be used by state, local, and Federal agencies and by private
organizations and industry in making decisions related to the
management of hazardous substances.

Presently, the Program funds 18 grants at 29 universities and
institutions encompassing 142 individual research projects involving
more than 1050 scientists and technical staff addressing its
legislated mandates.  Many or all of these programs will be
submitting applications for the competitive renewal of their grant.
Nonetheless, this competition is open to all institutions meeting the
criteria under this Request for Applications (RFA).

The SARA legislation establishing the NIEHS SBRP authorized funding
levels of $3 million in Fiscal Year 1987, $10 million in 1988, $20
million in 1989, $30 million in 1990, and $35 million in 1991 through
1994.  The appropriated amounts for this Program have increased from
$3 million in FY 87 to $32.9 million in FY 94.  Any dollar amounts
projected for this Program are budget ceilings and actual amounts
will be appropriated each year according to the Federal budget
process.  Because the funding level of this Program may vary from
that authorized, actual award levels for approved and funded
applications will be based on program balance and the availability of
funds, in addition to the scientific merit considerations of the
review process.

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,
Superfund Hazardous Substances Basic Research Program, is related to
the priority area of environmental health.  Potential applicants may
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (Summary Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone
(202)-783-3238).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Section 311(a)(3) of SARA limits recipients of awards to "accredited
institutions of higher education," which are defined in the Higher
Education Act, 20 USC (annotated) 3381.  However, grantees are
permitted under the law, and encouraged by NIEHS, to subcontract as
appropriate with an organization, public or private, necessary to
conduct portions of the research.  These organizations may include
generators of hazardous wastes, persons involved in the detection,
assessment, evaluation, and treatment of hazardous substances, owners
and operators of facilities at which hazardous substances are
located, and state and local governments.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The mechanism of support will be the hazardous substance basic
research (P42) multiproject grant for a period not to exceed five
years.

Grants funded under this Program must be multiproject,
interdisciplinary efforts bringing together a group of investigators
to direct discrete research projects, each of which is related to the
goals of the SBRP.  In addition to the research projects, applicants
may request funds to support core facilities and common support
functions such as administrative support, shared equipment, and
analytical services.

Applicants are expected to furnish their own estimates of the time
required to achieve specific objectives of the proposed work, a
schedule for completion of the work, and an outline of the segments
into which the proposed program can be logically divided.  The
applicant and co-investigators will plan, direct, and execute the
research program, but any substantial modifications in the scope or
objectives must be mutually agreed upon by the grantee institution
and the NIEHS.  Because a variety of approaches will be responsive to
this RFA, it is anticipated that there will be a range of costs among
individual grants awarded.  Similarly, budgetary reductions may
necessitate limiting the amount of awards, making adjustments in
budget and/or effecting a modification in the scope of proposed work,
prior to funding.

Unless specifically stated otherwise, all policies and requirements
that govern the grants program of the Public Health Service will
prevail.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

This Program is being resolicitated under the assumption that funds
available will at least be equal to those of the current fiscal year
(FY 94, $32.9 million) or possibly the present authorized level of
$35 million.  For planning purposes, the NIEHS estimates the funds
(total costs) available for this solicitation for the first year of
support for the entire Program is the present authorized level of $35
million dollars.  The expected range of number of awards is 15 to 20.

This level of support is dependent on the receipt of a sufficient
number of applications of high scientific merit.  Although this
Program is provided for in the financial plans of NIEHS, awards
pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds
for this purpose.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Research Goals

The NIEHS SBRP is intended to foster the growth of collaborative
multidisciplinary research programs aimed at understanding health and
environmental effects associated with hazardous waste sites, and at
developing improved technologies for cleaning up these sites.  The
focus of the Program is the effects on human health.

The Program's approach primarily emphasizes the use of advanced basic
research to improve the sensitivity and specificity of techniques for
detecting adverse effects in humans or in ecological systems.
Research objectives can be divided, but are not limited to, the broad
areas described below:

o  Studies on the effect of hazardous substances on cellular and
molecular biological processes.

o  Studies to assess the impact of toxic chemicals on the
reproductive system including hormone production, end-organ
responsiveness, germ cell biology, maturation (puberty), senescence
(menopause), fertility, fecundity, ectopic tissue production and
oncogene expression in reproductive tissues.

o  Studies on the effects of toxic agents on immune competence as it
relates to cellular and humoral responses and immune-endocrine
interactions (stress).

o  Studies of potential effects of low-level chronic exposure to
toxic chemicals on susceptibility to age-related deterioration by
oxidative free radicals or to endogenous neuroexcitatory chemicals.

o  Studies of behavioral, neurological and neuroendocrinological
effects of toxic chemical exposures, especially to chronic/delayed
exposures to low levels.

o  Analysis and evaluation of pollutant impact on toxicity endpoints,
especially effects on the respiratory, renal and cardiovascular
systems, on the integument (skin), and on hearing and vision.

o  Development of methods and techniques for the quantification and
analysis of hazardous substances.

o  Development of methods to detect the lowest concentrations of
chemicals that could pose toxic threats to humans; establishment of
dose-response relationships for pollutants likely to be found in the
environment.

o  Analysis and studies of specific toxic agents, such as metals, and
simple and complex mixtures.

o  Epidemiologic studies of health effects associated with exposure
to hazardous substances.  Endpoints of interest include neurologic,
renal, respiratory and reproductive effects including congenital
malformations, immune dysfunction, and cancer.  Development of new
statistical and exposure assessment methods to tackle these problems
is encouraged.

o  Assessment of health risks by utilizing validated biomarkers of
exposure and effect in human populations exposed to sources of
hazardous substances.  Development and validation of new biomarkers
for non-cancer endpoints is desired.

o  Studies on the use of markers of genetic susceptibility to
determine increased risk of health effects in population subgroups
exposed to toxic substances associated with hazardous wastes.

o  Studies investigating the improvement and validation of risk
assessment models.  Improvement of the scientific data and the
methods used to make remediation and policy decisions, especially in
biologically based risk assessment, is needed.

o  Studies investigating exposure to hazardous substances in
sensitive populations.  For example, basic research and epidemiologic
studies designed specifically to address the environmental factors
effecting children's health and well-being; studies dealing with the
differing sources of exposure for children vs. adults and questions
pertaining to dose and pharmacokinetics of metabolism and clearance
of toxins in children; studies of the latent health effects of these
childhood exposures later in life.

o  Studies to evaluate potential age-related, gender-specific and
race-directed consequences of toxic chemical exposures.

o  Studies involving multiple chemical sensitivity to low level
exposures.  Studies determining whether there is a group of
susceptible individuals who respond adversely to very low levels of
environmental chemicals and how they respond.

o  Studies on the effect of hazardous substances on ecological
systems, especially those related to ecological succession within
various ecosystems and the impact toxic substances may have on the
natural course of succession as well as on biodiversity; studies
related to sentinel species model development; studies designed to
study the resistance and resilience to the impact of toxics and
leachates on ecosystems.

o  Studies in molecular ecotoxicology, specifically the integration
of genetic ecotoxicology, ecological genetics, and molecular biology.
Investigations on the development and use of genetic toxicology as it
applies to protecting and assessing the integrity of ecosystems;
investigations to improve our understanding of the ecological
implications of short-term genotoxic responses, specifically by
defining the linkages to the field of ecological genetics and to
population- and ecosystem-level ecological theory; investigation into
the critical evaluation new molecular genetic techniques as tools in
both genotoxicity assessment and ecological genetics.

o  Studies pertaining to the food web, such as the development of
model systems to look at the effects of chemicals on the food web;
studies to increase our understanding of the role of bioavailability
in human health.

o  Studies related to groundwater as a major route of human exposure;
development of methods to examine all forms of contamination of
unconfined and confined aquifers, and the development of remediation
methods to clean up contaminated aquifers; research into the
complexities of the subsurface flow patterns, the physical-chemical
characteristics of the chemicals that have contaminated the aquifer,
and the population characteristics of microorganisms at different
locations within the subsurface that are involved in biochemical
transformation.

o  Studies in the area of fate and transport of chemicals through
various media from hazardous waste sites.  Improvement of techniques
needed for measuring and modeling movement and alteration of
chemicals through the media surrounding the hazardous substances
waste site.  Research in the validation of hydrogeologic models that
have been developed is encouraged, as are studies determining the
bioavailability of these chemicals as it relates to their fate and
transport.

o  Studies pertaining to the area of combustion engineering.  For
example, investigation of new state-of-the-art methods of
incineration, optimal operational parameters, formation of toxic
by-products from combustion, and expansion of research into the
health effects of exposure to combustion by-products.  Studies of
various physical and chemical parameters involved in thermal
treatment and degradation of hazardous substances; the development of
real-time monitors to determine the level of emissions in the
combustion/pyrolysis process; basic methods to increase the
efficiency of combustion and pyrolysis.

o  Continued and increased investigation of alternatives to thermal
destruction, including biological conversion, chemical conversion or
neutralization, and new destructive techniques; development of new
and advanced techniques in biodegradation, especially of recalcitrant
chemicals, simple and complex mixtures, and metals.

o  Studies related to biodegradation/bioremediation of hazardous
substances.  Studies on the development of systems capable of a wide
range of degradation as well as the development of existing and new
bioreactors (scaleup) for remediation.  Studies related to the
sequestering of metals by microbes as well as the conversion of these
metals into less toxic forms is encouraged as these approaches show
promise in dealing with these nondegradable substances.  Studies on
the use of genetically engineered higher plant species to remediate
toxic waste sites.  In addition, the investigation of the fate of
various environmental toxins in plants and the chemical modifications
as they enter the environment through mediation of higher plants.

o  Studies on the minimization of hazardous substances at the source
through efficiently engineering better production processes as well
as reducing waste streams; development of zero/low emission
technology as means to reduce the amount and/or toxicity of hazardous
substances.

The above examples of research opportunities are only illustrative of
the types of research efforts that may be appropriate to this program
and are not meant to be all-inclusive or restrictive.  Nonetheless,
it is important that investigators submitting an application under
this RFA propose multidisciplinary studies that are integrated and
designed to produce results in the toxic waste area, primarily in
assessing, evaluating, and attenuating the adverse effects on human
health resulting from hazardous substances.

To better coordinate NIEHS SBRP activities with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency
Response (OSWER), OSWER has provided the NIEHS with a list of 22
chemicals of specific interest to their Superfund cleanup efforts.
These chemicals are among those also identified by ATSDR in their
1992 Priority List of Hazardous Substance (Federal Register October
28, 1992 57FR48801).  It is recommended that applicants include any
of these chemicals in their application if an where appropriate to
their individual research goals.

The chemicals of particular interest to OSWER are:

lead
1,1,2-trichloroethylene
toluene
chromium
benzene
tetrachloroethene
arsenic
1,1,1-trichloroethane
cadmium
zinc
chloroform
polychlorinated biphenyl
copper
xylene
ethylbenzene
1,2-trans-dichloroethylene
mercury
phenol
1,1-dicloroethane
methylene chloride
1,1-dichloroethene
nickel

The NIEHS encourages potential applicants to use institutional
strengths and ideas to prepare applications directed towards the
broad goals of the Program as stated above.  The intent is to create
an environment in which various groups of scientists can interact,
exchange ideas, and proceed efficaciously towards solving the complex
problems of understanding, assessing, and attenuating risks to human
health from hazardous substances.

Strong biomedical research is a requisite of this Program.
Therefore, a minimum of three approved biomedical projects is
required for funding.  Further, the Program expects that the
non-biomedical research will be an integral part of the overall
effort.  All applications considered for funding must contain
approved projects in both biomedical and non-biomedical areas.
Furthermore, the number of projects, excluding cores, proposed should
not exceed 10.  Exceptions may be made following justification and
discussion with Program staff.

Training

An area of importance to the overall performance of the Program, and
to the future of environmental health research, in general, is
training.  The NIEHS intends to support graduate and advanced
training in environmental and occupational health and safety and the
engineering aspects of hazardous waste control, and in geosciences
(including hydrogeology, geologic engineering, geophysics,
geochemistry, and related fields) in the setting of the research
program.  Therefore, applicants are encouraged to propose specific
plans for interdisciplinary training as part of their overall
program.  The NIEHS encourages potential applicants to develop a
structured, interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program within an
established training core.  The training core should aid in the
integration of the overall research effort.  Of special interest are
positions in the non-biomedical projects to train scientists and
engineers in the context of an interdisciplinary program.  Additional
training of pre- and post-doctoral students may also be carried on
outside the structured training program.

In keeping with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) efforts to
train members of minority groups in its ongoing training programs,
applicants are encouraged to consider these candidates in their
recruitment efforts.  Individuals in the training positions must be
considered employees of the institution and not trainees receiving
stipends as in the NIH National Research Service Award programs.
Salaries and fringe benefits consistent with institutional policies
may be requested.  Funds may also be requested for tuition, where
appropriate, and travel to one scientific meeting per year.  Up to
six percent of the total direct costs requested may be identified for
this purpose.

Outreach:  Information/Technology Transfer

In order to make informed decisions concerning management of
hazardous substances, there exists a need to make available
information gained from studies completed by this Program. Therefore,
the NIEHS supports the development of outreach projects for
communicating pertinent results to industry, federal, state and local
government and to the public.  All multicomponent programs (P42s) are
encouraged to include at least one core component addressing
outreach.  The NIEHS SBRP defines outreach projects to be
interactions with community, government and/or industry (including
technology transfer). Outreach activities should be consistent with
the research strengths of program, and should not exceed 10 percent
or $100,000, whichever is less, of the cost of the program.  Should
outreach be a core component, an evaluation element needs to be
included in order to measure the effectiveness of this core.

Community Outreach

The NIEHS encourages the involvement of the programs with community
groups.  There is a public health need to link members of the
community with environmental health and environmental technology
researchers.  For example, outreach cores may consist of impacting
public awareness (i.e., understanding the health effects, as well as
associated psychological, social and cultural consequences, of such
exposures), disease prevention programs, health professional training
(i.e, training of pediatricians in environmental health), primary,
secondary and college general education, and community issue
programs.

Governmental Outreach

The NIEHS encourages the interaction of the programs with local,
state and federal government agencies.  For example, information
gained from the NIEHS SBRP in dealing with potential health risks of
preexisting land conditions may influence decisions by state and
local government concerning land utilization.  In addition, NIEHS
supports the interaction of programs with other governmental agencies
involved in environmental health and/or environmental technologies
such as the regional offices of the EPA, the EPA Superfund Innovative
Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program, and state departments of health
and/or environmental resources.

Industrial Outreach (Technology Transfer)

In order for waste sites to be managed and remediated effectively,
new methods and techniques must be developed to detect, assess and
monitor human health and environmental effects of toxic substances.
The Program is designed to expand the base of scientific knowledge
concerning the issues of hazardous substance management by filling
gaps in existing technology.  The process of technology transfer is
an essential step in the development and application of innovative
hazardous substance management technologies.  A technology transfer
core component should facilitate the management and exchange of
technical information and data generated by the program.  Within
available resources, NIEHS will provide assistance for the transfer
of technology and information from the laboratory to the field.  As
research progresses, programs will need to discuss with NIEHS program
staff any technology information which could have the potential for
use on an expanded scale.

External Advisory Committee

The NIEHS strongly recommends the formation of an external advisory
committee for each multicomponent program.  The primary function of
this group should be to review program activities and make
recommendations to investigators for future research and training
directions consistent with the objectives of the SBRP.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

In addition, it is anticipated that grantees under this Program will
be requested to meet annually.  Applicants may budget funds for
appropriate staff to attend a three-day annual meeting in Research
Triangle Park, NC, or Washington, DC.

Animal Welfare Considerations

Investigators are encouraged to consider alternative methods and
approaches in their research applications that do not require the use
of whole animals, that use alternative species such as nonmammals or
invertebrates, that reduce the number of animals required, and that
incorporate refinements to procedures that will result in the
elimination of further minimization of pain and distress to animals.

STUDY POPULATIONS

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANTS REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF NIH
POLICIES CONCERNING INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL
RESEARCH STUDY POPULATIONS

NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and
cooperative agreements will be required to include minorities and
women in study populations so that research findings can be of
benefit to all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or condition
under study; special emphasis should be placed on the need for
inclusion of minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders
and conditions which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is
intended to apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or
minorities are excluded or inadequately represented in clinical
research, particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear
compelling rationale should be provided.

The composition of the proposed study population must be described in
terms of gender and racial/ethnic group, together with a rationale
for its choice.  In addition, general and racial/ethnic issues should
be addressed in developing a research design and sample size
appropriate for the scientific objectives of the study.  This
information should be included in the form PHS-398 in Sections 1-4 of
the Research Plan AND summarized in Section 5, Human Subjects.
Applicants are urged to assess carefully the feasibility of including
the broadest possible representation of minority groups.  The NIH
recognizes that it may not be feasible or appropriate in all research
projects to include representation of the full array of United States
racial/ethnic minority populations (i.e., Native Americans (including
American Indians or Alaskan Natives), Asian/Pacific Islanders,
Blacks, Hispanics).

The rationale for studies on single minority population groups should
be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research includes human
biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology,
prevention (and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of
diseases, disorders or conditions, including, but not limited to,
clinical trials.

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research or clinical studies in which human tissues
cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,
every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and
racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of
the study broadly, and this should be  addressed by applicants.

For foreign awards, the policy on inclusion of women applies fully;
since the definition of minority differs in other countries, the
applicant must discuss the relevance of research involving foreign
population groups to the United States' populations, including
minorities.

If the required information is not contained within the application,
the application will be returned.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in
the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of
women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the
scientific question(s) addressed and the justification for the
selected study population is inadequate, it will be considered a
scientific weakness or deficiency in the study design and will be
reflected in assigning the priority score to the application.

All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required
to address these policies.  The NIH funding components will not award
grants or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these
policies.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 18, 1994, a
letter of intent that includes the overall title of the proposed
research, and a descriptive title of each of the proposed research
projects that will be included in the application.  Also provide the
name, address and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the
identities of other key personnel and consultants, the participating
institutions, and the number and title of the RFA 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 subsequent application, the information
that it contains is helpful in planning for the review of
applications.  It allows NIEHS staff to estimate the potential review
work load and to avoid conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Ethel B. Jackson, D.D.S.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7826
FAX:  (919) 541-2503

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research and from the Office of
Grants Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes
of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892,
telephone (301) 435-0714 (single copy) or (301) 594-7378 (multiple
copies).

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 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 2a of the face page of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.

Since the PHS 398 is used primarily for the traditional research
grant applications, several sections must be modified and expanded so
that this form can be used to provide the additional information
needed for the Superfund Program applications.  Applicants must
request a copy of the Information Bulletin on Program Project Grants
and special instructions for this RFA application from Dr. William A.
Suk at the address listed under INQUIRIES.

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

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892-4500

In addition, two signed copies must also be sent or delivered to:

Ethel Jackson, D.D.S.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
104 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709

Applications must be received by June 17, 1994, at the DRG, and the
NIEHS.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

The NIEHS will identify non-responsive applications and return them
to the applicant.  Following staff review for responsiveness,
applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a group of
predominantly non-Federal consultants with expertise in fields
relevant to the innovative research NIEHS is seeking to encourage.

Based on the large number of complex applications expected,
applicants will not be site-visited.  Therefore, it is essential that
all information required for an adequate and thorough review be
included in the application.

Applications that are complete and responsive may be subjected to a
preliminary evaluation by a peer review group to determine their
scientific merit relative to the other applications received in
response to this RFA.  As a result of this triage process, the NIEHS
will withdraw from further consideration applications judged to be
noncompetitive and promptly notify the Principal Investigator/program
director and the official signing for the applicant organization.
Those applications judged to be competitive will be further evaluated
for scientific/technical merit.

The NIEHS will conduct an intensive review on the group of most
competitive applications.  The review group(s) will be convened by
NIEHS to review these applications.  A second level of review will be
performed by the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences
Council.

The major factors to be considered in the evaluation of responsive
applications will include:

o  the scientific merit of each proposed project, including the
novelty, originality, and feasibility of the approach, and the
adequacy of the experimental design;

o  the technical merit and justification of each core unit;

o  the competence of the investigators to accomplish the proposed
research goals, their commitments, and the time they will devote to
the program;

o  the scope of the overall effort in relation to the objectives of
the Program to create unique interdisciplinary programs to include
not only biomedical components, but also engineering, ecological,
and/or hydrogeological components;

o  relevance of the proposed research to problems associated with
hazardous waste substances;

o  the adequacy of the facilities to perform the proposed research;

o  in those of instances of competitive renewal, the progress of the
program to date;

o  the integration of the various projects and core units into an
effective program and plans for interactions among investigators;

o  the qualifications, experience, and commitment of the Principal
Investigator, the ability to devote adequate time and effort to
provide effective leadership;

o  the scientific and administrative structure of the program and
integration of the projects into an effective overall effort;

o  the adequacy and commitment of institutional resources to
administer an integrated, collaborative program; and

o  the appropriateness of the budget for the proposed program.

Because the objective of this Program is to create unique,
interdisciplinary institutional programs addressing the special needs
of Superfund, the review process will concentrate on the strengths
and weaknesses of the overall program proposed.  Individual projects
will be reviewed in light of their contribution to the entire
research effort.

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is April 1, 1995.  The following will
be considered in making funding decisions:

o  quality of proposed programs as determined by peer review;
o  availability of funds; and
o  program balance among research areas of the announcement.

INQUIRIES

The NIEHS staff welcomes the opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants.  Written and telephone inquiries
concerning the objectives, scope, and application procedures for this
RFA or inquiries about whether specific proposals would be responsive
are encouraged and may be directed to:

William A. Suk, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-0797
FAX:  (919) 541-2843

Questions of an administrative or fiscal nature may be directed to:

Ms. Dorothy Williams
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-2749

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, No. 93.143, NIEHS Superfund Hazardous Substances Basic
Research and Education Grant Program.  Awards will be made under the
authority of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of
1986, Title 1, Section III, and Title II, Section 209 (Public Law
99-499); and Public Health Service Act, Section 301 (Public Law
78-410, as amended), and administered under PHS grants policies and
Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 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.

.

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