DEVELOPMENTAL GRANT: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES CENTERS

Release Date:  April 17, 1998

RFA:  ES-98-004

P.T.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  May 15, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  July 17, 1998

PURPOSE

The overall intent of this National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
(NIEHS) program is to establish multi-disciplinary research programs supported
by Core Centers (P30s) that utilize state-of-the-art science and address as a
primary focus environmentally-related health problems of economically
disadvantaged and/or underserved populations.  The first step in this process is
the current RFA, which requests Developmental Center Grant (P20) applications
from institutions or consortia of institutions wishing to develop multi
disciplinary Core Center (P30) grants with this theme.  It is important to note
that to be eligible for a Core Center (P30) that would follow after the P20 award
period, a minimum of $1,500,000 direct costs of NIH peer reviewed, investigator
initiated research support (or its equivalent) in environmental health science
must be in place.  This research must be directly related to the theme proposed
for the Core Center.

An NIEHS Core Center conducts novel, interdisciplinary, integrative research on
a focused question or issue relevant to the mission of the NIEHS.  Such research
uses experimental designs and technologies that are at, or exceed, those
considered to be state-of-the-art.  The present initiative will support early
stage development of the requisite interdisciplinary teams to study environmental
health concerns of an underserved population, and in doing so, establish the
feasibility of working as a cohesive, interactive Core Center.  This RFA aims to
ensure that the scientific, institutional, geographic, and demographic diversity
of the NIEHS Center program is maintained by encouraging new research-oriented
institutions to develop the research, leadership, and organizational capabilities
expected of an NIEHS Core Center.

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, Developmental Grant:
Environmental Health Sciences Centers, 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 Summary Report:  Stock No. 
017-001-00471-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (Telephone: (202) 512-1800.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must have a minimum of $500,000 in funded research related to
environmental health sciences to be eligible for this solicitation.  A
Developmental Center is appropriate for those groups of investigators that show
evidence of a strong track record in environmental health research, through
support of individual research project grants, and show promise, by virtue of
institutional commitment and identification of a research focus, to develop into
mature Core Centers.  An institution with little or no peer reviewed,
extramurally funded research activity in environmental health science would not
be eligible for a Developmental Center.

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit
organizations, both public and private including predominately minority
institutions, individually or as joint efforts of minority institutions and
majority institutions.  Usually, only one developmental grant will be funded at
an institution.  While a single institution must be the applicant, a multi-
institutional arrangement (consortium) is possible if there is a compelling
reason for it and if there is clear evidence of close interaction among the
participants.

The NIEHS has a significant commitment to the support of programs designed to
increase the number of under-represented minority scientists participating in
biomedical and behavioral research.  Therefore, applications from minority
individuals and women are encouraged.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

It is important to stress that award of P20 Developmental Grants will be highly
competitive.  These awards will be made to only those institutions able to
demonstrate to the review committee a high likelihood of success in following the
P20 grant period with a competitive core center grant application.  Therefore,
requirements established by the NIEHS for its Core Center must be considered
attainable by applicants for the P20 award.  The NIEHS has available upon request
the guidelines for these applications (P30) and potential applicants for the P20
award are encouraged to obtain a copy.

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The funding level for NIEHS Developmental Center grants will be $250,000 direct
costs per year for a maximum of four years.  It is anticipated that one to three
developmental grants will be awarded, depending upon the appropriation of funds
for this purpose and the quality of the applications received.  Awards are not
renewable and supplements are not allowed.  The earliest possible award date is
April 1, 1999.  Funding beyond the first and subsequent years of the award will
be contingent upon satisfactory progress during the preceding year and upon
availability of funds.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Most Americans want to live long and healthy lives, and the majority of them
achieve that goal.  In general, however, members of economically disadvantaged
and/or underserved populations suffer disproportionate levels of morbidity and
mortality.  The socioeconomically disadvantaged suffer the lowest life expectancy
and highest adverse health consequences of inadequate access to high-quality
health care.  Additionally, they are most often the populations with the highest
degree of exposure to environmental agents and are frequently the populations
with the least information available as to the health consequences of exposure
to these agents.

Research efforts to identify the sources of hazardous environmental exposures and
their effects among minority and underserved populations have been insufficient. 
Not much is known about the types of environmental agents to which
socioeconomically disadvantaged groups within our population are exposed at home
and on the job.  There has been little research to see how exposure to these
agents varies with socioeconomic status.  It is reasonable to hypothesize that
factors such as malnutrition, health status, socioeconomic status, in combination
with behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use play important
roles in the dose response, metabolism and health effects of these hazardous
agents among the population.

Exposures to harmful environmental agents may be more prevalent among the
socioeconomically disadvantaged because of the employment opportunities available
to them and the conditions in which they work.  Occupational exposures vary
greatly with job responsibility.  The lowest paying jobs in industrial plants are
usually the most risky.  Furthermore, a high percentage of certain jobs may be
held by one racial group.

Geographic location also plays an important role in environmental exposure of
socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.  Inner city poor often live in homes
with high lead levels.  These populations may also be exposed to higher levels
of air pollution.  On the other hand, toxic wastes are more frequent in rural,
low socioeconomic counties in the U.S., where nuclear facilities and chemical
plants are often located.  Disadvantaged neighborhoods may rely on well water,
which may be polluted with toxic chemicals.

Medical care is often inadequate or unavailable to a significant proportion of
the socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority populations in America today. 
This is in conjunction with the fact that many chronic diseases and other medical
problems associated with exposure to environmental agents are highly prevalent
in segments of the population which are economically disadvantaged.  Lead
poisoning and the cognitive and developmental damage associated with exposure to
lead occur disproportionately among minority populations.  High blood pressure
and prostate cancer are very common among Blacks.  Low birth weight babies and
other problems during pregnancy are common among groups of women who do not have
access to good prenatal care.  Some of these conditions or other diseases may
have an environmental component in their etiology.  The lack of resources for
early identification of the effects of toxic agents in these subgroups may lead
to an increased disease burden in a population economically least able to cope
with it.

Recent progress and opportunities

Prominent among the goals of the NIEHS are the achievement of environmental
justice for all populations as well as enhancing participation of minority
populations within the mainstream of biomedical research science.  Both of these
goals have a clear benefit to the health of the nation and provide a means of
addressing a potential labor shortage in the twenty-first century.  As one
continuing aspect of this effort, the Institute is requesting submission of
Developmental Center grant applications that focus on environmentally related
health problems of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

The following are examples of existing NIEHS Developmental Centers.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Considering that underprivileged Americans, particularly those of color, are
disproportionately exposed to environmentally hazardous conditions in their
communities, Columbia University established the Center for Environmental Health
in Harlem.  The Center fosters research aimed at diseases caused or exacerbated
by environmental factors and translates research findings into public policies
and educational programs to increase public awareness concerning environmental
health concerns.

Community organizations and local physicians have identified asthma as the single
most important public environmental health problem.  The Center has worked with
community members and organizations to launch new research to determine the
impact of vehicular traffic, particularly diesel buses, and various point sources
of air pollution on air quality in Harlem.  This is a model research project as
it was conceived by the community, deemed to be important by Center scientists,
and now involves student interns from the community.  Air quality and asthma
incidence data will be mapped and interventions which minimize both outdoor and
indoor triggers of asthma will be assessed.  At the same time, novel molecular
studies of antibody (IgE) formation have been initiated in an effort to elucidate
biological markers of asthma susceptibility and disease.

TULANE UNIVERSITY

An NIEHS Developmental Center has been established to assist researchers at the
Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research to focus their studies on
issues of environmental health effects in minority and other underserved
populations.  The Center has provided funds for pilot projects to encourage and
expand research and outreach activities in this area, especially on the part of
junior faculty in both institutions.

An ongoing population-based study is targeting a small semi-rural community in
south central Louisiana to assess the impacts of chemical air pollutants from
community-based manufacturing facilities.  The study includes modification,
testing and validation of instruments to assess the prevalence of respiratory
symptoms among residents of the community.  It also identifies and monitors
facilities which may be sources of air pollutants and determines their proximity
to the population.  Dispersion modeling is utilized to determine general exposure
to toxicants.  Results from statistical analysis will illustrate the prevalence
of respiratory symptoms with respect to proximity to the source of pollutants.

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

A significant number of women and minorities reside and/or are part of the
workforce in industrial areas in Louisville.  These industrial populations are
exposed to three major classes of toxins which are used in local industry:  (1)
acrylonitrile and related compounds used in synthetic rubber production; (2)
vinyl chloride and related compounds used in the production of plastics; and (3)
diverse metal catalysts employed in various industrial processes.  Considering
this fact, the University of Louisville Center for Environmental Health Sciences
was established to stimulate interdisciplinary research in the environmental
health sciences and to expand education and outreach to the public, industry, and
local and state governments in Kentucky.

Researchers at the Center are developing molecular biomarkers as human health
indicators of industrial chemical exposure.  The Center outreach program is
assessing the risk of exposure to chemicals of underrepresented individuals.
Specifically, the Center has established a biological specimen bank and has
implemented a Residential Surveillance Project to ascertain exposure and risk of
underserved populations in West Louisville.  To help translate research findings
into sound public policy, the Center has offered its services to provide data
evaluating the level of exposure of individuals to the effluent from Louisville
industries.  Center officials have also initiated contacts with the management
industries, unions, and ministerial associations in West Louisville to enhance
communication among all involved parties.

Relationship to Environmental Justice

Activities conducted under this announcement should be consistent with Federal
Executive Order No. 12898 entitled, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."  To the extent
practicable and permitted by law, grantees shall make achieving environmental
justice part of their projectþs mission by identifying and addressing, as
appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health effects of
environmental contaminants on minority and low-income populations.

Objectives and Scope

Despite the many successes demonstrated by existing NIEHS Developmental Centers,
there remains a widespread need for scientific study and outreach activities in
underserved communities.  Moreover, interdisciplinary research is paramount to
enhancing our understanding of the causes and mechanisms of environmentally
related disorders.  Nevertheless, interdisciplinary research is often difficult
to execute.

Based on these considerations, the primary purpose of the NIEHS Developmental
Center grant (P20) is to provide support for a group of investigators to develop
interdisciplinary collaborations, obtain preliminary results to demonstrate
feasibility, and develop a research program focused on the goals of this
announcement.  The resulting program will then be used as the basis for an
application for an NIEHS Core Center grant (P30).

The components of an NIEHS Developmental Center Grant may include, but are not
limited to:

1.  Preliminary or feasibility studies to gather sufficient data to demonstrate
the potential of ideas or the validity of approaches, to acquire or demonstrate
technical competence, or to evaluate other technical factors involved in
development of projects that address the goals of this announcement in
conjunction with the goals of the NIEHS Center program.

2.  Recruitment of new investigators whose expertise would strengthen the Core
Center grant application that will be submitted later.

3.  Inter- or intra-institutional planning to develop research strategies,
including the establishment of a timetable or milestones for the subsequent Core
Center grant application.

It is important to note that the award of a Developmental Center grant by the
NIEHS does not imply a commitment to future funding of any programs planned with
the support of such a grant.  Separate applications must be submitted for such
programs and such applications will be evaluated on the basis of their own
merits.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

In order to ensure that Developmental Center grants remain focused on appropriate
goals and make sufficient progress towards establishing the interdisciplinary
effort needed to apply for an NIEHS Core Center, frequent programmatic
assessments will be necessary.  In addition to yearly staff review through
progress reports, the directors of Developmental Center grants will be expected
to attend periodic meetings of the Environmental Health Science Center Directors.

ELEMENTS OF A DEVELOPMENTAL EFFORT

The following elements are essential in the planning and subsequent development
of an NIEHS Center:

1.  Center director: A senior level person with clear leadership and
administrative experience should be assigned the responsibility for directing the
planning and developmental effort.  This person should devote a significant
proportion of his/her time to this endeavor.  The Director will be the Principal
Investigator of the P20 Developmental Center grant application.  The Director
should be adept in the allocation of time for direction, planning, and
development of research activities of the Center and he/she should have
sufficient authority to utilize space in the institution to promote the research
capabilities of the Center.  The Director should also be capable of shaping the
body and character of the Center through the naming of new members and
discontinuing membership status, when appropriate.

2.  Advisory committees: An internal planning committee should assist the
Director to stimulate collaboration among constituent programs to take maximum
advantage of the institutionþs research capabilities.  Committee members should
be selected from within the Institution(s) developing the Center.  Additional
members from the community may be selected where appropriate.  This committee
should evaluate scientific, medical, institutional, and regional considerations
and make sure that all available resources are considered in the planning
process.

In addition, an external advisory group, consisting of senior individuals who are
familiar with the functions and organization of NIEHS Core Centers, should be
assembled and convened periodically to give the Director knowledgeable advise on
the development of a research center as well as an unbiased and independent
assessment of the Centerþs progress to date and its objectives and plans for the
future.

3.  Research program definition and implementation:  Research programs which are
to comprise the Center should be defined in terms of relevance to the
environmental health problems of an underserved population.  It is expected that
a Center will be organized specifically to address innovative, creative, and
potentially high risk/high impact research questions.

Proposed pilot projects should be multidisciplinary in nature and may focus on
basic, clinical, or prevention investigations.  Interdisciplinary coordination
and collaboration should strengthen and maximize scientific productivity. 
Projects should build on the current strengths of the institution.  Mechanisms
may also be developed to translate research results into knowledge that can be
applied to public health.  Results of research performed at the Center should
impact positively on the populations served by the Center in its geographic area.

ALLOWABLE COMPONENTS OF NIEHS DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER GRANT (P20) APPLICATIONS

Each applicant should consider the strengths and weaknesses of the planned
research group plus the expertise and the preliminary data that would be required
to demonstrate the technical competence necessary for a successful
interdisciplinary Center grant application.

1.  Pilot projects/Feasibility studies.  Research projects of limited scope to
generate data needed to demonstrate technical feasibility, such as access to
study populations and to validate an experimental approach, may be proposed.
Costs required for carrying out individual projects may be requested.

2.  Organizational development.  The goal of the P20 grant is to bring together
the individuals and organizational structure that will lead to a successful P30
application.  Therefore, partial salary support as an incentive for the
recruitment of faculty who will be part of the subsequent P30 application is
acceptable.

3.  Administrative/Planning core.  Each Developmental Center must designate a
Director who will be the key figure in the scientific planning and subsequent
administration of the proposed NIEHS Core Center.  Planning efforts should be
described in terms of how the necessary feasibility studies, recruitment of new
investigators, establishment of new collaborations, and other components will
strengthen and broaden any existing programs in the research area of the proposed
Center.  An internal steering committee is strongly recommended.  An external
advisory committee is required and must be in place at the time of application
submission.  Funds may be requested for the purpose of obtaining outside advice
and for necessary administrative personnel.

NON-ALLOWABLE COSTS FOR NIEHS DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER GRANTS

The Center mechanism may not be used as a substitute for individual grant
support.  It is expected that investigators participating in Centers will have
independent support.  Funds from these grants may not be used to provide salary
and support for central institutional administrative personnel usually paid from
institutional overhead charges.  Generally, funds for renovation of existing
facilities or to purchase substantial amounts of equipment will not be allowed. 
If such requests are made, they must be justified in terms of the critical nature
of the equipment for the success of the overall objectives of the Developmental
Center grant, rather than for the planned Core Center grant.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their
sub-populations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and behavioral
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling
rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with
respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.  This
policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public
Law 103-42).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994
(FR 59 14508-14513), and in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.

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

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by May 15, 1998, a letter of intent
that includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, address and
telephone number of the principal investigator, the identities of other key
personnel and consultants, the participating institutions, and the number and
title of the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.  
Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter
into the review of the subsequent applications, the information that it contains
is helpful in planning for the review of applications.  It allows review staff
to estimate the potential review workload and to avoid conflicts of interest in
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
111 T. W. Alexander Drive, EC-24
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7826
FAX:  (919) 541-2503

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used to apply
for these grants.  These forms are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach
and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive,
MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, email:
ASKNIH@od.nih.gov.

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 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.

Although not a prerequisite for applying, applicants are encouraged to consult
with NIEHS staff concerning the technical and substantive aspects of preparing
the application.  Applicants should contact NIEHS staff by phone early in the
preparation process.  However, applicants should understand that advice given by
staff is independent from the review process.

As a guideline, it is suggested that approximately ten pages will be sufficient
to describe the planned mission and structure of the proposed projects and three
to five pages to describe each feasibility study or other activity.  Each project
should be presented in the format used for an NIH research project grant (R01),
but in greatly abbreviated form.

If IRB or IACUC review is unavoidably delayed beyond submission of the
application, a follow-up IRB certification and/or IACUC verfication signed by the
appropriate committee official must be sent to and received by the Scientific
Review Branch, NIEHS by September 17, 1998.  If IRB certification and/or IACUC
verification is not received by September 17, 1998 the application will be
considered incomplete and returned to the applicant.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
checklist, and three signed, clear, and single-sided 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 services)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must also 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
111 T.W. Alexander Drive, EC-24
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7826
FAX:  (919) 541-2503

Applications must be received by July 17, 1998.  If an application is received
after that date, the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will return it to the
applicant.  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.  In addition, CSR will not accept
any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does
not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of applications already
reviewed, but such applications must include an introduction addressing the
previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and
responsiveness by NIEHS staff.  Incomplete and/or nonresponsive applications will
be returned to the applicant without further considerations.  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, a process may be used by the initial review
group in which applications will be determined to be competitive or
noncompetitive based on their scientific merit relative to other applications
received in response to the RFA.  Applications judged to be competitive will be
discussed and be assigned a priority score.  Applications determined to be
noncompetitive will be withdrawn from further consideration and the Principal
Investigator and the official signing for the applicant organization will be
notified.

REVIEW CRITERIA

These awards will be made to only those institutions able to demonstrate to the
review committee a high likelihood of success in following the P20 grant period
by a competitive Core Center grant application (P30).  The following is not a
complete listing of Core Center requirements, but rather is meant to highlight
major requirements for applicants for P30 Centers.

o  A minimum of $1,500,000 direct costs of NIH peer reviewed, investigator
initiated research support (or its equivalent) that is directly related to the
Core Center research focus and to the mission of the NIEHS.

o  A demonstrated institutional commitment to the Core Center.

o  A program cohesiveness that clearly indicates that the presence of the Core
Center makes a significant difference to the individual research projects by
providing and fostering a high degree of synergy among the various research
projects.

The major review factors listed below will be used in evaluation of applications
for NIEHS Developmental Center grants:

1.  Overall Program

o  Ability to demonstrate a high likelihood of success in following the P20 grant
period by a competitive Core Center grant application (P30).

o  Scientific merit of the program as a whole and development of a well-defined
central research focus of clear importance and relevance to the goals of this
initiative and the mission of the NIEHS.

o  Adequacy of the initial research agenda and of the planning mechanism for
elaborating a long-term research agenda for the institution.
o  Appropriateness of Center approach.  Whether or not a Center will add
significantly to what is or could be done through other modes of research
support.  Interdependence and synergy of projects and investigators.

2.  Administration and Planning Core

o  Scientific and administrative leadership ability and experience of the Center
Director and his/her commitment and ability to devote adequate time to the
effective management of the Center.

o  Appropriateness and adequacy of multi disciplinary teams constituting the
Centerþs members.

o  Proposed administrative organization to conduct the following:

o  Organize and maintain internal communication and cooperation among
investigators involved in the Center.

o  Establish a management structure that includes fiscal administration,
procurement, property and personnel management, planing budgets, etc.

o  Develop a mechanism for selecting and/or replacing professional or technical
personnel within the Center.

o  Obtain regular direction and guidance from internal and external advisory
committees.

3.  Pilot/Feasibility Studies

o  Scientific and technical quality of proposed pilot project/feasibility
studies.  Note: Reviewers will not vote on the merit of each study.  The overall
quality of the proposed pilot project/feasibility studies will be taken into
account in arriving at an evaluation of the application).

o  Development of an appropriate and adequate review committee and process to
assess the scientific merit of future pilot project/feasibility studies within
the grant period.

4.  Institutional Commitment

o  Institutional commitment to the program, including lines of responsibility for
the Center, and the institutionþs contribution to the management capabilities of
the Center.

o  Degree of institutional contribution towards expenses for the Administrative
and Planning Core and/or to the proposed pilot project/feasibility studies.

o  Academic environment and resources in which activities will be conducted,
including availability of space, equipment, and facilities, and potential for
interaction with scientists from other departments and schools.

o  Institutional commitment to any newly recruited individuals responsible for
conducting essential Center functions and activities.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

1.  Quality of the proposed applications as determined by peer review.

2.  Responsiveness to the goals of this RFA and the mission of the NIEHS.

3.  Availability of funds.  Although this program is provided for in the
financial plans of the NIEHS, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the
availability of funds for this purpose.  Funding beyond the first and subsequent
years of the award will be contingent upon satisfactory progress during the
preceding year and upon availability of funds.

Schedule

The following is the schedule planned for this initiative.  It should be noted
that this schedule may be changed without notification due to factors that were
unanticipated at the time of the RFA.  Contact the Program Official listed under
INQUIRIES regarding any changes in the schedule.

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  May 15, 1998
Application Receipt Date:       July 17, 1998
Initial Scientific Review:      October/November 1998
Advisory Council Review:        January 1999
Anticipated Date of Award:      April 1, 1999

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcomed.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Allen Dearry, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
111 T. W. Alexander Drive, EC-21
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-4500
FAX:  (919) 541-4937
Email:  dearry@niehs.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Mr. David L. Mineo
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
111 T. W. Alexander Drive, EC-22
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-1373
FAX:  (919) 541-2860
Email:  mineo@niehs.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number
93.894.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health Service Act,
Title IV, Part A (Public Law 100-607) and administered under PHS grant policies
and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  The program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12972 or
Health Systems Agency review.

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant and contract
recipients to provide a smoke free workplace and promote the non use of all
tobacco products.  In addition, Public Law 103 227, the Pro Children Act of 1994,
prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a
facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care
or early childhood development services are provided to children.  This is
consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental
health of the American people.


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