NICHD INSTITUTIONAL TRAINING FOR PEDIATRICIANS

Release Date:  September 17, 2001

RFA:  RFA-HD-01-018

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

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  December 21, 2001
Application Receipt Date:       January 18, 2002

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) invites 
applications for Institutional National Research Service Awards (NRSA) to 
establish programs of postdoctoral pediatrics research training in basic 
science or clinical research.  The NICHD will award these Institutional 
Training Grants to eligible institutions to develop or enhance research 
training opportunities for individuals, selected by the institution, who are 
training for careers in pediatrics research.  The purpose of this NRSA 
program is to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce of 
pediatricians is available to assume leadership roles related to the Nation's 
biomedical and behavioral research agenda in areas of child health.  This 
initiative responds to language in The Children's Health Act of 2000 
recommending support for the expansion or initiation of programs to train new 
investigators in pediatrics. 

The Institutional Training Grant is a mechanism for the postdoctoral training 
of physicians who may have extensive clinical training, but limited research 
experience.  Such individuals would benefit from a period during which there 
is protection from clinical and teaching responsibilities for further 
development of knowledge and skills.  The goal is to provide an environment 
in which trainees can acquire the skills necessary to carry out scientific 
investigation.  This environment should provide the time, expertise, and 
guidance to enable trainees to gain critical knowledge of an area of 
research.  For those embarking on basic science research, courses in 
molecular biology techniques should be an integral part of the training and 
may be a part of a research degree program.  For those interested in clinical 
research, courses in epidemiology, ethics, and biostatistics should be an 
integral part of the training.  In addition, trainees should develop skills 
in writing and should be instructed in the preparation of manuscripts and 
grant applications.  Research training positions should last at least nine 
months and must not exceed three years.  In most cases, postdoctoral trainees 
should agree to engage in at least two years of research, research training, 
or comparable activities beginning at the time of appointment because the 
duration of training has been shown to be strongly correlated with successful 
post-training research activity.

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 (RFA) 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

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

Only domestic, non-profit, private or public institutions may apply for 
grants to support research training programs.  The applicant institution must 
have a strong research program in the area(s) proposed for research training 
and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed 
program.  The research training Program Director at the institution will be 
responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the NRSA 
research training grant and for the overall direction, management, and 
administration of the program.  Trainees appointed to the program must have 
the opportunity to carry out supervised biomedical or behavioral research 
with the primary objective of developing or extending their research skills 
and knowledge in preparation for a research career in pediatrics.  The 
applicant must have access to a training environment with ongoing basic or 
clinical research and/or clinical trials, preferably including several 
subspecialty areas of pediatrics.  The applicant organization may be a 
professional organization that will serve as a coordinating center for a 
training program implemented through collaborations with qualified academic 
pediatric departments.  

The Principal Investigator must be the Chairperson of the Department of 
Pediatrics or the Chief of the Pediatric Service.  When the applicant is a 
professional organization, the Principal Investigator must be a key person in 
the organizational structure or an individual in charge of research 
development.  The Program Director may be the department head or another 
individual in the Department of Pediatrics involved in residency or 
fellowship training.  

Trainee Eligibility Requirements

Positions on NRSA institutional grants may not be used for study leading to 
the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional degrees except when 
those studies are a part of a formal combined research degree program, such 
as the M.D./Ph.D.  It is permissible and encouraged for clinicians to engage 
in NRSA-supported full-time, postdoctoral research when that experience is 
creditable toward certification by a clinical specialty or subspecialty 
board.  Pediatric residents may interrupt their studies to engage in an 
extended period of full-time research training before completing their 
clinical training.  Trainees are required to pursue their research training 
on a full-time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the program. 
Within the 40 hours per week training period, research trainees who are also 
training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research 
training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part 
of the research training experience.  

The trainees appointed under this program must hold, as of the beginning date 
of the NRSA appointment, an M.D. or D.O. degree from an accredited domestic 
or foreign institution and have completed, or be within one year of 
completing, postgraduate clinical training in pediatrics in an ABP-approved 
residency program.  To be appointed to a training position supported by an 
NRSA research training grant, an individual must be a citizen or noncitizen 
national of the United States or must have been lawfully admitted for 
permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien 
Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of such 
status).  Noncitizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying 
possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island).  
Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.  

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research 
Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grant (T32) mechanism.  The 
provisions of this mechanism are detailed in the NIH announcement for NRSA 
Institutional Research Training Grants, published in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts, June 1, 2000, and available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-00-103.html.  All provisions 
of the T32 award described in the announcement apply to grants made under 
this initiative, except as noted in this RFA.  Only postdoctoral level 
training will be supported under this RFA.  

Institutional NRSA research training grants may be made for periods up to 
five years and are renewable.  Awards within an approved competitive segment 
normally are made in 12-month increments, with support for additional years 
based on satisfactory progress and the continued availability of funds.  No 
trainee may be appointed for less than nine months during the initial period 
of appointment, except with the prior approval of the NICHD.  No individual 
trainee may receive more than three years of aggregate NRSA support at the 
postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional 
training grants and individual fellowship awards.  Any extension of the total 
duration of trainee support requires approval by the Director, NICHD.  
Requests for extension must be made in writing by the trainee, endorsed by 
the director of the training program and the appropriate institutional 
official, and addressed to the Director, NICHD.  The request must include a 
sound justification for an extension of the statutory limits on the period of 
support.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NICHD intends to commit approximately $1.2 million in total costs [direct 
plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] in FY 2002 to fund up to six 
new institutional training grants in response to this RFA.  At least three, 
and no more than five, postdoctoral trainees per department may be proposed.  
Each trainee may receive two years of support with a possibility of extending 
for a third year.  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.  At this time, NICHD expects to issue a similar RFA for FY 
2003. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

Background

The NICHD Institutional Training Grant for Pediatricians provides pediatric 
research institutions with the funds to recruit and train qualified physician 
investigators. The primary objective of the program is to promote the 
development of a diverse and highly trained workforce of pediatrician 
scientists to assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s biomedical and 
behavioral research efforts in the area of child health.  Established 
investigators with a wide range of biomedical backgrounds will serve as 
mentors for physicians who are within the training period described in this 
RFA. There is currently a shortage of such training opportunities for 
pediatricians who intend to pursue research careers. The U.S. Congress has 
noted the absence of such training opportunities and has, in the Children’s 
Health Act of 2000, recommended that the NICHD support the expansion of 
existing programs or initiation of new programs to train new investigators in 
pediatrics. The ultimate objective of this program is to produce a well-
qualified cadre of academic pediatricians who will be capable of successfully 
competing for NIH support.  Training Grant Program Directors, therefore, 
should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in 
research and plan to remain on the training grant or in some other type of 
research training experience for a minimum of two years.  It is anticipated 
that many of the trainees will be encouraged to pursue further training in 
basic science or clinical research via individual research career development 
awards (K-series mechanisms).  During the review of applications, peer 
reviewers will examine the training record of the department to determine the 
average duration of training appointments for trainees and whether there is a 
record of transition to independent support mechanisms.

Scope of Training

Institutional research training grants (T32) are a desirable mechanism for 
the postdoctoral training of physicians who may have extensive clinical 
training, but have limited research experience.  For such individuals, the 
training may be a part of a research degree program.  Master’s level 
coursework in, but not limited to, areas such as epidemiology and clinical 
trials methodology may be an integral part of the program.  Established 
investigators from basic science departments may be included as mentors to 
supply expertise and resources, provided the emphasis remains on research 
that has some relevance to clinical pediatrics and is consistent with the 
goals of the program.  Applications should describe the basic science 
department's contribution to the research training experience.  Although 
mentors from collaborating departments may provide expertise and resources, 
the emphasis should remain on research relevant to child health.  
Multidisciplinary studies are encouraged although the research of the 
applicant department may focus on a single theme. 

The training program will provide each trainee with two years of full-time 
postdoctoral research training, including didactic instruction, mentoring and 
supervised research experience.  Plans must be presented for each trainee to 
be guided by a qualified mentor.  The mentor should be recognized as an 
accomplished investigator and have a track record of success in training 
independent investigators.  The training program may be integrated into the 
last year of a residency program in pediatrics or integrated into a 
fellowship program in a subspecialty area of pediatrics.   

The application should provide details about how a curriculum will be 
developed and what it will include.  Appropriate topics to be addressed 
include, but are not limited to, human subjects protection, research ethics, 
clinical trial methodologies, biostatistics, genetics, cellular and molecular 
biology, and state-of-the-art laboratory technologies such as genomics, 
proteomics, and bioinformatics.

Plans also must be presented for the means by which individual trainee needs 
and goals will be developed and addressed.  Plans for ongoing program 
evaluation and mechanisms to improve course content, mentoring, and 
supervised research experiences must be included.  Trainees should have a 
period of research training and career development consistent with his or her 
previous research and clinical experience.  For a trainee with limited 
experience in a given field of research, a phased program, including a period 
of didactic training followed by a period of mentored research experience, 
may be the most effective means of attaining independence.  A trainee with 
previous research experience and training may not require extensive 
additional didactic preparation and a shorter program that focuses on 
mentored research experience may be most appropriate.  The didactic and 
research components of both phases must develop new knowledge and research 
skills in scientific areas relevant to the career goals of the trainee. 

Special Program Considerations

Recruitment of Under-Represented Minorities:

The NIH remains committed to increasing the participation of individuals from 
underrepresented minority groups in biomedical and behavioral research.  As 
first announced in 1989, all competing applications for institutional NRSA 
research training grants must include a specific plan to recruit and retain 
underrepresented minorities in the training program.  In addition, all 
competing continuation applications must include a report on the recruitment 
and retention of underrepresented minorities during the previous award 
period.  If an application is received without a plan or without a report on 
the previous award period, the application will be considered incomplete and 
will be returned to the applicant without review.  Additional information on 
this requirement was published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, 
Volume 22, Number 25, July 16, 1993 (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not93-188.html).  The 
following groups have been identified as under-represented in biomedical and 
behavioral research nationally:  African Americans, Hispanic Americans, 
Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Pacific Islanders.  Use of the term 
“minority” in this RFA will refer to these groups.  

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research: 

Every NRSA trainee supported by an institutional research-training grant must 
receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research.  For more 
information on this provision see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, 
Volume 21, Number 43, November 27, 1992, available on the Internet at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html.  Applications 
must include a description of a program to provide formal or informal 
instruction in scientific integrity or the responsible conduct of research.  
Such instruction must include content related to the protection of human 
subjects.  Applications without plans for instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be returned to the 
applicant without review. 

ALLOWABLE COSTS 

Stipends

National Research Service Awards provide funds, in the form of stipends, to 
physician trainees.  A stipend is provided as a subsistence allowance to help 
trainees defray living expenses during the research training experience.  It 
is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal 
Government or the awardee institution.  Stipends must be paid to all trainees 
at the levels approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human 
Services.  Stipend levels are adjusted occasionally and current stipend 
levels are available on the NIH website at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm. 

The current annual stipend for postdoctoral trainees is determined by the 
number of FULL years of relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of 
appointment.  Relevant experience may include research experience (including 
industrial), teaching, internship, residency, clinical duties, or other time 
spent in full-time studies in a health-related field following the date of 
the qualifying doctoral degree.  Stipend levels for Fiscal Year 2001 and 
beyond may change.  Consult the NIH website above for the future 
announcements of stipend levels.  Postdoctoral stipends for awards made with 
FY 2001 funds are as follows:

Years of Relevant Experience                    Annual Amount

Less than 1                                     $28,260
Greater than or equal to 1 but less than 2      $29,832
Greater than or equal to 2 but less than 3      $35,196
Greater than or equal to 3 but less than 4      $36,996
Greater than or equal to 4 but less than 5      $38,772
Greater than or equal to 5 but less than 6      $40,560
Greater than or equal to 6 but less than 7      $42,348
Greater than or equal to 7                      $44,412

Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance

The NIH will offset the combined cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance 
(either self-only or family, as appropriate) at the following rate:  100 
percent of all costs up to $3,000 and 60 percent of costs above $3,000.  
Costs associated with tuition, fees, and health insurance are allowable only 
if they are required for all individuals in a similar research training 
status at the institution regardless of the source of support.  A full 
description of the tuition policy is contained within the NRSA Policy 
Guidelines on the NIH website at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm.  

Other Trainee Costs

Trainee travel, including attendance at scientific meetings that the 
institution determines to be necessary to the individual's research training, 
is an allowable trainee expense.  In addition, support for travel to a 
research training experience away from the institution may be permitted.  
Research training experiences away from the parent institution must be 
justified and should consider the type of opportunities for training 
available, the manner in which these opportunities differ from and complement 
those offered at the parent institution, and the relationship of the proposed 
experience to the trainee's career stage and goals.  This type of research 
training requires prior approval from the NICHD.  Letters requesting such 
training may be submitted to the NICHD at any time during the award period.  
Under exceptional circumstances, which may include providing accommodations 
for a trainee with disabilities, it is possible to request institutional 
costs above the standard rate.  Requests for additional trainee costs must be 
explained in detail and carefully justified in the application.  Consultation 
with NICHD program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised.

Training Related Expenses

Institutional costs of $2,500 per year per postdoctoral trainee may be 
requested to defray 
the costs of other research training related expenses, such as staff 
salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and staff travel. 
 
Facilities and Administrative Costs
  
A Facilities and Administrative (F & A) allowance (indirect cost allowance) 
based on eight percent of total allowable direct costs (this excludes amounts 
for tuition, fees, health insurance, and equipment) may be requested.  See 
NRSA Policy Guidelines on the NIH Website at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm. 

STIPEND SUPPLEMENTATION, COMPENSATION, AND OTHER INCOME 

No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the 
institution with the trainee.  For postdoctoral trainees, the stipend for 
each additional full year of research training support is the next level in 
the stipend structure and does not change in the middle of an appointment.  
The grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in 
addition to the stipends paid by the NIH.  Such additional amounts may be 
either in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in the form of 
compensation, such as salary or tuition remission for services such as 
teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant, provided the conditions 
described below are met.  

Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the 
services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong 
the trainee's approved NRSA training program.

For complete information on Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, 
Educational Loans, G.I. Bill, Concurrent Awards, and Tax Liability, see the 
current announcement for NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants (T32), 
available on the Internet at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-00-103.html.

PAYBACK PROVISIONS

As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NRSA recipients incur a 
service payback obligation only during their first 12 months of postdoctoral 
support.  Additionally, the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 specifies that the 
second and subsequent years of postdoctoral NRSA training will serve to pay 
back a postdoctoral service payback obligation.  The applicable
guidelines for the payback provision are presented in the current 
Institutional Research Training Grant announcement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-00-103.html.

Trainee Reporting Requirements

The institution must submit a completed Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 
2271) for each trainee appointed or reappointed to the training grant at the 
beginning of the appointment period.  Additionally, a completed Payback 
Agreement (PHS Form 6031) must be submitted for each trainee in their first 
12 months of postdoctoral support. Within 30 days of the end of the total 
support period for each trainee, the institution must submit a Termination 
Notice (PHS Form 416-7).  Failure to submit the required forms in a timely, 
complete, and accurate manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a 
delay in any continuation funding for the award.

LEAVE

In general, trainees may receive stipends during the normal periods of 
vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training 
positions at the grantee institution.  For the purpose of these awards, 
however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be 
an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be 
a vacation or holiday.  Trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar 
days of sick leave per year.  Sick leave may be used for the medical 
conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth.  Trainees may also receive 
stipends for up to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the 
adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions 
at the grantee institution have access to paid leave for this purpose and the 
use of parental leave is approved by the Program Director.

A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment may not be made from 
grant funds for leave not taken.  Individuals requiring periods of time away 
from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek 
approval from the NICHD for an unpaid leave of absence.  At the beginning of 
a leave of absence, the trainee must submit a Termination Notice (PHS Form 
416-7) and upon return from the leave of absence, the trainee must be 
formally reappointed to the grant by submitting an updated Statement of 
Appointment (PHS Form 2271).  Trainees within the first 12 months of 
postdoctoral support must also submit a Payback Agreement (PHS Form 6031) 
upon return from a leave of absence.

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.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the  basic scope 
of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.   

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application.  In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.  

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a 
descriptive title of the proposed program, 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. Karen Winer at the address listed 
under INQUIRIES, below, by December 21, 2001.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev.5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html are to be used in 
applying for these grants.  This version of the PHS 398 is available in an 
interactive, searchable PDF format.  For further assistance contact 
GrantsInfo, telephone (301) 435-0714, E-mail: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  

Application Instructions

The special instructions for Institutional National Research Service Awards 
(T32) presented in the PHS 398 must be followed, including all components and 
page limits.  Applicants may request up to five years of support through the 
T32 mechanism.  The applicant should justify the number of full-time 
postdoctoral training positions requested.  Tuition, fees, health insurance, 
and trainee travel, and other expenses are to be included in "training 
related expenses." 

Submission Instructions

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be 
stapled to the bottom of the face page of the application and must display 
the RFA number HD-01-018.  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:

Robert H. Stretch, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Division of Scientific Review
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Blvd., Room 5E03, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Rockville, MD 20852  (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by January 18, 2002.  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 NICHD.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive 
applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive to this 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

o  Past research training record of both the program and the designated 
preceptors as determined by the success of former trainees in seeking further 
career development and in establishing productive scientific careers.  
Evidence of further career development can include receipt of fellowships, 
career development awards, further training appointments, and similar 
accomplishments.  Evidence of a productive scientific career can include a 
record of successful competition for research grants, receipt of special 
honors, a record of publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific 
positions, and any other measure of success consistent with the nature and 
duration of the training received.

o  Objectives, design, and direction of the research training program and 
plans for implementation.

o  Caliber of well-funded, established investigators who can act as mentors 
to the trainees.  The ongoing research at the institution should not be 
narrowly defined and should encompass several subspecialty areas of 
pediatrics.  In addition, areas of expertise may include molecular biology 
techniques, biostatistics, epidemiology, and clinical trials. 

o  The institutional training environment, including institutional commitment 
to the program, quality of the facilities, availability of appropriate 
courses, and availability of research support.  

o  Recruitment and selection plans for trainees and the availability of a 
pool of high quality candidates. 

o  The probability that this training experience will contribute notably to 
the scientific development of trainees.

o  Likelihood that the postdoctoral trainees will continue their research 
training or other research activities for at least two years.  Record of the 
research training program (or similar programs at the institution) in 
retaining health-professional postdoctoral trainees in research training or 
other research activities.

o  When appropriate, the concomitant research training of health-professional 
postdoctorates (i.e., individuals with the M.D., D.O., etc.) with basic 
science postdoctorates (i.e., individuals with a Ph.D.) or linkages with 
basic science departments. 

Additional Review Considerations

(1)  Minority Recruitment Plan

The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit.  The 
review panel's evaluation will not be a factor in the determination of the 
priority score, but will be included in an administrative note in the summary 
statement.  If the minority recruitment plan or if the record of recruitment 
and retention of minorities is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be 
withheld until a revised plan that addresses the deficiencies is received.  
NICHD staff, with guidance from the National Advisory Child Health and Human 
Development Council, will determine whether amended plans are acceptable.

(2)  Plans for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, so that 
the review panel's evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the 
determination of the priority score.  Plans will be judged as acceptable or 
unacceptable.  The acceptability of the plan will be described in an 
administrative note on the summary statement.  Regardless of the priority 
score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the 
applicant provides a revised, acceptable plan.  NICHD staff will judge the 
acceptability of the revised plan.  

The National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council will 
consider, in addition to the reviewers’ assessment of the scientific and 
educational merit of the application, the comments on the recruitment of 
individuals from under-represented minority groups into the research training 
program and the plan for instruction in the responsible conduct of research.

SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    December 21, 2001
Application Receipt Date:         January 18, 2002
Peer Review Date:                 March 2002
Council Review:                   June 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 2002

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered when making funding decisions:

o Responsiveness to the purpose of this RFA;

o Quality of the proposed training program, as determined by peer review;

o Availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.  Consultation with 
NICHD staff is strongly encouraged, especially during the planning phase of 
the application process.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Karen K. Winer, M.D.
Endocrinology, Nutrition and Growth Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4B11, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 435-6877
FAX:  (301) 480-9791 
E-mail:  winerk@mail.nih.gov  

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Mary E. Daley
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Suite 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 435-1305
FAX:  (301) 402-0915
E-mail:  daleym@nih.gov   

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants are made under the authority of 
Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288).  Title 
42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 66, is applicable to this 
program.  This program also is described under the Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance Number 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children.   

PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the nonuse 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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