Full Text MH-93-009


NIH Guide, Volume 22, Number 19, May 21, 1993

RFA:  MH-93-009

P.T. 22, FF

  Biomedical Research Training 
  Emotional/Mental Health 

National Institute of Mental Health

Application Receipt Date:  July 21, 1993


The goal of research training programs at the National Institute of
Mental Health (NIMH) is to help educate the leaders of the Nation's
next generation of mental health researchers.  The specific purpose
of the Minority Research Fellowship Program (MRFP) is to ensure that
minority investigators assume a prominent position among these

This dual announcement of an MRFP in Sociology and an MRFP in Social
Work is to encourage applications designed to support the development
and training of individuals in doctoral programs in sociology and
social work to enable them to undertake active, productive careers in
scientific investigations related to mental health and mental
illness.  While it is expected that these future researchers will
also become prominent within their professions at large, the MRFP is
not designed simply to support graduate study for its own sake.
Rather, mastery of sound research skills, commitment to future
research activity, and future achievement in research endeavors in
the mental health field should be the outcome of successful
fellowship training.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Request
for Applications (RFA), MRFP in Sociology and MRFP in Social Work, is
related to the priority areas of mental health and mental disorders
and educational and community-based programs.  Potential applicants
may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock
No.017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (Summary Report:  Stock
No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents,
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone


Domestic public and private non-profit institutions and professional
and scientific organizations and associations may apply.  Applicants
must have staff and facilities suitable for implementing a national
program to recruit, select, and place minority students in doctoral
programs in sociology or social work with environments appropriate
for performing high-quality mental health research training and with
strong research programs in one or more of the areas of interest to
NIMH indicated in the Extramural Research Support Program, June 1992,

Trainee Eligibility Requirements:  Individuals selected by the
program director to participate in the MRFP must be citizens or
noncitizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully
admitted to the United States for permanent residence and have in
their possession an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551)
or other legal verification of admission of permanent residence at
the time of entering the MRFP.  Noncitizen nationals are persons born
in lands which are not States but which are under U.S. sovereignty,
jurisdiction, or administration (e.g., American Samoa).  Individuals
on temporary or student visas are not eligible.  For the purpose of
this announcement, minority trainees are defined as individuals which
are determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in
biomedical or behavioral research.

The predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree,
(domestic or equivalent foreign), from an accredited institution as
of the date of appointment to the MRFP, and must be enrolled in a
doctoral degree program.  These National Research Service Award
(NRSA) fellowships are not made for study leading to an M.D., D.O.,
D.D.S., or other similar professional degrees, or for study which is
part of residency training leading to a medical specialty.  However,
this fellowship may support a specified period of full-time research
training for a health professional who intends to pursue a research
career, even if that period of training may be credited toward a
specialty board certification.


These grants will be made using the Institutional National Research
Service Award (NRSA) (T32) mechanism.  Applications may be submitted
for either new or competing continuation awards.  This RFA is a
one-time solicitation.

Period of Support:  An MRFP grant may be made for a period of up to
five years.  By law, an individual trainee may receive no more than
five years of support in the aggregate at the predoctoral level.  Any
exception to this limitation requires a waiver from the Director,
NIMH, based on a review of the justification provided by the awardee.

Special Terms and Conditions of Support

Payback Requirements:  Recipients of stipends under the MRFP must
agree to engage in health-related research and/or teaching for a
period equal to the length of support in excess of 12 months.  The
Training Program Director must assure that potential trainees
understand the payback requirement.  An individual's initial 12
months of post-baccalaureate MRFP or other NRSA support are excluded
from payback obligation.  All subsequent MRFP (or other NRSA) support
is fully obligated.  Activities carried out while supported by MRFP
or other NRSAs may not be used to fulfill the payback requirements.

Conditions of Award:  Grants must be administered in accordance with
the PHS Grants Policy Statement.  Title 42 of the Code of Federal
Regulations, Part 66, is applicable to these awards.  Before a
trainee can be appointed to an MRFP Award and receive an MRFP Award
under the grant, he or she must meet MRFP eligibility requirements
and sign a Payback Agreement indicating his or her intent to meet the
payback provision required under the law.  Organizations must notify
prospective trainees of these provisions prior to or at the time an
appointment is offered.

The applicant organization must submit to NIH a Statement of
Appointment form (PHS 2271) along with the signed Payback Agreement
and Statement of Non-Delinquency on Federal Debt (PHS-T-600) at the
time a trainee is appointed.  No funds may be provided to a trainee
until such documents are submitted.  At the end of the total support
period for each individual trainee, the applicant must submit a
Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to NIH.  Failure to submit the
required forms in a timely fashion may result in an expenditure

All grants awarded under MRFP are made for full-time research
training.  Awardees may use some of their time in course studies and
clinical duties if such work is closely related to and necessary for
the research training experience.  No appointment for less than 12
months may be made without prior approval.

An MRFP award may not be held concurrently with another federally
sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award which provides a
stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the MRFP award.  An
awardee may, however, accept concurrent educational remuneration from
the Veterans Administration and loans from Federal funds.

Trainees in academic institutions are not entitled to vacations as
such.  They are, however entitled to the normal short student
holidays observed by their training institution.  The time between
the spring and fall semester is to be used as an active part of the
training period.  Trainees in nonacademic organizations are entitled
to the holiday and vacation schedule applicable to all trainees at
the organization.

Annual Stipends: The annual stipend for predoctoral individual at all
levels is $8,800 for 12 months of training.  The stipend is intended
to help provide for the minority trainee's living expenses during the
period of training.  The stipend is not a payment for services
performed.  Trainees are not considered to be employees of the PHS or
their sponsoring organization.

Supplementation of the MRFP stipend from non-Federal funds is
permitted.  Federal funds may be used for supplementation only if
explicitly authorized by the program from which such funds are
derived.  No PHS grant funds may be used for supplementation.  This
is not intended to discourage in any way the use of Federal loan
funds.  Trainees may also earn salaries or wages for services
rendered under PHS grants, provided such employment is unrelated to
the training experience.  Such compensation is not considered stipend
supplementation.  Under no circumstances, however, may the service
requirements detract from or prolong the training.  For additional
information regarding supplementation, see the NIH Guide Notice, Vol.
20, No. 42 of November 8, 1991, "Policy on Supplementation of
Stipends on National Research Service Awards Training Grants and

Taxability of Stipends:  The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law
99-514, affects the tax liability of all individuals supported under
the NRSA program.  NIH is not in a position to advise students or
institutions about tax liability.

Stipends are subject to Federal income tax.  The taxability of
stipends, however, in no way alters the relationship between NRSA
fellows, trainees, and institutions.  NRSA stipends are not salaries.
NRSA fellows are not in an employer-employee relationship with NIMH
or the institution in which they are pursuing research training, nor
are they considered to be self-employed.  Stipends are not subject to
self-employment tax (FICA).

Degree candidates may exclude from gross income reported for tax
purposes any amount used for tuition, fees, and dissertation research

Other Allowable Costs:  In addition to stipends, the applicant
organization may request funds for tuition, fees, and certain types
of travel for trainees, e.g., to attend professional meetings and
other meetings directly related to their training; actual indirect
costs or eight percent of allowable direct costs (whichever is less)
to cover related organizational overhead (applications from State and
local government agencies may request full indirect cost
reimbursement).  The applicant organization may request up to $1,500
per predoctoral trainee for training related expenses to partially
offset the costs personnel, consultants, supplies, travel,
reproduction and printing costs, rental equipment, minor equipment
items, and other items which are directly related to the recruitment,
selection, placement, and monitoring of training of the students.

Funds may be used only for those expenses which are directly related
and necessary to the research training and must be expended in
conformance with DHHS cost principles, the PHS Grants Policy
Statement and conditions set forth in this document.

All budget items must be fully identified and justified at the level
requested, e.g., Advisory Committee costs, the Training Program
Director's salary, telephone and printing costs, etc.  The type and
amount of fiscal or in-kind costs to be contributed by the grantee
organization should also be detailed.  Grantees are expected to be
familiar with and comply with applicable cost policies.


The funds available for this announcement are $700,000. It is
anticipated that one award of up to $350,000, will be granted in each
of these disciplines; selection for funding will be made after
competitive peer review.


The applicant should provide a plan for the proposed MRFP, including
the following components:

Program Plan

The applicant should describe the program plan for an MRFP in
Sociology or an MRFP in Social Work, including the overall goals,
specific objectives, and number of trainees to be supported.  The
plan should clearly indicate how the program will recruit, select,
and place minority students in appropriate doctoral level programs
with strong mental health research and how it will anticipate and
deal with potential problems which may be encountered in program
implementation.  The plan should also indicate how the applicant will
provide ongoing monitoring and career counseling to help ensure that
MRFP fellows complete their doctoral training; special emphasis
should be given to how the training will prepare them for careers in
mental health research.  Finally, the plan should indicate how the
program will establish networks and linkages with other mental health

The plan should provide documentation of the specific research
training needs to be addressed by the program. Additionally, it
should make clear how the program will assure that the number of
minority persons trained in mental health areas will be increased.

For example, the application should contain descriptions of how the
applicant proposes to implement the following kinds of activities:

o  Recruitment, selection, and training of fellows in the program;
counseling of potential applicants to assist them in selection of
training institutions with active mental health research programs

The applicant must clearly indicate the criteria to be used in the
selection of MRFP fellows and should include a draft announcement and
application forms which would be used to recruit and select
individual MRFP fellows.  The recruitment plan should also include
consideration of the best ways to recruit promising students from
undergraduate programs, such as the Honors Undergraduate Minority
Access to Research Careers (MARC) Programs and other programs
encouraging minority students to enter research careers

o  Tracking and monitoring of the trainee's research training

o  Continuing contact, support, and supervision to be provided to
individual fellows by the training program director

o  Kinds of evaluation and reports expected from the fellows and from
their faculty mentors and department; availability of special faculty
mentors and communication with them

o  Enrichment experiences, professional socialization, and networks
beyond those provided in the training setting

o  Summer training or research workshops to meet special needs of the
trainees in mental health research, e.g., course work in research
methods/statistical analysis prior to or during doctoral study,
workshops on current research on mental disorders among racial and
ethnic groups, social support systems, behavioral genetics,
personality, family processes, cognition, perception, diagnostic,
treatment, and outcome issues, the validity and reliability of
assessment and diagnostic tests for minority populations

o  Procedures built into the program to ensure that MRFP
dissertations have strong mental health relevance and to facilitate
the completion of high quality dissertations.

o  Evidence that the principles of ethical scientific conduct will be
incorporated in the research training experience of each trainee

o  Discussions of methods to be used to facilitate the subsequent
transition to research careers, once training is completed

The application also should include a plan for evaluating the
program, including followup of trainees supported.  Finally, the
application must provide assurance that the MRFP award will increase
the number of minority persons trained to conduct research and will
not be used to substitute for existing Federal funding for research

Program Leadership

The program director of the applicant organization will be
responsible, with the assistance of a MRFP Advisory Committee, for
the recruitment and selection of minority trainees, and for their
placement in doctoral training programs which have strong research
and research training in mental health; for the provision of needed
fiscal and other support during their doctoral training; and for the
overall administration of the research training program, including
informing trainees of the payback obligations, seeing that required
forms are completed and submitted on time, and that addresses of
trainees are maintained for three years after individual support

He/she will assist the prospective fellows in the selection of
training institutions with strong mental health research programs and
provide counseling on research curricula offerings which will assure
that fellows carry out research in mental health with the primary
objective of extending their skills and knowledge in preparation for
a research career.  The amount of time to be devoted by the MRFP
Program Director to various tasks must be indicated, as well as the
total amount of time committed solely to implementing the MRFP
program.  The applicant should describe the MRFP Director's
qualifications, mental health research experience, and knowledge of
current mental health research.  The curriculum vita of the Training
Program Director must be included in the appendix.

Human Subjects and Vertebrate Animals Requirements

While the MRFP applicant will not itself provide research training,
the applicant organization must retain overall responsibility for
compliance with all applicable regulations and must assure that all
organizations that do provide the training have complied with the
following Human Subjects and Vertebrate Animals regulations:

HUMAN SUBJECTS:  The DHHS regulations for the protection of human
subjects, 45 CFR 46, Protection of Human Subjects, are available from
the Office for Protection from Research Risks, National Institutes of
Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.

An organization proposing research training of a student funded by
this MRFP which involving nonexempt human subjects in research must
file an Assurance of Compliance with the Office for Protection from
Research Risks (OPRR).  As part of this Assurance, which commits the
organization to comply with the DHHS regulations, the organization
must appoint an Institution Review Board (IRB) which is required to
review and approve all nonexempt research activities involving human

VERTEBRATE ANIMALS:  The PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of
Laboratory Animals by Awardee Institutions requires that grantee
organizations and/or the organizations where the MRFP trainees will
receive their training establish and maintain appropriate policies
and procedures to ensure the humane care and use of live vertebrate
animals involved in research, research training, and biological
testing activities which are supported by the PHS.  All institutions
are required to comply, as applicable, with the Animal Welfare Act as
amended (7 USC 2131 et sec.), and other Federal statutes and
regulations relating to the care and use of laboratory animals.
These documents are available from the Office for Protection from
Research Risks, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland


Applicants must use and follow the instructions for the Institutional
NRSA Section of the form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91).  Item 2a on the face
page of the application should read:  "RFA MH-93-009 NIMH MRFP in
Sociology" or "RFA MH-93-009 NIMH MRFP in Social Work." Applications
must be complete, providing all information called for by the

Applicants should not assume that site visits will be made.  Site
visits are generally made only in those instances where information
cannot be provided in the application or readily obtained by mail or
telephone. All decisions regarding site visits will be made by
Institute review staff.

Completed application forms (original and five copies) must be
submitted to:

Division of Research Grants
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

The Division of Research Grants is the central receipt point for
applications to all Public Health Service (PHS) programs.
Applications are assigned on the basis of established PHS referral

Administrative Structure:  The applicant must describe the
administrative structure of the program, indicating the distribution
of responsibilities and the relationship of the MRFP to the overall
program of the sponsoring organization.  Other sources of fiscal or
in-kind support for the program from the sponsoring organization
should also be described.

Advisory Committee:  The applicant must present a plan for
establishing a MRFP Advisory Committee of outstanding mental health
researchers, which includes substantial minority representation, to
assist the program director in the recruitment and selection of
fellows and to advise students concerning appropriate doctoral
programs with strong mental health research.  The functions, size,
and composition of the advisory committee should be clearly stated.
The applicant should describe the range and types of mental health
research to be represented, the qualifications and selection criteria
for members of the proposed MRFP Advisory Committee, explain the
duties and responsibilities of this committee, the criteria to be
used in selecting fellows for the research training program, and the
MRFP Advisory Committee's role in the overall program.

The application should also contain a list of proposed committee
members who are active mental health researchers and provide the
rationale for their selection, including a description of their
current mental health research, its source and amount of funding.  A
Biographical Sketch and Other Support Form (Pages 6 & 7) must be
included for each.

Knowledge of Doctoral Programs in Mental Health: Applicants should
indicate how they have or will acquire, maintain, and make use of
important information about appropriate university programs for
fellows supported by the award.  Such information must include
information about current faculty mental health research and mental
health research-related curricula.  A list of potential training
institutions with current information on NIMH, or other, funded
mental health research projects is required.  Applicants must provide
detailed information about appropriate programs, and must include a
description of resources and processes they have for obtaining
up-to-date information and for sharing this information with
potential fellows.  The mechanisms that have been or will be
established to work with prospective fellows to help them in
selecting graduate programs with strong mental health research must
be fully described.

Program Faculty:  The applicant must list proposed training faculty
members, his/her primary department and university affiliation, role
and percent of effort in the proposed program.  The applicant must
also describe each faculty member's research that is relevant to the
program, indicating how trainees will participate in this research.
Describe the extent to which participating faculty members
cooperated, interacted, and collaborated in the past.  The applicant
must also list past and current students for whom the faculty member
has served or is serving as thesis advisor or sponsor, titles of the
student's research project, and for past students, their current
positions/sources of support, and include a Biographical Sketch and
Other Support Form (Pages 6 & 7) for each current or proposed faculty

Responsible Conduct of Research: The applicant must describe plans to
provide trainees with instruction on scientific integrity and ethical
principles in research, and include a description of both formal
(courses, seminars, etc.) and informal training that will be

Progress Reports (Competing Continuation Applications Only): General
directions are on pages 5 and 6 of the application kit.  A
Biographical Sketch and Other Support Form (Pages 6 and 7) must be
provided for each mentor.

Competing continuation applications must submit a progress report
covering the development of the program to date and must submit
complete information on the placement and career development
performance of all trainees who were supported by the previous award.
A table should be provided listing each trainee, the period of time
supported, their minority status, the department and university
attended, their current educational status, date doctoral degree was
awarded, dissertation title, areas of mental health research, their
current employment, any funded research (title, source and amount of
funding), and publications.  The name, department, and funded mental
health research (title, source, and amount of funding) of each
trainee's major advisor should also be provided.

For the program as a whole, an overall summary should be provided of:
(a) minorities recruited, (b) placement in departments with strong
mental health research, (c) rates of retention and attrition, (d)
rates of completion of the doctorate, (e) publications, and (f) the
total number of trainees engaged in mental health teaching and
research.  A "success rate" should be calculated by dividing the
total number of trainees appointed (minus those still in training)
into the total number actively engaged in mental health teaching and
research.  The progress report should also detail the actual
expenditures of the most recent complete grant year for program
director, secretarial personnel, travel, advisory committee,
telephone, postage, stipends, tuition, trainee travel, etc.

Application Receipt and Review Schedule

Receipt          Initial Review     Council         Earliest
Date             Group Meeting      Meeting         Start Date

July 21, 1993    Oct/Nov 1993       Jan/Feb 1994    July 1, 1994

Applications received after July 21, 1993 will not be reviewed and
will be returned to the applicant.


Training grant applications are reviewed for scientific and
educational merit by NIMH initial review groups comprised primarily
of nongovernment scientists and are also subject to the review and
recommendations of the National Advisory Mental Health Council.
Major considerations in the review are the breadth, depth, and
quality of the plan for implementing the MRFP; qualifications,
capability, and experience of the program director and the
organization to implement the plan; qualifications of the MRFP
Advisory Committee; plans for recruiting, selecting, and placing
trainees in appropriate graduate departments and programs; and
adequacy of the facilities and resources.  Detailed review criteria
are listed below:

Program Plan:

o  Adequacy, strength, and creativity of the plan to recruit minority
students nationally, including written and personal contact with
potential applicants

o  Establishment of an appropriate MRFP Advisory Committee to select
and advise students concerning doctoral study in sociology or social
work emphasizing mental health research, including selection criteria
for the committee members

o  Establishment of a plan to develop and refine appropriate criteria
for selection of minority students, including the development and
testing of innovative ways to recruit and select successful students

o  Demonstrated knowledge of doctoral level training programs in
sociology and social work that emphasize mental health research which
can be used to provide meaningful advice to students concerning the
choice of graduate programs with strong mental health research, and a
plan for the dissemination of this information to student applicants
for MRFP award

o  Development of a plan to appropriately place students in doctoral
programs with strong mental health research programs

o  Methods for monitoring student progress, including early
identification and remedy of student problems

o  Effectiveness of plans to provide continuing contact, support, and
supervision to individual trainees by the MRFP Training Program
Director, including both the methods for doing so and the frequency
of contact, as well as the adequacy of the amount of time to be
devoted to individual trainee support and supervision by the MRFP

o  Adequacy of plans to facilitate dissertation research in mental
health, to provide support for dissertation expenses, and to assure
the completion of excellent dissertations in mental health

o  Provision of enrichment experiences, professional socialization,
and networks beyond those in the local setting

o  Methods of monitoring and reporting on the quality of the training
provided by doctoral programs, including research involvement, mental
health emphases, and ethical conduct in scientific investigation

o  Adequacy of plans for evaluating the MRFP, including methods for
assessing the success of the program in increasing the number of
minority students seeking research careers in Sociology or Social

Program Leadership and Personnel

o  Qualifications and experience of the program director

o  Appropriateness, experience, and areas of substantive mental
health research of the MRFP Advisory Committee

o  Appropriate qualifications and experience of other staff for
implementing the program

o  Appropriateness of the MRFP Program Director's time devoted to
specific tasks and to the total program; a minimum of 25 percent of
the MRFP Program Director's time must be committed to implementing
the program

Program Faculty

o  Adequacy and strength of the faculty's mental health research (as
indicated by the source and amount of funding) that can provide a
strong context for research training

o  Quality and appropriateness of the plans for trainee participation
in ongoing faculty mental health research

o  Quality of training faculty (as evidenced, for example, by
publication record, scientific accomplishments, experience in
providing research training, and success in placing former trainees
in research positions)

o  Quality of mentoring as indicated by the faculty training record
in mental health research


o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget

Facilities and Resources

o  Availability of needed facilities and resources

o  Extent of institutional or organizational support, including
assurances that the participating training sites will comply with the
required regulations

Specific Criteria for Competing Continuation Applications

o  Effectiveness of the existing program as indicated by the progress
report on the development of the program and the past record of: (a)
minority recruitment, (b) placement in departments with strong mental
health research, (c) rates of retention in graduate work, (d) rates
of completion of doctorates, and (e) subsequent careers in mental
health teaching and research of the fellows.


An application will be selected for funding primarily on the basis of
scientific merit review results, ability to meet program priorities
and balance, and the availability of funds.

Applicants will receive a copy of the summary statement of the review
of their application and will be notified of final action on the
application by letter.


Applications are encouraged to contact NIMH staff for information
before applying for an award.  The information and application kits
are available from:

Dr. Kenneth G. Lutterman
Division of Epidemiology and Services Research
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-C-05
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3373

For further information on grants management issues, applicants may

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-15
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3065


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.282.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as
amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered
under PHS grants and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part
74.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372.


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