IMPROVING CONTRACEPTIVE PRACTICE AND DELIVERY

Release Date:  June 7, 2001

RFA:  RFA-HD-01-015

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
 (http://www.nichd.nih.gov)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  July 31, 2001
Application Receipt Date:       September 11, 2001

THIS RFA USES THE “MODULAR GRANT” AND “JUST-IN-TIME” CONCEPTS.  IT INCLUDES 
DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED 
WHEN PREPARING APPLICATIONS IN RESPONSE TO THIS RFA.

PURPOSE

To address the many public health and other concerns associated with unplanned 
pregnancies, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 
(NICHD) seeks to foster research that can result in improved contraceptive use 
in the United States. This initiative complements other efforts of the NICHD 
to support research on delaying the onset of sexual activity and reducing 
risky sexual behavior, and is aimed at contributing to knowledge that could be 
directly applied to feasible and sustainable strategies to improve 
contraceptive use in the United States.  The initiative has three main aims: 

1. Conduct basic research that will directly inform strategies to support 
effective contraceptive use among individuals and couples seeking to prevent 
or delay pregnancy;

2. Conduct research to identify and evaluate innovations in clinical practice 
and family planning service delivery that will lead to measurable improvements 
in contraceptive practice; and

3. Support basic and applied research addressing the influence of policy and 
the structure and financing of reproductive health services on effective 
contraceptive use, and the cost-effectiveness of alternative approaches to 
structuring and financing contraceptive services.

Serious disparities exist in contraceptive failure rates among minority and 
non-minority populations, and between poor and non-poor populations.  
Accordingly, this initiative especially encourages research that can help to 
reduce these disparities.  This initiative has been planned in consultation 
with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DHHS Office of 
Population Affairs.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion 
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national 
activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for Applications is related 
to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain 
"Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople. 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and non-
profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal government.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, 
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal 
Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) individual research 
project grant (R01) award mechanism.  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 this RFA may not exceed five years.  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  
Future unsolicited competing continuation applications will compete with all 
investigator-initiated applications and be reviewed according to the customary 
peer review procedures.  The earliest anticipated award date is April 1, 2002.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect “MODULAR 
GRANT” and “JUST-IN-TIME” streamlining efforts being examined by the NIH.  
Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grant 
applications can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.
 
FUNDS AVAILABLE 

The NICHD intends to commit approximately $2 million in total costs [direct 
plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] in FY 2002 to fund four to 
eight new and/or competing continuation grants in response to this RFA.  An 
applicant may request a project period of up to five years.  Because the 
nature and scope of the research proposed may vary, it is anticipated that the 
size of each award will also vary.  Although the financial plans of the NICHD 
provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent 
upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of 
meritorious applications. 

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

One out of eight U.S. women using a method of contraception to avoid pregnancy 
can expect to experience an accidental pregnancy within the first year of 
method use.  Rates of accidental pregnancy vary by age, marital status, and 
especially poverty and minority status.  About one in five poor women and one 
in six African-American or Hispanic women are affected in the first year of 
method use.  However, all groups of American women experience nontrivial 
problems in using contraception effectively.  One in ten married women 
experiences an accidental pregnancy in the first year of method use, and the 
rate is nearly one in ten among women whose incomes exceed 250 percent of the 
Federal poverty standard. 

Unplanned pregnancy is associated with a host of public health concerns:  lack 
of preconception counseling, less adequate prenatal care, and higher levels of 
low birthweight infants, infant mortality, and maternal morbidity and 
mortality.  Over one-half of unintended pregnancies are ended by abortion.  
Further, research suggests that some children born as a result of unintended 
pregnancy are at greater risk for disadvantages such as poorer mental health 
and delayed cognitive development.  About 57 percent of births that result 
from unintended pregnancy are born to unmarried women, and many of these 
children experience unstable family arrangements during their growing-up 
years.

Improving contraceptive use is one of several strategies that can help to 
reduce unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.  Complete abstinence from sexual 
intercourse is the most effective method to avoid pregnancy.  However, rates 
of unintended pregnancy are nontrivial even among married women, who report 
nearly one out of three pregnancies as unintended.  The need for all people to 
effectively manage their reproductive lives in accordance with their life 
goals mandates a multi-faceted approach to reducing unintended pregnancy, and 
underscores the need for research to improve contraceptive practice and 
delivery.

While the “ideal” contraceptive for all couples at all ages does not exist, 
and may never exist, there is a menu of methods currently available.  The 
evidence from other western countries strongly suggests that these methods can 
be used effectively to prevent unintended pregnancy.  Research in the United 
States has documented a number of factors that contribute to inconsistent or 
ineffective contraceptive use, including ambivalence about pregnancy, lack of 
communication between partners, lack of planning for sexual activity, 
unfavorable attitudes towards contraception, and method characteristics that 
make effective use difficult.  In addition, research in the United States and 
other developed and developing countries suggests that the way in which 
contraceptive services are delivered can make a difference in contraceptive 
use.  However, limited support has been available within the United States for 
research that directly addresses strategies for improving contraceptive use, 
either through the improvement of service delivery, changes in cultural 
attitudes surrounding contraception, or changes in practices and policies 
related to the financing and organization of systems through which individuals 
and couples have access to contraception.  This initiative seeks to encourage 
research that will provide knowledge that is directly applicable to improving 
the success with which people in the United States use contraception.

Research Scope

This initiative invites applications that address one or more of the following 
general areas:

1. Basic research that will directly inform strategies to support effective 
contraceptive use among individuals and couples seeking to prevent or delay 
pregnancy;

2. Research to identify and evaluate innovations in clinical practice and 
family planning service delivery that are affordable and sustainable, and will 
lead to measurable improvements in contraceptive practice; and

3. Basic and applied research addressing the influence of policy and the 
structure and financing of reproductive health services on effective 
contraceptive use, and the cost-effectiveness of alternative approaches to 
structuring and financing contraceptive services.

NICHD particularly encourages research that can help to reduce disparities 
among minority and non-minority populations, and between economically 
advantaged and disadvantaged groups, in the successful use of contraceptive 
methods.  Studies in racial and ethnic minority communities should be designed 
to involve community members in various aspects of the research, including the 
framing of research questions, the development of research approaches, and the 
interpretation and application of research findings.  Plans should also be 
included to assure the dissemination of research findings to the communities 
affected by the research.   These principles should ideally be applied to all 
studies that focus on particular communities or groups.  All applicants are 
encouraged take into account the social, economic, and cultural 
characteristics of the populations they propose to study, and to consider 
approaches that are client-centered, i.e., that design and evaluate strategies 
to improve contraceptive use in the context of the values, needs, and 
constraints of the user and the communities that he/she/they move in.  

The goal of this initiative is to produce knowledge that can be directly 
applied to improving contraceptive use in the United States.  Proposed basic 
research projects must be designed to produce knowledge that can be translated 
into realistic steps that could be taken by programs, policy-makers, and 
others to improve people's ability to use contraception effectively. 
Applicants proposing to test innovative strategies for delivering 
contraceptive services or improving communication about contraception should 
ensure that such strategies are affordable and sustainable over time. 

Although the focus of this initiative is on the improvement of contraceptive 
use as a strategy for reducing unintended pregnancy, applicants should also 
consider risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in 
developing their approaches.  Investigators proposing innovative approaches to 
improving contraceptive use must take account of, and find ways of preventing, 
potential adverse consequences for other aspects of reproductive health.  
Investigators are encouraged to develop approaches that have the potential to 
reduce risks for both unintended pregnancy and STD.

Examples of research areas within the scope of this RFA include, but are not 
limited to, the following:

(1) Basic Research: 

o Micro-behaviors of effective contraceptive use:  what are the specific 
behaviors that contribute to the effective use of specific contraceptive 
methods in different populations of men, women, and couples? 

o How do people adopt and sustain regular health habits, in general, and how 
can this knowledge be applied to improving contraceptive practice?

o How do people seek out, receive, retain, and act upon information about 
contraception?  How do individuals form their beliefs, attitudes, and values 
about contraceptive methods, their use, and their health effects?  What method 
characteristics and social or individual processes contribute to beliefs that 
interfere with effective contraceptive use (e.g., dissatisfaction with 
methods, inaccurate perceptions of health risks or efficacy)? 

o How do partners and the characteristics of relationships influence beliefs 
and attitudes about contraceptive methods as well as the choice and effective 
use of methods?  How can this knowledge be applied to improving contraceptive 
practice?

o What is the effect of contraceptive counseling on individuals' and couples' 
ability to use contraception effectively over time, and through what 
mechanisms does counseling work?  What proportion of information provided to 
individuals or couples during counseling sessions is retained and/or utilized?  
What counseling strategies or approaches are most effective in supporting the 
retention of accurate information and continued effective use?

o What causes individuals to stop using or switch contraceptive methods 
during periods when pregnancy is not desired?  What factors increase risk of 
unintended pregnancy during such gaps and transitions?  How can the risks 
associated with gaps and transitions in contraceptive use be minimized? 

o How do the social/cultural characteristics and dynamics of the groups 
individuals belong to (e.g., family, friends, neighbors) influence 
contraceptive choices and effective use?  How can such knowledge be applied in 
efforts to support effective contraceptive use?

o How do the characteristics of neighborhoods and communities (e.g., economic 
well-being, safety, access to health services and transportation) affect the 
ability to obtain appropriate contraception and use it effectively?

(2) Clinical/Applied Research:

o How might the service provider community communicate more effectively about 
contraception?  What innovative communication strategies might be effective in 
assuring that accurate information about contraception is available and 
accessible to all those who may potentially need it? 

o How can service providers and others bridge barriers in communication that 
result from differences in status, culture, and language between clients and 
providers, in order to assure that individuals have accurate information about 
contraception upon which to act?

o How can existing research findings on the factors influencing contraceptive 
risk-taking be translated into interventions, and evaluated for effectiveness?

o What innovative approaches might improve the delivery of contraceptive 
services and contraceptive counseling in clinical settings; how can these be 
tested and evaluated; and how can they be scaled up for widespread adoption in 
a way that is sustainable over the long term? 

o How can providers adapt service delivery to client-centered values and 
needs, e.g., flexible hours, rapid appointments, over-the-counter emergency 
contraception, changes in clinic protocols? 

o What alternative approaches to the delivery of new methods of contraception 
could improve contraceptive practice, e.g., one-month injectables, the new 
IUD/progestin releasing method, and new ways of providing emergency 
contraception?  

o How can contraceptive service providers develop effective coalitions with 
other community organizations and institutions to address barriers to, and 
provide support for, effective contraceptive practice within the social and 
cultural context of specific communities?

(3) Research on Policy and Health Care Organization/Financing:

o  How do the features, structures, and practices of health care providers, 
organizations, and institutions affect the experiences of individuals and 
couples seeking contraceptive services?  How do these features, structures, 
and practices influence effective contraceptive use and through what causal 
pathways?  Examples include: 

- availability of services, e.g., at private sectarian hospitals and clinics 
with conscience clauses; 
- breadth of services available, including counseling and followup, range of 
methods available, provider preferences for or against specific methods, STD 
screening, etc.; 
- client access to different types of providers for contraceptive care, 
including physicians, nurse-midwives, nurses, or other staff;
- client access to different types of health services from the same provider 
source;
- management practices that constrain the flow of resources to clients (e.g., 
scheduling sterilizations only at particular times, or requiring appointments 
or overscheduling clinics); and
- practices that may undermine confidentiality (e.g., sending utilization 
reports to parents or partners).  

o How do employer policies regarding health benefits affect contraceptive 
use, and how does this influence employee productivity, days lost from work, 
etc.?

o How do the coverage and structure of third party reimbursement for 
contraceptive services (e.g., insurance, health plans, Medicaid) affect 
contraceptive choice, effectiveness, and continuity of use?

o How have trends in the funding and policies of federal programs supporting 
contraceptive services affected use? 

o How do alternative policies, structures, practices, etc. differ in cost-
effectiveness, considering the monetary costs and benefits of providing 
effective contraceptive care and the consequences associated with providing 
such care?

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Principal Investigators will be expected to attend an annual Investigators 
meeting to share research approaches, findings, and the application and 
dissemination of research findings.  Investigators supported by the Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Population Affairs will 
also participate in these meetings. Applications should include in the budget 
request sufficient funds to support travel for the Principal Investigator to 
attend one three-day meeting in Washington, DC, in each of the requested years 
of support. 

Investigators should also address plans, if any, for sharing research data 
from supported projects.  Plans should be justified in relation to the 
potential utility of research data generated by the project for use by other 
investigators and the need to protect the privacy of study participants.
 
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 sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification are provided indicating 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 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm.  The 
revisions relate to NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials and require:  a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans 
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

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 initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt 
dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
“NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects,” published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts, March 6, 1998, and available on the Internet at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a 
descriptive title of the proposed research, 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 this RFA.  
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 NICHD staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan 
the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Susan Newcomer at the address listed 
under INQUIRIES, below, by July 31, 2001.

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, on the Internet at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html, and 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.  

Application Instructions

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets.  Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The just-in-
time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when there 
is a possibility for an award.  It is anticipated that these changes will 
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers, and NIH staff.  
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in 
applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.

Modular Grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up to 
a total direct cost request of $250,000 per year.  (Applications that request 
more than $250,000 direct costs in any year must follow the traditional PHS 
398 application instructions.)  The total direct costs must be requested in 
accordance with the program guidelines and the modifications made to the 
standard PHS 398 application instructions described below:

o FACE PAGE:  Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs (in 
$25,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000) and Total Costs [Modular Total 
Direct plus Facilities and Administrative  (F&A) costs] for the initial budget 
period.   Items 8a and 8b should be completed indicating the Direct and Total 
Costs for the entire proposed period of support.

o DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD:  Do not complete Form Page 
4 of the PHS 398.  It is not required and will not be accepted with the 
application.

o BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT:  Do not complete the 
categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application.

o NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION:  Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page. (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for sample 
pages.)  At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs requested for 
the project year.  This is not a Form Page.

o Under Personnel, list ALL project personnel, including their names, percent 
of effort, and roles on the project.  No individual salary information should 
be provided.  However, the applicant should use the NIH appropriation language 
salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student compensation in developing 
the budget request.

o For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of total costs (direct 
plus F & A), rounded to the nearest $1,000.  List the 
individuals/organizations with whom consortium or contractual arrangements 
have been made, the percent effort of all personnel, and the role on the 
project.  Indicate whether the collaborating institution is foreign or 
domestic.  The total cost for a consortium/contractual arrangement is included 
in the overall requested modular direct cost amount.  Include the Letter of 
Intent to establish a consortium.

o Provide an additional narrative budget justification for any variation in 
the number of modules requested.

o BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:  The Biographical Sketch provides information used by 
reviewers in the assessment of each individual's qualifications for a specific 
role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall 
qualifications of the research team.  A biographical sketch is required for 
all key personnel, following the instructions below.  No more than three 
pages may be used for each person.  A sample biographical sketch may be viewed 
at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.  

- Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;
- List position(s) and any honors;
- Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on 
research projects ongoing or completed during the last three years;
- List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations.

o CHECKLIST:  This page should be completed and submitted with the 
application.  If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the 
type of agreement and the date.  All appropriate exclusions must be applied in 
the calculation of the F&A costs for the budget period.

o The applicant should provide the name and telephone number of the individual 
to contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if additional 
information is necessary following the initial review.

Submission Instructions  

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form must be 
stapled to the bottom of the face page of the application and must display the 
RFA number HD-01-015.  A sample RFA label is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf.  Please note this 
is in the pdf format.  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.

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 should be 
sent to:

Director, Division of Scientific Review
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5E03F, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Bethesda, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by September 11, 2001.  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.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
for responsiveness to this RFA by the NICHD.  Incomplete applications will be 
returned to the applicant without further consideration.  If the application 
is not responsive to the RFA, NICHD staff may contact the applicant to 
determine whether to return the application to the applicant or submit it for 
review in competition with unsolicited applications at the next review cycle.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by 
the NICHD in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the 
initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and may 
undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a 
second level review by the National Advisory Child Health and Human 
Development Council.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research 
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these 
criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, 
weighting them as appropriate for each application.  Note that the application 
does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major 
scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score.  For example, an 
investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not 
innovative, but is essential to move a field forward.

(1) Significance:  Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive 
this field?  How adequate is the proposed plan to share data, if one is 
offered.

(2) Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

(3) Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience 
level of the Principal Investigator and other researchers (if any)?

(5) Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional 
support?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

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

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research.

o The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project  
proposed in the application.

SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    July 31, 2001
Application Receipt Date:         September 11, 2001
Peer Review Date:                 November 2001
Council Review:                   January 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  April 2002

AWARD CRITERIA

Criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o availability of funds
o programmatic priorities.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or answer questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Susan Newcomer, Ph.D.
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B07, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Telephone:  301-435-6981
E-mail:  Snewcomer@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Kathy Hancock
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Telephone:  301-496-5482
FAX:  301-402-0915
E-mail: hancockk@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.864 (Population Research).  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 
301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) 
and administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 
and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This program is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant 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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