Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH)  (http://www.nih.gov)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov)

Title: Research Infrastructure In Minority Institutions (RIMI)[P20]

Announcement Type
This is a modification of RFA-MD-05-004, which was previously released February 28, 2005.

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-MD-07-002

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.307

Key Dates
Release Date:  February 16, 2007
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): March 27, 2007
Application Receipt Date(s): April 27, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): July 2007
Council Review Date(s): August 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 30, 2007
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date(s): April 28, 2007

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

The Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Program focuses on building research capacity in predominantly minority-serving academic institutions that offer one or more associates, baccalaureate and/or master's degrees in the life sciences, behavioral sciences and/or other health related areas.  The RIMI program seeks to strengthen the integration of teaching and research at predominantly minority-serving academic institutions.  More specifically:

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
  1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
  1. Mechanism(s) of Support
  2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
  2.Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Information
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Receipt and Review and Anticipated Start Dates
      1. Letter of Intent
    B. Sending an Application to the NIH
    C. Application Processing
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Sharing Research Data
    D. Sharing Research Resources
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
  1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
  2. Peer Review Contact(s)
  3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

The major goal of this RFA is to build, strengthen and/or enhance the research infrastructure and research training capacity of minority-serving institutions.  This includes establishing programs with benchmarks for developing a cadre of clinical, biomedical and behavioral research scientists who possess the skills, knowledge and abilities to engage in leading edge research and innovative research training that ultimately will contribute to reducing and eliminating health disparities in the United States.  In order to reach the goal of this grant program, the NCMHD invites new and continuation innovative applications.  Any combination of at least four of the six core areas, including three required cores, may serve as the basis for an applicant’s proposed RIMI project.  The three required core areas are: Institutional Research Infrastructure and Capacity Building Core, the Strengthen Faculty Research and Research Training Core and Administrative Core.  The entire list of possible Core areas are:

The RIMI grant award provides a means by which an institution can: 1) strengthen its basic research infrastructure and capacity to enrich fundamental science, mathematics and allied health degree programs; 2) enhance and strengthen the research knowledge and skills of faculty; 3) improve existing research training activities that foster research career path of faculty and students in basic science, biomedical, social and/or behavioral science; and 4) support individual faculty-initiated research subprojects that can lead to successful independent research in minority health and health disparities under more traditional and advanced research grant mechanisms. 

Therefore, this grant program will contribute building blocks that support the NIH-NCMHD long-term strategy to create a cadre of biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science researchers that possess the understanding and competencies necessary to engage in leading innovative research that will contribute to reducing and eliminating health disparities in the United States.  However, in order to achieve the goal of the RIMI Program, there are critical research training, facilities infrastructure and curricula development capacity gaps and shortfalls that must be closed, ameliorated and/or removed.  Many of these areas of concerns have been exacerbated by the lack of research infrastructure and adequate faculty and students’ research training programs at many of the nation’s two- and four- year minority-serving non-research intensive academic institutions, especially Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI).  These institutions are encouraged to apply for grants under this RFA.

Background

The mission of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) is to promote minority health and to eliminate health disparities.  The NIH defines health disparities as differences in the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups (See, http://www.nih.gov/about/hd/strategicplan.pdf, page 7).  The specific population groups are African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, subpopulations of all of the above, and medically underserved populations (i.e., socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas).  These populations are hereafter referred to as health disparity populations.

Historically, the RIMI Grant Program was developed and implemented in response to recommendations resulting from the proceedings of three regional conferences that were convened by the former NIH Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH), February 1992.  This meeting produced the “Minority Programs Fact-Finding Teams Recommendations” publication.  These recommendations gave guidance for future development of policies on the support for minority programs and initiatives at the NIH.  One of the overall recommendations stated that “NIH must continue and, where possible, expand programs at institutions with significant or predominant enrollment of minorities”.  The fact-finding team further concluded that this enhancement would allow some of these institutions to become research intensive institutions that could provide quality research training in the health sciences field and conduct innovative faculty research.  Public Law 106-525 also gave notice of a national need for 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 would enable society to better address its diverse needs and the needs of health disparities populations.

In addition, the NCMHD acknowledges that RIMI-eligible and other minority-serving academic institutions play an important role in the early training of minority scientists.  Thus, continued support for the development of sustainable research programs at non-research intensive institutions of higher education, is expected to have a three-fold impact on the discovery of new knowledge in science and technology, possible refinement and greater understanding of the nature of health disparities; and the development of a knowledge infrastructure that contributes to the intellectual development of researchers and health professionals that are trained at such institutions. History has shown also that many of healthcare researchers and future professionals who graduate from minority institutions are likely to devote their careers providing biomedical and behavioral services in minority communities. (Public Law 106-525; Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology, Supplement 4, http://bob.nap.edu/html/fedfunds/).

The RIMI Program

The RIMI Grant Program focuses on three major program areas:  1) building institutional research infrastructure; 2) strengthening faculty research and the capacity for research training; and 3) preparing students for careers in research.  Within each of these areas, the specific objectives for program concentration are:

1.     Building Institutional Research Infrastructure:

a)    To strengthen the institution’s research infrastructure and capacity, with special emphasis on the elimination of health disparities, by building or expanding the institution’s academic degree programs in either basic science and mathematics, allied health sciences or social and behavioral science;

b)    To build an academic infrastructure that benchmarks cutting-edge and innovative instruction and research training that takes into account the uniqueness and/or special needs of health disparities populations, and those of eligible institutions.

c)     To establish an academic research program, with special emphasis on eliminating health disparities that will improve an institution’s basic science, biomedical, clinical or behavioral science research agenda and infrastructure.

d)    To encourage the creation of supportive research environments by emulating institutions that have demonstrated successful approaches to procurement processes, development/ use/support of core resources, innovative offices of sponsored research, research grants administration, etc

2.     Strengthening Faculty Research and the Capacity for Research Training:

a)    To enhance within a designated academic department, research training and opportunities for individual faculty members so that they can strengthen their content knowledge and skills in order to successfully compete for independent research funding to address the elimination of health disparities;

b)    To encourage the establishment of research mentoring between the academic departments of the applicant institution and a research intensive institution partner to enhance research opportunities and training for junior faculty and students in research related skills areas, including the development of grant applications, writing peer-reviewed research papers for publication as well as the development and management of research grants and programs.

c)     To facilitate investigator networking through research interest or working groups aimed at facilitating collaborative research project development and raising awareness of emerging technologies and areas of emphasis in research, especially health disparities research.

d)    To assist faculty in understanding the various uses of emerging research methodologies and their applications in the conduct of faculty initiated research projects.

e)    To enhance research related skills, including the development of grant applications, writing peer-reviewed research papers for publication, management of research programs, etc.

3.     Preparing Students for Career in Research:

a)    To enhance student competencies and preparedness to pursue an advanced course of study following the completion of a two or four year academic degree program in the life sciences, biological sciences, behavioral sciences or related allied health areas;

b)    To promote educational experiences and opportunities that encourage students and faculty to pursue clinical, biomedical and behavioral science research careers that will contribute to the elimination of health disparities in the United States; and

c)     To encourage the use of state-of-the-art enterprising methods for building research infrastructure for academic and career advancement, including but not limited to: developing bridging programs for students with research intensive institutions, implementing innovations for increasing time commitment for faculty related research and training activities, developing thematic approaches to build marketable institutional niches in health disparities research and research training to address shortfalls and gaps in science and research infrastructure in minority institutions; providing technical assistance in research to students, and decreasing the digital divide by utilizing cutting-edge multi-faceted instructional approaches, diverse learning environments and computer technology.

Examples of Type of Approaches that can be used to Achieve the RIMI Program Objectives are:  institutional role-modeling and collaborations with research intensive institutions; inter- and intra-departmental partnering on research initiatives; transitional bridge preparation activities; developmental research activities; mini faculty and/or student research initiatives; research journal club; research faculty loan program; research curriculum enhancement; and academic developmental and enrichment courses. Additional examples of acceptable approaches can be founded in a number of research reports including, but not limited to the Sullivan Commission Report on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce (2004), In the Nation’s Compelling Interest, (2004), Smedley, B. and Bristol, L.R. (eds.) and Unequal Treatment- Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (2003), Smedley, B, Stith, A., and Nelson, A.R. (eds.).

The aforementioned objectives have been translated into the six critical core areas that can solidify an academic research training and research mentoring program.  Of the six areas that have been identified, the “Administrative Core”, the “Institutional Research Infrastructure and Capacity Building Core” and “Strengthening Faculty Research and Research Training Core” are essential for the success of a four year institution’s academic research program.  The “Administrative Core”, the “Institutional Research Infrastructure and Capacity Building Core” and “Academic Career Development Research Training Core” are essential for the success of a two year institution’s academic research training program.  Thus, all two-year and four-year applicants must include the aforementioned Cores in their combination of at least four Cores as components of their overall proposed RIMI project. 

Institutional Research Infrastructure and Capacity Building Core – 10-page maximum for narrative description of the Core.

The applicant must identify the specific academic area(s) and describe the plan that will be implemented and how this area(s) will be strengthen by RIMI resources.  This includes outlining measurable objectives, action step, timelines and expected accomplishments and successes.  Describe how this plan fits within the institution’s overall research capacity building goal, including how requested resources will be used to build and/or enhance existing research infrastructure, advance academic preparation and training of students, implement a faculty research program that is consistent with and meets the long term objectives of the institutional plan.  When appropriate, the applicant should discuss what role collaborative partners will play in helping the applicant create and maintain an environment and framework suitable to achieve the objectives of the RIMI.  Funds up to $200,000 at a four-year institution and up to $100,000 per year at a two-year college may be used to support RIMI appointed faculty members salaries, supplies, and research equipment costs.

Strengthening Faculty Research and Research Training Core – 10-page maximum for each subproject

The purpose of the faculty research and research training core is to facilitate the long-term development of independent faculty initiated investigations and sustainable research programs in minority health and health disparities research.  This Core provides an opportunity for up to three faculty members during any giving project period to develop independent research subprojects as part of the RIMI Program.  RIMI institutions may provide up to 40 percent time and effort for subproject investigators during the academic year and 100 percent time during summer session.  This will allow the subproject PI to make a significant time commitment to the development of a research enterprise at the applicant institution.  The requested support for faculty initiated research subprojects must not exceed 50 percent of the total direct costs of the RIMI grant award.  Each faculty initiated research subproject that is included in the application should be related improving minority health or eliminating health disparities. The plan should describe the long-term goals for transitioning RIMI supported research subproject(s) to independent competitive grant support through applications submitted by faculty members to relevant public and private research funding sources.  This plan should include measurable objectives, measures of success with specific milestones and expected outcome(s).  Prospective subproject investigators must have at least junior or mid-level full-time faculty appointment at the applicant institution.  The proposed research plan for each subproject (10 pages maximum per subproject) should include the following:

The overall objective of this Core is to strengthen the pipeline of biomedical and behavioral science related graduates from underrepresented groups and/or health disparities populations, a necessary first step in increasing diversity in professional personnel investigating health disparities.  This Core should provide students with the necessary academic skills to enable their transition to next highest level of degree programs in biomedical, behavioral or related sciences.  These developmental academic activities may include: enrichment instructional strategies that inculcate an interest in pursuing advanced studies in the sciences, bioengineering and/or mathematics; and essential skills courses such as time management, test taking, note taking and independent learning required to pursue an advanced degree in the sciences. 

Although the RIMI program provides no direct support for student participation in research, this Core is designed to allow RIMI applicants to institute an enrichment program to prepare students for entering a research career path in science.  Under this core an applicant may support and sponsor academic preparedness courses, basic science and mathematics readiness courses for students at two-year colleges, mentoring activities such as: pre-graduate school workshops, GRE preparation training, and counseling activities.  Such activities should be designed to support and/or facilitate the students' pursuit of enrollment into baccalaureate, master or doctoral programs. One question the applicant should address is: Are there identifiable linkages between the availability of RIMI support and the number of students who pursue an advance research postsecondary degree program(s), in particular at mentoring institutions or in the departments that are directly supported by RIMI or other NIH funding?

Administrative Core (mandatory) – 10-page maximum

Applicants should describe the administrative structure of the RIMI Project and the roles and responsibilities of all key personnel.  The administrative core is responsible for: 1) the allocation and oversight of all RIMI program activities, projects and  resources; 2) establishing and maintaining all partnerships, advisory committee, cores, training and evaluation activities essential to the success of the RIMI project; 3) the coordination of all RIMI sponsored research to be supported under the auspices of the RIMI grant program; and 4) overseeing the process for the solicitation, review, and selection of all approved faculty research subprojects and pilot projects.  All RIMI grantees are encouraged to establish and maintain a RIMI website.  Additionally, through the efforts of the administrative core, each NCMHD center is expected to become a valued, trusted, institution-wide resource for expanding the capacity and competence of the institution, and that of NIH funded researchers and students in conducting minority health and health disparities research.  The center director is also expected to interact with the administrative leadership of the institution to enhance the success of the center.

Activities required for the smooth operation of the RIMI project should be included in the administrative core if not appropriate as another core level activity. 

Renovations:  This RFA will provide a one-time cost expenditure for renovations and alterations, up to $150,000 for a four-year institution and up to $125,000 [to match the available funds section]for a two-year institution.  This one-time request can be requested for work that will be completed in year one or year two of the award, providing the alterations and renovation projects are necessary and relevant to the overall scope of the proposed departmental research program, the proposed faculty research and academic research training at the applicant institution.  Requested research equipment/instrumentation for enhancement of laboratories and facilities must be justified based on the proposed related programmatic core(s).  Additionally, this RFA will not provide support for the completion of shell space   Equipment intended for basic teaching and non-research related activities for student academic development and training will be supported.  Additional opportunities for the renovation and modernization of facilities will likely be made available through competitive supplements to funded RIMI programs.  All alterations and renovations must be consistent with the institutional research infrastructure development plan.

Shared Resources Core – 5-page maximum

The Shared Resource Core is intended to enhance opportunities for faculty investigators at the applicant institution to take advantage of improved facilities and new technologies that could enhance or broaden the research experience and initiatives.  This Core should support an academic unit research plan for faculty and students.  While, research per se is not conducted as part of the shared resource core, quality assurance activities that evaluate the operation, resources, quality and utilization of the core and that are directed at problem identification and improvement of core functioning are appropriate.  Some examples of support that shared resources cores typically provide are: a) technology that implements automation of large batch preparations; b) complex instrumentation, e.g., electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, electro-physiology; c) information processing, data management, d) statistical services, and e) networking activities including the establishment of scientific working groups, etc.

The applicant must include a descriptive plan that illustrates how the shared resources support will enhance the research infrastructure and/or advance the overall strength of the primary academic unit where the RIMI Project is housed within the applicant institution.  The applicant must explain how the shared resources Core will expand research training opportunities and benefit the faculty and students at the applicant institution.

The rationale for the establishment of the shared resources component is to ensure adequate research resources for projected use by RIMI and/or non-RIMI investigators (e.g., MBRS Score (Support of Continuous Research Excellence)) at the grantee institution.  Accordingly, the minimum requirement for establishing a shared resource component is that significant usage of the shared resource (activities or facility) will be by two or more faculty investigators with RIMI and/or independently supported peer-reviewed projects. 

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This funding opportunity will use the P20 award mechanism(s).

As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. This is a one-time solicitation.  The anticipated award date is September 30, 2007.   

This funding opportunity uses the just-in-time budget concepts.  It also uses the non-modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html).  A detailed categorical budget for the "Initial Budget Period" and the "Entire Proposed Period of Support" is to be submitted with the application.

2. Funds Available

The NCMHD intends to commit approximately $5.1 million dollars in FY 2007 to fund approximately eight new grant awards in response to this RFA.  An applicant may request a project period of up to five years and a budget for direct costs up to $650,000 dollars per year for four-year institutions and up to $400,000 per year for two-year colleges.  Because the nature and scope of the proposed research and related capacity building activities will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary.  Although the financial plan of the NCMHD provides 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.  In the first year of support for the new five-year project period a one-time allocation of $150,000 for renovations may be added to the $650,000 maximum for four-year institutions and a $125,000 for renovations may be added to the $400,000 maximum for two-year colleges.  Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A) will be provided.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

The President of the applicant institution, Chief Academic Officer or a designated senior representative with the skills and knowledge to provide leadership and authority to make high-level decisions regarding faculty time commitment, curricula and research administration-related decisions must serve as the Principal Investigator for the proposed RIMI project. 

The RIMI program director must be appointed by the Principal Investigator and be a senior fulltime faculty member at the applicant institution.  This is a special requirement of the RIMI program.  Such a policy is intended to ensure that the infrastructure and capacity building activities proposed in the application are consistent with the long-term institutional plan, vision and mission of the applicant institution.  Thus, any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

There is no required cost sharing, matching, or cost participation without which an application would be ineligible.  Cost sharing is not required.  Cost sharing as an eligibility criterion includes requirements based in statute or regulation, as well as those imposed by administrative decision of the agency.

The most current Grants Policy Statement can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#matching_or_cost_sharing

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

An institution may no longer apply for and/or receive two RIMI Grant awards. An applicant institution can be awarded only one RIMI Grant. Existing RIMI and Project EXPORT grantees are not eligible to apply for a new RIMI grant.  

Applications that do not include an evaluation plan will be considered non-responsive and will be returned to the without review.

An applicant institution can submit only one RIMI grant application in response to this announcement.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms. 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 D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Program, RFA-MD-07-002

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A). Submission times N/A.

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): March 27, 2007
Application Receipt Date(s): April 27, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): July 2007
Council Review Date(s): August 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 30, 2007

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

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

The letter of intent should be sent to:

DeLoris L-James Hunter, Ph.D.
RIMI Program Official
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

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the research grant applications found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research grant application.  Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, and three signed photocopies in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Lorrita Watson, Ph.D.
Chief, 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

Using the RFA Label: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application instructions 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.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date(s) described above (Section IV.3.A.).  If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review.  Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the NCMHD. Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity 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 a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  That is, the application for the funding opportunity 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.

Information on the status of an application should be checked by the Principal Investigator in the eRA Commons at: https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/.

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm.

6. Other Submission Requirements

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The governance structure must include a Principal Investigator (PI), Program Director (PD), and a RIMI Advisory Committee.

The PI must be the applicant institution’s president or chief academic officer

The PD must be a senior faculty member, appointed by the PI, willing and able to devote the time and effort necessary for effective implementation and management of the RIMI program.  He/she should be knowledgeable about minority health issues, health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, provisions for faculty training and research, capacity building needs in minority-serving institutions, and be an experienced biomedical, bio-behavioral, or social scientist and an effective administrator.

The RIMI Project must have an advisory committee, comprised of both internal and external experts who are knowledgeable about scientific research and health disparities, must report directly to the RIMI PI.  The Advisory Committee should consist of eight to twelve members and must include a cross-section of qualified faculty and appropriate members external to the institution; its role is to advise the PI, PD and RIMI Project. If the RIMI Project has a collaborating partner, at least one-third of the members of the Advisory Committee should be from the appropriate academic concentration areas of the collaborating institution; at least 50 percent of Advisory Committee members must be external to the applicant institution.  The Committee should possess, among its members, the experience and knowledge to provide appropriate guidance for the program design, implementation and evaluation, including the building of research infrastructure in minority institutions in relevant scientific disciplines.  It is essential that the Advisory Committee have representatives that are knowledgeable about the applicant institution's strengths and weaknesses in biomedical and related research training, capabilities and needs, and overall academic goals.  Guidance from such a group ensures the critical input necessary to develop and maintain a competitive RIMI program.  The Committee should oversee progress toward the full implementation of the institution's plan for developing research infrastructure and for developing and enhancing collaborative relationships among institutions and faculty members.  Competing or conflicting interests must be carefully considered when developing the operational procedures for the Committee.  The Committee should meet at least twice annually.  RIMI funds can be used to support travel and per diem for Advisory Committee meetings.

SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS

Applicants should thoroughly review and follow the instructions accompanying the PHS 398 Form and the following:

•    Face Page

Item 1. Title of Project. The title should reflect the overall research emphasis of the RIMI Program.

Item 2. Response to a Specific RFA. Check "YES" and type in the number and title of this announcement.

Item 6. Dates of Proposed Period of Support. Up to five years of support may be requested. The start date should be September 30, 2007.

•    Form Page 2, Description, Performance Site(s) and Key Personnel.

Program Overview. Provide an overview of your proposed program, including the objectives and specific aims and areas of emphasis. Summarize your approach for enhancing the proposed areas of emphasis.

Performance Sites. Include all locations, whether at the applicant site or the collaborating institution(s)

Key Personnel. Under key personnel, include the Principal Investigator, the Program Director, and any other individuals with a significant role in carrying out the RIMI action plan, including faculty investigators for each subproject. This should also include mentors and mentoring personnel at the collaborating institution, if applicable. All research subproject PIs are considered key staff and should be included in this section.

•    Form Page 3, Table of Contents.

Modify the table of contents to reflect the content and sequence outlined in the instructions in the RFA.

•    Form Page 4, Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period, and

•    Form Page 5, Budget for Entire Period.

Consolidated RIMI Budget.  The consolidated budget should consist of a compilation of the individual budgets for each subproject and each core area of emphasis.  Except in the first year of the project, direct costs may not exceed $650,000 per year for a four-year institutions and $400,000 for a two-year colleges. (See the section on Renovations: Use form pages 4 and 5).

Budgets for Areas of Emphasis. Use form pages 4 and 5 to develop separate budgets for the administrative core and each core area of emphasis.  For each area of emphasis (e.g., facility improvement, developmental/collaborative research, etc.), include the salary support as well as the costs of the activities (i.e., laboratory renovation, research subprojects, etc.) that support that area of emphasis.  Support for staff from the applicant institution, if applicable, should be listed as personnel and support for other personnel should be listed under consultants (including consulting fees and travel expenses, or under consortium/contractual costs).  Include the following in the administrative budget: the Principal Investigator, the Program Director, administrative and key support personnel and other budgetary items needed for central coordination of the RIMI Project.  The need for each budget item requested and its cost must be thoroughly documented in the section labeled: Budget Justification.

•    Form Page 6, Biographical Sketch.

Include for the Principal Investigator and the Program Director in this section.  Biographical sketches for other key personnel, including specific activity or project leaders, should be included in the section describing that activity.  The biographical sketch should list the most recent or significant publications, and overall, must not exceed four pages per person.

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Plan -- Do not follow the outline in Form PHS 398. Develop the application according to the following format: Page Limitations. DO NOT EXCEED 35 PAGES FOR ITEMS 1-3 OF THE OVERALL CAPACITY BUILDING PLAN.

All tables, graphs, charts, figures and diagrams must be included in the 35-page limit. Applicants are encouraged to be succinct and are reminded that there is a requirement not to exceed the 35 pages allotted to items 1-3 of the Capacity Building Plan Description of Applicant Institution:

•    Provide a brief history of the institution and its mission, including developmental milestones over the last 10 years.

•    Summarize the major resources (physical, human and financial) for biomedical or behavioral and related research.  Include the number of faculty involved and number of students in the programmatic areas of concentration for the RIMI application; e.g., basic science, health and related sciences.

•    Discuss the role that research capacity building and/or training is intended to play in enabling the applicant institution to accomplish its mission.

•    Describe the applicant institution's long-term research plan and specific aims for enhancing its research infrastructure.

•    Describe the Collaborating Partner Institution.  Provide a brief summary of the resources of the collaborating institution (research, core laboratories, and other research facilities), the role the collaborating institution will have in support the RIMI Program and discuss how the proposed partnership facilitates the achievement of the applicant institution's research agenda.  In particular, indicate the area(s) of emphasis to which the partnership will contribute most significantly.

•    Plan for Expanding the Capacity for Biomedical and Related Research.  Discuss briefly each area of emphasis for the current project period (e.g., faculty development, physical plant improvement, research administration, procurement, student training and proposed students’ entry into graduate programs, etc.), indicate the specific objectives, measurable expected outcome(s) and proposed timeline associated with each goal area (area of emphasis), and describe briefly the action plan for accomplishing these objectives. For example, for each area of emphasis identified, provide the following:

•    Description of the area of emphasis

•    Objectives under the area of emphasis

•    Action plan(s) for accomplishing the objectives (i.e., describe the proposed activities or program components for achieving the indicated objectives) and a timetable for implementing the proposed activities.

•    Measures of success for tracking progress toward accomplishing your institution’s objectives in the relevant area of emphasis.

•    The percentage of your overall budget that will be allocated to achieving the objectives in the indicated goal area (area of emphasis).

•    Areas of Emphasis. For each area of emphasis supported (e.g., faculty recruitment, developmental/ collaborative research, etc.) describe the objectives and the action plan for accomplishing the objectives. Indicate measures of success and describe the progress made in accomplishing the objectives in terms of the measures of success. For example, an important measure of success for an institution's research capacity is the amount of research dollars garnered by the institution during a given period. An important measure of faculty productivity may include the number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at scientific meetings, and/or the overall number of student contact hours per semester during a given period.

Note that if "preparation of students for pursuit of graduate degrees and/or doctoral programs" was considered as an area of emphasis in the Academic Career Development Core, the following section also applies.  Although the RIMI program provides no direct support for student participation in research, the RIMI program may support and sponsor academic preparedness courses, basic science and mathematics readiness courses for students at two-year colleges, mentoring activities such as: pre-graduate school workshops, GRE preparation training, and counseling activities.  Such activities should be designed to support and/or facilitate the students' pursuit of enrollment into baccalaureate, master or doctoral programs.  One question the applicant may want to address is: Are there identifiable linkages between the availability of RIMI support and the number of students who pursue an advance postsecondary degree program(s), in particular at mentoring institutions or in the departments that are directly supported by RIMI funding?

•    Effectiveness of the applicant’s partnership in terms of its impact on the institution’s research agenda. Be sure to discuss its strengths and indicate areas where improvements can be made.

•    Expected Impact of RIMI support on the institution's capacity to compete successfully for external private and/or public research support. How many of the RIMI liked supported subproject investigators have submitted grant applications for research and related support? Has the institution's overall funding success rate for grant applications changed since the onset of funding support through other RIMI like program(s), e.g. MBRS, SCORE, etc.? Can such increases, if any, be directly linked to activities supported by the aforementioned program?

•    Potential barriers to success and needed program adjustments. Please identify any barriers to the successful implementation of the institution's plan for enhancing research infrastructure. Also, identify areas of concern that the institution plans to address in the competitive renewal application.

In addition to the 35-page limit, applicants may use up to 10 pages (excluding the biographical sketches, budget pages, and references) to describe each of the research sub-projects under item 3, Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions. Institutional Setting and Overview of General Plan -- Limit the narrative for items 1 and 2 to a total of 15 pages.

Overall Proposed Five Year Plan for the RIMI Program, including specific measurable objectives, action plan(s), timelines, expected outcomes , -- Maximum of 20 pages.

Organizational Structure and Administrative Core Activities.  Outline the organizational structure of the institution, showing how the RIMI PD will interface with the administrative structure.  Describe the lines of authority and indicate how the proposed structure will allow the PD to best accomplish the goals and objectives identified for the RIMI program.

•    Describe the qualifications of the faculty member selected for this PD, including his/her scientific training, biomedical research experience, administrative leadership skills, and commitment to the RIMI initiative.

•    Describe how the Advisory Committee will be expected to function, in particular its roles and responsibilities, available resources, its frequency of meetings and reporting requirements. Also describe the proposed composition of the Committee.  In a tabular format, list the names and titles of the members, including their institutional affiliations. Identify the expertise that each member is expected to contribute to this Committee.

•    Institutional Commitment.  Provide evidence of the applicant institution's commitment to biomedical and related research and to enhancing its research environment.  Examples might include the availability of research space, cost sharing, promotion and tenure policies emphasizing the importance of research, an institutional strategic plan that complements the RIMI initiative, sponsorship of an office of sponsored programs, ongoing collaborations with research-intensive institutions, participation in PHS research and training activities, and any other activity that encourages faculty and student involvement in biomedical research.

•    Evaluation Plan.  Describe the plan for process and outcome evaluation of the RIMI Program.  One way of evaluating the program is to develop a performance plan based on the strategic plan for the RIMI Program. Describe the measures of success that would be key in your performance plan.

•    Collaborative Agreement(s).  While collaborations and partnerships with research intensive institutions are not required for RIMI funding, they are permissible, encouraged and can be supported by RIMI funds.  Describe the essential elements of the collaborative agreements between the applicant institution and its partner(s).  When there is only one partner, the collaborator must be a doctoral degree-granting institution (in a related area of research concentration).  In cases where there is more than one partner, only one of the collaborators must meet the aforementioned criterion.  If modifications, improvements, or expansion of these agreements are planned or proposed, describe each agreement in detail.  Address any anticipated or potential problems and describe proposed alternative plans to resolve them.  Include a copy of the current or proposed Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement(s) between the partnering institutions in this section of your application.

Areas of Emphasis

Provide a separate detailed plan for EACH CORE AREA OF EMPHASIS. In describing each area of emphasis, follow the PHS 398 instructions (pp. 17 -20) for the Research Plan and use form page 2 and forms 4 through 8. Be sure to address the important items noted below:

•    Narrative.  Clearly describe the objectives, needs, and rationale for the approach selected, implementation timetable in the context of available resources, alternatives considered, and overall program goals.  Explain the management structure, and outline the corporate plan to achieve non-RIMI institutional support over time.

•    Shared resources/facilities.  Shared resources/facilities may comprise an independent area of emphasis or activity component within an area of emphasis.  Identify the user community and explain in detail the nature and extent of utilization by each participant, current and proposed.

•    Developmental/Collaborative Research.  Whether an independent area of emphasis or an activity component within an area of emphasis, in addition to the above, clearly describe the importance and relevance of the proposed collaborative projects to the applicant institution's RIMI program goals.  Also for each research subproject supported, address the following:

Limit the description of EACH research subproject to be supported to 10 pages, excluding the biographical sketches, references, and budget pages.  This is in addition to the 20-page maximum allotted to describing the plans for and management of the Cores/Areas of Emphasis.

Appendix.  List in the Table of Contents any items included in the Appendix.

Plan for Sharing Research Data

The precise content of the data-sharing plan will vary, depending on the data being collected and how the investigator is planning to share the data. Applicants who are planning to share data may wish to describe briefly the expected schedule for data sharing, the format of the final dataset, the documentation to be provided, whether or not any analytic tools also will be provided, whether or not a data-sharing agreement will be required and, if so, a brief description of such an agreement (including the criteria for deciding who can receive the data and whether or not any conditions will be placed on their use), and the mode of data sharing (e.g., under their own auspices by mailing a disk or posting data on their institutional or personal website, through a data archive or enclave). Investigators choosing to share under their own auspices may wish to enter into a data-sharing agreement. References to data sharing may also be appropriate in other sections of the application.

All applicants must include a plan for sharing research data in their application. The data sharing policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing. All investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data sharing is not possible.

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score.

Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy expects that grant recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm and http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600131). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a plan for sharing research resources addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan and any related data sharing plans will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

2. Review and Selection Process

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 NCMHD in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an 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.  The Overall application will be reviewed based on the following:

Significance: Does this project address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does proposed infrastructure and capacity-building plan address an important research training deficiency at the applicant institution? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will the institution’s research infrastructure be strengthen? How will the applicant’s proposed contribute to developing a cadre of minority health and health disparities future researchers? Does the proposed plan provide a foundation for increase scientific inquiry and research training to support the research plan for advancement of science among minority-serving institutions, their faculty, students and their constituency? What are the expected outcomes of the applicant’s core areas focus?  Do proposed activities and programs support research career training so that trainees grasp methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that are likely to advance the field of elimination of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and other medically underserved populations?  To what extent does the proposed RIMI project strengthen and/or enhance the academic research capacity of minority-serving institutions? Does the proposed component or research subproject address areas of emphasis such as strengthening faculty research capacity, and institutional research acumen, student preparedness in mathematic and science, minority health and/or elimination of health disparities research?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? Are the administrative activities, research plan/ framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate to achieve the aims of the RIMI Program and each proposed subproject? Does the applicant identify potential problem areas in implementing the proposed RIMI project?  Has the applicant considered alternative approaches or tactics as ways to address potential problems?  Is the applicant’s overall plan reasonable, adequate and provides the needed foundation for the research infrastructure in the areas of concentration(s) or academic unit? Is this plan supported and balanced faculty and students research training?  Is the applicant’s proposed plan congruent with the institution’s overall 5-year research capacity-building plan for the focused academic unit?  Has the applicant included a plan for working with other academic enrichment components of the institution to avoid duplication of services that advance the academic preparedness of students to pursue research careers in the basic, biomedical, or behavioral sciences?  If not, is the possibility of duplication of services addressed in the applicant’s RIMI plan?  Has the applicant included a project formative and/or summative program evaluation plan?  The applicant’s plan includes measurable objectives, timelines and reporting requirements?  Does the proposed research subprojects address issues related to improving minority health or eliminating health disparities?  If not, is there sound justification why a proposed research subproject does not focus on minority health or elimination of health disparities?

Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area? Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or practice for building research infrastructure in minority serving institution; address an innovative approach(es) or critical barriers to progress in the field of building research capacity and infrastructure among faculty and students at minority serving two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions? Does the proposed project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for training to pursue degree opportunities in the area research related to minority health and the elimination of the disparities in health care among racial and ethnic minorities.

Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)? Are the mentoring and/or subproject investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out the work that is proposed in the subproject(s)? Does each subproject PI have a senior research mentor overseeing the research study?  Is the work (research) proposed appropriate to the experience level of the subproject principal investigator and other supporting researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? Does the scientific environment in which the research work will be done contribute to the probability of success and strengthen the academic unit of the RIMI project? Will the proposed subproject studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional and academic departmental support for RIMI project and the faculty initiated research subprojects program?  Does the scientific environment offer any special or specific research training opportunities for students and other faculty of the RIMI focused academic area(s)? Note that a research project does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have a major scientific impact. For example, an investigator may propose to carry out work that by its nature is not innovative, but important and is essential to building research capacity and enhancing research infrastructure to advance the science in the specific field of study that addresses areas related to minority health and the elimination of health disparities.

Major factors to be considered in the overall evaluation of the overall plans for the proposed RIMI Project will include:

•    Adequacy of the planning process, including the assessment of current biomedical research capabilities, concept development and involvement of advisory resources in the planning process.

•    Appropriateness of the organization and administrative structure that will be established to accomplish RIMI program goals.

•    Qualifications, experience and commitment of the PD, and his/her ability to provide effective leadership in implementing the institutional RIMI plan.

•    Appropriateness of the proposed RIMI Advisory Committee and other consultative resources for guiding the implementation of the overall project and the relationship of the proposed RIMI to the applicant five year institutional research infrastructure development plan.

•    Adequacy of institutional commitment to preparing students and supporting faculty for future careers in biomedical and behavioral research, especially research that addresses issues related to minority health and the elimination of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and other medically underserved populations.

•    Appropriateness and adequacy of the applicant’s evaluation process and outcome plan, including timelines, availability of expertise, and time and resource allocation.  
Evaluation Plan: Each application must include an evaluation plan for assessing the overall success of the RIMI project in achieving its program goals and objectives. Benchmarks should be identified and specific plans and procedures must be described to capture, analyze and report outcome measures that would determine the success of the research infrastructure and capacity building plan for achieving the RIMI goals. A comprehensive evaluation should include the following:

Since the RIMI Program seeks to determine the long impact of this invest in building a solid research infrastructure and research training at its grantee institutions, the applicant should describe a system for tracking faculty progress toward independent research funding and the number students transfer rates to the next higher-degree program, and graduation rates from the next higher-degree program.  Applications that do not include an evaluation plan will be considered non-responsive and will be returned to the without review.

In addition to the aforementioned review criteria, each subproject will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

SIGNIFICANCE:  If the proposed aims of the proposed subproject (s) study are achieved, how will this scientific knowledge be advanced?  Is there a clear and appropriate career development plan for students and/or faculty associated with Core or research subproject(s)?Does the proposed research subproject address an area of emphasis related to improving minority health and/or eliminating health disparities?

APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of each of the research subproject(s)? Is there a research training components for both faculty and students associated with the subproject? Is there a progression monitoring plan toward external funding for faculty initiated research?   Does the applicant provide a clear plan for executing the daily oversight for working with the subproject (s) PIs.  Is there a clearly delineated oversight plan for faculty research supervision?  Is there a plan for students to be associated with faculty research and research training activities?

INNOVATION:  Does the research subproject employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Do the concepts challenge existing paradigms or propose to develop new methodologies or technologies?

INVESTIGATORS: Is each subproject investigator(s) appropriately trained, well suited and/or mentored to carry out the proposed scientific research investigation?  Are the qualifications, experience, commitment and scientific competences of the RIMI project director and the research subproject PIs adequate to carry out the proposed work?  Is there a time commitment plan for each key personnel to achieved the stated research and program goals of the proposed RIMI project?

ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success of the overall program and research subprojects?  Does the proposed faculty research take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support and oversight of the RIMI supported faculty research subproject(s)?

APPROPRIATENESS OF THE PROPOSED BUDGET AND DURATION, including the justification for requested items in terms of the aims and methods of the proposed programmatic cores and research studies will be evaluated.

Accordingly, the following are additional considerations for each of the proposed core activities and research subprojects.

Areas of Emphasis: Assessments of each Core area of emphasis will be based upon the specific evaluations of the proposed core action plans (i.e., planned core activities) and the likelihood that applicant will be able to accomplish what is proposed for the RIMI project with the resources requested. Accordingly, the criteria for review of the proposed plan for each area of emphasis include:

Note that the above assessments should be made for each core area of emphasis in the proposed RIMI Program.

Also, when applicable, the review of proposed individual faculty research subprojects in the Developmental/Collaborative Faculty Research" Core area of emphasis will not be based entirely on the traditional considerations for peer evaluation of scientific merit. But rather, reviewers will also take into consideration the preliminary nature of the proposed research and, in a broader sense, the extent to which the proposed research activity will contribute to the goals and expected outcome(s) of the RIMI Program.

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

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

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 the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

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 will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

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 Form 398 research grant application instructions will be assessed.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Data Sharing Plan: The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score. The presence of a data sharing plan will be part of the terms and conditions of the award. The funding organization will be responsible for monitoring the data sharing policy.

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

NIH policy expects that grant recipients make unique research resources readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community after publication (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps/part_ii_5.htm#availofrr and http://www.ott.nih.gov/policy/rt_guide_final.html). Investigators responding to this funding opportunity should include a sharing research resources plan addressing how unique research resources will be shared or explain why sharing is not possible.

Reviewers will be asked to assess the adequacy of the applicant’s plan and NCMHD program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources before making recommendations about funding applications.

Program staff will be responsible for the administrative review of the plan for sharing research resources.

The adequacy of the resources sharing plan will be considered by Program staff of the funding organization when making recommendations about funding applications. Program staff may negotiate modifications of the data and resource sharing plans with the awardee before recommending funding of an application. The final version of the data and resource sharing plans negotiated by both will become a condition of the award of the grant. The effectiveness of the resource sharing will be evaluated as part of the administrative review of each non-competing Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590). See Section VI.3. Reporting.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not   Applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 12 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA will be mailed to the business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm).

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity 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:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

DeLoris L-James 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

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Lorrita Watson, Ph.D.
Chief, 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@mail.nih.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Chief, Grants Management Office
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

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
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) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (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). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, 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 and 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.

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 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 funding opportunity 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.

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/archive/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004 receipt date, are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

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 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is 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 Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical 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 (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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available 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 (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.

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov) at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/publicaccess_Manual.htm).

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. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, internet addresses (URLs) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles.  Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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.health.gov/healthypeople.

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 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov.


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