MINORITY HEALTH AND HEALTH DISPARITIES INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING 
PROGRAM GRANT

RELEASE DATE:  October 14, 2004

RFA Number:  RFA-MD-04-004 (Reissued as RFA-MD-08-006)

(This RFA has been amended, see NOT-MD-05-003)

EXPIRATION DATE:  December 16, 2004

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:  
National Institutes of Health (NIH)  
(http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov) 

COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:  
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) 
(http://ncmhd.nih.gov)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)  
(http://www.fic.nih.gov) 

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER(S):  93.307; 93.989

LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE:  November 15, 2004
APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:  December 15, 2004 

THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Supplementary Instructions
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS RFA 

The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) and 
Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH), invite applications for the Minority Health and Health Disparities 
International Research Training (MHIRT) awards.  These awards will support 
programs that offer international research training opportunities to 
qualified undergraduate, graduate and health professions students who are 
from health disparities populations and/or are underrepresented in basic 
science, biomedical, clinical or behavioral health research career fields.  
Section 485E(a) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) provided that 
the general purpose of the NCMHD includes the conduct of training with 
respect to minority health conditions and other populations with health 
disparities.  Further, Section 485E(d) of the PHS Act provides that a 
population is a health disparity population if as determined by the 
Director of NCMHD, in consultation with the Director of Agency for 
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), there is significant disparity in 
the overall rate disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or 
survival rates in the populations as compared to health status of the 
general population.  Based on the 1992 Minority Programs Fact-Finding Teams 
Recommendations Report, the recommendations provided guidance to the NIH 
for future development of policies on the support of minority training 
programs and initiatives.  Additionally, Public Law 106-525 recognized a 
national need for increasing the number of well trained minority scientists 
in the fields of biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health services 
research.  The statute recognized that the inclusion of underrepresented 
minorities and women in the scientific, technological and engineering 
workforce will enable society to better address its diverse needs.  Thus, 
the MHIRT program is a component of the National Institutes of Health's 
(NIH) long-term strategy to help establish a cadre of biomedical, clinical, 
behavioral and social science researchers that understands health 
disparities populations and will contribute to reducing and ultimately 
eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups in 
the United States.

Recent national and international events have underscored the importance of 
addressing the health disparities from a global health perspective.  
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (2003, p.36), "for the health 
professionals, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare . . . will be 
among the most significant challenges of today's rapidly changing health 
system."  And, "from a public health standpoint, racial and ethnic 
disparities in healthcare threaten to hamper efforts to improve the 
nation's health (IOM, p.36)."  Yet the health gap between minority and non-
minority Americans has persisted, and in some cases, has increased in 
recent years (IOM, 2003, p.35).

Thus, NCMHD, in collaboration with the FIC will support approximately 20 
new MHIRT training programs that offer international research training 
opportunities for at least eight to ten qualified undergraduate, graduate 
and/or health professions students who are from health disparities 
populations that are underrepresented in the basic sciences, biomedical, 
clinical or behavioral research career fields.  At least 75 percent of a 
grantee's MHIRT trainees must be undergraduate students.  Applications are 
requested for innovative programs that provide international research 
training for the purpose of:

Encouraging undergraduate, graduate and/or health professions students who 
are from health disparities populations to pursue careers in basic science, 
biomedical, clinical and behavioral health research fields.

Broadening the research efforts and scientific training of undergraduate, 
graduate, and/or health professions students from health disparities 
populations to encompass international health issues.

Assisting undergraduate, graduate and/or health professions students who 
are from such populations to participate in U.S. and international faculty 
collaborative research initiatives.

Seeking innovative approaches to address problems and/or hindrances 
associated with closing health disparities gaps.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

MHIRT program awards are designed to enable U.S. institutions to offer 
short-term international research training opportunities for qualified 
eligible students in basic science, biomedical, clinical or behavioral 
research programs for at least 10-12 weeks during the summer or one 
semester during an academic year.  More specifically, an applicant's 
research objectives should address the following programmatic aspects and 
be measurable with a defined timeline and expected outcome(s):

Training MHIRT recipients in experimental research design, procedures for 
analyzing and interpreting data and the use of current scientific 
literature and analytical methods;

Familiarizing MHIRT student researchers with the scientific literature 
associated with their individual research project;

Addressing cultural, linguistic and ethical appropriateness and related 
issues affecting professionals who are engaged in scientific and public 
health research at the foreign site;

Ensuring academic and/or professional forums for written and oral 
presentations by MHIRT recipients of their scientific research experience 
and results; and 

Mentoring MHIRT recipients through encouragement to complete current 
academic degree programs and pursue additional training leading to an 
advanced biomedical or behavioral health research career.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use NIH institutional training grant (T37) award mechanism.  
As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and 
executing the proposed project.  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  
Future unsolicited, competing-continuation applications based on this 
project will compete with all investigator-initiated applications and will 
be reviewed according to the customary NIH peer review procedures.  The 
anticipated award date is July 1, 2005. 

This RFA will not use the just-in-time concepts.  This program does not 
require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement 
at http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.  

FUNDS AVAILABLE 

The participating ICs intend to commit approximately $5 million in FY 2005 
to fund approximately 20 new grants in response to this RFA.  An applicant 
may request a project period of up to four years and a budget for total 
direct costs of up to $225,000 per year (http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/
notice-files/NOT-OD-04-040.html).  Because the nature and scope of 
the proposed research training will vary from application to application, 
it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.  
Although the financial plans of the NCMHD and FIC 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.  

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS

You may submit an application if your institution has the following 
characteristic:

o  Domestic public or private university or college that offers at
  least the baccalaureate degree in fields relevant to basic science,   
  clinical, biomedical, and/or behavioral health science. 

Only one application per institution will be accepted for review.  

An applicant institution may form a consortium with other postsecondary 
entities for the purpose of maximizing resources to support a MHIRT 
program.  The application from a consortium of institutions should describe 
the specific plans for the management and participation of students and 
mentoring faculty at consortia institutions for all components of the 
applicant's proposed program plan.  

In keeping with the Presidential Executive Orders 12876, 12900 and 13270, 
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving 
Institutions (HSIs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) are 
eligible to participate as a member of an applicant's consortium or apply 
directly for a MHIRT program grant under this RFA.  

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS   

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research is invited to serve as principal investigator by 
working with their institution to develop an application for support under 
this RFA.  Individuals from health disparities populations, as well as 
individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH 
programs.  

More specifically, the person selected to head the MHIRT program should 
show evidence of experience at administering multifaceted international 
research programs involving significant student research training 
activities. The program director should be a full-time faculty member at 
the applicant institution and the principal investigator for the 
application.  The program director will be responsible for coordinating all 
aspects of the proposed training activities, and submitting annual progress 
reports and trainee tracking data to the National Center on Minority Health 
and Health Disparities.  

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS 

Trainee Eligibility Requirements:

Citizenship

Trainees must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or 
have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence 
(i.e., possess a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or 
other legal verification of such status).  Non-citizen nationals are 
generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., 
American Samoa).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not 
eligible to participate in the MHIRT Program.

Underrepresentation and Health Disparity Populations  

Trainees must be from health disparities groups that have been determined 
by the applicant institution to be underrepresented in basic science, 
clinical, biomedical or behavioral health research.  The NIH particularly 
encourages applicants to recruit individuals from health disparities groups 
that are underrepresented in health-related research.  Nationally, these 
groups include but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic 
Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific 
Islanders, and rural Appalachians.  Programs should recruit trainees who 
could most benefit from a financially supported opportunity for an 
international scientific research experience.  Programs should support 
students that are most likely to pursue basic science, clinical, biomedical 
or behavioral health research careers that will contribute ultimately to 
the elimination of health disparities in the U.S and between populations 
living in developing countries and the U.S.  Applicants must describe, as 
well as provide demographic data on all categories of the eligible student 
populations that are available for recruitment to the program at their 
institution and consortium institutions.

Program Evaluation

The Program Director will be required to interact regularly with NCMHD 
staff in order to monitor the progress of the training program through 
review of annual progress reports and participation in network meetings.  
Grantees must submit data annually on each current and past trainee via a 
web-based tracking system that will be used to monitor the impact of the 
program on the careers of MHIRT trainees.  Details of the required format 
for the narrative progress report and instructions for submission of data 
to the web-based tracking system will be provided by the NCMHD after grants 
are awarded.

Contingency Plan

Applicants should have contingency plans prepared in case a research 
country is placed on restricted travel by the U.S. State Department.

Responsible Conduct of Research

Applicants are required to provide all trainees with training in the 
responsible conduct of research.  For more information on this provision, 
see the NIH Guide for Grant and Contracts (volume 21, number 43 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html). NIH does 
not require a specific curriculum or format for instruction.  However, the 
following areas should be included as a separate component of the research 
training plan: conflict of interest, responsible authorship and 
institutional policies for handling scientific misconduct, human subjects, 
animal studies, data management and data sharing.  The inclusion of 
training in the international perspectives on these topics is strongly 
encouraged.  The following information must be provided in the description 
of your plan: topics to be covered, format, faculty participation, 
instructional materials, frequency and duration of training and how trainee 
attendance will be monitored.  Applications without plans for instruction 
in the responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and 
will be returned to the applicant without review.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants 
management issues:

o  Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

DeLoris L. Hunter, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Research and Training Activities
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800 MSC 5465
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366
FAX:  (301) 480-4049
Email:  Hunterd2@mail.nih.gov

Barbara Sina, Ph.D.
Division of International Training and Research
Fogarty International Center
Building 31 Room B2C39
31 Center Drive MSC2220
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 496-1653
FAX: (301) 402-0779
Email: sinab@mail.nih.gov

o  Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Lorrita Watson, Ph.D.
Review Branch, Office of Extramural Activities
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800 MSC 5465
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
Telephone: (301) 402-1366
FAX: (301) 480-4049
Email:  WatsonL@ncmhd.nih.gov 

o  Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Bryan S. Clark, MBA
Chief, Office of Grants Management
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health 
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800 MSC 5465
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366
FAX: (301) 480-4049
Email:  ClarkB@ncmhd.nih.gov 

LETTER OF INTENT

Each prospective applicant is asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes the following information:

o  Descriptive title of the proposed research
o  Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
o  Names of other key personnel 
o  Participating institutions
o  Number and title of this RFA 

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 the 
letter provides will allow staff to estimate the potential review workload 
and plan the review.  

The letter of intent is to be received by the date listed at the beginning 
of this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Lorrita Watson, Ph.D.
Review Branch, Office of Extramural Activities 
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800 MSC 5465
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366
FAX:  (301) 480-4049
Email:  WatsonL@ncmhd.nih.gov 

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) with appropriate substitute pages as 
noted below.  Applications must have a D&B Data 
Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when 
applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements.  The DUNS number can 
be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at 
http://www.dnb.com/.  The DUNS number should be 
entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.  The PHS 398 document is 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an 
interactive format.  You must use the National Research Service Award 
Substitute Form Pages 3, 4, and 5 in your application.  Links to these 
pages are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/instructions2/
p1_preparing_NRSA_app.htm. Click on Form Page 3; Form Page 4: NRSA Instructions; and 
Form Page 5: NRSA Instructions.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
 
SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS: 

The Training Plan

Each MHIRT program grant application must include a comprehensive plan to 
support an international research training experience, under the 
collaborative mentorship of outstanding U.S. and foreign scientists, for at 
least eight to ten qualified eligible undergraduate, graduate and health 
professions students.  While the NCMHD and its collaborator, FIC recognize 
that there are likely to be significant differences in applicant 
institutions, research environments, MHIRT trainees, and an applicant's 
approaches to international research training, all applicants must describe 
in detail the following components of their proposed research training 
programs:

  o  Broad description of trainees' research plan
  o  Procedures for trainee recruitment and application solicitation
  o  Criteria for evaluation of trainee application and the trainee
     selection process
  o  Cultural orientation and scientific preparation of trainees for an
     international research training experience
  o  Criteria and process for matching trainees with U.S. and foreign 
     faculty mentors and mentorship activities
  o  Procedures for selection of a trainee research training assignment/
     project under each foreign faculty mentor
  o  Trainee evaluation of international research training experience
  o  U.S. and foreign faculty mentors evaluation of MHIRT trainee 
     performance during the research training experience
  o  Criteria and requirements for written and oral presentation(s) by 
     trainees about the international research training experience and 
     their research results 
  o  Long-term tracking of each trainee's health research careers, 
     including the impact of the MHIRT program experience on the trainee's 
     career path.

Types of Trainees

Proposed programs should give undergraduate students priority when 
providing international research training opportunities by selecting 
approximately 75% undergraduate students as participants per year.  It is 
strongly suggested that all undergraduate participants being considered for 
the program have completed at least two years of coursework in a major 
related to biomedical or behavioral health science, a minimum GPA of 3.0 
and have demonstrated evidence of exceptional scientific research interest 
and talent, such as previous undergraduate research experience.  
Approximately 25% of the student participants may be graduate or health 
professions students in each budget.  During the trainee selection process 
priority should be given to students who are interested in research 
pertinent to reducing and/or eliminating health disparities.  All trainees 
must be involved in original data collection.  Routine clinical or lab 
work, coursework or training in scientific techniques alone can not be 
supported by this RFA, except in those instances where such activities are 
allowing the trainees to pursue original data collection.

Training Faculty

U.S. faculty participants who will serve as mentors for student 
participants must have full-time academic appointments at the applicant 
institution or at an institution in an associated consortium.  Applications 
should describe the specifics of the mentoring-experience, including 
documentation of the U.S. faculty's prior mentoring training of 
undergraduate, graduate, students and/or health professionals in 
international research.  The international research training experience 
should be planned at foreign universities or research institutions where 
the mentoring U.S. faculty participants have ongoing collaborative research 
relationships.  Applicants should also document prior and/or the ongoing 
collaborations between U.S. faculty mentors and faculty mentors from the 
proposed foreign training institution(s), including citing sources of joint 
funding for research and joint publications.  Furthermore, the grant 
application must include a detailed description of the research resources 
and scientific educational environment available to the trainees during 
their foreign research training experience.  With sufficient justification, 
U.S. faculty may serve as the international mentor for trainees at 
developing country training sites where adequate foreign mentorship is not 
available.  In instances when it is proposed that a U.S. faculty will serve 
as the trainee's mentor at a developing country training site, the 
applicant must include curriculum vitae, biosketches and a letter from the 
participating U.S. faculty mentor defining the mentor's specific role, 
responsibility to the student and time commitment to the training program.

Foreign research collaborators of U.S. faculty mentors with doctoral 
degrees and full-time positions should serve as mentors for students 
training at the proposed foreign training institution(s).  Curricula vitae, 
biosketches, and letters from the participating foreign faculty mentors 
defining their specific roles, responsibility to the student and time 
commitment to the training program should be included in the application.

Training Advisory Committee

A training advisory committee of at least six members must be established 
to assist the program director with recruitment and trainee selection, 
scientific review of trainee research projects, evaluation of trainees and 
their international research training experiences and overall training 
program progress.  This advisory group should be composed of both U.S. and 
foreign faculty who are directly involved in the MHIRT program.  The 
committee should also include at least two faculty members (from 
biomedical, behavioral, or health disparity career fields), not involved in 
the MHIRT program, that have experience and understanding in addressing the 
training needs associated with preparing students from health disparities 
populations for international research opportunities.  The applicant should 
describe the composition and expertise of the proposed training advisory 
group, the responsibilities of the group, and the processes and annual 
timetable by which the group will be expected to accomplish its 
responsibilities.  Biosketches and letters from proposed members describing 
their commitment to serve in the training advisory committee should be 
included in the application.

Budget

Applicants should develop a budget that reflects the resources necessary to 
implement the components of the comprehensive research training plan 
included in their application.  The budgets may include costs to support 
the proposed training activities, trainees and faculty mentors during the 
training period at the foreign site, and costs for the administration of 
the program.  Costs will be considered at levels higher than those included 
in this Request for Application but the applicant must include convincing, 
detailed budget justification(s).  These requested cost(s) should not be 
significantly in excess of any existing cost levels for comparable items at 
the applicant institution.  Adequate resources to meet U.S. government 
requirements for training and training-related research should be included 
in the budget.

Trainees Stipends

Trainees may be paid a stipend to help defray living expenses during the 
foreign research training experience according to their academic 
professional level experience.  The approved stipend levels are $1,000 per 
month for undergraduates (Junior/Senior), $1,400 per month for Post-
baccalaureate/Master level degree students, and $1,900 per month for Pre-
doctoral degree level students.  Trainees are not viewed as employees of 
either the Federal government or the awardee institution.  

U.S. Faculty Mentors

Applicants may request stipend support for one U.S. faculty mentor at a 
developing country training site where lack of adequate foreign faculty 
mentorship is available for trainees.  U.S. faculty stipend support 
equivalent to U.S. institutional salary may be requested only if no 
institutional or federal salary support is available during the research 
training period as documented by the applicant institution administrative 
official.  Applicants can request support for a maximum of two U.S. faculty 
mentors in two developing countries annually.

Foreign Faculty Mentors

Foreign mentors may be provided funds up to $500 for use in research 
support activities related to hosting the trainee.  This amount may be 
offered to only the foreign mentors from developing country institutions 
that do not charge student bench fees or tuition.  Foreign faculty 
honorarium may not be requested if support is requested for a U.S. faculty 
mentor for the research training period at that developing country site.

Program Administration

The applicant institution may request up to $50,000 to support the 
principal investigator and/or other personnel for administrative efforts 
related to the MHIRT program.  The administrative duties and 
responsibilities and time commitments for personnel receiving salary 
support should be thoroughly described and justified in the application.

Trainee-Related Expenses

Funds to support trainee research costs (such as lab supplies, computer 
access, interpreters) at the foreign site may be requested for up to a 
maximum level of $850 per month per trainee.  Additional funds may be 
requested for expenses such as photocopying, training materials and long 
distance phone/fax costs directly related to the MHIRT program activities.  
Funds may be requested to cover expenses related to specific MHIRT program 
activities, including program and cultural related orientation, responsible 
conduct of research training instruction and evaluation activities.  

Tuition, Fees and Insurance

Funds for tuition, fees and self-only medical insurance expenses associated 
with the international research experience may be requested up to a maximum 
level of $1800 per trainee.  Tuition at the U.S. institution or bench fees 
at the foreign institution during the 10-12 week foreign research training 
period will be allowed only if such charges are required of all persons in 
similar training status at the applicant or host foreign institution.  
Tuition for specific coursework related to the project, such as language 
courses at the U.S. or foreign institution can be supported.  The program 
may provide funds to cover fees for passports, visas, Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention recommended vaccinations and prophylactic drugs.  
The applicant must ensure that all trainees have comprehensive medical and 
international travel insurance for the duration of the trainees 
international research experiences.  If institutional or personal medical 
insurance does not adequately cover trainees during foreign travel, self-
only medical insurance may be charged to the grant.  All expenses in the 
category of tuition, fees and insurance should be itemized and justified 
for each foreign site.  

Foreign Living Expenses

Foreign site housing expenses of up to $1200 per month may be requested for 
trainees and U.S. faculty mentors (when appropriate and supported by 
applicant's program plan).  

Travel Expenses

Airfare and local ground transportation to each foreign site may be 
requested for trainees and U.S. faculty mentors.  Trainees from consortium 
institutions may be supported for travel and per diem expenses to attend 
orientation and responsible conduct of research training as well as post-
travel activities associated with the MHIRT program at the program 
director's institution.  U.S. faculty mentors from consortium institutions 
may be supported for travel and per diem expenses to attend training 
advisory committee meetings.  Travel and per diem expenses may be requested 
for short-term visits (less than 1 month stay) of foreign faculty mentors 
to the U.S. applicant institution to participate in MHIRT program 
associated student training activities and/or training advisory committee 
meetings.  Funds should be requested for the MHIRT program director to 
attend a two-day annual MHIRT network meeting in the Washington, D.C. area.  
Funds may be requested to support MHIRT trainees to present their research 
findings at one national or regional scientific conference.  All travel 
expenses requested should be based on economy class round trip airfare on 
U.S. carriers (to the maximum extent possible) plus per diem at the 
standard U.S. government rates 
(http://www.policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/homepage/mtt/perdiem/travel.htm). 

Facilities and Administrative Costs

Costs should be included in the budget request at a rate of eight percent 
of allowable costs  (Checklist form page II). 

USING THE RFA LABEL

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/labels.pdf.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
appendix (if any), the Checklist, and three signed, photocopies without 
appendices, 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 and all 
five copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Lorrita Watson, Ph.D.
Review Branch, Office of Extramural Activities
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800 MSC 5465
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
Telephone: (301) 402-1366
FAX: (301) 480-4049
Email:  WatsonL@ncmhd.nih.gov 

Appendices should be comprised of unbound materials, with separators 
between documents.

Applications hand-delivered by individuals to the CSR will no longer be 
accepted.  This policy does not apply to courier deliveries (i.e., FedEx, 
UPS, DHL, etc…) (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/
NOT-OD-02-012.html). 

APPLICATION PROCESSING

Applications must be received on or before 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. 

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review assignment 
within 8 weeks.

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.  
However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an 
investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an 
RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  That is, the application 
for the RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and 
improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes 
from the previous unfunded version of the application.  

PEER REVIEW PROCESS  

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the National Center on Minority Health and Health 
Disparities and/or Fogarty International Center. 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 NCMHD in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  
As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o  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 and assigned a priority score
o  Receive a written critique
o  Receive a second level review by an appropriate National Advisory  
   Council or Board.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NCMHD-supported research training are to advance the trainees' 
understanding of behavioral and biological systems and encourage 
participants to pursue biomedical or behavioral health research careers 
focused on enhancing the overall health and well-being of health 
disparities populations.  In the written comments, reviewers will be asked 
to evaluate the application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed international research training will have a substantial impact on 
the pursuit of these goals.  The scientific review group will address and 
consider each of the following criteria in assigning the application's 
overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. 

o  Significance 
o  Approach 
o  Innovation
o  Investigator
o  Environment
  
The application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged 
likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority 
score.  For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important 
work that by its nature is not innovative, but is essential to move a field 
forward.

SIGNIFICANCE
 
1.  What is the likelihood that the proposed program will provide 
    international research training experiences that will encourage 
    participants to pursue biomedical or behavioral health research 
    careers?

2.  What will be the effect of these student-focused research training
    opportunities on furthering the advancement of individuals from health 
    disparities populations in career fields that address problems related
    to the elimination of health disparities?

APPROACH 

1.  Are the design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well-
    integrated, and appropriate to achieve the aims of the training plan?
    Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider
    alternative approaches?

2.  Is the trainee selection process adequate?
  o  Are there a recruitment plan and application process that capture a 
     pool of the best qualified eligible candidates who could benefit most 
     from an international research experience that encourages their 
     pursuit of a biomedical or behavioral health research career?
  o  If applicable, is there a participation plan for involvement of 
     students and faculty in the recruitment and application process?
  o  Does the applicant present a process to achieve the best match of 
     trainees to U.S. and foreign faculty mentors and research projects at 
     a foreign institution?
  o  What methods and criteria will be used in selecting students and U.S. 
     and foreign faculty participants?

3.  Does the applicant's plan provide adequate trainee instruction in: 
    A) the responsible conduct of research, particularly addressing ethical 
    and cultural issues, associated with research at the foreign sites, lab 
    safety, statistical methods and data analyses, and scientific 
    literature reviews related to their research; and B) the preparation of
    written and oral scientific presentation of research results by 
    trainees. 

4.  Does the applicant's description of the proposed research training at
    the foreign site(s) include:
  o  A broad description of the students' research training projects, 
     training schedules and research skills to be taught
  o  U.S. and/or foreign faculty mentorship
  o  Research experiences related to health disparities in U.S. and/or
     developing countries populations

5.  Are the processes used by the program adequate to monitor and evaluate
    the short- and long-term impact of the international research training
    experience on trainees and their career path?

6.  If applicable, are the plans adequate for the management and 
    participation of the students and mentoring faculty of the consortium 
    institutions?

INNOVATION

1.  Does the program design allow for and offer enriching international 
    research training experiences to the program's trainees?

2.  Does the project use approaches to encourage the pursuit of biomedical 
    and behavioral research careers that address health problems 
    disproportionately affecting the different populations in the U.S.? 

INVESTIGATOR

1.  Is the principal investigator appropriately trained and well suited to
    carry out this international research training program? 

2.  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the 
    principal investigator and other proposed researchers/mentors?

3.  Are the qualifications of the proposed program director, and U.S. 
    and foreign faculty participants adequate to direct the international 
    research training activities of the student projects and act as 
    effective mentors for the trainees?

ENVIRONMENT

1.  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done 
    contribute to the probability of success? 
2.  Do the proposed research training efforts take advantage of unique 
    features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative 
    arrangements? 
3.  Is there evidence of institutional support?  
4.  Is there a contingency plan for safety of the trainee while in a 
    foreign environment?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will be 
considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

PREVIOUSLY FUNDED APPLICATIONS:  The career progress and accomplishments of 
previous undergraduate and graduate student trainees supported by the MIRT 
program award will apply for applications for competitive renewal.  These 
applications should provide tables listing all former MIRT trainees and 
current data on their post-training completion of academic degrees, entry 
into graduate and health professional programs or pursuit of other 
biomedical and behavioral health or international careers, presentation of 
MIRT research results at scientific meetings, peer reviewed publication of 
MIRT research results and related honors or awards.

PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FROM RESEARCH RISK:  The involvement of human 
subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation 
in the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria included in the 
section on Federal Citations, below).

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH:  The adequacy of 
plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups 
(and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of 
the research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will 
also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on Federal 
Citations, below).

CARE AND USE OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN RESEARCH:  If vertebrate animals are 
to be used in the project, the five items described under Section f of the 
PHS 398 research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) will be 
assessed.  

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CONSIDERATION

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period 
of support in relation to the proposed research training will be addressed.

RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 15, 2004
Application Receipt Date: December 15, 2004
Peer Review Date: March/April 2005
Council Review: June 2005
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2005

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.

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

ANIMAL WELFARE PROTECTION

Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals 
must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf), 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA 
Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/
legislat/usdaleg1.htm), as applicable.

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION
Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals 
involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to 
the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential 
benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of 
the knowledge gained or to be gained.
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm 

DATA AND SAFETY MONITORING PLAN:  Data and safety monitoring is required 
for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic, toxicity, and 
dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (phase II); efficacy, 
effectiveness and comparative trials (phase III).  The establishment of 
data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site 
clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the 
participants.  (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).  

SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking 
$500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include 
a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).  Investigators should 
seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional 
policies, local IRB rules, as well as local, state and Federal laws and 
regulations, including the Privacy Rule.  Reviewers will consider the data 
sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the 
scientific merit or the priority score.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH:  It is the policy 
of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-
populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research 
projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating 
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 clinical research should read the "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts on October 9, 2001 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-
files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines 
are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_
amended_10_2001.htm.  The amended policy incorporates: the use 
of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic 
categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of 
language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with 
the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff 
and the extramural community.  The policy continues to require for all NIH-
defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals 
and/or protocols must 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) investigators must report 
annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS:  
The NIH maintains a policy 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.  

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 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm.

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.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC):  Criteria for federal funding of 
research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html.  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic 
Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see 
http://escr.nih.gov).   It is the responsibility of the applicant to 
provide, in the project description and elsewhere in the application as 
appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used 
in the proposed research.  Applications that do not provide this 
information will be returned without review. 

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 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.

STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION:  The 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to 
the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health 
Information", the "Privacy Rule," on August 14, 2002.  The Privacy Rule is 
a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and 
Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of 
individually identifiable health information, and is administered and 
enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside 
with the researcher and his/her institution.  The OCR website 
(http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, 
including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a 
covered entity?"  Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on 
NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of 
grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.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.  Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be 
compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

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 RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential 
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 
http://www.healthypeople.gov/.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to 
the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under the authorization of 
Sections 307 and 485E of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 
2421 and 287c-31) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 
63a and 92.  All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost 
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


H H S Department of Health
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