RESEARCH ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERVENTIONS FOR YOUTH VIOLENCE

Release Date:  January 19, 2000

RFA:  OD-00-005

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Mental Health

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  March 1,  2000
Application Receipt Date:       April 14, 2000

THIS RFA USES THE "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS. IT INCLUDES 
DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED 
WHEN PREPARING APPLICATIONS IN RESPONSE TO THIS RFA

PURPOSE

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) request applications for research 
aimed at the development of behavioral interventions for youth violence.  The 
purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to encourage innovative 
research for youth violence prevention, treatment, service delivery and 
maintenance of behavior change.  This RFA solicits exploratory/developmental 
research (R21) grant applications exploring the translation of ideas from 
basic behavioral and social science into novel interventions for children and 
youth demonstrating or at risk for violent behavior.

This three-year grant program seeks applications from interested investigators 
to conduct timely, innovative, developmental, or methodological behavioral 
research, pilot projects, or feasibility studies that support creative, novel 
youth violence intervention research. These studies may include process 
evaluation and model testing,  methodology development and validation, and 
piloting of an intervention prior to large scale testing. The objective is to 
encourage necessary initial development to provide a basis for important 
future youth violence intervention research.  Investigators who wish to adapt 
new methods or techniques established in other fields to study scientific 
avenues in youth violence intervention research are encouraged to apply.  Also 
encouraged are collaborations between investigators of risk factors for youth 
violence and behavioral interventionists from related fields.

This RFA is not intended for large scale undertakings, nor to support or 
supplement ongoing research. Instead, investigators are encouraged to explore 
the feasibility of an innovative research question or approach which is based 
on knowledge gained from studies of risk, etiology and basic behavioral 
processes, and to develop a research basis for a subsequent application 
through other NIH programs.  At the end of each project=s official award 
period, a competitive renewal application that apples the findings of these 
grants to a full scale intervention study may be submitted for peer review and 
competition for support through the regular grant programs of the 
participating agencies. 

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 Request for Applications (RFA) is 
related to several priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain AHealthy 
People 2000 at http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000.

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, or 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 research (R21) award mechanism.  The R21 mechanism 
supports exploratory, preliminary, or innovative research projects, with sound 
methodology and strong rationales, that provide a basis for future expanded 
research project applications.  Also of interest are feasibility studies 
testing methods or techniques new to youth violence intervention research.   
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicants.  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 applications will 
compete with all investigator-initiated applications and be reviewed according 
to customary peer review procedures.  Funds may not be used to establish, add 
a component to, or operate a treatment, rehabilitation, or 
prevention/intervention service program.  Support for research-related 
treatment, rehabilitation, or prevention services and programs may be 
requested only for costs required by the research.  These activities must be 
justified in terms of research objectives, methods, and designs that promise 
to yield generalizable knowledge and/or significant contributions to 
theoretical concepts.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR 
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts being examined by the NIH. 
Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grant 
applications can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The OBSSR and co-sponsoring institutes intend to commit approximately $3 
million in total costs (direct plus Facilities and Administrative) in FY 2000 
to fund 10 to 12 new grants 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 
$200,000 per year.  Because the nature and scope of the research proposed in 
response to this RFA will vary, it is anticipated that the size and length of 
the awards will vary as well.  However, in order to facilitate financial 
planning of the NIH, applicants are strongly encouraged to develop budgets 
with the same number of modules in each year of the award. That is, it is 
highly desirable to have Aflat@ or Aeven@ budgeting across the years of 
support. Deviations from even budgeting should be well justified. Although the 
financial plans of the OBSSR and participating 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 high 
scientific and technical merit.  Administrative adjustments in project period 
or amount of support may be required at the time of the award.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Interpersonal violence has become endemic to our society and constitutes a 
major public health problem for all Americans, with consequences that include 
severe psychological and social dysfunction as well as injury and death.  
Moreover, children and adolescents appear to be disproportionately at greater 
risk than others for violence perpetration and/or victimization.  Although 
some progress has been made, still too little is known about ways to 
effectively prevent the occurrence and reoccurrence of this violence.  For 
purposes of this RFA, an intervention may be broadly defined as any action 
that assists in changing the behavior of an individual or group of individuals 
(e.g., dyad, family, neighborhood, school, community, or policymakers).  
Intervention studies may focus on the prevention, treatment, management of, or 
service provision for, youth violence.  All of these kinds of intervention 
studies are costly and difficult to undertake, involving as they do a myriad 
of practical, legal, ethical, and methodological constraints. The NIH believes 
that special encouragement is needed for the preparation and development of 
such studies. This RFA is intended to assist investigators by supporting pilot 
studies, methodology development, model tests and other efforts that will 
permit the translation of basic behavioral and social research findings into 
new intervention approaches.   

Background

Youth violence is a nationally recognized public health problem.  The homicide 
rate for young males, aged 15-34, in the United States is the highest of any 
industrialized country, roughly 20 times higher than homicide rates in most 
other nations.  Nonfatal intentional injuries resulting from interpersonal 
violence, which outnumber homicides by a ratio of more than 100 to 1, are also 
disproportionately high for young people, males, African-Americans, and other 
minority populations.

In order to reduce the overall level of youth violence, it now seems necessary 
to interrupt, at an early stage, the behavioral trajectories that can lead to 
serious youth violence, to direct efforts at specific risk and protective 
factors, and to target the developmental sequences leading to the 
establishment of stable patterns of violent behavior.  Needed are intervention 
programs that focus on children and youth at risk because of the interplay of 
developmental, biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors 
related to violence.  Also needed are interventions that disrupt the stability 
of violent behavior in many individuals, through appropriately timed 
strategies. 

Youth violence has been recognized as a serious public health problem for some 
time.  However, the Littleton Colorado school tragedy and similar events have 
recently served to elevate research on youth violence intervention to a high 
priority for the U.S. Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, 
and the public at large.  In response to this heightened concern, the NIH 
Director, Dr. Harold Varmus, convened an October 1999 meeting of the  trans-
NIH Expert Panel on Youth Violence Intervention Research.  This panel was 
organized by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Office of 
Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the National Institute of 
Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Drug 
Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 
and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The Panel members were 
chosen on the basis of their expertise in conducting pre-intervention, 
efficacy, and effectiveness studies, as well their expertise in various levels 
of analysis, ranging across individual, family, peer, school, neighborhood, 
community, and policy levels.   Recognizing that there have been several 
recent conferences, working groups, and reports reviewing the last 40 years of 
research related to this topic, the NIH charged the Expert Panel with the 
following tasks: 1) to examine the many research recommendations that already 
have been made; 2) to determine which are most pressing at this time in light 
of prior and current research; and 3) to discuss research needs focusing on 
interventions to reduce youth violence.

Recommendations from many reports were reviewed by the Expert Panel as a part 
of their deliberations.  Based on their review of past recommendations, their 
knowledge of the research field,  and a review of the current NIH youth 
violence research portfolio, the expert panel developed a series of 
recommendations to advance the state-of-the- science for youth violence 
research.   Noting that fully two-thirds of the current NIH youth violence 
research portfolio is etiological and risk factor research, the Panel called 
for more studies of youth violence interventions.  Included in these 
recommendations was strong encouragement for the support of preliminary work 
to develop interventions prior to large scale testing. 

This RFA was written to address this subset of recommendations. Coordinated 
under the auspices of the NIH Youth Violence Research Consortium, the RFA is a 
joint effort of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, the 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of 
Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and 
the National Institute of Mental Health.  This RFA is in line with NIH=s 
overall mission to promote the nation=s health, by increasing the scope of 
research on prevention, treatment, and services for youth violence.

Research Goals and Topics

The objective of this RFA is to encourage the development and initial pilot 
testing of new intervention approaches based on knowledge gained from 
etiological and risk factor studies of youth violence and/or research 
paradigms from other areas of social and behavioral science.   Of particular 
interest is research that integrates theories, research findings, and 
paradigms from basic behavioral and social sciences into research aimed at the 
development of new behavioral interventions, or the modification of existing 
interventions designed for other purposes, to address youth violence and 
related problem behaviors. 
  
While this work is intended to be exploratory, applications should be focused 
and should present a scientific rationale leading to testable hypotheses.  The 
significance, importance, or potential impact of the proposed research should 
be clearly described, including a discussion of the implications for going to 
scale with findings from the project. The procedures, data analyses, and the 
expected conclusions should also be well described. 

It is expected that these grants will serve as a basis for planning future 
intervention research project grant applications.  Because these grants are 
expected to be exploratory and innovative, preliminary data as evidence of 
feasibility are NOT required.  However, the applicant does have the 
responsibility for developing a sound research plan with a strong theoretical 
or empirical basis.  Originality of the approach and potential significance of 
the proposed research are major considerations in the evaluation, as are 
measurement rigor and specificity of relationships among factors. 

Studies responsive to this RFA may focus on interventions related to:  the 
adult caretaker and/or child or youth at risk for or demonstrating aggression 
and/or violent behavior; the dynamics of the relationship between caretaker 
and child; the family system in which violence emerges; the interpersonal 
dynamics between victim and perpetrator; and the larger social contexts of 
violence, such as individual or family support systems, peer networks, 
socioeconomic factors, neighborhood, school, and community programs and 
resources (e.g., neighborhood cohesion and/or crime watch, school violence 
prevention programs, and health care providers and health care delivery 
systems), mandated community response agencies (e.g., the police or protective 
service agencies), prosecution and judicial responses that address violent 
behavior among youth, and public policies that influence or are affected by 
any of the above.  Multi-disciplinary approaches and collaborations among 
investigators (e.g., between investigators of risk factors for youth violence 
and behavioral interventionists from related fields) are encouraged.  Also 
encouraged are studies that examine and/or integrate different levels of 
intervention (e.g., family and school), and studies examining both proximal 
(e.g., parental supervision) and distal (e.g., community policing) processes.

Developmental/exploratory studies may include, but are not limited to :

o  Intervention Development Studies

Exploratory studies are needed that contribute to the development of 
techniques for prevention, treatment, service delivery, and maintenance of 
positive change.  For example,  a large body of research on correlates, 
predictors, and risk exists for youth conduct problems, violence, and related 
antisocial behaviors.  However, only a few of these factors have been selected 
as targets for preventive intervention. Similarly, factors targeted for one 
domain of anti-social behavior (e.g., risky sexual behavior, or substance use) 
may not have included study of effects in other domains (e.g., violence).   
Intervention development studies are needed that target specific factors and 
test hypothesized mediational models  of the impact of the intervention on a 
range of  antisocial behaviors. In addition, studies are needed that target 
larger units of intervention beyond the individual, including those aimed at 
families with young children, schools, police, peer groups and gangs, social 
networks,  pediatricians, social services, neighborhoods, communities, and 
policymakers.   A treatment study might examine the effects of non-residential 
parental involvement or the influence of deviant peers, on the success of 
treating children and youth at different stages of development and/or 
involvement with violence.  
Exploratory studies of service delivery may examine novel or innovative 
program development, such as new approaches to family support, mentoring, 
respite care, etc.   An exploratory maintenance study could include the 
development of a model for long-term, community monitoring and/or management 
of youthful offenders at high risk for reoffending.   Important in all of 
these efforts are study designs and statistical analyses that extend beyond 
individual levels of analysis to examine multiple levels of intervention 
impact.  Understanding the success or failure of these interventions  will 
depend on the ability to study the mechanisms of intervention at multiple 
levels of analysis, such as individual, family, peer, community, and 
neighborhood.  In general, interventions should be based on findings from 
youth violence risk factor research, as well as from studies on topics such as 
motivation, decision-making, group formation and social networks, emotion 
regulation, family, peer, and group processes, and social norms.

o  Pilot Tests

Investigators may propose pilot studies that test the feasibility of 
conducting larger-scale evaluations of promising strategies. Pilot tests may 
focus on evaluations of procedures for obtaining and maintaining community 
cooperation, training and supervising staff, insuring implementation fidelity, 
recruiting and retaining a representative sample of the target population, 
recruiting staff representative of and rooted in the community (including 
youth), monitoring sample participation over time, refining intervention 
strategies and manuals, employing youths as collaborators in the early stages 
of measurement and intervention design, or involving communities in all phases 
of the research process.   

o  Studies Tailoring Interventions to Specific Populations

Different populations may respond differently to the same intervention.  
Needed are studies that lead to the development of strategies for tailoring 
interventions to different high risk or understudied  groups of aggressive 
children or youth and their caretakers (e.g., girls; gang members; victims of 
violence intent upon retribution; culturally/ethnically/geographically diverse 
samples; poor or young mothers; youth with co-occurring problems of substance 
abuse, sequelae of sexual or physical abuse, developmental delays, physical 
disabilities, or exposure to family or community violence).  These studies 
could be designed to  determine similarities and differences within and across 
groups, and their implications for intervention or instrument development.  
Also of interest are studies that use qualitative and ethnographic methods in 
combination with quantitative methods to understand the complexities of the 
sample and to develop contextually-relevant interventions.

The above list is illustrative rather than comprehensive. It is expected that 
additional relevant and important research topics will be identified by 
investigators responding to this RFA.  Therefore, applicants are strongly 
encouraged to discuss their ideas with the NIH program staff identified under 
INQUIRIES below.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

It is anticipated that a successful grant application will address the 
following considerations: 

Annual Meetings

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 grants.  Requests for funds to 
support attendance at these meetings, to be held in the Washington DC area, 
should be included as a part of the budget proposal.

Publication of Study Findings

All publications ensuing from these grants should acknowledge the joint 
support of the agencies participating in this RFA, by citing the ANIH Youth 
Violence Research Consortium" as the funding source. 

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 
ANIH 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 available on the Internet at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html. 

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

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 policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the 
previous policies (Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and 
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations) which have been 
in effect since 1990.  The new policy contains some new provisions that are 
substantially different from the 1990 policies.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research," published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 
14508-14513), in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11, 
March 18, 1994, and available on the Internet at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a 
descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, institution, and e-mail 
address of the Principal Investigator, the identities of other key personnel 
and participating institutions, and the number and title of this RFA.  
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 NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid 
conflict of interest in the review. 

The letter of intent is to be sent by March 1, 2000 to:

Susan D. Solomon, Ph.D.
NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 8C-16
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301/496-0979  
Fax: 301/480-8905  
Email: ssolomon@nih.gov

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in 
applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.  Applications 
kits 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, E-mail: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. Applications are also 
available on the World Wide Web at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html.  

Application Instructions

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 Institute 
staff.  

Applications submitted in response to this RFA will request direct costs in 
$25,000 modules, up to a total direct cost request of $200,000 per year. The 
total direct costs must be requested in accordance with the program guidelines 
and the modifications made to the standard PHS 398 application instructions 
described below:

o  FACE PAGE:  Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs 
(in $25,000 increments up to a maximum of $200,000) and Total Costs [Modular 
Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] for the initial 
budget period.   Items 8a and 8b should be completed indicating the Direct and 
Total Costs for the entire proposed period of support.

o  DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD:  Do not complete Form Page 4 
of the PHS 398. It is not required and will not be accepted with the 
application.

o  BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT:  Do not complete the 
categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application. 

o  NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION:  Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page.(See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for sample 
pages.)  At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs requested for 
each year. This is not a Form page.

Under Personnel, list key project personnel, including their names, percent of 
effort, and roles on the project. No individual salary information should be 
provided. However, the applicant should use the NIH appropriation language 
salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student compensation in developing 
the budget request.

For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of total costs (direct 
plus facilities and administrative) for each year, each rounded to the nearest 
$1,000. List the individuals/organizations with whom consortium or contractual 
arrangements have been made, the percent effort of key personnel, and the role 
on the project. Indicate whether the collaborating institution is foreign or 
domestic. The total cost for a consortium/contractual arrangement is included 
in the overall requested modular direct cost amount. Include the Letter of 
Intent to establish a consortium.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to request the same number of modules for 
each year of funding. Provide an additional narrative budget justification for 
any variation in the number of modules requested.

o  BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:  The Biographical Sketch provides information used by 
reviewers in the assessment of each individual's qualifications for a specific 
role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall 
qualifications of the research team. A biographical sketch is required for all 
key personnel, following the instructions below. No more than three pages may 
be used for each person. A sample biographical sketch may be viewed at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

-  Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;
-  List position(s) and any honors;
-  Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on 
research projects ongoing or completed during the last three years.
-  List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations;

o  CHECKLIST:  This page should be completed and submitted with the 
application. If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the type 
of agreement and the date. All appropriate exclusions must be applied in the 
calculation of the F&A costs for the initial budget period and all future 
budget years.  

The applicant should provide the name and phone number of the individual to 
contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if additional information 
is necessary following the initial review. 

Submission Instructions

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 and must display the 
RFA number OD-00-005.  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.  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,  Research on The Development of Interventions For Youth Violence,@ and 
number, OD-00-005, must be typed on Line 2 of the face page of the application 
form and the YES box must be marked.

Submit a signed, original of the application, including the Checklist, and 
four signed photocopies of the application 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, send one additional copy of the application to:

Susan D. Solomon, Ph.D.
NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 8C-16
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301/496-0979  
Fax: 301/480-8905  
Email: ssolomon@nih.gov

It is important to send this copy at the same time that the original and four 
copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR).

Applications must be received by April 14, 2000.  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 previously reviewed, but such applications must 
include an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR, and for 
responsiveness by the NIH program 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 
CSR 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, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the 
National Advisory Council of the relevant NIH institute.

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.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

(1)  Significance:  Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive 
this field? What is the potential that this project will lead to development 
of a full-scale intervention?

(2)  Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?  In the context of an exploratory study, a strong 
rationale and conceptual framework are normally sufficient for establishing 
the feasibility of the project, in lieu of extensive preliminary data. 

(3)  Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or 
method?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4)  Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience 
level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

(5)  Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional 
support?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

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

o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research.
 
o  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project 
proposed in the application.

SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: March 1, 2000
Application Receipt Date: April 14, 2000
Initial Review: July-August 2000
Advisory Council Review:  September, 2000
Earliest Anticipated Award Date: September, 2000

AWARD CRITERIA

Funding decisions will made by the sponsoring organizations, based on 
scientific and technical merit as determined by peer review, program 
priorities, content area balance, policy and practice relevance, and the 
availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome. Program staff of the 
NIH are available for consultation concerning application development before 
or during the process of preparing an application.  Potential applicants 
should contact program staff as early as possible for information and 
assistance in initiating the application process and developing an 
application.  

General inquiries (e-mail preferred) regarding process may be directed to: 

Susan D. Solomon, Ph.D.
NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 8C-16
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301/496-0979  
Fax: 301/480-8905  
Email: ssolomon@nih.gov

Substantive inquiries (e-mail preferred) regarding content, design, and 
application development, including whether a particular research topic falls 
within the scope of the RFA, may be directed to: 

Farris Tuma,  Sc.D.
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd. Rm. 6200, MSC 6197
Bethesda, MD  20892-9617
Phone: (301) 443-5944
Fax:  (301) 480-4415
Email: ftuma@nih.gov

Margaret Feerick, Ph.D.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Blvd., Rm. 4B05, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Phone: 301-435-6882
Fax: 301-480-7773
Email: feerickm@mail.nih.gov

Lynda Erinoff, Ph.D.
Community Research Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd
Room 5153  MSC 9589
Bethesda, MD 20892-9589
Phone:  301-402-1972
Fax:  301-480-4544
Email: LERINOFF@NIDA.NIH.GOV

Susan Martin, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 
Suite 505 Willco Bldg. 
6000 Executive Blvd. Rockville MD 20892 
Phone:  301-443-8767 
Fax:      301-443-8774 
E-mail:  smartin@willco.niaaa.nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Linda Hilley 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Blvd. (suite 504)
Rockville, MD 20892 
Phone:  301-443-4704  
Fax:  301-443-3891 
Email: lhilley@willco.niaaa.nih.gov 

E. Douglas Shawver
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Blvd., Rm. 8A07, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Phone: 301-496-1303
Fax: 301-402-0915
Email: ds117g@nih.gov

Jack R. Manischewitz, PhD
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd, Room 3131, MSC 9541
Bethesda, MD 20892-9541
Phone: 301-443-6710
Fax: 301-443-6847
Email:  jm198m@nih.gov

Diana S. Trunnell
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD  20892-9605
Phone: (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, 
Numbers 93.273 (NIAAA), 93.865 (NICHD), 93.279 (NIDA), and 93.242 (NIMH).   
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 NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 
52 and 45 CFR 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 and contract 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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and Human Services (HHS)
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