INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH NETWORKS ON ADHD

Release Date:  July 24, 2001

RFA:  RFA-MH-01-012

National Institute of Mental Health
 (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
 (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  September 24, 2001
Application Receipt Date:       October 24, 2001

THIS RFA USES "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS.  USE THE MODULAR 
BUDGET INSTRUCTIONS THAT BEGIN ON PAGE 13 IN THE PHS 398 (REVISION 5/2001) 
AVAILABLE AT http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html.  THE 
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS MUST BE USED WHEN RESPONDING TO 
THIS RFA/PA.

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute of 
Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invite grant applications for the 
formation of cross-disciplinary networks of scientists interested in studying 
the etiology of Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its 
implications for the disorder’s nosology, assessment and treatment.  These 
research networks will allow the formation of novel collaborations among 
neuroscientists, behavioral scientists, and clinical scientists in order to 
develop integrative and cutting edge research project grant applications.  
These networks are intended to facilitate the connection between etiologic 
theory and ADHD assessment techniques and treatment procedures.  Networks must 
include representation from multiple perspectives that, at a minimum, span 
expertise across levels of analysis (e.g., molecular to behavioral) and 
disciplines (e.g., behavioral science, neuroscience, genetics, psychiatry, 
pediatrics).

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 Request for Applications (RFA), 
Interdisciplinary Research Networks on ADHD, 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/.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and non-
profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal government.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, 
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal 
investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Exploratory/ 
Developmental Grant (R21) award mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, 
direction, and execution of the proposed networks will be solely that of the 
applicant.  The total project period for an application submitted in response 
to this RFA may not exceed three years.  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  
Future unsolicited competing continuation applications will compete with all 
investigator-initiated applications and be reviewed according to the customary 
peer review procedures.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR 
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts that have been adopted by the 
NIH. Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grant 
applications have been incorporated into the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001).  
Additional information on Modular Grants can be found at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The participating institutes intend to commit approximately $1,000,000 in 
fiscal year 2002 to fund approximately 4-6 new networks in response to this 
RFA.  An applicant may request a project period of up to three years and a 
budget for direct costs of up to $150,000 per year (or up to $175,000 per year 
for network grants that include more than one institution to allow for 
facilities and administrative (F&A) costs on consortium arrangements), to 
support travel, meeting expenses, training and pilot research funding for 
network.
  
Because the nature and scope of the research proposed may vary, it is 
anticipated that the size of each award will also vary.  Although the 
financial plans of the institutes 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 applications of outstanding scientific and 
technical merit.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their 
applications with program staff listed under INQUIRIES prior to the 
submission.



RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

During the 1998 NIH Consensus Development Conference on Attention-
deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD) evidence was presented indicating 
wide variations in clinical and research approaches for identifying and 
diagnosing ADHD.  This variation reflects the lack of an objective assessment 
tool in ADHD diagnosis and the paucity of normative information on the 
developmental progression of ADHD-relevant cognitive functions (e.g., 
attention regulation, impulse control).  The lack of agreement also likely 
stems from the absence of a theoretical consensus of underlying causes, or 
pathways, specific to ADHD.  Variations in theory and diagnostic strategy make 
theoretically driven assessment tools and etiology-targeted treatment 
procedures difficult.  Wide variations in diagnostic strategy underscore the 
need for pragmatic assessment tools amenable for use in the major systems of 
service entry points for children with ADHD symptoms, such as primary care 
settings. 

It is likely that ADHD nosology, assessment and treatment could benefit from 
the application of findings from the basic sciences (particularly cognitive 
neuroscience, cognitive psychology, neurology, neuropsychology, molecular 
genetics, and biology); however, there seems to be a gap between this research 
and its integration into clinical phenomenology.  On March 15 and 16, 2000, 
the NIMH convened a workshop of clinical and basic scientists to identify 
promising areas for collaborative research related to ADHD.  Individual 
presentations and discussions focused on the translation and application of 
basic behavioral and neuroscientific research to the clinical phenomenology of 
ADHD (a summary of this meeting may be found at:  
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/research/interadhd.cfm).  Several areas related to 
ADHD were identified in which translational or interdisciplinary research 
would be useful; however, participants identified multiple barriers to the 
development of comprehensive research proposals grounded in a truly 
interdisciplinary approach.  

Given the wealth of research available, diverse domains of symptom and 
functional impairment, multiple service sector contact with diagnosed 
individuals, and remaining unanswered etiologic questions, ADHD seems to be an 
ideal candidate for multidisciplinary investigation.  The participating 
institutes are encouraging opportunities for such collaboration among 
scientists to develop the truly interdisciplinary research questions, 
measures, and methodological designs necessary to adequately address the gaps 
between ADHD etiology, diagnosis and treatment.  This strategy is consistent 
with the need for innovative approaches to support translational research 
noted in the 2000 NIMH Behavioral Science Workgroup report 
(http://www.nimh.nih.gov/council/bswsummary.cfm) and the new National Plan for 
Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, soon to be available on the 
NIMH website (http://www.nimh.nih.gov).  This RFA is intended to begin a 
process where scientists can overcome barriers to cross-disciplinary research 
agendas to address the gaps related to ADHD etiology, assessment, and 
treatment.  

Research Themes

The following sections describe examples of ADHD-related research areas ripe 
for interdisciplinary questions, methods, and designs.  These areas are 
intended to be used only as guides for organizing networks and in formulating 
questions that could be used in developing network agendas.

Nosology and the Integration of Basic Research on Attention, Working Memory, 
and Impulse Control

The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) describes 
three different subtypes of ADHD:  primarily hyperactive/impulsive, primarily 
inattentive, and a combined subtype.  These subtypes are in part based on 
evidence suggesting different patterns of gender-based prevalence, 
developmental change, comorbid symptom clusters, associated functional 
impairments, and long-term outcomes associated with inattentive versus 
impulsive/hyperactive ADHD symptoms.  Various theories of ADHD etiology are 
currently being investigated; however, few theories include implications for 
ADHD subtypes or make connections to associated functional impairments.  
Genetics research supports the familial aggregation and heritability of ADHD 
and associated symptomatology.  Cognitive neuroscience research indicates a 
central nervous system basis for ADHD including potential roots in the 
prefrontal cortex and monoamine systems.  Many connections between etiology, 
symptoms and functional impairment remain to be made.  For instance, there is 
a need to better connect identified genotypes to cognitive deficits and/or 
behavioral phenotypes, as well as to substantiate proposed connections between 
behavioral ADHD symptoms and cognitive deficits.  Similarly, the connections 
between these deficits and subsequent pathways to functional impairment need 
to be more fully understood.  A better understanding of the links between ADHD 
etiology, symptoms, and functional impairment are needed to more clearly 
specify ADHD nosology.  

Monoamine Systems and Pharmacological Interventions

ADHD is a complex disorder often characterized by heterogeneity and comorbid 
conditions (e.g., learning disabilities, conduct disorders, mood disorders).  
In addition, samples of children with ADHD frequently demonstrate high rates 
of temporal, contextual, and neurochemical variability.  This variability may 
be critical in understanding the disorder’s etiology.  Given the importance of 
the monoamine system in treatment, the neurochemical variability noted within 
this system is likely to be important to ADHD etiology.  More research is 
needed on the interaction of various neurochemical systems known to be 
important in the expression of ADHD symptoms and its pharmacological treatment 
(e.g., interaction of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin systems).  
Furthermore, in-depth studies of the monoamine system and specifically 
dopamine transporters, in terms of their abilities to function dynamically and 
respond to the environment, are needed in both animal and human models.  
Psychostimulant medication is the most common treatment for ADHD and has been 
proven to be particularly effective in reducing ADHD symptoms; however, many 
questions remain regarding the long-term safety and effectiveness of these 
medications, particularly when used in very young children.  Interdisciplinary 
research looking at the role of the monoamine system in the expression of ADHD 
symptoms, associated impairments, and pharmacological treatment would likely 
shed light on ADHD etiology, treatment mechanisms of action, effectiveness and 
safety.  

The Development and Validation of Diagnostic Tools Grounded in the Basic 
Sciences

The hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive symptoms of ADHD can be reliably 
assessed through a variety of behavioral rating scales.  However, the 
conceptualization and assessment of essential constructs (e.g., “attention”) 
and ADHD symptoms differ across disciplines.  Cross-disciplinary definitional 
problems are compounded by the widely varying and dimensional nature of ADHD 
symptoms (i.e., most children display some amount of inattention and 
hyperactivity/impulsivity) and their co-occurrence with a variety of other 
problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, learning disabilities).  Consequently, 
there is a continued need to develop more objective assessment tools, rating 
scales and/or diagnostic interviews that map onto basic underlying processes 
as well as a need to supplement behavioral assessment tools with improved 
cognitive and/or neuropsychological measures.    

The Development of Strategies for Assessing, Monitoring and Administering 
Treatment in Primary Care Settings

Information on service use and patterns of care indicate that the primary care 
setting is a particularly critical gateway for the identification of children 
with ADHD symptoms.  Survey research further indicates that approximately one 
quarter of pediatricians have never referred their patients with ADHD to 
specialized medical centers or mental health clinics.  Thus, many children 
diagnosed with ADHD are being assessed and treated only by their primary care 
physician.  Many of the currently utilized assessment measures and treatments 
for ADHD are incompatible with the primary care setting.  There is also a 
dearth of practical decision-making tools for medication monitoring, 
differential diagnosis, and the distinction of referral service needs based 
upon impairment severity.  Consequently, there is a great need for the 
development of practical, reliable and valid procedures to be used in primary 
care settings to identify and manage ADHD symptoms, as well as to distinguish 
appropriate referral needs.  Interdisciplinary strategy development rooted in 
basic research on the etiology of ADHD and associated impairments, theories of 
decision-making and information processing, measurement and test development, 
as well as expertise in primary care practice would enhance the availability 
of quality tools for improving the care of ADHD in primary care practice.  

Symptom Etiology, Functional Impairments, and the Development of Targeted 
Treatments

Several effective treatments for ADHD have been identified.  Randomized 
clinical trials have established the efficacy of stimulants for ameliorating 
some symptoms of ADHD and associated aggressiveness.  These studies have 
further indicated that stimulants are generally more effective than 
psychosocial therapies in treating these symptoms; however, results indicate 
inconsistent post-treatment improvements in functional impairments (e.g., 
academic achievement, peer relationships).  Initial findings of the NIMH 
sponsored multi-site treatment study of children diagnosed with ADHD (MTA; see 
Archives of General Psychiatry, December 1999) suggest that the combination of 
medication management and behavioral intervention may have a slightly greater 
impact on positive functional outcomes (e.g., reading achievement, 
parent/child relations) than medication alone.  Furthermore, the MTA provides 
preliminary evidence that ADHD children with various comorbid conditions may 
respond differentially to treatment modalities.  These findings suggest the 
importance of matching children and families to treatments to which they will 
be most responsive; however, there is still relatively little information to 
guide treatment.  Various etiologic theories of ADHD have implications for 
which interventions might be most successful for different individuals.  
Consequently, there is a great need for scientists to translate basic science 
findings to applications for ADHD etiology, ADHD-associated functional 
impairments, and the development of targeted interventions. 

Scope 

The etiology, symptom manifestation, and functional impairments associated 
with ADHD are complex and have been studied independently by investigators in 
a number of different disciplines; however, a comprehensive conceptualization 
of ADHD will likely include the interaction of genetic, neurochemical, 
cognitive and behavioral factors.  To better understand the interrelationship 
of these multiple factors it may be helpful to form integrated research 
programs that span multiple levels of analysis.  This RFA is intended to begin 
a process where scientists can overcome barriers to cross-disciplinary 
research agendas.

Scientists interested in investigating the connection between ADHD etiology 
and its assessment or intervention may propose the formation of networks of 
individuals across disciplinary fields to form collaborative research agendas.  
The establishment of these networks would support the meeting of 
interdisciplinary scientists around a priority ADHD research area.

Networks are expected to generate creative and well-designed research plans 
that address questions that benefit from integrative perspectives and form the 
basis of competitive grant applications.  Investigators are encouraged to 
participate in only one network, although exceptions can be made with 
appropriate scientific justification.  Networks must include representation 
from multiple disciplines.  For example, investigators with expertise in 
neuroscience, behavioral science, and psychiatry would be highly appropriate.  
Also, networks must span multiple levels of analysis (e.g., molecular to 
behavioral) and are encouraged to include expertise in animals and humans when 
appropriate.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Principal investigators of grants resulting from this RFA will be asked to 
participate in yearly meetings to report progress, discuss problems, and share 
information related to the conduct of their networks.

Requests for funds to support attendance at these meetings, to be held in the 
Washington, D.C. area, should be included as a part of the budget proposal.  
Funds may also be requested to support administrative costs for the Network 
Director, communication costs, travel expenses in order to attend and 
participate in scheduled activities and meetings of the network, as well as 
evaluation and analysis of pilot data by network members.  Further, funded 
network activities might include opportunities for training and hosting among 
network scientists at alternative laboratories or research settings to 
stimulate collaborative grant writing and/or pilot funding for collaborative 
feasibility studies.

The purpose of these activities and meetings will be to refine conceptual 
frameworks for organizing cross-disciplinary research and identifying which 
specific questions and possible experiments show the greatest promise for 
advancement. 

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

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 biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification are 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 research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm.  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to 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) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the 
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt 
dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 
address: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

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.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

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.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

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 RFA 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.

NIH GRANTS POLICY STATEMENT

The NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS) has been revised and reissued.  The 
provisions of the revised NIHGPS are effective for all funded NIH grants and 
cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after March 1, 
2001.  The revised NIHGPS is available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2001.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a 
descriptive title of the proposed network, the name, address, and telephone 
number of the principal investigators participating in the proposed network, 
the identities of other key personnel and participating institutions, and the 
number and title of the RFA in response to which the application may be 
submitted.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and 
does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information 
that it contains allows NIMH and NINDS staff to estimate the potential review 
workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent must be received by the letter of intent receipt date 
listed in the heading of this RFA.  The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Farris Tuma, Sc.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD 20892-9617
Telephone:  (301) 443-5944
FAX:  (301) 480-4415
Email: ftuma@mail.nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCEDURES
The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html are to be used in 
applying for these grants. This version of the PHS 398 is available in an 
interactive, searchable PDF format. Although applicants are strongly 
encouraged to begin using the 5/2001 revision of the PHS 398 as soon as 
possible, the NIH will continue to accept applications prepared using the 
4/1998 revision until January 9, 2002. Beginning January 10, 2002, however, 
the NIH will return applications that are not submitted on the 5/2001 version. 
For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/435-0714, Email: 
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets. Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The 
just-in-time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when 
there is a possibility for an award. It is anticipated that these changes will 
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and NIH staff.  

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html is to be used in 
applying for these grants, with modular budget instructions beginning on page 
13 of the application instructions.  Applicants are permitted, however, to use 
the 4/1998 revision of the PHS 398 for scheduled application receipt dates 
until January 9, 2002.  If you are preparing an application using the 4/1998 
version, please refer to the step-by-step instructions for Modular Grants 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.
The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) 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 sample RFA label available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to 
allow for this change.  Please note this is in pdf format.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, 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
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be 
sent to:

Jean G. Noronha, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6154, MSC 9609
Bethesda, MD 20892-9609

Applications must be received by 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.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The 
CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one 
already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial 
revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must include 
an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by NIMH staff.  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 
NIMH in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the 
initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and 
undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, 
will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level 
review by the NIMH and/or NINDS National Advisory Council.
 
Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application 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 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.

o  Scientific, technical, or medical significance of the goals that the 
network is designed to achieve.

o  Appropriateness and adequacy of the proposed network design and membership 
for achieving these goals through cross-disciplinary interaction.

o  Qualifications and research experience of the principal investigators and
network members.

o  Evidence that the scientific environment(s) in which the work will be done 
will contribute to the probability of success.  Does the proposed work take 
advantage of unique features of the scientific environment(s)?  Is there 
evidence of institutional support?

o  Adequacy of the conceptual framework, design, and methods of any proposed 
pilot projects.  

o  Feasibility of network participants successfully completing scheduled 
meetings and activities.

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, the initial 
review group will also examine:

o  Adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their subgroups, 
and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the network.  Plans 
for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated.

o  Adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the research 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project  
proposed in the application.

o  Appropriateness of proposed project budget and duration.

o  Adequacy of the proposed plan to share data, if appropriate.

SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    September 24, 2001
Application Receipt Date:         October 24, 2001
Peer Review Date:                 Jan/Feb 2002
Council Review:                   May 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 2002

AWARD CRITERIA

Scientific merit as determined by peer review and programmatic priorities will
be the primary criteria for award determination.  Only applications judged to 
have met the highest scientific standards of excellence will be considered for 
award.  Networks must demonstrate feasibility for integrated discussions among
investigators in pursuit of cross-disciplinary research agendas.  Networks
proposing themes that address high-risk experimental questions, but with high
potential benefits, will be given careful consideration.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Farris Tuma, Sc.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-9617
Telephone:  (301) 443-5944
FAX:  (301) 480-4415
Email: ftuma@mail.nih.gov

Robert Finkelstein, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2143
Bethesda, MD  20892-9527
Telephone:  (301) 496-5745
FAX:  (301) 402-1501
Email:  finkelsr@ninds.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone: (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  Diana_Trunnell@nih.gov

Tina M. Carlisle
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3290
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-3938
FAX:  (301) 402-0219
Email:  carlislt@ninds.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos. 
93.242 (NIMH) and 93.853 (NINDS).  Awards are made under authorization of 
Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 
and 284) and administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 
CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74 and 92.  This program is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain 
facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or 
routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood 
development services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the 
PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the 
American people.


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