CENTERS FOR REDUCING ASTHMA DISPARITIES

Release Date:  October 4, 2001

RFA:  RFA-HL-02-006

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
 (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  February 11, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       March 12,  2002

PURPOSE

The objective of this program is to promote partnerships (to be called 
Centers) between a minority serving institution (MSI) that may not have a 
strong research program and a research intensive institution (RII) that has a 
track record  of NIH-supported research and patient care.  The purpose of the 
partnership is to conduct collaborative research on asthma disparities (i.e. 
greater prevalence of asthma, higher rates of morbidity due to asthma, and 
lesser access or use of quality medical care among minorities and poor). The 
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invites research grant 
applications from each component of a Center to collaborate to  a) conduct  
research on the causes for and correction of disparities in asthma among 
racial/ethnic and other population groups in U.S., at the MSI and the RI,  
that is complementary to one another; and  b) provide reciprocal training, 
thereby enhancing the  research opportunities and enriching the cultural 
sensitivity and asthma research capabilities, at both  institutions.

For the purpose of this solicitation, minority serving institutions (MSIs) are 
graduate or medical schools with more than 50 percent enrollment of minority 
students (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, 
Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders), or medical centers which serve a 
significant proportion of patients of minority or economically disadvantaged 
groups.  Research intensive institutions (RIIs) are universities, medical 
school, or medical centers with documented accomplishments in research.  
Research intensive institutions that serve a significant number of minorities 
or poor are considered RII's, not MSI's, for the purposes of this 
solicitation.  

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), 
Centers for Reducing Asthma Disparities, is related to one or more of the 
priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 
2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit 
organizations; public and private institutions such as graduate schools, 
health professional colleges, universities and medical centers, that meet the 
definitions for MSI and RII provided in the RFA.  Applications will be 
accepted only from MSIs and RIIs that enter into bilateral agreements and 
establish themselves as Centers for Reducing Asthma Disparities.  Separate 
applications are submitted by each partner in the Center, but the applications 
will provide the same Research Plan (with identical parts A to G of Form PHS 
398-Rev. 5/01).  The common Research Plan, which has 40 page limit, must have 
at least six specific aims (four research-specific aims plus two training-
specific aims), with each institution serving as the lead performance site for 
two research-specific aims and one training-specific aim. It is expected that 
the research and training program at one component of the Center will 
complement the program at the other, and performed as a collaborative effort 
and that the Principal Investigator from one component of the Center will name 
investigators from the second component as consultants (or collaborating 
investigators). Each of the two applications should identify the component 
institutions  of the Center, delineate the research and training activities to 
be performed at each of the components, and explain how these activities 
complement each other.  Although the Research/Training Plan section of the 
applications from each institution will be identical, they will have different 
Face Pages, Budgets, Biographical Sketches, Other Support and Resources.  
Because of the expected complementary and interrelated nature of this common 
research effort, the separate applications from each Center for Reducing 
Asthma Disparities will be packaged together for the Review Group, reviewed as 
a single program, and assigned the same priority score.  A successful Center 
will receive two separate awards, one to the MSI and the second to the RII.   

Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is a 
cooperative agreement (U01), an assistance mechanism (rather than an 
acquisition mechanism) in which substantial NIH scientific and/or programmatic 
involvement with the awardees is anticipated during performance of the 
activity.  Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support 
and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and otherwise 
working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role, but it is not to 
assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activity.  
Details of the responsibilities, relationships and governance of the studies 
to be funded under cooperative agreement(s) are discussed later in this 
document under the section  "Terms and Conditions of Award".

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this RFA 
may not exceed 5 years. Applications from each partnership should clearly  
identify the  institutions constituting the Center and the investigators in 
each institution who will serve respectively as the Principal Investigator and 
consultant (or co-principal Investigator) of each grant. The two applications 
from each partnership will be treated as a single program for review purposes. 
Although they will receive separate grant awards, if successful, they will be 
treated as a single entity i.e., a Center for Reducing Disparities in Asthma--
in post award monitoring, for submission of progress reports, and other RFA-
related activities. 

This RFA is a one-time solicitation with a single deadline for receipt of 
applications. Future unsolicited competing continuation applications will 
compete with all investigator-initiated applications and be reviewed according 
to the customary peer review procedures.  The anticipated award date is 
September 30, 2002. 

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NHLBI intends to commit $ 3.6 million/year in total costs for this 5 year 
program beginning in fiscal year 2002, to fund two or three Centers (four or 
six separate grant awards) under this RFA.  There is a maximum total of $1.2 
million per Center per year.  Each of the two applications within a Center can 
request up to $600,000 in total costs per year, of which up to $100,000 per 
application should be earmarked for training activities.   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 NHLBI 
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. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

Background

Asthma is a serious chronic condition affecting over 14 million Americans.  
Despite improved understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma, morbidity  
from asthma continues to rise, with disproportionate burden of disease 
occurring among the economically disadvantaged and  minority populations.  
African Americans are three times more likely to be hospitalized and four 
times more likely to die from asthma.  Morbidity and mortality from asthma is 
also high in U.S. Hispanic populations, particularly from Puerto Rico.  What 
causes these disparities is unclear.  Among the factors implicated as causes 
for asthma disparities are genetic variations  (e.g., beta two adrenergic 
receptor polymorphisms), psychosocial factors, stress, smoking, dietary  
habits, infections, allergens, socioeconomic status,  culture-related health 
practices, and inadequate access to care.  It is generally believed that 
interactions among these factors, rather than any one factor by itself, cause 
the disproportionate occurrence and burden of asthma in certain population 
groups.    
 
Scope of Research and Training Goals of the Program 

This RFA is designed to stimulate minority serving institutions and research 
intensive  institutions to generate bilateral partnerships ("Centers for 
Reducing Asthma Disparities") to conduct collaborative research on the causes 
and corrections for the disproportionate burden of asthma in U.S. minority and 
disadvantaged populations, and also to provide culturally sensitive, 
reciprocal training programs that will serve to enhance and enrich the 
research potential and asthma management capabilities at the collaborating 
institutions. 

Required Components in Each Application

The two applications from each Center should include an identical "Research 
Plan" which covers in no more than 40 pages, both research and training aims 
(see "Eligibility Requirements"). A wide range of research areas (e.g. 
pathophysiologic mechanisms, pharmacogenetics, clinical trials, complementary 
medicine, patient and health care provider education) would be responsive to 
this RFA directed at understanding and reducing asthma disparities.  A few 
topics illustrative of these areas are provided below. These are only examples 
and applicants are encouraged to propose others. 

A.  Research

1. Examine the Contributions, Roles and Mechanisms of Risk Factors in Asthma 
Disparities

Studies are needed on how the postulated risk factors (e.g. interactions 
between environmental exposures and biological/genetic factors, genetic 
polymorphisms, psychosocial factors, stress, depression, discrimination; 
socioeconomic status (SES); cultural beliefs and practices; personal 
behaviors/lifestyle including personal perceptions of risk and health care 
seeking behaviors; physical environmental exposures such as smoke, allergens, 
housing; social environment including maternal depression, multiple care 
givers, family and community environment),  alone or in combination, might 
produce asthma disparities. Also needed are mechanistic studies to identify 
pathophysiologic pathways for disparate health outcomes.
 
2. Develop and Evaluate Interventions to Prevent or Decrease Disparities

There are numerous research questions regarding the development and evaluation 
of strategies to reduce asthma disparities. An important consideration is how 
the community can be involved in research and intervention. 

o Evaluation and modification of current therapeutic regimens and patient 
education strategies:  Are different medical regimens needed for different 
groups or will a single regimen be appropriate for all groups? Do medical 
regimens and educational programs need to be culturally adapted and how? How 
can existing strategies proven effective in one group be efficiently adapted 
and made culturally relevant to another group? What strategies are needed to 
change behavior, especially at early ages (prenatal), to address environmental 
and psychosocial exposures? How can complementary and alternative medicines be 
integrated into asthma care?

o Medical care issues:  How can medical practice be redesigned to be 
responsive to the needs of a high risk community?  To adapt to the 
circumstances of chronic disease, do we need system-wide change or individual 
provider change? What are the most effective pathways for disseminating asthma 
clinical practice guidelines? Should interventions go to all providers or just 
"early adopters"?  What is the role of choice among alternative interventions 
in increasing dissemination and adoption of best medical care practices? 
Should asthma programs be offered separately from or in conjunction with care 
for other chronic diseases?

3. Examine the Effect of Different Factors of Health Care Seeking Behavior on 
Morbidity

Research is needed to address questions related to the factors that promote 
appropriate health care seeking behavior among minority and disadvantaged 
populations.

Where services are available, what are the reasons for the underutilization or 
inappropriate use of services?  What are the key issues that affect 
participation in care? (e.g., differing cultural perceptions of risk,  
prioritization of illness, skills in using resources appropriately, and 
related issues that determine health care seeking behaviors); What 
provider/medical practice attributes are best suited to promoting appropriate 
health care seeking and adherence behaviors among minorities and disadvantaged 
populations?  What approaches are needed to develop partnerships between 
hospital/medical system - based programs and community organizations (e.g., 
schools, homeless shelters)? 

4.  Identify and Validate Outcomes Measures 

Research is needed to identify the most suitable instruments for measuring 
outcomes, especially those related to reducing disparities; to understand how 
to tailor outcome measures and process measures (e.g., measuring 
implementation activities) to multi-cultural settings; and on the use of 
common outcome measures to promote sharing data and comparing studies (e. g., 
quality of life measures to use in different communities).  Measures to assess 
cost effectiveness of outcomes, the social impact of disease, and the social 
value of interventions in minority communities are also needed.

B.  Training

A goal of this RFA is to encourage reciprocal training between the MSI and the 
RII to enhance asthma research capabilities and enrich the cultural 
sensitivity of asthma research projects and interventions at both 
institutions.  The training activities within a Center would include training 
on asthma care issues as well as issues related to conducting research.  The 
training program should represent true collaborations across the institutions. 
For example, new training programs might provide graduate students in the MSIs 
the opportunity to fulfill research requirements in the RII with mentoring by 
RII investigators; clinical research training programs for RII students could 
include rotations at the MSI that focus on dealing with cross-cultural issues. 
 Successful activities may lead to more extensive training projects such as 
competitive applications for NIH training grants.  Proposals for the training 
component in each application should include the following elements: 

o Designation of key personnel who will lead the training activities at each 
institution in the Center and description of the organizational structure to 
insure collaboration. 
o Plans for a training core to accomplish the cross-institution training 
objectives of the RFA that is comprised of courses, seminars, mentoring 
projects or other training methods. 

o Plans for training students, investigators and other personnel on issues and 
problems associated with asthma disparities in minority populations. 
o MSI's plans to help stimulate research programs in the RII that focus on 
reducing asthma disparities, provide training for the Center researchers and 
staff on cultural sensitivity  and methods to promote community participation 
in the research. 
o RII's plans to help the MSI build its resources, research capacity, and 
skills to conduct research that merits independent grant support.  This should 
include seminars or mentoring for administrative personnel as well as 
researchers to include issues related to research grant administration and 
dealing with grant awarding institutions such as NIH.
o Plans to sustain the partnership and help investigators at the MSI and the 
RII generate collaborative investigator-initiated research  proposals and 
continue reciprocal training opportunities.  
o Plans of the partnership to develop Career development programs to expand 
the scientific cadre of investigators dedicated to research on asthma in 
minority populations.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF AWARDS

The following terms and conditions will be incorporated into the award 
statement and provided to the Principal Investigator as well as the 
institutional official at the time of the award.  These special Terms of Award 
are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB 
administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administrative Regulations at 45 CFR 
Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS and NIH Grant administration policy 
statements. 

1.  Awardee Rights and Responsibilities  
 
Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives 
and approaches, to plan and conduct the research activities, and to analyze 
and publish results, interpretations and conclusions of their studies. 
 
Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data developed 
under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with 
current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies. 

Awardees should attend an annual meeting at Bethesda, Maryland for the purpose 
of discussing progress and exchanging ideas.
 
2.   NHLBI  Staff Responsibilities  
The dominant role and prime responsibility for the Center activities reside 
with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and 
activities in carrying out the programs will be shared among the awardees and 
the NHLBI Program Administrator.
 
The Program Administrator will be an Extramural official with responsibility 
for administering the grant. The NHLBI reserves the right to terminate or 
curtail the study (or an individual award) for lack of scientific progress, 
failure to adhere to policies of the NHLBI under the U01 mechanism, or failure 
of the partnerships to evolve within the intent and purpose of this 
initiative. The NHLBI Program Administrator's scientific-programmatic 
involvement during the conduct of this activity that is expected to be above 
and beyond that normally exercised in the administration of a traditional R01 
research grant.  The expanded programmatic involvement will provide technical 
assistance, support, coordination, and momentum to help accomplish the goal of 
creating effective research partnerships and will include:

o  working closely with individual investigators and partners to facilitate 
collaborations, including coordinating regularly scheduled conference calls 
(at least quarterly) with principal investigators to discuss progress and 
approaches to address any problems,   
o  assisting the partnership efforts by facilitating access to fiscal and 
intellectual resources provided by NHLBI, NIH, and federal funding agencies,
o  providing assistance in reviewing and commenting on all major transitional 
changes of an individual partner's activities prior to implementation to 
assure consistency with the goals of the RFA,
o  coordinating activities with other ongoing studies supported by NHLBI to 
avoid duplication of efforts and encourage sharing and collaboration in the 
development of new interventions to reduce disparities in asthma,
o  linking the approaches developed from these partnerships to other Centers 
funded by the RFA to ensure that information is shared and utilized on the 
widest basis possible,
o  helping re-direct program efforts within the peer reviewed scope of work, 
including modifying projects/programs when they are not making sufficient or 
timely progress, and
o  organizing an annual meeting among RFA participants.

3.  Arbitration 
 
Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the 
scope of the award), between award recipients and the NHLBI may be brought to 
arbitration.  An arbitration panel will be composed of four members B one 
selected by each of the individual awardees in the Center, a third member 
selected by NHLBI, and the fourth member selected by the three prior 
selected members.  This special arbitration procedure in no way affects the 
awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in 
accordance with the PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and HHS 
regulation at 45 CFR Part 16.

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 is provided that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the

research.  This new policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the 
previous policies (Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and 
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations), which have been 
in effect since 1990. The new policy contains some provisions that are 
substantially different from the 1990 policies.

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.

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 clear and compelling scientific and ethical reasons not 
to include them.  This policy applies to all initial (Type 1 and Type 2) 
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.

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.

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS

NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

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 (PA) 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 Principal Investigators of the components of each Center are asked 
to submit a joint letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the 
proposed research, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the 
Principal Investigators, the names of the participating institutions, the 
identities of other key personnel and the number and title of this RFA in 
response to which the applications may be submitted. Although a letter of 
intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of 
a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to 
estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent Dr. Deborah Beebe (see address listed under 
Inquiries below) by February 11, 2002.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms  (rev. 5/2001) 
available 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. Beginning January 10,2002, the NIH will 
return applications that are not submitted on the 5/2001 version. For further 
assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301-435-0714, Email: 
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Each institution within a proposed Center for Reducing Disparities in Asthma 
should submit a separate application with a cover letter that clearly 
delineates the proposed partnership and includes a letter of commitment to the 
Center that describes the bilateral agreement (see "Eligibility 
Requirements"). 

The "Research Plan" in the application that will cover both the research and 
training aims (see "Eligibility Requirements") must be limited to 40 pages. 
The research section of the plan should include, for each of the 4 proposed 
research aims, a specific description of the research approach proposed to 
address the aim; the description should includes the elements of parts A-G of 
Form PHS 398-Rev 5/01. The Research Plan should also include an explanation of 
how the four aims relate to and complement each other, a timeline that 
describes how the four aims will be addressed over the five year grant period. 
The training section of the plan should include the elements described in the 
"Training" section of this RFA.  

If the application proposes clinical trials, plans for data safety monitoring 
must be included.   Applicants should describe the organizational structures 
and procedures they will employ to ensure the safety of participants and the 
validity and integrity of the data; for a statement of issues and concerns, 
see "NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring," NIH guide to Grants and 
Contracts, Release Date: June 10, 1998,
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html.  At the time 
of the award, applicants should be prepared to make adjustments to their 
procedures based upon NHLBI policy.  

Travel funds for a two-day meeting each year, most likely to be held in 
Bethesda, Maryland, must be included in the budget calculation. The Principal 
Investigators at the RIIs and MSIs must include a statement indicating their 
willingness to participate in these meetings.  Applicants are encouraged to 
contact the program officials listed under INQUIRIES for further information.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be 
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Type the RFA 
number on the label.  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. The RFA label is also available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf.

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 as well as 
all five collated sets of Appendix material must be sent to Dr. Deborah Beebe 
at the address listed under Inquiries.  Applications must be received by the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA. 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 also 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.

Principal investigators should not send supplementary material without first 
contacting the Scientific Review Administrator (SRA).  The SRA will be 
identified in the letter sent to you indicating that your application has been 
received.  If you do not receive such a letter within three weeks after 
submitting the application, contact Dr. Deborah Beebe at the address listed 
under Inquiries.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NHLBI. 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 an appropriate peer review group convened by 
the NHLBI in accordance with the review criteria stated below. Because of 
their interrelatedness, the applications from each institution comprising a 
Center will be reviewed as a single program and assigned the same priority 
score. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive a 
written critique and undergo a process in which only those applications deemed 
to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the 
applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and 
receive a second level review by the NHLBI Advisory Council. 

Review Criteria

o  Significance, novelty, and feasibility of the proposed research and 
training aims to accomplish the goals of understanding the causes of asthma 
disparities and correcting them

o  Originality and innovativeness of the approaches, methods, and analyses 
proposed

o  Quality and complementary relationship of the research aims (at least two 
at each Center component; four per Center) and their potential to elucidate 
and correct asthma disparities

o  Quality and complementary relationship of the training aims (at least one 
at each Center component; two per Center) and their potential to enrich the 
research potential and asthma management capabilities of the trainees


o  Quality of the collaborative arrangements for the formation of the Center 
and assignment of responsibilities for conducting the research/training 
proposed 

o  Qualifications, expertise, and demonstrated ability of the investigators in 
the two institutions comprising the Center to work collaboratively toward 
accomplishing the research and training goals of the RFA

o  Quality of the institutional environments to allow meaningful 
collaborations toward accomplishing the goals of the RFA 

o  Documentation that each Center has access to minority populations willing 
to participate in the proposed research

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

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 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:          February 11, 2002
Application Receipt Date:  March, 12, 2002
Peer Review:               July, 2002
Awards:                    September 30, 2002

AWARD CRITERIA

Award 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:

Ms. Virginia Taggart, M.P.H.
Division of Lung Diseases

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Rockledge 2, Suite 10018, MSC 7952
Bethesda, MD 20892-7952
Telephone: (301) 435-0202
FAX: (301) 480-3557
Email: taggartv@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding review issues, send letter of intent, and two 
copies of the application to:

Deborah Beebe, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Dr., Room 7178 (MSC 7924)
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924
Telephone: (301) 435-0270
Fax: (301) 480-3541
Email: db57j@nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Raymond Zimmerman
Grants Operations Branch
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7154, MSC 7926
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-7926
Telephone: (301) 435-0171
FAX: (301) 480-3310
E-mail: rv7g@nih.gov 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.233, 93.242, 93.361, 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839. 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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