SUPPORT FOR THE ANNUAL MARC/MBRS BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

Release Date:  June 22, 1999

RFA:  GM-99-008

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Letter of Intent Date: September 18, 1999
Application Receipt Date: October 22, 1999
Program Start Date:  July 1, 2000

PURPOSE

The Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) of the National
Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides research and research
training opportunities for students from minority groups underrepresented in
the biomedical sciences or behavioral sciences, including mathematics.  As
part of its ongoing commitment to the development of students, faculty,
minority and/or minority serving institutions, and underrepresented minority
researchers, the MORE Division will provide support for conferences that
promote its overall objective of increasing the number of underrepresented
minorities who participate fully in the biomedical research enterprise of the
nation.

The purpose of this request for applications (RFA) is to solicit applications
for a cooperative agreement (U13) to conduct a student-focused, national
biomedical research symposium targeted for students supported by MORE Division
awards.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000", a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas. This RFA, Support for the Annual
MARC/MBRS Biomedical Research Symposium, is related to one or more of the
priority areas.  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 will be accepted from U.S. institutions, including scientific and
professional organizations, both non-profit and for-profit, that are eligible
to receive grants from the National Institutes of Health. Foreign institutions
are not eligible to apply.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards made under this RFA will use the cooperative agreement (U13) mechanism. 
The rules and regulations that apply to cooperative agreements (U13) are the
same as those that apply to conference grants (R13).  To be considered
complete, an application must include all the elements of a complete R13
application as detailed in the "GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORT OF SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS
BY NIH, published in the NIH Guide on October 30, 1998 and available at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-151.html and the REVIEW
CONSIDERATIONS section of PAR-99-091 "MARC ANCILLARY TRAINING ACTIVITIES
GRANTS" (T36) available at the following URL:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-99-091.html.  The one distinction
is that after the award, MORE program staff will be substantially involved in
the planning and conduct of the symposium, assisting the grantee according to
specific terms and conditions.  For example, although the names of speakers
and other key participants and their letters of commitment should be a part of
the complete application, speakers and other key participants will only be
appointed with the concurrence of MORE staff after the award is made.  A plan
for the symposium describing its objectives, the activities proposed to obtain
the desired outcomes, the targeted population, the coherence of the program's
agenda, the relevance of the proposed agenda, and the administration of the
proposed symposium is the sole responsibility of the principal investigator
and must be submitted as a part of the complete application.

The terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement award are given below. 
These terms will be included in each Notice of Grant Award. The maximum grant
period is five years with opportunity for competitive renewal at the end of
this period.  Continued funding after the first year is contingent upon
progress as determined annually by NIGMS and MORE Division procedures.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NIGMS intends to commit approximately $300,000 in FY 2000 to fund the
activities described in this RFA.  Although the financial plans of NIGMS
provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent
upon the availability of funds for this purpose, merit of the applications and
relevance to the mission of the MORE Division.

The NIGMS anticipates making only one award in response to this RFA.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVE

Background

According to Black Issues in Higher Education (1994), of the 8,183 doctorates
awarded in natural sciences, 5.2 percent went to underrepresented minorities,
and of the 5,462 doctorates awarded in behavioral sciences, approximately 9.4
percent went to underrepresented minorities.  The evaluation of the MARC
Program (August 1995) showed that 22 percent of underrepresented minority
students who entered graduate programs in the biomedical sciences eventually
earned the Ph.D. as compared to 50 percent of majority students.  Of those
underrepresented minority students who have matriculated in graduate programs
however, 54.1 percent obtained the master's degree.  In order to increase the
number of underrepresented minorities participating in the biomedical sciences
research arena, it seems necessary to increase the percent of students who
obtain the Ph.D. once they enter graduate school. To successfully compete for
the Ph.D. these students need to acquire the necessary skills, both academic
and non-academic.

The objective of this RFA is to solicit applications to conduct a national
biomedical research symposium starting in the fall, 2001 and every year for
the succeeding four years focused on:

o  undergraduate research;

o  exposure to outstanding science and scientists;

o  workshops that offer skills development for students emphasizing, for
example, preparation for graduate school, how to gain acceptance to graduate
school (e.g., how to prepare for the GRE, application preparation,
interviewing skills, awareness of financial resources), academic survival
skills, scientific careers, and communication skills;

o  workshops for MARC/MBRS Program Directors in such areas as advising,
tutoring, education technology, time management, grants management, grant
writing, involving students participation in research, and professional
development; and

o  booths for graduate program recruiters.

These points are only examples and are not intended to be exhaustive or
limiting.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Terms and Conditions of Cooperative Agreement Award

The Principal Investigator will have the primary authority and responsibility
to define objectives and approaches, plan, publicize, and conduct the
symposium; and publish the results thereof.

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, and NIH policies.

The appropriate MORE program staff member will assist, but not direct, the
grantee in the planning and conduct of the symposium to ensure that the
symposium is relevant and responsive to the mission of the MORE Division. 
This will include assisting the grantee in finalizing the format and agenda,
selecting topics for discussion, publicizing the function, final selection of
previously committed speakers and other participants, and publishing the
proceedings.

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 Guide to Grants and Contracts publication, "Support of
Scientific Meetings" 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-151.html -- October, 1998).

An independent, third party individual, acceptable to both the grantee 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 symposium.  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 cooperative agreement award are in
addition to, 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.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants must submit, by September 18, 1999, a letter of intent
that includes a descriptive title of the proposed symposium, 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 this
RFA. This letter should be sent to the program official listed under
INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Symposium Plan

The applicant organization should list its overall goals of the symposium and
the expected outcomes of the symposium.  The Symposium Plan section of the
application should be used to provide a detailed description of the
objectives, plans, and logistics of the meeting.  The format and agenda of the
meeting should be described, including a list and the basis of the selection
of the principal topics to be addressed, workshops to be offered, problems to
be clarified, and developments that the symposium might stimulate.  Provide a
detailed justification for the symposium, including a discussion of the need,
timeliness, and usefulness of the symposium to the targeted community
identified by the applicant organization. Explain the plans for insuring that
all targeted populations are represented at the symposium.

The composition and role of the organizing committee should be stated as well
as the names and credentials of the key participants in the symposium, the
basis for their selection, and whether they have committed themselves to
participating in the program.

Applicants should describe plans to accommodate MORE staff involvement.

The applicant organization must describe its plans for assessing the proposed
symposium, by stating the goals of the evaluation, the questions that will be
addressed by the evaluation design, and the methods that will be used for
analyzing the data.  Estimate the expected size and type of audience overall,
and how it was selected.  Publicity for the symposium, selection of
participants, and publication of proceedings should be described.

Special Instructions

The application form to be used for applying for this cooperative agreement
grant is the PHS-398 (rev. 4/98).

When completing the application, include the following items.  For item 1 on
the Face Page, provide the title of the meeting or conference.  For item 2 of
the Face Page enter the RFA number and title.  In item 6 on the Face Page
enter the inclusive dates for the proposed period of support for the
symposium.  On page 2 under performance sites list the proposed sites of the
symposium, which may vary from year to year.

On page 2 list key personnel and their roles in the proposed symposium. 
Biographic sketches should be provided only for the key individuals
responsible for the planning and conduct of the symposium.

Other funds received or pending support for the symposium should be listed on
the Other Support page.  The sources and amounts of funds should be
identified, indicating any overlap with the present application.  Provide
information about the disposition of funds expected from other sources,
including any income from the symposium itself.

The site and physical facilities for conducting the symposium should be
described on the Resources and Environment page.

The Budget pages provided should be used to itemize and justify the costs
listed under item 7a on the Face Page.  Any proposed per diem allowances and
transportation fees should be itemized.  If the request includes participant
travel or per diem, specify the number of travelers and the number of days per
person.  Itemize conference services, publication costs and registration fees
in the Other Expenses category.  Indicate the total costs of the meeting,
including both the amounts requested from NIH and the support, if any,
anticipated from other sources.

For applications requesting multiple years of support, the following
additional information must be provided for each future year requested, in as
much detail as possible: (1) meeting topic; (2) tentative dates, locations and
participants; (3) contingency plans for future meetings dependent on, for
example, outcome of the first year's meeting or developments in the field.

Allowable Costs

Allowable expenditures and the applicable policies are listed below.  Any
costs not listed below that are charged to a grant must be either approved at
the time of award, or if after the award, have received prior written approval
from the NIGMS.

Salaries:  Funds may be used to provide salaries, including fringe benefits,
of professional personnel, clerical assistants, editorial assistants, and
other support staff in proportion to the time or effort spent directly on the
meeting.

Equipment:  Although funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment, they
may be used for the rental of necessary equipment such as projection and
public address systems, exhibits, or telephone.

Supplies:  The costs of supplies, such as stationery, programs, notices,
badges, signs, postage, distribution and mailing fees may be requested
provided they are necessary for the symposium and are used during the project
period.

Travel Expenses: Funds may be requested for the travel of staff and attendees
if identified in the application and approved at the time of the award.
Although the speakers and other participants will not be appointed until after
the award, the costs for their participation should be proposed in the budget
request.

Per Diem: Per diem costs for speakers and key symposium participants may be
requested and will be limited to the days of attendance at the meeting or
conference, plus the actual travel time to and from the meeting or conference
location.  Where meals and/or lodging are furnished without charge or at a
nominal cost, such as part of the registration fee, an appropriate deduction
must be made from the authorized per diem.

Conference Services: Funds may be requested for necessary stenographic,
typewritten and photographic recording of proceedings, editorial service,
simultaneous translation, subsequent transcriptions, and rental of conference
rooms and office space.

Publication Costs: Funds to cover the costs of publishing the proceedings of a
scientific symposium or of special papers presented may be requested.

Registration Fees: Registration fees to support participants and students may
be requested.

Speaker Fees: Speakers fees for the specific services rendered at the meeting
or conference are allowable costs.

Unallowable Costs

Grant funds may not be used for entertainment, tips, bar charges, personal
telephone calls, or laundry charges of participants or guests.

Grant funds may not be used to pay per diem, travel or expenses other than
local mileage for local participants in the meeting or conference.

Dues to organizations, federations, or professional societies, exclusive of
registration fees, are not allowed as charges to the cooperative agreement.

Grant funds may not be used to cover the costs of banquets, luncheons, coffee
breaks, theater, or entertainment of any sort.

Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction on
or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant
funds.

Facilities and administrative costs (indirect costs) are not allowed on grants
in support of scientific meetings or conferences.

Submission of Applications

Form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is 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,
e-mail: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The RFA label and line 2 of the application should both indicate 
the RFA number.  The RFA label must be affixed to the bottom of the face page. 
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.

The sample RFA label available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to
allow for this change.  Please note this is in pdf format.

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

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

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

Helen Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1AS.13
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, NIH staff will administratively review applications.  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/or technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the
NIGMS.  The National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council will provide
the second level of review.

Review Criteria

o  past performance where applicable

o  plans for the appropriate involvement of women, racial/ethnic minorities
and persons with disabilities in the planning and implementation of the
proposed meeting

o  appropriateness of the budget

o  appropriateness/relevance to overall MORE Division objectives and the
stated overall goals

o  the importance or benefits of the proposed symposium to the targeted
scientific community

o  the timeliness and need for the proposed symposium

o  the appropriateness and innovativeness of the proposed format and agenda
for achieving the stated goals of the symposium

o  qualifications of the proposed Program Director and other activity
coordinators and proposed participants such as a steering or organizing
committee

o  the adequacy of plans to disseminate the information/outcomes generated by
the symposium

o  resources and environment (adequacy of the meeting site venue)

o  adequacy of the evaluation plan and pertinence to the stated goals

AWARD CRITERIA

Award decisions will be based on the merit of the application, relevance to
MORE program goals and objectives and the availability of funds.  Awards are
made only to institutions with financial management systems and management
capabilities that are acceptable under the NIH 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
welcomed.

Direct inquires regarding programmatic issues to:

Adolphus P. Toliver, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
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:  ToliverA@nigms.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
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@nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.960. Awards are 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 and 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 NIH 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 103-277, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portions of a facility) in which
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care of the elderly 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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