Full Text NR-92-04


NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 15, April 17, 1992

RFA:  NR-92-04

P.T. 34

  Biology, Behavioral 
  Instrumentation, Biological 
  Biology, Molecular 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Center for Nursing Research

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  June 1, 1992
Application Receipt Date:  August 24, 1992


The Small Grants Program of the National Center for Nursing Research
(NCNR) provides limited support for meritorious research to develop and
test innovative biological techniques for solving nursing problems and
answering nursing clinical questions.  The goal of this Request for
Applications (RFA) is to facilitate incorporation of innovative
biological techniques into nursing research for the purpose of
answering clinical questions critical to nursing practice.


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,
Small Grants Program for Nursing and Biology Interface, is related to
the priority area of physical activity, nutrition, and chronic
disabling conditions.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of
"Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) 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 202-783-3238)


The research proposed must utilize state-of-the-science
bioinstrumentation or biotechnology and be an integral part of a major
on-going program of research by a nurse scientist that is or has been
sponsored by NIH or other extramural funds.  the ongoing research must
address a clinical issue relevant to the advancement of the practice of
nursing.  The applicant Principal Investigator (PI) must have a Ph.D.,
or the equivalent, and a R.N. license.  If the applicant PI is not
actively involved in a biological science laboratory, collaboration
with a biological scientist is required.  The applicant PI and/or
collaborators on the proposed research must have formal, or the
equivalent of, postdoctoral experience in biological or biobehavioral
science.  The purpose of these requirements is to increase the numbers
of mid-career and senior nurse researchers using state-of-the-science
biological technology to answer clinical nursing questions.

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, laboratories, units of State or local governments, and
eligible agencies of the Federal government.  Applications from women
and minority individuals are encouraged.


This RFA will use the National Institute of Health (NIH) Small Grants
(R03) Program mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction,
and execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the
applicant.  Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy as
stated in the Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement (October 1,
1990).  The NCNR may reissue this RFA in fiscal year 1993.


It is estimated that $250,000 will be committed to fund applications
submitted in response to this RFA.  It is expected that five
applications will be funded.  This funding level is dependent on the
receipt of a sufficient number of applications of high scientific merit
and the availability of funds.  The project period may be up to two
years.  Each grant is limited to $50,000 in total project costs.  The
Small Grants Program is a non-renewable award.



An important focus of nursing research in the improvement of patient
care is the interaction of biological factors associated with acute and
chronic illness, health promotion, and disease prevention.  This Small
Grants Program is designed to assist in the integration of advanced
biological instrumentation into nursing research and clinical practice.

Recognizing the rapid changes that are taking place in the biomedical
sciences and the effect these changes will have on nursing research and
practice, the biological content of NCNR's portfolio was analyzed.  A
Nursing Biological Task Force recommended strategies to integrate
nursing research with state-of-the-art biological science.  These
recommendations were approved by the National Advisory Council for
Nursing Research (NACNR).  A long-range plan for implementing the Task
Force's recommendations includes research, career development and
training initiatives to increase the interface of biological sciences
with nursing research as a basis for clinical practice.  The first step
of this plan was to increase opportunities for research training and
career development in the biological sciences (PA:  PA-92-35, Training
& Development:  Nursing and Biology Interface).  The second step of
this plan targets research initiatives and its purpose is three-fold:
(1) to facilitate the use of innovative biological technology in
nursing research; (2) to link the biological underpinnings of nursing
research and clinical practice in specified areas of biomedical
clinical research; and (3) to interweave nursing research and
behavioral research with new areas of biomolecular medicine, such as
structural and molecular biology, genetics, and immunology.

Targeted Aims

This RFA has two distinct aims:

1.  To stimulate nurse investigators to explore innovative,
state-of-the-science research using biological technology, when the
successful outcome of such research would rapidly advance the following
nursing research areas:  studies linking basic biological sciences with
(1) nursing clinical questions and (2) nursing studies having a
biological focus.

2.  To facilitate use of state-of-the-science biological techniques by
nurse researchers.  The validation of nursing practice by the
application of biological science into nursing research requires
investigators to have the ability to use new techniques of structural
and molecular biology, genetics, biophysics, and immunology.  This
program will facilitate translation of basic scientific technology into
a basis for future measurements in nursing research.

Example of Appropriate Biotechnology and Research Topics

The following is an illustrative and non-exhaustive listing of
biotechnology and topics appropriate to the objectives of this

Biotechnology:  recombinant DNA, gene mapping and/or sequencing, signal
transduction, crystallographic analysis, peptide/protein modeling and
molecular dynamics simulation, in vitro or in vivo nuclear magnetic
resonance spectroscopy or imaging, positron emission tomography,
isotopic scanning, monoclonal antibodies, high pressure liquid/gas
chromatography, and spectrophotometry.


o  A nurse scientist whose research is interventions to treat pain
might be interested in measuring gene expression in the dorsal root
ganglia, in which the amount of messenger RNA changes after tissue and
nerve injury.

o  A nurse scientist whose research is interventions to treat and
prevent lead poisoning in school age children might be interested in
identifying blood cell markers as an immunological component of the
health assessment in this population.  The biotechnology might include
biological and biochemical cellular markers to identify lead poisoning.

o  A nurse scientist whose basic science research involves identifying
homeostatic mechanisms for regulating calcium ion concentration in
cardiac cells might choose to study the control of ionic flux in the
degeneration of cell function.

o  A nurse scientist whose clinical research is symptom management of
complications arising from type II diabetes and obesity might be
interested in the biochemical characterization of insulin resistance
seen in these disorders.  Working with a molecular biologist in the
laboratory, the purpose of the R03 application might be to study an
aspect of insulin function at the molecular level.

o  A nurse scientist whose clinical research is the quality of life
after organ transplantation might be interested in evaluating
immunologic indices of patient outcomes after bone marrow transplants.
Collaborating with an immunologist in the laboratory, the purpose of
the R03 application might be to study monoclonal antibodies produced by
hybridomas in bone marrow transplants.

Methodological Issues

A wide spectrum of research designs and analyses are acceptable under
this solicitation.  In preparing the application, the nurse
investigator must develop specific hypotheses or research questions
that apply biotechnology to clinical nursing research questions.


NIH and ADAMHA policy is that applicants for NIH/ADAMHA clinical
research grants and cooperative agreements are required to include
minorities and women in study populations so that research findings can
be of benefit to all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or
condition under study;  special emphasis should be placed on the need
for inclusion of minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders
and conditions which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is
intended to apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or
minorities are excluded or inadequately represented in clinical
research, particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear
compelling rationale should be provided.

The composition of the proposed study population must be described in
terms of gender and racial/ethnic group.  In addition, gender and
racial/ethnic issues must be addressed in developing a research design
and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of the study.
This information must be included in the form PHS 398 in Section 2, 1-4
of the Research Plan AND summarized in Section 5, Human Subjects.
Applicants/offerors are urged to assess carefully the feasibility of
including the broadest possible representation of minority groups.
However, NIH recognizes that it may not be feasible or appropriate in
all research projects to include representation of the full array of
United States racial/ethnic minority populations (i.e., Native
Americans [including American Indians or Alaskan Natives],
Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics).

The rationale for studies on single minority population groups should
be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research is defined as human
biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology, prevention
(and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of disease,
disorders or conditions, including but not limited to clinical trials.

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research or clinical studies in which human tissues
cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,
every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and
racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of
the study broadly, and this should be addressed by applicants.

If the required information is not contained within the application,
the application will be returned.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in
the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of
women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the
scientific question(s) addressed AND the justification for the selected
study population is inadequate, it will be considered a scientific
weakness or deficiency in the study design and reflected in assigning
the priority score to the application.

All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required to
address these policies.  NIH funding components will not award grants
or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these policies.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit by June 1, 1992, a letter of
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, the
name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the
identities of other key personnel and participating institutions, and
the number and title of the RFA in response to which the application is
being submitted.

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does
not enter into the review of subsequent applications, the information
that it contains is helpful in planning for the review of applications.
It allows NCNR staff to estimate the potential review workload and to
avoid conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Ethel B. Jackson, D.D.S.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Center for Nursing Research
Building 31, Room 5B19
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-0472
FAX:  (301) 480-4969


The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional business offices and from the Office of Grants Inquiries,
Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, 5333
Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone 301/496-7441.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be affixed
to the bottom of the face page 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 title and number must be typed on line 2a of the face page of
the application form and the YES box must be marked.

The following supplemental instructions are given:  (1) Background and
Significance:  The applicant must be explicit in describing the
interface of the chosen biological technique with clinical nursing
research questions.  (2) Progress Report/Preliminary Studies:  Since
this award mechanism intends to fund innovative technology, preliminary
data are not required.  (3) The entire application is limited to 15
pages.  (4) Do not submit an Appendix.

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

National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

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

Ethel B. Jackson, D.D.S.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Center for Nursing Research
Building 31, Room 5B19
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20892

Applications must be received by August 24, 1992.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant.  The
Division of Research Grants (DRG) 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 DRG 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.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by NCNR staff for
completeness and responsiveness.  Incomplete applications will be
returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications may be triaged by an NCNR peer review group on the basis
of relative competitiveness.  The NIH will withdraw from further
competition those applications judged to be non-competitive for award
and notify the applicant Principal Investigator and institutional
official.  Those applications judged to be competitive will undergo
further scientific merit review.  Those applications that are complete
and responsive will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated
below for scientific/technical merit by an appropriate peer review
group convened by the NCNR.  The second level of review will be
provided by the NCNR advisory council.

Review criteria for RFAs are generally the same as those for
unsolicited research grant applications.

o  scientific and technical significance and originality of proposed

o  appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research;

o  qualifications and research experience of the Principal Investigator
and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the area of the
proposed research;

o  availability of resources necessary to perform the research;

o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research.

o  the potential impact of the biological technique on nursing research
and its ability to strengthen a subsequent R01 application.


The anticipated date of award is March 1993.

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applictions assigned to that ICD.  The following will be considered in
making funding decisions:

o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer reivew
o  Availability of funds
o  Program balance among research areas of the announcement


Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged and
should be directed to the following individual.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic and scientific issues to:

Hilary D. Sigmon, Ph.D., R.N.
Nurse/Health Scientist Administrator
Acute and Chronic Illness Branch
National Center for Nursing Research
Westwood Building, Room 754
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-0523

Direct inquiries regarding budgetary and administrative matters to:

Sally A. Nichols
Grants Management Officer
National Center for Nursing Research
Westwood Building, Room 748
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-0237


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
No. 93.336, Nursing Research.  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 52 and 45 CFR
Part 74.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.


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