INITIATIVE FOR MINORITY STUDENTS:  BRIDGES TO THE BACCALAUREATE DEGREE


NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 36, October 8, 1993


RFA:  GM-94-001


P.T. 44, FF


Keywords:
  Biomedical Research Training 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 


National Institute of General Medical Sciences


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  November 19, 1993
Application Receipt Date:  January 20, 1994


PURPOSE


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the
Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH), National Institutes of
Health (NIH), re-announce two initiatives directed at increasing the
number of underrepresented minorities entering careers in biomedical
research.  The programs target two different underrepresented
minority student populations: those in colleges and universities
offering only Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in
biomedically-related sciences and those in two-year junior or
community colleges.  These have been identified as two key transition
points for students considering careers in biomedical research.  This
is the third year of this program, which seeks to encourage the
development of new and innovative programs and the expansion of
existing programs to improve the academic competitiveness of
underrepresented minority students and facilitate their transition
into the next stage towards careers in biomedical research.


This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits new applications for a
partnership program involving two-year colleges awarding the
Associate"s degree and institutions awarding the Baccalaureate
degree.  A separate RFA (GM-94-002) describes a program targeting the
transition from the Master"s degree granting institutions to
universities awarding the Doctoral degree.  Former applicants of
unfunded Bridge applications are encouraged to submit revised
applications that respond to the prior concerns of the National
Advisory General Medical Sciences Council.


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS


General


Applications may be submitted by domestic, private or public,
educational institutions.  State or local systems of higher education
(also hereinafter referred to as institutions) may submit
applications as well.  An institution may be involved as a partner
institution in more than one Bridge program, but can be the APPLICANT
institution for only one Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree and one
Bridges to the Doctoral Degree Program.  Institutions with NIGMS
Baccalaureate Bridge Program (R25) grants funded after March 1, 1993,
are not eligible to apply for this RFA (GM-94-001).


An institution may submit ONLY ONE application for this RFA.
Institutions that submit applications in response to this RFA may
also apply for support for a Bridge to the Doctoral Degree (RFA
GM-94-002), if they meet the eligibility requirements. However, a
separate application for each RFA is required.  Institutions
submitting their own applications may participate in programs with
other applicant institutions if these interactions are consistent
with institutional resources and their institutional unified plan
described in BOTH applications (see UNIFIED PLAN under SPECIAL
REQUIREMENTS).  Institutions participating in more than one
application should provided a justification for each.


Programs developed or modified under this initiative must be
specifically designed to target underrepresented minority
undergraduates majoring in the sciences.  For purposes of this
announcement, underrepresented minority students are individuals
belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been
determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in
biomedical or behavioral research.  Nationally, individuals who have
been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral
research include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic
Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. The term "science"
is used in this RFA to mean the natural, physical, and behavioral
sciences and mathematics relevant to biomedical research.


Applications must include a partnership between a two year
institution ("AA Institution") that offers the Associate degree as
the only undergraduate degree in the sciences within the
participating departments AND has a significant enrollment of
underrepresented minorities, and a college or university offering
Baccalaureate degrees in science relevant to biomedical research
disciplines.


All applications must involve a partnership of at least two colleges
or universities, but may involve a consortium of several
institutions, and may include several institutions within a single
state system. One participating institution must be designated as the
applicant institution, must name the program director, and must
submit the application.  Each participating institution must name one
individual to act as its program coordinator.  Proposals must include
a description of the collaborative arrangement with all participating
institutions.


Institutions offering both the Associate and Baccalaureate degrees
may not use funds from this program for graduates of their own
Associate degree programs to enter their own Baccalaureate degree
programs, even if the student is moving from one department, school,
or college to another.  The program seeks to promote and enhance
partnerships BETWEEN institutions.


For additional requirements see:  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS


MECHANISM OF SUPPORT


General
Awards under this RFA will use the institutional education project
(R25) grant.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and
execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the
applicant.  The total requested project period for applications
submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed two years.
Requested direct costs are not to exceed $300,000 for the two-year
period.  Indirect costs will be paid at eight percent of the direct
costs, minus appropriate exclusions, or actual indirect costs,
whichever is less.  A budget for each year must be provided.


This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Future unsolicited competing
applications will not be accepted.


Allowable Costs


If appropriate, the budget request may be divided into two phases: a
planning phase with its attendant budget for the development,
adjustment and/or refinement of the partnership program, and an
implementation phase with its attendant budget.  The planning phase
costs should be minimal and not exceed a period of one year.  Faculty
release time for planning and implementation of the program and
faculty travel related to program development may be requested.


The implementation phase may include the costs of administering and
coordinating the partnership program within and between each of the
participants.  Requests for equipment, supplies, travel, and other
expenses should be limited to those necessary for program development
and should be carefully and specifically justified.


Student participation (limited to those matriculated at the AA
partner institution(s)) in research experiences may be requested and
remunerated through salary/wages and/or other forms of compensation
paid in lieu of wages (e.g., tuition remission).  These expenditures
are allowable provided the student is performing necessary work,
there is an employer-employee relationship between the student and
the institution, the total compensation is reasonable for the work
performed, and it is the institution"s practice to provide
compensation for all students in similar circumstances, regardless of
the source of support for the activity.


Stipends, housing, tuition, and fees are not allowable costs under
this program.


FUNDS AVAILABLE


An estimated total of $9 million will be available in Fiscal Year
1994 for supporting awards made in response to this RFA (GM-94-001),
RFA GM-94-002, and competing continuation applications, GM-94-003.
NIH staff anticipate making a combined total of 20 to 40 new and
competing continuation awards for these RFAs using multi-year
funding, provided NIH receives sufficient numbers of highly
meritorious applications and sufficient funds for this purpose.


RESEARCH OBJECTIVES


Background


This program seeks to promote the initiation and development of new
transitional programs as well as the expansion and enhancement of
existing programs between those institutions with departments
offering only the Associate"s degree as the undergraduate academic
degree in the sciences, and that have significant enrollments of
underrepresented minority students, and colleges and universities
with Baccalaureate degree programs.  The objective is to facilitate
the transition of underrepresented minority undergraduate students
into Baccalaureate degree programs after obtaining their Associate"s
degree.  Students receiving their Associate"s degree in one field of
science may pursue the Baccalaureate degree in a different area if it
is in a discipline related to the biomedical sciences with a
potential for research careers.


Collaborative agreements should take the form that best fits the
needs and situations of the institutions involved.  The challenge for
the program director, with the help of the participating partners, is
to design a new partnership program, or enhance an existing program,
that will focus attention and adequate resources to the Associate
degree- granting institutions to enhance the academic competitiveness
of their degree programs and graduates in the sciences.


Additional Information


These transition programs should be developed to meet the special
requirements of underrepresented minority students interested in
science.  They may include, but are not limited to, the following
elements:


o  providing laboratory research experiences at the baccalaureate
institution for students enrolled in the two-year institution
(students may receive compensation for these activities),


o  establishing a mentoring program with faculty at the baccalaureate
institution,


o  providing research opportunities at the baccalaureate institution
for faculty of the two-year college,


o  enriching the curriculum at the two-year institution (e.g.,
special science courses),


o  enabling students from the two-year institution to take courses
and/or participate in seminar programs at the baccalaureate college,


o  developing visiting lectureships at the two-year college by
science faculty from the baccalaureate institution,


o  developing courses at the two-year college jointly taught by
faculty of both institutions,


o  guaranteeing acceptance as juniors into the participating
baccalaureate program(s) for students who participated successfully
in the enhancement program,


o  academic counseling (e.g., guidance in course selection, tracking
and providing assistance to students who express an interest or show
special aptitude for science),


o  additional enrichment activities, such as tutoring, to enhance the
student"s transition to the baccalaureate college,


o  nontraditional or other professional degree-granting institutions
should describe those modifications or additions to their programs
that would provide Bridge students with the potential to enter
research career training programs.


o  other innovative plans to coordinate these programs.


It is an expectation of NIGMS and ORMH that students who enter
Baccalaureate programs as a result of this enhancement program will
receive financial aid packages, if needed, while progressing
satisfactorily in B.S. programs.  Applicants should describe the
type(s) of institutional or other financial aid that would be
available to such students.


SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS


Applicants should describe fully the proposed transition program and
explain how its design will meet the goals of this initiative.
Applicants should describe the criteria to be used in the selection
and retention of the student participants for this program,
applicants should also describe the criteria for selecting
participating faculty.  Applicants with an existing transition
program should describe that program and explain how it would be
altered to meet the goals of this initiative.


Unified Plan


To avoid duplication of effort each institution should develop a
unified plan (which may include the physical, natural and behavioral
sciences and mathematics) to facilitate the transfer of its students
from the Associate"s degree program to the Baccalaureate degree
program at another institution.  Applicants should describe how this
proposal fits in with the institution"s overall transition plan.  If
an institution is involved in more than one Bridge Program, the
applicant or the institution"s program coordinator must describe how
the various Bridge Programs interact and are consistent with the
institution"s unified plan.


Other Training Programs


Colleges with any NIH funding such as the Minority Access to Research
Careers (MARC), Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS),
National Research Service Award (NRSA) training grants, and/or
project grants, or other sources of funds such as National Science
Foundation grants or Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants, should
define the relationship between those programs and this transition
program.  They should delineate how this enhancement program will
influence their partnerships with the other participants and the
manner in which underrepresented minority students in the transition
program will interact with these other sources of support.


Consortium Agreements


Each applicant institution should delineate appropriate agreements
and consortium arrangements with other institutions consistent with
its own unified institutional plan.  The following statement,
accompanied by signatures of the appropriate administrative officials
from EACH of the collaborating institutions, must be included as part
of the application:


"THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAMMATIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE
PERSONNEL OF EACH INSTITUTION INVOLVED IN THIS
GRANT APPLICATION ARE AWARE OF THE NIH
CONSORTIUM GRANT POLICY AND ARE PREPARED TO
ESTABLISH THE NECESSARY INTER-INSTITUTIONAL
AGREEMENT(S) CONSISTENT WITH THAT POLICY."


In addition, letters acknowledging participation in the program are
required from each participating institution and must be signed by
the program coordinator and the appropriate institutional official.


Reporting Requirements


A progress report will be required at the end of the planning phase
(if any) or at the end of the first year, whichever is shorter.  A
final report will be required 90 days after the termination date of
the award and must include information for each student participant
and the benefits derived from the partnership program.  For
applicants submitting competing renewals the progress report in the
competing application may satisfy this requirement.


Student Population and Career Tracking


The nature and extent of underrepresented minority student
participation must be thoroughly delineated.  The applicant should
also describe the Associate"s degree-granting institution"s success
in training its students in the sciences, including information on
the numbers of minority students receiving the Associate"s degree and
data on subsequent careers or education of their graduates.


The applicant should describe a system by which it would monitor and
track the students participating in this program, including their
future careers, in order to evaluate the success of the program.


LETTER OF INTENT


Prospective applicants are requested to submit, by November 19, 1993,
a letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed
plan, the name, address, and telephone number of the program
director, the identities of other key personnel and participating
institutions, and the number and title of the RFA.  Although a letter
of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into
the review of subsequent applications, the information that it
contains is helpful in planning for the review of applications.  It
allows NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and to
avoid conflict of interest in the review.


The letter of intent is to be sent to the Program Administrator
listed below under "INQUIRIES."


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, 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, and from the NIGMS program administrator
listed under INQUIRIES.


The RFA label 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 number and title must be typed on line 2A of the
face page form, the "YES" box must be marked, and "R25" typed in 2B.


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


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


At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
must also be sent to Dr. Americo Rivera, Jr. at the address listed
under INQUIRIES.


Applications must be received by January 20, 1994.  Applications
received after that date will be returned to the applicant.


REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS


Upon receipt, applications will be administratively reviewed by NIH
staff.  Incomplete and/or unresponsive applications will be returned
to the applicant without further consideration.  Those applications
that are complete and responsive will be evaluated in accordance with
the criteria stated below for scientific and technical merit by
appropriate peer review groups.  The second level of review will be
provided by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council.


Review criteria:


o  qualifications and experience of the Principal Investigator and
staff to carry out the proposed program (extensive publication
records may be waived for faculty at primarily teaching
institutions),


o  appropriateness of the plans to develop the transition program to
meet the goals of the solicitation, appropriateness of the existing
program, if appropriate, and of plans to modify that program,


o  availability of significant numbers of underrepresented minority
students in the participating science department(s) who are
interested in studying further in biomedical and health-related
fields,


o  evidence of underrepresented minority students progressing to
higher education in the sciences,


o  appropriateness of the system to track future course of program
participants and monitor the effectiveness of the program,


o  budget and cost-effectiveness of the project including
appropriateness to the scope of the program, benefit to the students,
number of students involved, appropriateness of the of resources
allocated to AA institution(s), and responsible and prudent senior
personnel costs,


o  evidence of institutional commitment, for each institution, and
strength of the collaborative efforts between institutions to foster
professional development of underrepresented minority faculty and to
train underrepresented minority students in the biomedical sciences,


o  appropriateness of the administrative plan for managing the
proposed program, including adequacy of space and other institutional
resources.


AWARD CRITERIA


The anticipated date of award is September 30, 1994.  Award decisions
will be based on the technical merit of the applications, the
geographical distribution of the awardee institutions, and diversity
of underrepresented minority student participants.  Awards can be
made only to institutions with financial management systems and
management capabilities that are acceptable under PHS policy.  Awards
will be administered under the PHS Grants Policy Statement.


INQUIRIES


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


Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:


Americo Rivera, Jr., Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Westwood Building, Room 909
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7744
FAX:  (301) 594-7700


Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:


Ms Annette Hanopole
Grants Management Specialist
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Westwood Building, Room 935
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7819


AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS


Awards are authorized by sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health
Service Act, as amended and administered under PHS grants policies
and Federal Regulations 45 CFR Part 74 or 45 CFR Part 92.  This
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements
of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.  This
program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
No. 93.960, Special Minority Initiatives Program.


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