Full Text LM-96-001
 
INTERNET CONNECTION FOR MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 6, March 1, 1996
 
RFA:  LM-96-001
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  0710078 
  Information Science/Systems 

 
National Library of Medicine
 
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 17, 1996
Application Receipt Date:  May 16, 1996
 
PURPOSE
 
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is encouraging the development
of a communications infrastructure to promote the rapid interchange
of medical information nationally and throughout the world.  This
infrastructure is based upon the Internet, a network of networks that
was developed with the support of the National Science Foundation.
The proposed evolution of the Internet into the National Research and
Education Network (NREN) is a key element in important federal
initiatives in High Performance Computing and Communication and a
National Information Infrastructure. Internet access provides health
professionals engaged in education, research, clinical care, and
administration with a means of accessing remote databases, libraries,
NLM's Grateful Med, DOCLINE, and Loansome Doc, of transferring files
and images, and of interacting with colleagues throughout the world.
To accelerate the pace with which health-related institutions become
part of the electronic information web, NLM is offering grants to
support Internet connections.
 
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 (RFA), Internet Connection for Medical Institutions,
is related to the priority area of surveillance and data systems.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full
Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 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
 
Domestic, public and private, non-profit institutions engaged in
health sciences administration, education, research, and/or clinical
care are eligible to apply.  "Health sciences" is defined as
medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, pharmacy, veterinary
medicine, and other sciences related to health.  Hospitals are
encouraged to apply.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and
those with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal
Investigators.  Domestic applications may not have international
components.
 
Groups (or cooperatives) of health-related institutions are also
eligible to apply.  A single, lead institution must apply on behalf
of the group; letters of agreement defining mutual responsibilities
must be provided in the application and signed by authorized
officials of each participating institution.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
This RFA will use the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Resource
Grant (G08) mechanism.  Indirect costs are not provided.
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.  The total
project period for an application submitted in response to this RFA
may not exceed one year.  The anticipated award date is September 20,
1996.
 
For a single institution, support is available up to $30,000; a group
of institutions may receive up to $50,000 to support development and
enhancement of multi-institution networks including extending
connectivity to outlying sites, or otherwise furthering NLM's goal of
expanding information outreach.  The overall cost of a connection to
the Internet includes:  gateway or router equipment, associated
communication hardware (CSU/DSU), the leased line and its
installation, local network user support staff, and Internet Service
Provider fees.  The NLM grant is expected to support the purchase and
installation of the gateway system and associated connection hardware
and to defray the cost of installation and leasing of communication
circuits to connect to the Internet Service Provider.  In some cases
the award may also be used to defray the cost of Internet Service
Provider fees and local network staff.  Institutions will usually be
expected to fund the local area network and support other costs of
the gateway system.  Grant funds may be used to expand access to the
Internet in an institution with an existing connection.
 
FUNDS AVAILABLE
 
Funds available for this RFA are approximately $600,000; however,
expenditure of this amount is conditional upon the receipt of
applications of high merit.  Number of awards to be made is estimated
to be between 10 and 16.  Although the NLM budget is expected to
permit support of these projects, funding of any applications
pursuant to this RFA is contingent upon the availability of funds at
the appropriate time.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
Background
 
The Internet currently is a collection of interconnected networks
connected by the NSFnet which was developed with the support of the
National Science Foundation (NSF).  The Internet comprises three
types of networks:  (1) a national backbone network, (2) regional
networks usually based around some geographical region of the
country, and (3) local networks at educational, research and clinical
institutions.  Individual institutions are connected to a regional
network in the appropriate geographical area.  The regional network
is in turn attached to the high-speed national backbone network,
usually at its network operation center.  The backbone is connected
to other national networks including the Defense Research Internet,
NASA Science Network, and the Energy Sciences Network; these
interconnected networks and many others worldwide comprise the
Internet.  The Internet provides electronic mail service and access
to a variety of scientific facilities including:  digital libraries,
unique databases such as MEDLINE via Grateful Med as well as a host
of federal and private sector databases, supercomputers, and remote
scientific sensing instruments.  The Internet promotes interaction
and collaboration with a single, well-integrated connection to end
users using the Defense Data Network protocols: Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol referred to as TCP/IP.
 
Network management and operations services as well as information
services are provided by each of the levels.  The national backbone
network provides for technical and information services to the
regional networks which in turn provide technical expertise and
information services, including training and documentation, to local
level network administrators.  Local network officials provide
technical and information services to the overall local network
administration and also provide consultative and liaison services to
end-users of the network.
 
Objectives and Scope
 
The purpose of this RFA is to encourage  U.S. medical institutions
including medical research institutions, health science schools,
hospitals, and professional organizations to connect to the Internet.
Some institutions may belong to organizations that are already
connected to the Internet, for example, medical schools adjacent to
university campuses.  In such a case, the NLM grant can be used by a
health science school or hospital to connect to an existing campus
network.  In other cases, the project will aid the institution in
connecting directly to the regional network.  In general, it is
expected that institutions will use an existing local or campus
network to distribute access to the Internet, or will build a new
local or campus network and connect it to the Internet.  A local or
campus network is connected to the Internet by installing an IP
router/gateway.  This gateway will link the campus or local network
to an appropriate regional network by means of leased or dial-up
communication circuits of varying speeds (9600 bits per second to 1.5
million bits per second).  The resultant connections to the Internet
provided by the gateway should be made widely available to all
appropriate health professionals, -- researchers, faculty, students,
clinicians, and administrators. Ideally the institution will have
installed a high-speed campus or local area network and have adopted
the TCP/IP protocols as the standard communication protocol.  Where
other networking protocols are used, the institution will be
responsible for the installation of any additional network gateway
systems required to resolve the protocol conversion issues so as to
provide connectivity to the Internet gateway.
 
LETTER OF INTENT
 
Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 17, 1996, a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed
project, the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal
Investigator, the identities of other key personnel in the sponsoring
institution and in  participating institutions, the identities of
consultants, and the number and title of this RFA.  It is
particularly helpful if groups provide complete lists of key people
who will be associated with the project.  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
NLM staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid
conflict of interest in the review.
 
The letter of intent is to be sent to:
 
Ms. Frances E. Johnson
Division of Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Building 38A, Room 5S-520
Bethesda, MD  20894
Telephone:  (301) 496-4221
FAX:  (301) 402-0421
Email:  FJOHNSON@NLM.NIH.GOV
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  Applications kits are available at
most institutional offices of sponsored research and may be obtained
from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714,
email:  girg@drgpo.drg.nih.gov; and from the program administrator
listed under INQUIRIES.
 
Supplemental Application Guidelines.
 
Applicants should not feel constrained by the emphasis on research in
the language used by the forms.  It may be useful for an applicant to
read "project" whenever the form refers to "research".  NLM considers
these grants to be projects, not research applications, and will
evaluate the applications in that spirit.  NLM recommends that those
writing the application keep the "project" concept in mind.  Internet
uses may support administration, education, research and/or patient
care endeavors.  Applicants are encouraged to include their health
science library in the proposed Internet connection.
 
"Resources and Environment," form page (HH).  Applicants are
encouraged to substitute applicable headings such as computers,
communications, and networking resources in place of "Resources and
Environment" .
 
"Biographical Sketch," form page (FF).  Include computer,
communications, and networking skills, including TCP/IP experience.
 
In Section 4 of the "Research Plan" (read "Project Plan") also
provide:  1) proposed benefits of Internet access to the targeted
population; 2) plans for provision of institution-wide access, user
training and user support and 3) plans for future support.  The
success of an Internet connection depends upon training users in
establishing accounts and passwords and in teaching Internet
capabilities. Describe user training plans including topics to be
covered and the personnel who will provide the training and follow-up
training. Library involvement in user training is strongly
encouraged.  In regard to future support, the Internet Connection
Grant is intended to provide seed money to initiate an Internet
connection; therefore, plans for budgeting ongoing costs for Internet
access must be described.
 
All applicants, particularly those relatively unfamiliar with the
application review form and with NIH procedures, are encouraged to
consult Ms. Frances Johnson (address below) for assistance as needed
in completing the application.
 
Additional Application Procedures
 
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 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:
 
DIVISION OF RESEARCH GRANTS
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, MSC 7710, SUITE 1040
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
 
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
must also be sent to:
 
Ms. Frances E. Johnson
Division of Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Building 38A, Room 5S-520
Bethesda, MD  20894
Telephone:  (301) 496-4221
FAX:  (301) 402-0421
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
NIH Division of Research Grants (DRG) and responsiveness by NLM.
Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without
further consideration.  Applications that are complete and responsive
to the RFA will be evaluated for merit by an appropriate peer review
group convened by the NLM in accordance with the review criteria
stated below.
 
Applications that are complete and will be evaluated for scientific
and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in
accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures.  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 applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority
score, and receive a second level review by the appropriate national
advisory council or board.
 
Review Criteria
 
o  Significance of proposed project relative to the services,
programs and personnel expected to benefit from Internet access, and
the nature of the anticipated benefits.
 
o  Quality of local infrastructure including plans to provide
institution-wide access to the Internet gateway and plans to develop
institution-wide high-speed networks.
 
o  Quality of user services and proposed training.
 
o  Technical expertise in computer networking (especially
TCP/IP-based networking) or plans to provide such expertise including
coordination with appropriate Internet service provider.
 
o  Plans for future support of the network connection.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
In addition to the review criteria identified above, awards depend
upon available funds and programmatic priorities.
 
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:
 
Ms. Frances E. Johnson
Division of Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Building 38A, Room 5S-520
Bethesda, MD  20894
Telephone:  (301) 496-4221
FAX:  (301) 402-0421
Email:  FJOHNSON@NLM.NIH.GOV
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Ms. Ruth Bortz
Grants Management Specialist
Division of Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Telephone:  301-496-4253
FAX:  301-402-0421
Email:  BORTZ@NES.NLM.NIH.GOV
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
The Resource Grant Program is described in the "Catalog of Federal
Domestic Assistance" under Medical Library Assistance, Chapter
93.879.  Grants will be awarded under the authority of the Public
Health Service Act, Section 474(42 USC 286b-5) and administered under
PHS grant policies and Federal Regulations, most specifically at 42
CFR Part 59a and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the
inter-governmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or
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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