POPULATION RESEARCH CENTERS

Release Date:  June 19, 1998 

RFA:  HD-98-014

P.T.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  August 18, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  November 10, 1998

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), through
the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB), Center for Population
Research (CPR), invites applications for population research Center Core
Grants (P30) in support of a large number of active research projects that are
funded by a variety of NIH and outside sources, or Specialized Research Center
Grants (P50) in support of an integrated group of research projects.

The primary purpose of these Population Research Centers is to improve the
understanding of the antecedents and consequences of population structure and
change, including fertility, mortality, and migration, in an effort to develop
knowledge that may produce knowledge useful for population policies.  The
center grant is to provide a research environment that facilitates
interdisciplinary collaboration among investigators conducting population
related research.  Such research can cover a broad spectrum of scientific
approaches in the clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.  An additional
goal is to build a national network of Population Research Centers that will
encourage interaction among scientists in locations throughout the United
States to contribute to the integration and coordination of population
research.

Three centers may be supported in response to this Request for Applications
(RFA) and three existing center grants are due for competitive renewal in
fiscal year 1999.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service 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, Population Research Centers,
is related to the priority areas of family planning, educational and community
based programs, maternal and infant health, HIV infection, and immunization
and infectious diseases.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or Summary Report: 
Stock Number 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Govern-
ment Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit organiza-
tions, public and private, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, labora-
tories, units of state or 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

The support mechanisms for this program are the P30 Center Core Grant (see
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS, below) and the P50 Specialized Research Center Grant. 
Applications should be consistent with the guidelines governing these two
mechanisms, which are available from NICHD.  These centers are given a
commitment of five years of support, which is renewable at five year inter-
vals.  Renewals must be invited by a specific RFA, which also will give
interested organizations a chance to compete with the incumbent(s) for the
award.  The anticipated award date is July 1, 1999.  Because population
research center grants are complex entities, it is strongly recommended that
interested applicants contact the DBSB staff for a personal consultation
regarding the centers program.  The current policies and requirements that
govern the research grant programs of NIH will prevail (Code of Federal
Regulations, Title 42, Part 52 and Title 45, Part 74).

The total direct costs requested for the first year should not exceed $500,000
for a new Center Core Grant (P30) or $600,000 for a new Specialized Research
Core Grant (P50).  Generally, NICHD requires that renewal applications from
existing P30 centers request initial year direct costs that do not exceed 120
percent of the final year of support indicated on the Notice of Grant Award
for the preceding project period, or $500,000 direct costs, whichever is
greater.  For purposes of this RFA, no renewal application may request initial
year direct costs exceeding 120 percent of the Council-recommended level of
direct costs for the final year of the preceding project period, or $500,000
direct costs, whichever is greater. Budgets of new and renewal applications
will be stringently reviewed within these guidelines.  Applications with
budget requests exceeding these guidelines will be administratively withdrawn
by NICHD and returned to the applicant.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

DBSB anticipates funding three centers in fiscal year 1999.  This support is
dependent upon the receipt of a sufficient number of applications of high
scientific merit.  Although this program is provided for in the financial
plans of the NICHD, awards pursuant to this RFA are also contingent upon the
availability of funds for this purpose.  Funding of $2,300,830 is set aside to
support the first year total cost of these three centers.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

This RFA is specifically designed to stimulate the research community to
organize or to maintain population research centers of high quality which will
serve as a national research network that fosters communication, innovation,
and high quality research.  Projects and themes must be relevant to the DBSB
funding mission, and any projects proposed for core access that are deemed
non-relevant will be administratively withdrawn prior to review.  Therefore,
advance consultation with staff is strongly advised prior to the submission of
an application.  Examples of relevant population research topics are listed
below and centers may concentrate on any combination of relevant topics:

1.  Antecedents and consequences of changes in population size, structure, and
composition, including the relationship of economic development to population
growth and decline; population modeling and the projection and/or prediction
of human population change; and the interrelationship between population and
the physical environment.

2.  Family and household dynamics, including issues related to
intergenerational relationships.

3.  Fertility and family planning, including issues related to union formation
and dissolution; births and birth spacing; family size; gender in relation to
fertility; social acceptability of measures for the biological regulation of
human fertility.

4.  Causes and consequences of migration of human population groups, including
issues related to international migration; and internal spatial distribution.

5.  Demographic aspects of health, morbidity, disability, and mortality,
including issues related to the influence of early life on later life
development and outcomes; status of children; and the interrelationship
between health and socioeconomic status.

6. Social, demographic, and behavioral studies of sexual behavior, sexually
transmitted diseases, AIDS, and contraception.

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 subpopulations 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 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 "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of
Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research", which have been
published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513), and
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994.
Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the program staff
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant
information concerning the policy.

Because P30 funds in general do not directly support research projects, the
issue of minority/gender representation will need to be addressed at the
individual project level (i.e., R01 level).  However, the application will
specifically need to address these issues for any New Program Development
projects or core units that focus on subject recruitment.

NIH POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON THE 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" that was published in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL
address:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The Principal Investigator should be a scientist or science administrator who
can provide effective administrative and scientific leadership.  The Principal
Investigator will be responsible for the organization and operation of the
Population Research Center and for communication with the NICHD on scientific
and operational matters.  Scientific personnel and institutional resources
capable of providing a strong research base in the areas specified must be
available.  In addition, the institution and pertinent departments must show a
strong commitment to the Center's support.  Such commitment may be provided as
dedicated space, salary support for investigators or core staff, dedicated
equipment, or other financial support for the proposed Center.

A center core grant (P30) must be predicated on the existence of a substantial
number of research grants which will be active on July 1, 1999.  A minimum of
three cores is required for each year of a funded P30 grant.  Each core unit
proposed for funding must provide essential facilities and services for at
least three federally funded research projects at all times, at least one of
which is funded by NIH.  These grants must be active users of the core
facilities and services proposed in the center grant application.  Subprojects
within a program project (P01) will be considered as individual projects
comparable to an R01. A subcontract for collaborative research done with
researchers in other institutions will be construed as equivalent to a
research grant.

P30 applications should be consistent with the guidelines contained in the
NICHD P30 CENTER CORE GRANT GUIDELINES, which are available from the program
contact listed under INQUIRIES, below.  As noted in the GUIDELINES,
descriptions of projects proposed for core support that are not funded by NIH
or NSF must provide sufficient detail in the body of the proposal to permit
review of the proposed project's program relevance, scientific merit, and use
of core services.  Information provided should address the scientific aims of
the project, significance, the populations under study, the research design
and methods, and anticipated uses of core services.  Advance consultation with
program staff about individual projects proposed for core access is strongly
advised.

P30 applications based on cooperation between independent institutions are
allowed in some circumstances.  In these instances core facilities may be
located in both institutions as long as they are cost effective and promote
the overall goals of the center program.  Please consult the DBSB STATEMENT OF
CLARIFICATION about center program principles which is available from program
staff listed below.

A specialized research center (P50) must have three or more related, integrat-
ed, and high quality research projects that provide a multidisciplinary, yet
thematically related, approach to the problems to be investigated.  These
research projects may be accompanied by an appropriate number and type of core
facilities providing cost-effective technical support.  The projects and theme
of the center must be relevant to the DBSB funding mission.  The applications
should be consistent with the guidelines contained in the NICHD P50
SPECIALIZED RESEARCH CENTER GRANT GUIDELINES which are available from the
program contact listed under INQUIRIES, below.

A detailed description of each core unit proposed as part of the center must
be provided with a detailed budget and budget justification.  The description
of the core units proposed should include a rationale to show how they will
support the research effort in a cost effective manner.  Facilities must be
available for the primary needs of the Population Research Center and require
no more than modest alteration and/or renovation.  Funds for new construction
will not be provided.  An applicant institution with other institutional
support from government or private sources must clearly summarize any
potential overlap in terms of the science (projects), core services, budget,
or an individual's committed effort.

Promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists working within a
Center, and attracting outstanding scientists in other relevant fields to
population research, are major goals of the DBSB Population Research Center
program.  Therefore, where appropriate, the applicant may request "New Program
Development" funds for direct research support of up to three projects, not to
exceed a total of $50,000 per year or 10% of total direct cost, whichever is
less.  Such funds might serve to heighten interdisciplinary collaboration by
incorporating a demographic dimension to funded projects otherwise outside
DBSB program areas, to attract new investigators to the Center, to develop a
new area or program of research, or to facilitate the development of newly
trained investigators' research programs.  New Program Development projects
should be comparable to R01 research applications in their detail and
development, and would have access to core services.  Each such project can
provide support for only two years for any one investigator.

Applicants must request travel funds to attend an annual meeting of the
directors of P50s and P30s in Bethesda, MD.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by August 18, 1998, 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 the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.  Although
the 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 avoid
conflicts of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

V. Jeffery Evans Ph.D., J.D.
Center for Population Research
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B13, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 496-1174
FAX:  (301) 496-0962
Email:  Jeff_Evans@nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  Application kits are 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, email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov; and from the program administrator
listed under INQUIRIES.  Applicants for a Population Research Center grant
must propose a program with a theme relevant to the mission of the DBSB as
outlined above.  The program should consist of at least 10 externally funded
research projects grouped according to relevant topics.  These projects must
be of high quality, providing a multidisciplinary approach to the problem(s)
being investigated.  Each project is to be summarized in accordance with the
NICHD P30 Center Core Grant Guidelines.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev 5/95) application form 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 the 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 must be
sent to:

Scott Andres, Ph.D.
Division of Scientific Review
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5E-03 MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) by
November 10, 1998.  If an application is received after that date, it will be
returned to the applicant without review.  The 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 CSR and
responsiveness by NICHD staff.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.  Applications
that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific
and technical merit by the NICHD Population Research Sub Committee or a
Special Emphasis Panel of the NICHD for scientific merit in accordance with
the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, a process may be used by the initial
review group in which applications will be determined to be competitive or
non-competitive based on their scientific merit relative to other applications
received in response to the RFA.  Applications judged to be competitive will
be discussed and assigned a priority score.  Applications determined to be
non-competitive will be withdrawn from further consideration, and the
Principal Investigator and the official signing for the applicant organization
will be notified.  The second-level review will be made by the National
Advisory Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) Council at its June 1999
meeting.  The anticipated date of award is July 1, 1999.

Review Criteria

See NICHD P30 Core Center Grant Guidelines or the NICHD P50 Center Grant
Guidelines.

As part of the scientific and technical merit evaluation of the research plan,
reviewers will be instructed to address:

o  Adequacy of plans for including children as appropriate for the scientific
goals of the research, or justification for exclusion.

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is July 1, 1999.  Funding decisions will be
based on scientific and technical merit as determined by the review committee,
NACHHD Council recommendations, program relevance, and the availability of
funds.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

V. Jeffery Evans Ph.D., J.D.
Center for Population Research
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B13, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 496-1174
FAX:  (301) 496-0962
Email:  Jeff_Evans@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Melinda Nelson
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 496-5481
FAX:  (301) 402-0915
Email:  mn23z@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 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 grant
policies and Federal Regulations, 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of
Executive Order 12372, or to Health Systems Agency Review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of
the American people.


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