Full Text GM-96-011
 
SUPPORT OF MORE PROGRAM SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, AND
WORKSHOPS
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 18, June 7, 1996
 
RFA:  GM-96-011
 
P.T. 42, FF

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

 
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
 
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  July 1, 1996
Application Receipt Dates:  August 7, 1996
 
PURPOSE
 
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) invites
cooperative agreement (U13) applications to support meetings,
conferences, and/or workshops that are relevant to the mission of the
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE).  Applicants
may propose more than one activity in the same application such as a
conference and a workshop, or recurring activities such as a yearly
meeting.  In these cases NIGMS would consider funding applications
for up to five years.
 
The MORE Division provides research and training opportunities for:
(1) students from minority groups underrepresented in the biomedical
sciences, including mathematics; and (2) faculty at institutions with
significant enrollment of underrepresented minorities.  The MORE
Division seeks innovative ways to provide technical assistance to
improve the skills and abilities (competitiveness) of program
directors, faculty and students supported by their MORE programs.
For purposes of this request for applications (RFA), underrepresented
minority individuals are defined as persons belonging to a particular
ethnic or racial group that has been determined to be
underrepresented in biomedical research.  Nationally, individuals who
have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical research include
but are not limited to US citizens who are African American, Hispanic
American, Native American, and Pacific Islanders.
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
Applications may be submitted by U.S. institutions, including
scientific or professional societies, eligible to receive grants from
Department of Health and Human Services agencies.  In the case of an
international conference, the U.S. representative organization of an
established international scientific or professional society is the
eligible applicant.  Applications from foreign organizations will not
be accepted.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
Awards made under this RFA will use the cooperative agreement (U13)
grant mechanism.  The rules and regulations that apply to conference
cooperative agreements (U13) are the same as those that apply to
conference grants (R13) with one important distinction.  After award,
MORE program staff will be substantially involved in the planning and
conduct of the scientific or program related meeting, conference, or
workshop, assisting the Principal Investigator according to specific
Terms and Conditions.  These Terms and Conditions are given below
under SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS and will be included in each Notice of
Grant Award.  Indirect costs will not be allowed on grants in support
of scientific or program related meetings except in the most unusual
circumstances and then only if an appropriate amount is established
between the applicant organization and the NIH awarding unit in
advance of the award.
 
The total project period for applications submitted in response to
the present RFA may not exceed five years.  The anticipated award
date is March 1, 1997.
 
Because the nature and scope of the scientific or program related
meeting, conference, or workshop proposed in response to this RFA may
vary, it is anticipated that the size of each award will vary also.
 
The number of awards will depend upon receipt of a sufficient number
of applications of high scientific merit as determined by peer
review.  Although this program is provided for in the financial plans
of NIGMS, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the
availability of funds for this purpose.
 
At this time, NIGMS has not determined whether or how this
solicitation will be continued beyond the present RFA.
 
FUNDS AVAILABLE
 
NIGMS will make up to $1,500,000 available to support this
solicitation.  The NIGMS anticipated making approximately one to four
awards in response to this RFA.  Administrative costs may be
requested as direct costs.
 
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
 
Terms and Conditions of Cooperative Agreement Award.
 
o  The Principal Investigator will have the primary authority and
responsibility to define objectives and approaches; plan, publicize,
and conduct the scientific or program related meeting, conference, or
workshop; and publish the results thereof.
 
o  The Principal Investigator will retain custody of and have primary
rights to information developed under the cooperative agreement,
subject to Government rights of access, consistent with current DHHS,
PHS, and NIH policies.
 
o  The appropriate MORE program staff member will assist, but not
direct, the Principal Investigator in the planning and conduct of the
scientific or program related meeting, conference, and/or workshop to
ensure that the function is relevant and responsive to MORE Division
goals.  This will include assisting the Principal Investigator in
finalizing the format and agenda, selecting topics for discussion,
publicizing the scientific or program related meeting, conference,
and/or workshop, selecting speakers and other participants, and
publishing the proceedings.
 
o  Publication and copyright agreements, and the requirements for
financial status reports, retention of records, and terminal progress
reports will be as stated in the NIH publication, "Support of
Scientific Meetings" (August 1992).
 
o  An independent, third party individual, acceptable to both the
Principal Investigator and the MORE Division will be asked to serve
as an arbitrator of any serious differences of opinion on
programmatic issues that may arise during the planning and conduct of
the scientific or program related meeting, conference and/or
workshop.  This special arbitration process will in no way affect the
rights of the recipient to appeal an adverse action in accordance
with PHS regulations of 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS
regulations of 45 CFR Part 16.
 
These special terms and conditions of cooperartive agreement award
are in addition, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable OMB
administrative guidelines, DHHS grant administrative regulations at
45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other DHHS, PHS, and NIH grant
administration policies.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
Background
 
The MORE Division administers research and research training grants
aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented minority
biomedical researchers through three components, the MARC Branch, the
MBRS Branch, and Special Initiatives.
 
The MARC Branch:  The MARC Branch offers special research training
grants to four year colleges, universities, and health professions
schools with substantial enrollments of underrepresented minority
students.  The goals of the branch are to increase the number and
capabilities of minorities engaged in biomedical research and to
strengthen science curricula and student research opportunities at
minority and/or minority serving institutions.  The branch also
provides individual predoctoral fellowships to former MARC
undergraduates.
 
The MBRS Branch:  The goal of the MBRS Branch is to increase the
number of researchers who are members of minority groups that are
underrepresented in the biomedical sciences by awarding research
grants to two and four year colleges, universities and health
professions schools with substantial enrollments of minorities.
These grants:  (1) support research by faculty members; (2)
strengthen the institution's biomedical research capabilities; and
(3) provide opportunities for students to participate as part of a
research team.
 
Special Initiatives:  The MORE Division develops and supports new
research and research training programs for underrepresented minority
students and scientists via special initiatives.  The Division is
also responsible for organizing meetings and other activities that
build networks among individuals and educational institutions and
promote underrepresented minority participation in sponsored
research.
 
Additional Information
 
Examples of scientific or program related meetings, conferences, or
workshops that could support the overall goals of the MORE Division
are listed below.  This list is not intended to be comprehensive or
directive.
 
o  conferences/workshops to facilitate dialog among MARC, MBRS,
Bridges to the Future and other training grant program directors;
 
o  meetings or conferences to facilitate communication between
program directors and NIGMS staff;
 
o  workshops to provide technical assistance in areas identified as
critical by program directors and NIGMS  program staff;
 
o  conferences/workshops on graduate school survival skills that
target minority predoctoral fellows at either of two critical stages
in their graduate careers -- first year fellows and those nearing
completion of their graduate studies;
 
o  summer workshops or workshops in conjunction with annual meetings
of scientific societies on research techniques (faculty or students)
or teaching techniques (faculty); and or
 
o  summer workshops or workshops in conjunction with annual meetings
of scientific societies for program directors on strategies and
methods to evaluate their program.
 
LETTER OF INTENT
 
Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by July 1, 1996, a letter
of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed meeting,
conference, and/or workshop, 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 the review of a subsequent application, the information that it
contains allows the NIGMS staff to estimate the potential workload
and avoid conflict of interest in the review.
 
The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Clifton Poodry at the
address listed under INQUIRIES.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact MORE Division
staff prior to the preparation and submission of an application to
ascertain whether the NIGMS has an interest in supporting a
particular scientific or program related meeting, conference, or
workshop.
 
Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 5/95).  Application kits are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research and may be obtained from
the Office of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, Office
of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 435-0714; email:
asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.
 
The NIH publication, "Support of Scientific Meetings" (August 1992)
provides important information and supplemental instructions for
completing the application.  In addition, this publication states NIH
policy regarding the application, receipt, assignment, review, award,
administration, and reporting requirements when funds are requested
and awarded for the support of scientific meetings.  The NIH
publication, "Support of Scientific Meetings" (August 1992) is
available from the Office of Extramural Outreach and Information
Resources.
 
Applications must address the inclusion of women, minorities, and
persons with disabilities in both the planning and conduct of
meetings, conferences, or workshops.  Plans must be specified to seek
appropriate representation in the selection of organizing committees,
speakers, session chairs, and panel discussants.  NIH guidelines on
this issue are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,
Vol. 24, No. 15, April 28, 1995.
 
The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) 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.
 
In the research plan section of the application, describe the
relevance of the proposed meeting, conference, or workshop to the
MORE program goals.  This section should also be used to provide a
detailed description of the objectives, plans, and logistics of the
meeting, conference, and/workshop.  In addition, the applicant should
provide a statement acknowledging and agreeing to NIGMS staff
post-award involvement in planning and conducting the meeting,
conference, or workshop, and should describe plans to accommodate
this involvement.
 
Allowable expenditures and the applicable policies are listed in the
publication, "Support of Scientific Meetings" (August 1992).  Budget
requests should be submitted on pages 4 and 5 of form PHS 398.  Clear
justification is needed for all activities, particularly those
proposed for future years.
 
The complete and signed original application and three exact copies,
in one package with any appendices, must be mailed or delivered to:
 
DIVISION OF RESEARCH GRANTS
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
 
At the same time, an additional two copies must be sent under
separate cover to:
 
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1AS.19 - MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
 
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.   Applications will
be reviewed for scientific merit by an appropriate peer review groups
convened by NIGMS.
 
Applications that are complete and responsive will be evaluated for
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group
convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures.
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
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council.
 
Review Criteria
 
o  the importance or benefits of the proposed scientific or program
related meeting, conference, or workshop to the targeted community
 
o  the timeliness and need for the proposed activity
 
o  the adequacy of the scope and content of the proposed activity
 
o  the qualifications of the proposed director/organizer and other
activity coordinators
 
o  the qualifications of the proposed participants
 
o  the appropriateness of the proposed format for achieving the
stated goals
 
o  the adequacy of plans to disseminate the information generated by
the activity
 
o  the adequacy of the resources and environment
 
o  the validity and adequacy of the instruments to be used for
evaluation of the activity
 
o  the appropriateness of the budget
 
o  the plans for the inclusion of women, minorities and persons with
disabilities in the selection of organizing committees, speakers,
session chairs, and panel discussants.
 
Due to the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement award,
some details of the planning and conduct of the scientific or program
related meeting, conference, or workshop will not be known until
after the award, when MORE staff assists the Principal Investigator
in key areas.  This important distinction between the R13 and T36
mechanisms, and the U13 mechanism must be considered in the peer
review of U13 grant applications.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
 
o  merit of the proposed scientific or program related meeting,
conference or workshop as determined by peer review;
o  relevance to MORE program goals and objectives; and
o  availability of funds.
 
The anticipated award date is March 1, 1997.
 
INQUIRIES
 
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.
The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential
applicants is welcomed.
 
Direct inquires regarding programmatic issues to:
 
Clifton Poodry, Ph.D.
Minority Opportunities in Research Division
National Institutes of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2573
Email:  PoodryC@gm1.nigms.nih.gov
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Ms. Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Office
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 495-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-3423
Email:  HollandA@gm1.nigms.nih.gov
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
Awards made under authorization of the Public Health Service Act,
Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158,
42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and
Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  Applications are
not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.
 
The 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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