MENTAL HEALTH MINORITY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM - NURSING

NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 39, December 5, 1997

RFA:  MH-98-001

P.T.

National Institute of Mental Health

Letters of Intent Receipt Date:  January 13, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  February 13, 1998

PURPOSE

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

This Request for Applications (RFA) for a Minority Research Fellowship Program
in Mental Health Nursing invites applications designed to support the development
and training of under represented minority individuals in doctoral programs in
mental health nursing to enable them to undertake active, productive research
careers in mental health and mental disorders.  The outcome of successful
fellowship training should include mastery of research skills, commitment to
future research activity, and promise of future achievement in research endeavors
in the mental health field.  Areas of research interest to NIMH are indicated in
the NIMH Extramural Research Support Programs announcement (rev. 6/94) (NIMH
FAX4U 301-443-5158 or http://www.nimh.nih.gov).

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas.  This RFA, "Mental Health Minority Research
Fellowship Program - Nursing," 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 Summary Report: Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
20402-9325 (telephone 202/512-1800).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic, non-profit, public or private
organizations, such as universities, colleges, and professional and scientific
organizations and associations.  Universities and consortia are encouraged to
apply.  Foreign institutions and organizations are not eligible for Institutional
National Research Service Awards (NRSAs).  Applications from international
organizations must pertain only to the organization's domestic component(s). 
Applicants must have staff and facilities suitable for implementing a national
program to recruit, select, place, and maintain under represented minority
students in doctoral programs with high quality mental health research training
and with strong research programs.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women,
and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as MRFP Training Program
Directors.

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 for permanent residence at the time of appointment to
the MRFP. Noncitizen nationals are persons born in lands which are not States but
are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration (e.g., American
Samoa).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.  For this
RFA, minority trainees are defined as individuals from racial or ethnic groups
determined by the grantee institution to be under represented in biomedical or
behavioral research.

Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree (domestic or
equivalent foreign) from an accredited institution, must be enrolled in a
research doctoral degree program in  psychiatric mental health nursing as of the
date of appointment to the MRFP, but need not be in a doctoral program when
applying for a traineeship.  These National Research Service Award (NRSA)
fellowships are not given for study leading to an M.D., D.O., D.D.S., or other
similar professional degree, or for study that 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 in nursing who
intends to pursue a research career, even if that period of training may be
credited toward a specialty board certification.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
proposed training program will be solely that of the applicant.  The total
project period for an application submitted in response to this RFA may not
exceed five years.  The anticipated award date is July 1, 1998.

Because the nature and scope of the research training program proposed in
response to this RFA may vary, the size of an award may vary also.  This award
will be limited to $350,000 direct costs per year.

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Applications may be submitted for either
a new or competing continuation award, and are renewable.  All applications will
be reviewed according to the customary peer review procedures.

By law, an individual trainee may receive no more than five years of NRSA 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.

Because MRFP awards have special eligibility requirements, application formats,
and review criteria, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the
program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Funds requested under this mechanism are limited to $350,000 per year in direct
costs.  Indirect costs are payable at the rate of eight percent of modified total
direct costs.  In fiscal year 1998, pending the availability of funds, it is
expected that $350,000 will be available for support of one Minority Research
Fellowship Program in Mental Health Nursing.  Selection for funding will be made
after competitive peer review.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The applicant must provide a plan for the proposed MRFP. Considerable flexibility
may be shown in designing options for the MRFP, but each aspect must be clearly
described in terms of its intent and mechanism, and convincing justification must
be provided for the approach being taken.  The following components must be
included:

Program Plan

The applicant must describe a program plan for an MRFP in Mental Health Nursing,
including the overall goals, specific objectives, and number of trainees to be
supported.  The plan should clearly show how the program will recruit, select,
counsel and place under represented minority students in appropriate doctoral
level programs strong in mental health research, and how it will anticipate and
deal with potential problems which may be encountered in program implementation.
The plan should also show how the applicant will provide ongoing monitoring,
career counseling and other support to help ensure that MRFP fellows complete
their doctoral training and enter productive research careers in areas relevant
to mental health.  The plan should identify those institutions with a track
record in training mental health/psychiatric nurse researchers where fellows will
be placed.  The plan must include a sample agreement between the grantee
institution and the participating training sites.  Finally, the plan should
indicate how the program will establish networks and linkages with other mental
health researchers.  Special emphasis should be given to how the training will
prepare fellows for careers in mental health research.

The plan should provide documentation of the specific research training needs to
be addressed by the program, and make clear how it will ensure that the number
of under represented minority nurses conducting research in mental health areas
will be increased.  Considerable latitude is allowed to applicants to consider
the best strategy for an MRFP.  While innovation is encouraged, the applicant
must describe how the proposed design will lead to the overall goal of providing
an increased number of minority researchers who are actively engaged in research
careers in mental health nursing.

For example, the application must contain descriptions of how the applicant
proposes to carry out the following kinds of activities:

o  Recruitment, selection, placing and training of fellows in the program;
counseling to 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
training institutions and should include a draft announcement and application
forms which would be used to recruit and select individual MRFP fellows. 
Recruitment plans should also include consideration of the best ways to recruit
promising students from undergraduate programs, such as the NIMH Career
Opportunities in Research Education and Training (COR) Program  and other
programs encouraging minority students to enter research careers.  Individuals
already enrolled in a doctoral program may not benefit from the counseling
provided by this program.

o  Tracking and monitoring of each trainee's research training progress

o  Continuing contact, support, and supervision to be provided to individual
fellows by the Program Director

o  Kinds of evaluation and reports expected from the fellows and from their
faculty mentors and graduate 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 or short term training or research workshops to meet special needs of
the trainees in mental health research (e.g., course work in research
methods/statistical analysis before 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).  Any
expenses associated with such attendance must be included in the budget for this
proposed program.

o  Evaluate the potential of institutions to provide research training

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. Support of dissertation expenses may be requested if there is a
clear plan for reviewing dissertation proposals.

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 ease the subsequent transition to
research careers, once training is completed

The application also should include a plan for evaluating the program, including
follow-up of trainees.  Finally, the application must provide assurance that the
MRFP award will not be used to substitute for existing Federal funding for
research training.

Program Leadership

The Program Director of the applicant organization will be responsible, with the
assistance of an MRFP Advisory Committee, for the recruitment and selection of
under represented minority trainees, and for their placement in appropriate
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 seeing that required forms are completed and submitted on
time, and that addresses of trainees are maintained for three years after
individual support terminates.

The Program Director will assist the prospective fellows in the selection of
training institutions 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 Program Director must have sufficient research
qualifications and experience to provide genuine leadership.  The applicant
should describe the Program Director's qualifications, mental health research
experience, and knowledge of current mental health research, as well as his/her
duties in the MRFP, and should include his/her curriculum vitae in the appendix.

Time to be devoted by the Program Director to various tasks must be indicated,
and the total amount of time committed solely to carrying out the MRFP program.
A minimum of 25 percent of the Program Director's time must be committed to
implementing the program.

Administrative Structure

The applicant must describe the administrative structure of the program, showing
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 an MRFP Advisory Committee of
outstanding mental health researchers in mental health nursing, 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 (Form Pages six
and seven) must be included for each.

Knowledge of Doctoral Programs in Mental Health

Applicants should indicate how they have or will get, maintain, and use
information about appropriate university programs for fellows supported by the
award.  Applicants should provide detailed information about appropriate
programs.  Such information must include details about current faculty mental
health research, mental health research-related curricula, and other elements of
the training programs and resources available to students at these universities. 
A list of potential training institutions with current information on their NIMH,
or other, funded mental health research projects is required.  Applicants must
also describe resources and processes they have for obtaining up-to-date
information and for sharing this information with potential fellows, including
full descriptions of 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.

Program Faculty

The applicant must list proposed training faculty members, their primary
department and university affiliation, and their 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.  The extent to which participating faculty members
cooperated, interacted, and collaborated in the past must be described.  The
applicant must also list past and current students for whom each 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.  Each trainee must have a faculty advisor who is actively engaged in
mental health research.  A Biographical Sketch and information about relevant
research support should be included for each current or proposed faculty member.

Responsible Conduct of Research

The applicant must describe plans to give trainees 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 provided.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Payback Requirements

Pursuant to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act of 1993,
individuals who receive support as NRSA predoctoral fellows under awards
activated on or after June 10, 1993, do not incur a service payback obligation.

Conditions of Award

All trainees appointed to an MRFP Award must meet MRFP eligibility requirements. 
The applicant organization must submit to NIMH a completed Statement of
Appointment form (PHS 2271), which includes a Statement of Non-Delinquency on
Federal Debt, at the time a trainee is appointed.  No funds may be provided to
a trainee until this document is submitted.  At the end of the total support
period for each individual trainee, the applicant must submit a Termination
Notice (PHS 416-7) to NIMH.  Failure to submit the required forms in a timely
fashion may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay in continuation
funding.

All fellowship appointments awarded under the MRFP are made for full-time
research training.  Full-time training is considered to be a minimum of 40 hours
per week. Appointees 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
documented approval.

An MRFP appointment 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 appointee may, however, accept
concurrent educational remuneration from the Department of Veterans Affairs and
loans from Federal funds.

Trainees in academic institutions may receive the same vacations and holidays
available to other full-time graduate students at their institution. The leave
policy for NRSA recipients was described in the NIH Guide Vol. 22, No. 38,
October 22, 1993 and in the updated NRSA Guidelines dated June 20, 1997.

Annual Stipends

The annual stipend for predoctoral individuals at all levels is $11,496 for 12
months of training.  The stipend is intended to help provide for the minority
trainee's living expenses during 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.  This additional support may be provided to the trainee
without obligation by the sponsoring institution or may be conditioned on his or
her performance of certain services such as teaching or serving as a laboratory
assistant.  Trainees may earn salaries or wages for services rendered under PHS
grants, provided such employment is unrelated to the training experience and done
on a limited, part-time basis (in excess of the 40-hour weekly minimum for the
training program).  Such compensation is not considered stipend supplementation.
Under no circumstances, however, may the service requirements detract from or
prolong the training.

Taxability of Stipends

Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment of all
scholarships and fellowships.  Under that section, degree candidates may exclude
from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for tuition and related
expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of
instruction at a qualified educational organization.

The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the relationship between
NRSA trainees and institutions.  NRSA stipends are not considered salaries.  In
addition, trainees supported under the NRSA are not considered to be in an
employer-employee relationship with the NIH or the institution at which they are
pursuing research training.

It must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of the tax laws
are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts.  PHS takes
no position on what the status may be for a particular taxpayer, and it does not
have the authority to dispense advice to trainees or institutions about their tax
liability.  Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the
applicability of the law to their situation and for information on their tax
obligations.

Other Allowable Costs

In addition to stipends, the applicant organization may request funds for
tuition, fees, and self-only health insurance.  Such costs will be provided
according to the policy published in the NIH Guide, Vol. 25, No. 2, February 2,
1996.  Applicants may also request funds for certain types of travel for trainees
(e.g., to attend professional meetings and other meetings directly related to
their training).  The award will cover actual indirect costs or eight percent of
allowable direct costs (whichever is less).  Applications from State and local
government agencies may request full indirect cost reimbursement.

The applicant organization may also request funds for other related costs such
as 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 for such "other related costs" are intended to provide the
applicant with only partial support for the costs of the proposed research
training and for meeting the costs of trainee research.  Ordinarily, under
National Research Service awards, up to $1,500 per predoctoral trainee is
provided for the other related costs which are deemed essential to carry out the
training program.  However, the applicant may request funds exceeding this amount
if they are essential for fulfilling the purposes of the grant and the need for
additional funds is clearly documented and justified by the applicant.  Such
requests will be considered by the peer review committee and the National
Advisory Mental Health Council.

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).  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.

Progress Reports (Competing Continuation Applications Only)

General directions are on pages V-6 and V-7 of the form PHS 398 application kit. 
A Biographical Sketch and Other Support form (Form Pages six and seven) must be
provided for each faculty member/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 time
supported, the trainee's minority status, the department and university attended,
the trainee's current educational status, date doctoral degree was awarded,
dissertation title, areas of mental health research, 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.

Human Subjects and Vertebrate Animals Requirements

While the MRFP applicant may or may not itself provide research training, the
applicant organization must retain overall responsibility for compliance with all
applicable regulations and must assure that all organizations which 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
provide a systematic means, based on established internationally recognized
ethical principles, to safeguard the rights and welfare of individuals who
participate as subjects in research activities supported or conducted by the
DHHS.  The regulations require that the grantee organization and/or the
organizations where the MRFP trainees will receive their training establish and
maintain appropriate policies and procedures for the protection of human
subjects. These regulations, 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 to provide research training to a student funded by
this MRFP must file with the Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR),
and OPRR must approve, an Assurance of Compliance if the research training
program includes nonexempt research involving human subjects.  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 subjects.

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 20892.

An organization proposing to provide research training involving vertebrate
animals to the student funded by this MRFP must file with the Office for
Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), and OPRR must approve, an Animal Welfare
Assurance.  As part of this Assurance, which commits the organization to comply
with the PHS policy, the organization must appoint an Institutional Animal Care
and Use Committee (IACUC) which, among other responsibilities, is required to
review and approve all research activities involving vertebrate animals.

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
subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and behavioral
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling
rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with
respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new
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
"NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994
(FR 59 14508-14513), and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No.
11, March 18, 1994.  Investigators may also obtain copies of the policy from the
program staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional
relevant information concerning the policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by  January 13, 1998, a letter of
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed training program, the
name, address, and telephone number of the Program Director, 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 staff to estimate the potential review workload, avoid conflict of
interest in the review, and offer consultation and technical assistance with
respect to the proposed plan.  The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Mitnick
at the address listed under INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used in applying
for these grants.  These forms are available at  most institutional offices of
sponsored research and from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information
Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910,
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910; telephone (301) 435-0714; fax (301) 480-0525; Email:
ASKNIH@OD.NIH.GOV.

Applicants must use and follow the instructions for the Institutional NRSA
section of the form PHS 398. Applications must be complete, providing all
information called for by the instructions.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) application form must be
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the original copy of the application. 
Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application
such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition,
the RFA number and title ("RFA MH-98-001" and "Mental Health Minority Research
Fellowship Program-Nursing") must be typed in section 2 of the face page of the
application form and the YES box must be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, and three signed photocopies, in one package to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW (formerly Division of Research Grants)
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:

Henry J. Haigler, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9-C-18
Rockville, MD  20857

Applications must be received by February 13, 1998.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. 
The Center for Scientific Research (CSR), the central receipt point for
applications to all PHS programs, 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 previously
reviewed, but such applications must include the introduction required in PHS
398.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and for
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,
technical, and educational merit by an appropriate peer review group, convened
by the 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 applications under review, will be
discussed and assigned a priority score.  Application will also receive a second
level review by the National Advisory Mental Health Council.

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 an award
notice and/or by a letter.

Review Criteria

Major considerations in the review are the breadth, depth, and quality of the
plan for carrying out 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, feasibility, and creativity of the plan to recruit
underrepresented minority students nationally, including written and personal
contact with potential applicants

o  Establishment of an appropriate MRFP Advisory Committee, with current mental
health research grants, to select and advise students concerning doctoral study
in mental health nursing 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 underrepresented 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 mental health
nursing emphasizing mental health research which can be used to provide
meaningful advice to students concerning the  choice of graduate programs with
strong mental health research, matching the trainee's needs with institutional
strengths, and a plan for the dissemination of this information to student
applicants for MRFP award

o  Development of plans to place students only in doctoral programs with strong
mental health research programs appropriately, including currently funded mental
health research grants

o  Development of a plan to evaluate the mental health research training capacity
of the institution to be considered

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

o  Development of a plan to recruit and select graduate programs for this effort

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

o  Adequacy of plans to facilitate dissertation research in mental health, to
provide support for dissertation expenses, and to ensure 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 underrepresented minority
students seeking research careers in Mental Health Nursing

Program Leadership and Personnel

o  Qualifications and experience of the Program Director in mental health
research mentoring and administration

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

o  Appropriate qualifications and experience of other applicant organization
staff or faculty for carrying out the program

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

Program Faculty--Applicant Institution

o  Adequacy and strength of the faculty's mental health research and teaching (as
indicated, for example, by peer reviewed research publications and amount of
research 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 and students' accomplishments

Budget

o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget

o  Contribution of the organization or others to the program in kind or in funds

Facilities and Resources

o  Availability of and access to facilities and resources needed to implement the
plan

o  Extent of institutional or organizational support for the program, including
assurances that the participating training sites will comply with the required
regulations and program policies/requirements

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 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.

AWARD CRITERIA

An application will be selected for funding primarily based on scientific merit
as determined by peer review, programmatic priorities and balance, and the
availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  Applicants are strongly encouraged
to contact NIMH staff for technical assistance and information concerning current
program priorities before applying for an award.  The opportunity to clarify any
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues and address the letter of intent
to:

Leonard Mitnick, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 18-105
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-6100
FAX:  (301) 443-9719
Email:  LMITNICK@NIH.GOV

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-08
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  Diana_Trunnell@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

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 policies and Federal Regulations 42
CFR 66 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental
review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.
Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy as stated in the Public
Health Service Grants Policy Statement (April 1, 1994).

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the nonuse 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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