NHLBI MINORITY INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM (T32M)

Release Date:  May 26, 1999

RFA:  HL-99-017

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  July 1, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  August 26, 1999

PURPOSE

This Minority Institutional Research Training Program (T32M) is a National
Research Service Award (NRSA) Program intended to support training of graduate
and health professional students and individuals in postdoctoral training at
minority schools having the potential to develop meritorious training programs
in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders.  Graduate and
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 attract students in their developmental stages; to
increase their awareness of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep
disorders research; 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 "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas. This Request for Applications, Minority
Institutional Research Training Program, is related to the priority areas. 
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at the
following URL address: http://www.crisny.org/health/us/health7.html

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A. Minority School

The Institution must be a domestic medical or non-medical college, university,
or equivalent school in which students of underrepresented minority ethnic
groups including Blacks, Hispanics,  American Indians, Alaska Natives, and 
Pacific Islanders comprise a majority (more than 50%) of the school's
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) Institutional
National Research Service Award mechanism.  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.  Facilities and Administrative Costs will be
awarded based on 8% of total direct costs exclusive of equipment and tuition
and fees.  The anticipated award date is April 1, 2000.

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 2000.  The actual
amount may vary, depending on the response to the RFA and availability of
funds.  Two new awards are anticipated.

OBJECTIVES

Background

Many studies have emphasized the need for minority individuals to participate
in research activities to develop their investigative talents. There are
existing programs at the National Institutes of Health that are designed to
address 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 and 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 and
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).

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

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 $14,688 per year. Current
stipend levels for postdoctoral trainees are as follows:

Years of Experience            Per Annum Stipend

0                                         $26,256
1                                         $27,720
2                                         $32,700
3                                         $34,368
4                                         $36,036
5                                         $37,680
6                                         $39,348
7 or more                                 $41,268

B. Tuition, Fees, and Medical Insurance (individual coverage) when regularly
charged to all students regardless of their source of support, are allowable
trainee costs.

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 or health professional student 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, 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.

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. 
Successful applicants may compete for a second or subsequent awards 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.

Arrangements between the participating institutions for the recruitment of
trainees and joint selection of trainers for the provision of training, and
for ongoing cooperation between the institutions in the implementation of the
program, should be clearly outlined.

Procedures for annual evaluation of the program should include plans to
measure the impact of the program on the individual student and plans to
measure the trainee's progress.  The procedures should also describe plans to
monitor the future career course of individual trainees, to evaluate the
effectiveness of the overall program, and assess the impact of the training
program on the institution.

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.

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 was 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, and at the
following URL address:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html

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

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by July 1, 1999, 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

The PHS grant application form PHS-398 (rev. 4/98) and its Additional
Instructions for Preparing Institutional National Research Service Award
Applications (Pages V-1 - V-8; Substitution Pages NN - PP) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  This form is available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research, from the Division of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive,
MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301-435-0174, E-mail:
grantsinfo@nih.gov: and at the following URL address:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

The RFA label found in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) 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 review.  In addition, the RFA
title "NHLBI Minority Institutional Research Training Program" and number
HL-99-017 must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and
on the RFA label, and the YES box must be marked.

The sample RFA label available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to
allow for this change.  Please note this is in pdf format.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application and three (3) 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, send two additional copies of the application to:

Dr. C. James Scheirer
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD  20892-7924
Telephone:  (301) 435-0266
FAX: (301) 480-3541
Email:  js110j@nih.gov

It is important to send these two copies at the same time as the original and
three copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR).  These copies
are used to identify conflicts and help ensure the appropriate and timely
review of the application.

Applications must be received by August 26, 1999.  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.

Applicants for research training grants who wish to include a request for a
short-term research training program should also use the instructions for
Institutional Research Training Grants included with Form PHS 398.  Short-term
positions must be identified separately within each category on the budget
page, listing as instructed, the number of short-term trainees, the total
stipend amount, and the total amount of the training related expenses.  Under
stipends, short-term positions should be listed under the "Other" category. 
The description of the short-term research training program must be included
in the application for the regular research training program, but must be
separated from the description of the regular program within each section of
the application.  In addition to the information requested in the section
called the Program plan, the applicant must also address the relationship of
the proposed short-term program to the regular research training program and
provide assurance that the short-term program will not detract from the
regular program.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the Center for
Scientific Review 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 a Special Emphasis Panel in
the Division of Extramural Affairs, NHLBI, 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 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 applications under
review, will be discussed assigned a priority score, and receive a second
level review by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the evaluation of the proposed
NHLBI Minority Institutional Research Training Program:

o  Design of the proposed training program;

o  Qualifications, dedication, and previous training record of the program
director and all participating faculty, particularly with regard to prior
experience with similar programs;

o  Adequacy of facilities, environment, 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  Recruitment and selection plans for trainees, and the availability of high
quality candidates;

o  Methods for retaining promising students in the program and methods for
tracking students; 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.

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.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  Scientific, technical, and research training 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 welcome.  The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants prior
to preparation of an application is strongly encouraged.

Direct inquiries regarding program guidelines or programmatic issues to:

Robert Musson, Ph.D.
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:  rm65o@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Marie Willett
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0144
FAX: (301) 480-3310
Email:  marie_willett@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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