Full Text GM-94-004

PREDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP AWARDS FOR MINORITY STUDENTS

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 1, January 7, 1994

RFA:  GM-94-004

P.T. 22, FF

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research Training 


National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Application Receipt Date:  April 27, 1994

PURPOSE

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is
accepting applications for individual National Research Service Award
(NRSA) Predoctoral Fellowships for Minority Students.  These
fellowships will provide up to five years of support for research
training leading to either the Ph.D. degree or the combined
M.D./Ph.D. or other combined professional doctorate/research Ph.D.
degrees in the biomedical sciences for highly qualified students from
minority groups found to be underrepresented in the biomedical and
behavioral sciences.  Support is not available for individuals
enrolled in medical or other professional schools unless they are
enrolled in a combined professional doctorate/Ph.D. degree program in
biomedical research.

The intent of this Minority Predoctoral Fellowship Program is to make
graduate fellowships available to underrepresented minority graduates
from all institutions, including the many minority undergraduate
students who have participated in the various NIH-sponsored programs
to prepare them for research careers.  This program is designed to
encourage greater numbers of underrepresented minorities to pursue
graduate degrees, thus fulfilling the goal of increasing the number
of minorities trained for careers in biomedical research.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Eligibility for these awards is limited to students who are U.S.
citizens, non-citizen nationals (citizens of areas outside the U.S.,
but under U.S. jurisdiction), or permanent U.S. residents.
Applicants must be from ethnic/racial groups that are
underrepresented in research in the biomedical sciences in the U.S.
For purposes of this announcement, underrepresented minority students
are defined as individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial
group that has been determined by the applicant's graduate
institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral
research.  In making these awards, the NIH will give priority
consideration to applications from Blacks, Hispanics, Native
Americans, and Pacific Islanders and other ethnic or racial group
members who have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or
behavioral research nationally.

In addition, an applicant must currently be enrolled in a Ph.D. or
combined M.D./Ph.D. (or other combined professional
doctorate/research Ph.D. graduate) program in the biomedical
sciences, or have been accepted by and agreed to enroll in such a
graduate program in the 1994-95 academic year.

The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program of NIGMS has a
similar fellowship program of support for graduates of its various
MARC Honors Undergraduate Research Training programs to attend
graduate school in biomedical sciences.  Graduates of the MARC
Program are encouraged to apply to the MARC Predoctoral Fellowship
Program.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA for individual fellowships (F31) is under the auspices of
the NRSA Act.  An applicant must work with her/his research advisor
or graduate program director in preparing the application.  Awards
will be administered under the PHS Grants Policy Statement and the
Guidelines for National Research Service Awards and as stated in this
RFA.

The period of fellowship support requested in response to this RFA
may not exceed five years (Note:  the total period of predoctoral
training grant support under the NRSA authorization may not exceed
five years).  Continuation of the fellowship award for each
subsequent year beyond the first is based on evidence of satisfactory
progress in a graduate program.

There is a single receipt date for applications:  April 27, 1994.
The NIGMS may announce subsequent RFA receipt dates at a later time.

Stipends and Other Expenses

The fellowship award provides an annual stipend to help meet the
fellow's living expenses; a tuition and fee allowance in accordance
with NIH policy; and an annual institutional allowance of $2000,
which may be used for travel to scientific meetings and for
laboratory and other training expenses.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

For FY 1994, it is anticipated that at least 50 new fellowship awards
will be made, if sufficient numbers of high quality applications are
received.  The NIGMS will be joined by the following awarding
components of the NIH in providing funds to support this program:
National Institute on Aging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development, National Institute on Deafness and
Other Communicative Disorders, National Institute of Dental Research,
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,
National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Environmental
Health Sciences, National Eye Institute, National Heart, Lung and
Blood Institute, National Institute of Mental Health, National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Library of
Medicine, National Center for Human Genome Research, and National
Center for Research Resources.  Although this program is included in
the financial plans of the participating institutes and centers, the
award of fellowships in response to this RFA is also contingent upon
the availability of funds for this purpose.

Payback Requirements

The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, signed into law on June 10, 1993,
includes provisions in Section 1602, which eliminate the payback
obligation requirements for predoctoral support.  Accordingly,
Section VII (pages 29 and 30) of the fellowship application, PHS
416-1, Revised 10/91, are no longer applicable to this program.  For
more details concerning this change, see the NIH Guide for Grants and
Contracts, Volume 22, Number 27, July 30, 1993.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The fellowship application form PHS 416-1 (rev. 10/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
university 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 NIH program administrators listed under
INQUIRIES.

The applicant must follow ALL instructions in the application kit AND
those described in these supplemental instructions.  Incomplete
applications will not be reviewed.

The following must be included with the application at the time of
submission.  Failure to include any of these items will preclude
review of the application.

o  a copy of the results of either the Graduate Record Examination or
the Medical College Admission Test (for M.D./Ph.D. applicants);

o  a clear and legible copy of the applicant's transcript(s) from all
undergraduate and graduate institutions in which the applicant is/has
been enrolled;

o  a description of the graduate or combined degree program in which
the applicant is either enrolled or has been admitted and agreed to
enroll (Item 33);

o  at least three reference letters sealed in envelopes; and

o  certification of eligibility completed by the institution.

Supplemental Instructions for Completing the Application

A.  To be completed by the Student-Applicant

Item 1. ("Title of Research Training Proposal"), type: MINORITY
PREDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM - NIGMS.

Item 2. ("Level of Fellowship") type: Predoctoral.

Item 3. ("Program Announcement Area"), type:  RFA GM-94- 004.

Items 4 - 8.  Self explanatory.

ITEM 4i ("Citizenship"), see explanation on page 7 of PHS 416-1.
Non-citizen nationals are citizens of areas that are not States but
are under the jurisdiction of the United States, e.g., American
Samoa.  Applications from permanent residents MUST be accompanied by
a notarized statement.

(Items 9 - 14.  Completed by sponsor).

Item 15.  YOU MUST SIGN THE APPLICATION.

Items 16-18.  Self explanatory; if any do not apply to you, type N/A.

(Items 19 and 20. Completed by sponsor)

Item 21. (Abstract of Proposed Research)  If you have selected a
thesis topic, you should briefly describe, in abstract form, the
question you are studying, how you are approaching it, and the health
relatedness of your project. If you have not yet selected a thesis
project, say  "no thesis selected" and instead give a brief
description of the research area that interests you most and why,
even if your research interests are still very broad.

Item 22. (Scholastic Performance)  You must complete this section,
listing all undergraduate and graduate course you have taken and the
grades you received.  In addition, you MUST submit a LEGIBLE copy of
a transcript from all undergraduate and graduate institutions you
have attended.

Item 23. (Employment)  In addition to prior or current NRSA support,
include your employment history during and after college if a
significant time commitment was involved.  All time between
graduation from college and entrance into this graduate program
should be accounted for.

Items 24-26.  Self-explanatory

Item 27.  Research Experience

a. (Summary) Provide a thorough description of your relevant work and
research experiences, including time, place, research director, and
your role in the research.

b. (Doctoral Dissertation) should not be completed.

c. (Publications) Include a list of publications, abstracts, and
poster presentations.  Three (3) collated sets of copies of
publications may be provided as part of Section 3 (Appendix).

Item 28. (Revised Application) To be completed ONLY if this
application is a revision of an application submitted earlier.

Item 29. (Research Training Plan)

a. (Activities Under Award) - Include a statement concerning your
research training and long-range career goals, with an explanation of
how the proposed course of study to be supported by this fellowship
will help you attain these goals.  If appropriate, explain how prior
work and research experiences affected the choice of career goals.

b and c. (Research Proposal and Respective Contributions) If you have
selected a research thesis topic, complete this section according to
the instructions.  If you have not yet selected a thesis, give a
description of the research area that interests you most.

d. (Selection of a Sponsor and Institution) Explain why you chose to
enroll in this university/institution and in this graduate program.
If you have selected a research advisor, give the rationale for your
choice.  If you have not selected an advisor, you should identify up
to five individuals with whom you would like to work, giving a
rationale for your choices.

B. To be completed by the Research Advisor or Sponsor

If the applicant has selected a research advisor, the advisor must
complete the items in this section.

If the applicant HAS NOT YET SELECTED A RESEARCH ADVISOR, the
director of the graduate program should designate a sponsor to
complete these items.  The director may choose to serve as the
sponsor.

Items 9 - 14, 20, and 30-37

Item 33, in addition to the information requested in the application
kit,

(1) for ALL students, provide a full description of the graduate or
combined degree program in which the applicant is (or is to be)
enrolled. This description should also outline the normal course of
study (both didactic and laboratory) for students enrolled in the
program;

(2) for students ALREADY ENROLLED in the graduate program, describe
the applicant's course of study up to the time of submission of the
application and plans for further study; and

(3) for ALL students, provide the applicable tuition and fees for
each year of support requested.

C.  To be supplied by the University or Institution

1.  A statement from the institution certifying that (a) the
applicant is enrolled as a predoctoral student OR has been accepted
by and agreed to enroll in the graduate training program; (b) the
applicant is an eligible minority individual, determined by the
institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral
research; this certification MAY include an OPTIONAL identification
of the applicant's ethnic/racial group; and (c) the applicant is a
citizen, non-citizen national or permanent resident of the U.S. (see
page 7 of PHS 416-1, Rev. 10/91).  This statement must be signed by
the director of the graduate program in which the student is (or is
to be) enrolled and by the official authorized to sign for the
institution.  FAILURE TO INCLUDE THIS CERTIFICATION WILL PRECLUDE
REVIEW OF THE APPLICATION.  The institution may wish to use the
format given at the end of this announcement.

2.  By signing item 37, the institution is certifying the accuracy of
the tuition and fees requested for each year of support listed in
Item 33.

Submission

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application (including
the Checklist, Personal Data form, at least three sealed reference
letters, and all other required materials) and two exact, clear,
single-sided photocopies of the signed application, in one package
to:

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

Applications must be received by April 27, 1994.  Any application
received after that date will be returned to the applicant.

Applications submitted without three reference letters will be
returned without review.

Simultaneous submission of identical applications will not be allowed
nor will essentially identical applications be reviewed by different
review committees.  Thus, an application cannot be submitted in
response to this RFA that is essentially identical to one that has
already been 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.  If a candidate submits an application in response to this
RFA that is substantially similar to one s/he has already submitted
to the NIH for review but which has not yet been reviewed, the
applicant will be asked to withdraw one of them.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by NIH staff for
completeness and responsiveness to this announcement. Incomplete or
non-responsive applications will be returned to the applicant without
review.  All items listed above (see APPLICATION PROCEDURES) MUST be
included for the application to be considered complete.

Applications may be subjected to preliminary review to determine
their merit relative to other applications received in response to
this RFA.  The NIH will administratively withdraw from competition
those applications judged to be noncompetitive and notify the
applicant of such withdrawal.  Complete and responsive applications
that are judged to be competitive will be evaluated for scientific
merit and training potential by an appropriately constituted initial
review group within the NIGMS using the criteria stated below.  The
second level of review will be provided by the NIGMS Fellowship
Overview Group.

The review criteria include:

o  academic record and research experience of the applicant;

o  quality of the graduate program in which the applicant is already
enrolled or plans to enroll;

o  qualifications and research/research training experience of the
applicant's sponsor or researcher advisor; the match between the
research interests of the student and the research advisor/sponsor;

o  for advanced graduate students, scientific significance,
originality and feasibility of proposed research; for beginning
students, quality and clarity of stated research interests.

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is September 30, 1994.  Award decisions
will be based on the technical merit of the applications based on the
review criteria, programmatic priorities, and availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA may be directed
to:

Dr. Irene Eckstrand
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Westwood Building, Room 918
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7762

Dr. John Norvell
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Westwood Building, Room 907
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7784

Inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative matters may be directed
to:

Ms. Toni Holland
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Westwood Building, Room 935
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7820

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 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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