NHLBI MINORITY INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM

Release Date:  July 16, 1998

RFA:  HL-98-020

P.T.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  August 3, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  September 23, 1998

PURPOSE

This Minority Institutional Research Training Program is a National Research
Service Award (NRSA) Program and is intended to train graduate students, health
professional students, and postdoctoral students in minority schools that have
the potential to develop a meritorious program in cardiovascular, pulmonary, or
hematological diseases, and/or sleep disorders for research careers in these
areas.  Graduate students, health professional students, and postdoctoral
students in minority schools need further opportunities to develop biomedical and
behavioral research skills.  The Minority Institutional Research Training Program
is designed to attract students in their developmental stages and to increase
their awareness of cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases, and sleep
disorders, and to encourage them to pursue research career opportunities.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of þHealthy People 2000,þ a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas. This Request for Applications, Minority
Institutional Research Training Program, is related to the priority areas of
heart disease and stroke, tobacco, educational and community-based programs,
environmental health, maternal and infant health, diabetes and chronic disabling
diseases, and HIV infection.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-1 or Summary Report: Stock
No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone: 202-512-1800).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A.  Minority School

The Institution must be a domestic medical or non-medical college, university or
equivalent school in which students from underrepresented minority groups
including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Pacific
Islanders comprise a majority or a significant proportion of the school
enrollment. It must have ongoing staff and facilities required for the proposed
program. The program director at the minority school will be responsible for the
selection and appointment of trainees and the overall direction of the training
program.

B.  Trainees

The individual to be trained must be a citizen of the United States, a non-
citizen national, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for
permanent residence at the time of appointment for training, and have a
baccalaureate degree. Trainees must be training at the post-baccalaureate level
(i.e., predoctoral level) in a relevant biomedical or behavioral science and have
made a strong commitment to completing a doctoral degree, be enrolled in a
minority health professional school, or have a doctoral degree or equivalent in
a biomedical or behavioral science.  The Minority Institutional Research Training
Program may not support studies leading to a health professional degree. 
Research trainees who have or are pursuing clinical degrees are expected to
devote their time to research training and to confine clinical duties to those
which are a part of the research training.

C.  Research Center

The minority institution must identify and collaborate with a research center
(medical school or comparable institution) that has strong, well-established
cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research and research
training programs.  Cooperation between institutions is needed to provide each
trainee with a mentor who is recognized as an accomplished investigator in
cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic or sleep disorders research and who will
assist the advisor at the minority institution in the trainee's development and
research plan.  Plans for summer training as well as academic year training
should be developed by the student and advisor at the trainee's home institution
in collaboration with the mentor at the research center.  It is expected that
both advisor and mentor will guide the trainee through the initial training
period and continue this interaction throughout the award.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Short-Term Training
Grant (T32).  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
proposed training program will be solely that of the applicant.  The total
project period for an application submitted in response to this RFA may not
exceed five years.  Funding beyond the first year of the grant is contingent upon
satisfactory progress during the preceding year and availability of funds. 
Indirect costs will be awarded based on eight percent of total direct costs
exclusive of equipment and tuition and fees.  The anticipated award date is May
1, 1999.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The estimated funds (total costs) available for the first year of support for the
entire program is expected to be $250,000 in fiscal year 1999.  The actual amount
may vary, depending on the response to the RFA and availability of funds, but the
number of awards for the Minority Institutional Research Training Program is
anticipated to be two.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Many studies have emphasized the need for minority individuals to participate in
modern research activities to develop their investigative talents. There are
existing programs at the National Institutes of Health that are designed to
answer this need, such as the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program, the
Minority Access to Research Careers Program, and the Minority Research Supplement
Program. Even though these programs are successful in meeting their specific
objectives and career development goals, graduate students, health professional
students, and individuals in postdoctoral training in minority schools need
further opportunities to develop biomedical and behavioral research skills.

The Minority Institutional Research Training Program is designed to offer
research training grant awards in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and
sleep disorders research to minority schools to enable qualified graduate
students, health professional students, and individuals in postdoctoral training
to participate in research programs. It is expected to attract students in their
developmental stages, increase their awareness of these diseases, and to
encourage them to pursue career opportunities in research related to the mission
of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Implementation

Minority Institutional Research Training Awards may be made for periods up to
five years' duration. Funds will be provided on an annual basis to develop and
maintain a stable research training experience for qualified students. Awards
recommended for the continuation years will be made contingent upon satisfactory
progress during the preceding year, upon the availability of funds, and the
requisite level authorization for continued support of training activities.
Successful applicants may compete for a second award of up to five years'
duration upon completion of the initial grant period.

The minority institution will identify and complete arrangements with an
established cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research
center(s) before submitting an application.

Predoctoral trainees appointed to the grant may receive support for up to five
years. Postdoctoral trainees appointed to the grant may receive support for up
to three years.  The trainee and his or her faculty advisor at the minority
institution will jointly select a faculty mentor at the research center.  A
written commitment to the training plan signed by the intended faculty mentors
at the research center, the department(s) involved and countersigned by both
institutional officials, must be part of the application.

Students may not spend more than 50% time at the research training center over
the course of the year, including a period of intensive research training during
the summer. Students are expected to pursue their research training on a full-
time basis devoting no less than 40 hours per week as specified by the sponsoring
institution in accordance with its own policies. Students are expected to meet
the degree requirements at their institution.

Because the research training environment provides a powerful context in which
to promote responsible research practices, all competing applications must
include a description of formal or informal activities or instruction related to
the responsible conduct of research that will be incorporated into the proposed
research training program.

Provisions of the Award

The trainees may be appointed for 9 - 12 months at any time during the course of
the budget period.  Students must have been accepted on a full-time basis.  A
strong interest in a cardiovascular, pulmonary,  hematologic, or sleep disorder
research career must be evident.  Short-term training positions for health
professional students are allowed under this program.

Funds may be requested for:

A.  Stipends - The current stipend level for graduate and health professional
student trainees at all levels of experience is $11,748 per year. Current stipend
levels for postdoctoral trainees range from $21,000 - $33,012 per year, depending
on experience.

B.  Tuition, Fees, and Medical Insurance (individual coverage) when regularly
charged to all students regardless of their source of support, are allowable
trainee costs.  Please refer to Detailed Budget under Supplemental Instructions
for additional information.

C.  Trainee Travel Costs - The institution may request funds to cover the costs
of trainee travel including attendance at scientific meetings that are necessary
to the individual's training.  The maximum allowable per student per year is
$800.  Funds for commuting expenses that are clearly in excess of those incurred
during the usual home to work travel of the trainee may also be requested.

D.  Training-related Expenses - Funds are provided to partially defray the cost
of training such as staff salaries, equipment, research supplies, staff travel,
and other expenses.  The current level of training related expenses is $1,500 per
annum per full-time graduate student trainee or health professional student
trainee, and $2,500 per annum for postdoctoral trainees.

E.  Facilities and Administrative (Indirect) Costs - The Notice of Grant Award
will provide facilities and administrative (indirect) costs based on 8% of total
direct costs, exclusive of equipment, and tuition and fees.

F.  Payback Agreement - The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 substantially modified
the service payback requirement for individuals supported by the NRSA programs. 
Beginning with new appointments and reappointments made on or after June 10,
1993, the following new guidelines will apply:

Predoctoral trainees will not be required to sign the Payback Agreement Form (PHS
Form 6031) and will not incur a service payback obligation.

All postdoctoral trainees must sign an agreement to fulfill the NRSA payback
requirements when they are appointed initially to a training grant or receive an
individual fellowship.  Postdoctoral trainees in the first twelve months of
postdoctoral support must sign the payback agreement form and will incur one
month of payback obligation for each month of support.  Postdoctoral trainees in
the thirteenth and subsequent months of support will not sign the Payback
Agreement Form and will incur no obligation for that support. The thirteenth and
subsequent months of postdoctoral support will be considered acceptable payback
service for prior postdoctoral support. Individuals who were appointed to their
initial NRSA postdoctoral period on or after June 10, 1993, and continued under
that award for two years will have fulfilled their first year obligation by the
end of the second year. Service payback obligations can also be paid back by
engaging in health-related research and/or teaching that averages more than 20
hours per week of a full year.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN STUDY POPULATIONS

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
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 15508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol.
23, No. 11, March 18, 1994.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by August 3, 1998, a letter of intent
that includes the name, address, and telephone number of the Program Director,
the identities of other key personnel and participating institutions, and the
number and title of the RFA in response to which the application may be
submitted.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does
not enter into the review of subsequent applications, the information that it
contains allows NHLBI staff to estimate the potential review workload and to
avoid conflict of interest in the review.  The letter of intent is to be sent to
Dr. C. James Scheirer, at the address listed under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the research grant application form PHS 398
(rev. 5/95).  The forms are available at most institutional offices of sponsored
research and from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources,
National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD
20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Special
instructions for preparing the application are included in these guidelines. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff listed under the
INQUIRIES prior to preparation of the application.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) application form must be
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  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.

Send the completed, signed application and three exact photocopies by 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)

Two additional copies of the application must be sent to:

NHLBI Research Training Review Special Emphasis Panel
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD  20892-7924

Applications must be received by September 23, 1998.  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 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 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 a Special Emphasis Panel in the Division of Extramural Affairs, NHLBI,
in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  Following scientific-
technical review, applications will receive a second level review by the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

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 applicant and
the official signing for the applicant organization will be notified.

Review Criteria

The factors to be considered in the evaluation of the proposed training program
are:

o  Adequacy of faculty, facilities, and resources for the proposed research
training, both at the minority institution and the established research center;

o  Adequacy of the cooperative arrangements between the minority institution and
the established research center;

o  Commitment of the relevant faculty and the two institutions to the goals of
the training program; and

o  Procedures for evaluation of the impact of the program on the trainees
involved.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  Technical merit of the application as determined by peer review;
o  Availability of funds; and
o  Program balance among the research areas of the RFA.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding program guidelines, supplemental instructions, or
programmatic issues to:

Michael Commarato, Ph.D. or  Beth Schucker, M.A.
Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive,  MSC 7940
Bethesda, MD  20892-7940
Telephone:  (301) 435-0530
FAX:  (301) 480-1454
Email:  michael_commarato@nih.gov
        beth_schucker@nih.gov

Mary Reilly, M.S. or Ann Rothgeb
Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7952
Bethesda, MD  20892-7952
Telephone:  (301) 435-0222
FAX:  (301) 480-3557
Email:  mary_reilly@nih.gov
        ann_rothgeb@nih.gov

Joyce Creamer, MBA or Bette Houston
Division of Blood Diseases and Resources
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7950
Bethesda, MD  20892-7950
Telephone:  (301) 435-0064
FAX:  (301) 480-1046
Email:  joyce_creamer@nih.gov
        bette_houston@nih.gov

Thomas Blaszkowski, Ph.D.
Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7838
Bethesda, MD  20892-7838
Telephone:  (301) 435-0433
Email:  thomas_blaszkowski@nih.gov

James P. Kiley, Ph.D.
National Center for Sleep Disorders Research
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7920
Bethesda, MD  20892-7920
Telephone:  (301) 435-0199
FAX:  (301) 480-3451
Email:  james_kiley@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Marie Willett
Grants Operations Branch, Heart Section
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0177
FAX:  (301) 480-3310
Email:  marie_willett@nih.gov

Raymond L. Zimmerman
Grants Operations Branch, Lung Section
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0171
Email:  raymond_zimmerm@nih.gov

Jane Davis
Grants Operations Branch, Blood Section
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0166
Email:  jane_davis@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, numbers
93.233, 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839.  Awards are made under the authority 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 at 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or
a 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 PHS mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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