ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: PARTNERSHIPS FOR COMMUNICATION

Release Date:  April 21, 1999

RFA:  ES-99-005

P.T.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  May 7, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  July 14, 1999

PURPOSE

The purpose of this program is to strengthen the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) support of research aimed at achieving environmental justice for
socioeconomically disadvantaged and medically underserved populations in the
United States.  One goal of the NIEHS and the EPA is to stimulate investigative
efforts that attempt to address questions related to the influence of economic
and social factors on the health status of individuals exposed to environmental
toxicants. This component of the research program in environmental justice is
designed to stimulate community outreach, training, research and education
efforts that will become the catalyst for reducing exposure to environmental
pollutants in underserved populations.  The main objective of this RFA is to
establish methods for linking members of a community, who are directly affected
by adverse environmental conditions, with researchers and health care providers
and to enable this partnership to develop appropriate research strategies to
address environmental health problems of concern.  This effort will ensure that:

o  The community is aware of basic environmental health concepts, issues, and
resources.

o  The community has a role in identifying and defining problems and risks
related to environmental exposures.

o  The community is included in the dialogue shaping research approaches to the
problem.

o  The community actively participates with researchers and health care providers
in developing responses and setting priorities for intervention strategies.  One
aim of this program is to facilitate the process of developing the trust needed
for establishment of effective partnerships among individuals who are adversely
impacted by an environmental hazard in a socioeconomically disadvantaged
community, researchers in environmental health, and health care providers.  Once
this aim is achieved, the collaborative team should then be able to initiate a
research program that incorporates all parties and seeks to reduce exposure to
or health impact from an environmental contaminant.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of Health People 2000, a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas.  This RFA, Environmental Justice:
Partnerships for Communication, 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. 017-001-00473-1)
through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402-9325 (telephone: (202) 512-1800.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic non-profit organizations, public and
private, including predominantly minority institutions, individually or as joint
efforts of minority institutions and majority institutions.  Usually, only one
award under this RFA will be funded at an institution or organization.  Although
a single institution or organization must be the applicant, a multi-institutional
arrangement (consortium) is possible.  Such consortia, entailing active
participation by more than one organization, are encouraged if there is clear
evidence of close interaction and responsible partnership among the participants. 
Competitive continuation applications from existing grantees in the NIEHS
Environmental Justice: Partnerships For Communication Program in their fourth
year of support will be accepted for consideration under this RFA.  Such
applications must follow PHS 398 guidelines for competitive renewal, including
a progress report.  Such applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Program
Staff listed under INQUIRIES for additional guidance.  It is important to note
that, because of the wide range of environmental health problems to be addressed
and the diversity of affected communities, applications must include at least one
of each of the following:

o  A research scientist in environmental health sciences (such as those at NIEHS
Environmental Health Sciences Centers or NIEHS/EPA Centers for Children's 
Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research).

o  A primary health care provider directly involved in a community affected by
an environmental pollutant.  This individual must have a record of providing
health care to the participating community.  He/she could, but need not
necessarily, be affiliated with a county or state public health department.

o  A member of a community organization in an area having an underserved
population that is adversely affected by an environmental pollutant.  This
individual must be someone who lives in or works directly and regularly with the
participating community.  At least one member of each of these three required
personnel groups must have an active and meaningful role in both development of
the application and conduct of the proposed project.  These personnel must be
listed on page 2 of the PHS 398 application, and a biographical sketch must be
provided for each. Applications lacking the required personnel will not be
considered.  The role of each member of these three personnel groups in
developing the application and carrying out the project must be clearly
identified and fully described.  There should be an equitable distribution of
responsibilities as well as of requested financial resources among the three
personnel groups.  This goal is often accomplished through the inclusion of one
or more subcontract arrangements, which may be helpful in defining all parties'
programmatic and budgetary roles.  The NIEHS and EPA have a significant
commitment to the support of programs designed to increase the number of under
represented minority and female scientists participating in biomedical,
environmental, and behavioral research.  Therefore, applications from minority
individuals and women are encouraged.  Because of the community-based nature of
this program, well-established community-based organizations are encouraged to
consider their capacity to serve as the primary applicant organization.  Due to
the complex administrative, programmatic, and financial responsibilities
associated with this role, such groups should contact Program Staff listed below
for guidance.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use either the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Education Grant
(R25) or the EPA STAR Grant, at the option of the agencies.  Responsibility for
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely
that of the applicant.  The total project period for an application submitted in
response to the present RFA may not exceed four years.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The estimated total funds available for the first year of support for the entire
program are anticipated to be $2 million.  The maximum award will be $200,000 in
direct costs, including subcontract total (direct plus indirect) costs, per year. 
Indirect costs will be paid at the approved indirect cost rate for the applicant
organization less appropriate exclusions.  It is anticipated that seven grants
will be awarded depending upon the availability of funds for this purpose and the
quality of the applications received.  Supplements are not allowed.  Although
this program is provided for in the financial plans of the NIEHS AND EPA, 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.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Americans want to live long and healthy lives, and the majority of them achieve
that goal.  In general, however, people who are economically disadvantaged and/or
who live or work in areas and occupations where conditions impart greater
exposure to hazardous substances are less likely to do so.  At every stage of
life, these persons suffer disproportionate levels of morbidity and mortality. 
Evidence suggests that certain groups, especially minorities and low-income
communities, bear an uneven share of hazardous environmental exposures. 
Socioeconomically disadvantaged people suffer the lowest life expectancy and the
highest adverse health consequences of inadequate access to high quality health
care.  Additionally, they most often experience the highest degree of exposure
to environmental agents and frequently have the least information available about
the health consequences of exposure to these agents.  Environmental justice
refers to the need to remedy the unequal burden borne by socioeconomically
disadvantaged persons in terms of residential exposure to greater than acceptable
levels of environmental pollution, occupational exposure to hazardous substances,
and fewer civic benefits such as sewage and water treatment.  Geographic location
plays an important role in environmental exposure of socioeconomically
disadvantaged persons.  Inner-city poor often live in homes with high lead
levels.  They may also be exposed to higher levels of air pollution.  Toxic waste
sites are more frequent in rural, low socioeconomic counties in the United
States.  Nuclear facilities and chemical plants are often located in rural areas. 
Exposure to pesticides is another example where rural, socioeconomically
disadvantaged populations area at a greater than average risk.  Disadvantaged
neighborhoods may rely on well water which may be polluted with toxic chemicals. 
In addition, medical care is often inadequate or unavailable to a significant
proportion of the socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority people in America
today.  Lead poisoning and the cognitive and developmental damage associated with
exposure to lead occur disproportionately among minorities.  High blood pressure
and prostrate cancer are very common among African Americans.  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 may lead to an
increased disease burden in people who are economically least able to cope with
it.

Recent Progress and Opportunities

Over the past six years, the NIEHS and EPA have supported a variety of
environmental justice and community-based prevention/intervention research
programs.  These programs have been very successful in achieving open and honest
communication between researchers and community members.  Working together,
researchers and community leaders have been able to identify disproportionate
environmental health risks in certain communities and have begun to formulate
research agendas.  A needed step in this process is gaining participation of
community members in efforts to gather preliminary health and exposure data. 
Ongoing projects within the Environmental Justice: Partnerships for Communication
Program are committed to enhancing community participation in research studies
and to facilitating communication among environmental health researchers,
community health care providers, and community members.  Methods utilized in
these projects include:

o  Assessment and/or surveys of environmental hazards.

o  Characterization and evaluation of the distribution and health impact of
environmental contaminants.

o  Provision of environmental health and toxic exposure training for health care
providers.

o  Development of culturally appropriate education and communication materials.

o  Development and implementation of exposure reduction/pollution prevention
strategies.

Areas of research that are encouraged and not currently funded by existing NIEHS
Environmental Justice programs include, but are not limited to: women's health
issues (breast cancer, osteoporosis, reproductive health, autoimmune diseases),
birth defects, hypertension, prostate cancer, and diabetes.

Objectives and Scope

One component of the mission of the cooperating agencies is to promote research
aimed at achieving environmental justice by identifying and addressing
disproportionately high and adverse effects of environmental agents on human
health in low income and minority populations.  The main objectives of this
program are to: establish methods for linking members of a community, who are
directly affected by adverse environmental conditions, with researchers and
health care providers; and enable this partnership to develop appropriate
research strategies to address environmental health problems of concern. 
Development of such community-based strategies to address environmental health
problems requires approaches that are not typically familiar to the research and
medical communities.  Customary approaches to risk assessment and management
often neglect the knowledge and experience of at risk populations and the
sociocultural context of environmental hazards.  The distinctive needs of
individual communities and their inhabitants are only rarely considered in
identifying environmental health problems and devising appropriate disease and
pollution prevention tactics.  Underserved populations are often diverse,
fragmented, and isolated, making it difficult to obtain their input and to
integrate their concerns in decision-making processes.  Assays of the health
effects of environmental pollution, as well as regulations based on such assays,
are often performed with little or no input from the affected community.  The
purpose of this program is to institute mechanisms to bridge this communication
gap.  Once communication and collaboration have been achieved, researchers and
community members should then develop a research agenda to identify and assess
environmental risks.  Establishing and maintaining trust among all personnel is
important throughout the process, as it will enhance the capacity to collect
preliminary health and exposure data.  The ultimate goal of this program is to
reduce health threats to these populations.  Therefore, participation of the
community is essential for both identification of health risks as well as for
effective implementation of policies to reduce exposure.  Applicants are
therefore expected to create equitable partnerships among researchers in
environmental health, health care providers, and representatives of low income
or medically underserved communities affected by environmental health problems. 
Types of activities that may be proposed include, but are not limited to:

o  Develop efficacious methods for risk communication in low-income and
underserved communities unfavorably impacted by environmental hazards.

o  Develop community-based, culturally sensitive educational programs to mitigate
adverse health effects from environmental toxicants in low-income and underserved
communities.

o  Carry out community-based training to increase environmental health literacy,
i.e., increase awareness of the public, in such neighborhoods.

o  Train and educate neighborhood health care professionals in the diagnosis and
treatment of disorders having an etiology related to exposure to hazardous
substances, i.e., increase awareness of health care providers.  These providers
should have a direct role in assisting a community affected by exposure to an
environmental hazard.

o  Develop a research agenda to measure population exposure and/or quantify human
health impacts.  We wish to encourage a broad, comprehensive approach to this
problem that emphasizes both education and research.  Applicants are encouraged
to consider proposing some combination of the above activities.  The following
factors must be included in applications submitted in response to this RFA. 
Applications lacking any one of the following factors will be considered
nonresponsive.  Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult Program
Staff listed under INQUIRIES about their capacity to address each of these
factors.  The required elements for each application are:

o  Develop a means of establishing effective input from an underserved community
affected by an environmental toxicant.  For example, applicants may consider
creating a community-based advisory board or steering committee to facilitate
outreach, planning, and evaluation efforts.  This input could be obtained
directly from members of a community affected by an environmental toxicant as
well as from representatives of such groups as community and neighborhood
associations, churches, public housing resident councils, community health
centers, local public health service departments, and minority educational
institutions.

o  An objective assessment process designed to:

-  Identify priority areas in environmental health as perceived by community
members.

-  Develop a consensus among community members about plausible approaches.

-  Build upon existing experience and knowledge within the community.

-  Detect any potential constraints in implementing the project.

o  Development of appropriate education/communication modules.  Proposed projects
must provide for dissemination of relevant information within the community as
well as a means for the community to have a voice that reaches researchers and
health care providers.

o  Develop research and intervention approaches.  For example, projects to
collect and analyze exposure/health data are appropriate and encouraged.

o  Evaluation of the project's effectiveness.  A procedure must be established
to assess the usefulness of the project's education, communication and research
activities.  Both process and outcome measures should be addressed.

o  Recommendations for future activities, beyond the period of NIEHS or EPA
funding, to assure continued participation of community members in research and
service programs addressing environmental injustices.  Each of the above elements
is essential to fulfill the education, communication, research and outreach aims
of this RFA.  Applicants lacking any of the above components will be considered
nonresponsive.  It is important to note that award of a grant under this RFA does
not imply a commitment to future funding of any extensions or new projects
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.  Activities conducted under this RFA should be consistent
with Federal Executive Order No. 12988 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 project's mission by identifying and
addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health
effects of environmental contaminants on minority, low-income, and medically
underserved populations, including African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Americans.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

To encourage applicants to share information gained via these grants, a member
of each of the three types of required personnel on each project (scientist,
health care provider, and community member) will be asked to attend an annual
meeting in the Research Triangle Park, NC area.  Applicants should include such
travel in their budget requests.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their
subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and behavioral
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling
rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with
respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.  This
policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public
Law 103 43).  All investigators proposing research involving human subjects
should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects
in Clinical Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March
28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,
Volume 23, Number 11, March 18, 1994.  Investigators also may obtain copies of
the policy from the program staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also
provide additional relevant information concerning the policy.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21)
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  This
policy applies to all NIH conducted or supported research involving human
subjects, including research that is otherwise "exempt" in accord with Sections
101 (b) and 401(b) of 45 CFR 46 "Federal Policy for the Protection of Human
Subjects."  The inclusion of children as subjects in research must be in
compliance with all applicable subparts of 45 CFR 46 as well as with other
pertinent federal laws and regulations.  Therefore, proposals for research
involving human subjects must include a description of plans for including
children.  If children will be excluded from the research, the application or
proposal must present an acceptable justification for the exclusion.

QUALITY ASSURANCE NARRATIVE STATEMENT

EPA regulations as stated in 40 CFR 30.54 require the inclusion of a Quality
Assurance Narrative Statement (QANS, OMB #2080-0033, approved  8/14/97) for
funding of any application involving data collection or processing, environmental
measurements, and/or modeling.  The QANS provides information on how quality
processes or products will be assured. While applications to NIEHS/NIH will not
be considered incomplete without this statement, EPA cannot fund any application
without a reviewed QANS. Therefore, while it is not necessary to submit a QANS
with the application, a QANS will be required before an EPA award can be made. 
This statement should not exceed two consecutively numbered, 8.5x11-inch pages
of single-spaced standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins.  This statement is
to be considered as additional information and is not counted against the 25
pages permitted for the Research Plan.  The Quality Assurance Narrative Statement
should, for each item listed below, either present the required information or
provide a brief justification as to why the item does not apply to the proposed
research.  For awards that involve environmentally related measurements or data
generation, a quality system that complies with the requirements of ANSI/ASQC E4,
"Specifications and Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data
Collection and Environmental Technology Programs," must be in place.

1.  The activities to be performed (reference may be made to the specific page
and paragraph number in the application where this  information may be found);
criteria for determining the acceptability of data quality in terms of precision,
accuracy, representativeness, completeness, comparability.

2.  The study design including sample type and location requirements and any
statistical analyses that were used to estimate the types and numbers of samples
required for physical samples or similar information for studies using survey and
interview techniques.

3.  The procedures for the handling and custody of samples, including sample
identification, preservation, transportation, and storage.

4.  The methods that will be used to analyze samples or data collected, including
a description of the sampling and/or analytical instruments required.

5.  The procedures that will be used in the calibration and performance
evaluation of the sampling and analytical methods used during the project.

6.  The procedures for data reduction and reporting, including a description of
statistical analyses to be used and of any computer models to be designed or
utilized associated with verification and validation techniques.

7.  The intended use of the data as they relate to the study objectives or
hypotheses.

8.  The quantitative and or qualitative procedures that will be used to evaluate
the success of the project.

9.  Any plans for peer or other reviews of the study design or analytical methods
prior to data collection.

ANSI/ASQC E4, "Specifications and Guidelines for Quality Systems for
Environmental Data Collection and Environmental Technology Programs" is available
for purchase from the American Society for Quality Control, phone 1-800-248-1946,
item T55.  Only in exceptional circumstances should it be necessary to consult
this document.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are requested to submit, by May 7, 1999, a letter of
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed project, the name,
address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the identities of
other key personnel and participating institutions, and the number and title of
the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.  Although a letter
of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into review of a
subsequent application, the information that it contains is helpful in planning
for the review of applications.  It allows Review staff to estimate the potential
workload and avoid conflict of interest.  The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Ethel B. Jackson, D.D.S.
Office of Program Operations
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-24
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7826
Fax:  (919) 541-2503
Email:  jackson4@niehs.nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in applying
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:
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form must be
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Failure to use this
label could result in delayed processing of the application that it may not reach
the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title and number
must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box
must be marked.

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

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040  MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

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

Ethel Jackson, D.D.S.
Office of Program Operations
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-24
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709

Applications must be received by July 14, 1999.  If an application is received
after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review.  The Center
for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in response to this
RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless
the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any
application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does not
preclude the submission of substantial revisions of applications already
reviewed, but such applications must include an Introduction addressing the
previous critique.  Applicants who are submitting revised applications based on
criticisms in summary statements received in response to previous announcements
of this RFA (ES-95-002 or ES-98-006) are urged to read the appropriate
instructions on page 14 of the PHS 398 and to contact Program Staff listed under
INQUIRIES.  All human and animal welfare as well as misconduct assurances must
be complete for an application to be reviewed.  All follow up assurances and
approvals submitted as pending must be received within 60 days of the application
receipt deadline or the application will not be reviewed.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and
responsiveness by NIEHS and EPA staff.  Applications that are incomplete and/or
nonresponsive will be returned to the applicant without review.  Complete and
responsive applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by
a peer review group convened by the NIEHS in accordance with review criteria
stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive
a written critique and undergo a process in which only those applications deemed
to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications
under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second
level review by the appropriate national advisory council.

The major review factors listed below will be used in evaluation of applications
for this RFA:

o  Scientific, technical and/or medical significance and merit of the proposed
project as determined by such factors as its content, originality, and
feasibility.

o  Evidence of access to, interaction with, and input from a minority, low-
income, or underserved community, whose members' health is adversely impacted by
an environmental toxicant.  There should be evidence of effective involvement of
such a community in development of the application as well as in conduct of the
project.

o  Capacity of the project to:

-  Identify key environmental hazards that affect the health and quality of life
of people who live in or around communities thought to be at risk.

-  Establish a focus and appropriate strategies and procedures for information
exchange related to environmental health problems in socioeconomically
disadvantaged communities.

-  Enhance awareness of environmental health problems among members of the public
and/or health care providers living or working in low-income or underserved
communities.

-  Have a direct impact on the health or quality of life of individuals in
affected communities, e.g., by diminishing exposure to environmental toxicants.

o  Appropriateness and adequacy of the approach and methodology proposed to
accomplish the project's objectives.  Effectiveness of the proposed plan in
reaching the target audience.  For example, many socioeconomically disadvantaged
persons tend not to obtain information from the written word.  Low or no
literacy, as well as bilingual, materials may need to be generated.

o  Plans for evaluation of factors contributing to the project's effectiveness. 
Evaluations should include a measure of the impact of the project on community
members' knowledge and awareness of issues and resources related to environmental
health sciences.  Similarly, evaluation of the effectiveness of health care
provider training should be conducted.  Both process and outcome evaluation tools
should be incorporated.

o  Qualifications and experience of the Principal Investigator and staff,
particularly but not exclusively in areas relevant to the mission of NIEHS and
EPA.  Personnel should demonstrate knowledge of the needs of their target
audience.  There should be evidence of effective cooperation and interaction in
development of the application as well as in execution of the project among the
three types of required personnel: a researcher in environmental health sciences,
a health care provider, and a member of a community organization in an area
having an underserved population that is adversely affected by an environmental
pollutant.  There should be an equitable distribution of responsibilities among
the three types of required personnel.

o  Strength of institutional commitment as evidenced by provision of appropriate
resources, services, technical support, and allocation of space.

o  Availability of resources necessary to carry out the project.

o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
project's objectives.  Consistent with an equitable distribution of
responsibilities, there should likewise be an equitable distribution of requested
financial support among the three types of required personnel.

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

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is April 1, 2000.  The following will be considered
in making funding decisions:

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

o  Significance with respect to the goals of this RFA and the priorities of the
NIEHS and EPA.

o  Availability of funds.

Schedule

The following is the schedule planned for this initiative.  It should be noted
that this schedule might be changed without notification due to factors that were
unanticipated at the time of the announcement.  Contact the program official
below regarding any changes in the schedule.

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  May 7, 1999
Application Receipt Date:       July 14, 1999
Initial Scientific Review:      October 15, 1999
Advisory Council Review:        February 14, 2000
Anticipated Date of Funding:    April 1, 2000

INQUIRIES

Written, telephone or Email inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Frederick L. Tyson, Ph.D.
Chemical Exposures and Molecular Biology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, 111 T.W. Alexander Drive, MD EC-21
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-0176
FAX:  (919) 541-4937
Email:  tyson2@niehs.nih.gov

Robert E. Menzer, Ph.D.
National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
Telephone:  (202) 564-6849
FAX:  (202) 565-2444
Email:  menzer.robert@epa.gov

Direct inquires 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, MD EC-22
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone:  (919) 541-7628
FAX:  (919) 541-2860
Email:  mineo@niehs.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos.
93.113, 93.114, and 93.115.  NIEHS 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.  EPA awards are made under the authority of 40 CFR parts 30 and 40.  The
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS and EPA strongly encourage 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 an 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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