IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL RESEARCH AGENDA

Release Date:  April 22, 1998

RFA: OH-98-044

P.T.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. NIH
National Institute on Aging, NIH

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  May 1, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  June 23, 1998

PURPOSE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes
of Health (NIH) announced a Request for Applications (RFA), Announcement 98044,
in the Federal Register on March 17, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 51, Page 13051-
13057).  The RFA is for research related to some of the priority areas identified
in the National Occupational Research Agenda (see Funding Priorities below). 
Three types of grants will be supported:  traditional research projects,
demonstration projects, and pilot studies.

The purpose of this RFA in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts is to broaden
awareness of the Federal Register Announcement 98044.

This RFA is jointly sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) in CDC and the National Institute of Arthritis and
Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences (NIEHS), and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
in NIH.  The portion of this initiative dealing with older workers is also of
interest to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in NIH.

The purpose of this grant program is to develop knowledge that can be used in
preventing occupational diseases and injuries and to better understand their
underlying pathophysiology.  Thus, the following types of applied research
projects will be supported: Causal research to identify and investigate the
relationships between hazardous working conditions and associated occupational
disease and injury; the nature and magnitude of special risk factors experienced
by older and/or minority workers; methods research to develop more sensitive
means of evaluating hazards at work sites; and evaluations of the effectiveness
of prevention and intervention programs, including new approaches or combinations
of techniques such as control technologies, personal protective equipment and
changes in work organization factors, which have been developed and implemented
in workplaces.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

CDC and NIH are committed to achieving the health promotion and disease
prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a national activity to reduce
morbidity and mortality and improve the quality of life.  This RFA is related to
the priority areas of occupational safety and health and unintentional injuries. 
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

Eligible applicants include domestic and foreign non-profit and for-profit
organizations, universities, colleges, research institutions, and other public
and private organizations, including State and local governments.  Applications
from small, minority and/or woman-owned businesses are encouraged.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The types of grants supported under this RFA are as follow:

Research Project Grants (R01).  A research project grant application should be
designed to establish, discover, develop, elucidate, or confirm information
relating to occupational safety and health, including innovative methods,
techniques, and approaches for addressing problems.  These studies may generate
information that is readily available to solve problems or contribute to a better
understanding of the causes of work-related diseases and injuries.

Demonstration Project Grants (R18).  A demonstration project grant application
should address the technical or economic feasibility of implementing a
new/improved innovative procedure, method, technique, or system for preventing
occupational safety or health problems.  The project should be conducted in an
actual workplace where a baseline measure of the problem will be defined, the
new/improved approach will be implemented, a follow-up measure of the problem
will be documented, and an evaluation of the benefits will be conducted.

Pilot Study Grants (R03).  A pilot study is a preliminary evaluation for the
purpose of developing the foundation for a future, more comprehensive study. 
Thus, a pilot study might test feasibility, collect initial data, refine
methodology, or evaluate critical factors that would influence the ability to
conduct a larger study.  An application should contain a clear description of how
the pilot study could form the basis for preparing a research proposal that would
be submitted for competitive review, in the future, if the results of the pilot
study are promising.  The application should include only the following sections
of the PHS 398 application form: face page (in item 2, place "NORA Pilot Study"),
abstract, budget, key person biosketches, aims, background, study plan, and human
or animal subject matters.  There is a 15 page limit for the aims, background,
and study plan, not including references.  The budget for an entire pilot study
is limited to $50,000 in direct costs for a period of up to two years.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Approximately $8 million is available in fiscal year (FY) 1998 to fund
approximately 45-50 grants.  The approximate amounts that are expected to be
available by each Institute are: NIOSH - $5 million, NIAMS - $1 million, NIEHS -
$1 million, NHLBI - $1 million.

Target amounts for the NORA priority areas are as follows:
1. Occupational irritant contact dermatitis (approximately $1M).
2. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, traumatic injuries, indoor
environment, and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
(approximately $3M).
3. Special populations at risk - nature and magnitude of the special risk factors
experienced by older and/or minority workers (approximately $1M).
4. Social and economic consequences of workplace illness and injury and health
services research (approximately $1M).
5. Intervention effectiveness research - the evaluation of existing or new
interventions for work-related musculoskeletal disorders, traumatic injuries,
asthma and COPD and other occupational risks via changes in work organization
factors, through the implementation of control technology or other worker
protection techniques (approximately $2M).

Awards are anticipated to range up to $250,000 in total costs (direct and
indirect) per year for traditional research and demonstration projects, and up
to $50,000 in direct costs for pilot studies.

Only applications that are found to be of high scientific merit will be
considered for funding and not all of the funds will be spent if there are not
enough highly meritorious applications.

The amount of funding available may vary and is subject to availability of funds. 
Awards are expected to begin in September  1998, although some awards may not
begin until FY 99.  Awards will be made for a 12-month budget period within a
project period not to exceed 3 years for traditional research and demonstration
projects, and 2 years for pilot studies.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act "to assure so far
as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working
conditions."  In the years since then, substantial progress has been made in
improving worker protection.  Much of this progress has been based on actions
guided by occupational safety and health research.  However, workplace hazards
continue to inflict a tremendous toll in both human and economic costs. 
Employers reported 6.3 million work injuries and 515,000 cases of occupational
illnesses in 1994.  In 1995, occupational injuries alone cost $119 billion in
lost wages and lost productivity, administrative expenses, health care, and other
costs.  This figure does not include the costs of occupational diseases. 
Research is needed to advance the scientific base of knowledge necessary to
define optimal strategies for ensuring the safety and health of all workers.

In 1996, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and its
partners in the public and private sectors developed the National Occupational
Research Agenda (NORA) to provide a framework to guide occupational safety and
health research into the next decadeþ-not only for NIOSH, but also for the entire
occupational safety and health community.  The Agenda identifies 21 research
priorities and reflects consideration of both current and emerging needs.  The
priority areas are not ranked because each is considered to be of equal
importance.  Because the funding resources available for this special
announcement are limited, both internal and external partners have recommended
that only a subset of the priority areas be targeted as initial areas of emphasis
in order to have a meaningful impact in any area.  It is expected that, in future
years, the remaining NORA priorities will receive similar, much-deserved
attention.

FUNDING PRIORITIES

The research needs identified in this RFA are consistent with the NORA developed
by NIOSH and partners in the public and private sectors to provide a framework
to guide occupational safety and health research in the next decade towards
topics which are most pressing and most likely to yield gains to the worker and
the nation.  The Agenda identifies 21 research priorities.  The NORA document is
available through the NIOSH Home Page at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.html.

Potential applicants with questions concerning the acceptability of their
proposed work are strongly encouraged to contact the program staff listed under
INQUIRIES.

Applications responding to this RFA will be reviewed by staff for their
responsiveness to the following program interests and their potential for
developing knowledge that can be used in preventing occupational diseases and
injuries.

Targeted NORA Priority Areas for this RFA are as follows:

1.  Occupational Irritant Contact Dermatitis.  This RFA targets a part of the
NORA priority area, Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis.  In 1993, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics (BLS) data estimated an incidence of 76 cases of occupational
skin disorders (OSDs) per 100,000 U.S. workers, making OSDs the most common non-
trauma-related occupational disease affecting workers in many different
occupations.  Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) is the most common form of
dermatitis, usually resulting from reactions to chemical irritants such as
solvents and cutting fluids.  The goal of the Healthy People 2000 is to reduce
OSDs to an incidence of not more than 55 per 100,000.  To aid in achieving this
national health objective, further research in ICD is needed.

Research applications are sought in the following areas: (1) methods for
identifying irritants prior to introduction into the workplace; (2)
pathophysiology of ICD; (3) the genetic basis of susceptibility; (4) the
influence of environmental factors on ICD; (5) the relationship of ICD to
allergic contact dermatitis; (6) methods to identify skin changes that precede
overt clinical disease; (7) risk factors for initiation and/or chronicity of ICD;
(8) methods for measuring skin exposure and skin deposition; (9) methods for
assessing percutaneous penetration and evaluating skin barrier function; (10)
intervention design and evaluation; (11) enhanced membrane/film development for
skin protection; (12) improved procedures for testing chemical protective
clothing (CPC) field performance; and, (13) the effectiveness of CPC and/or
barrier creams.  The ultimate goal is the primary, secondary, and tertiary
prevention of ICD.

2a.  Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders.  Thirty-two percent of the injuries
and illnesses recorded in the BLS survey in 1994 involved musculoskeletal (MS)
injuries or disorders and resulted from over-exertion or repetitive motion.  In
the United States (U.S.), back disorders account for 27 percent of all nonfatal
occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work. 
Musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities (such as carpal tunnel
syndrome and rotator cuff tendinitis) due to work factors are common and occur
in nearly all sectors of the economy.  More than $2 billion in workersþ
compensation costs are spent annually on these work-related problems.

Research applications are sought in the following areas: (1) development and
validation of models of nonspecific or specific musculoskeletal disorders which
predict biomechanical, biochemical or structural changes in soft tissues
resulting from repetitive exposure to physical loads.  (An example of this type
of research would be to develop an animal model for investigating the effects of
repetitive use of tendons, ligaments, and synovium); (2) age and gender
differences in the biochemistry and/or biomechanical responses of musculoskeletal
soft tissues to injury and repair; (3) development and validation of
exposure-assessment methods directed toward existing prevention activities in the
private sector, State or local government agencies and for future epidemiologic
studies of work-related musculoskeletal disorders; (4) epidemiological studies
to determine exposure-response (injury/disorder) relationships between
work-related musculoskeletal disorders and physical exposures as well as work
organization factors.  These studies should include both work and non-work
exposure and modifying factors; (5) evaluation of existing or new interventions
directed at either primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention of common
work-related musculoskeletal disorders.  (Projects directed at secondary or
tertiary prevention should focus on reducing lost work time and preventing future
injuries or disorders, or their recurrence); and, (6) evaluation of the
effectiveness and outcomes of preventive, diagnostic and medical treatments
(includes non-operative, operative, rehabilitative and alternative medicine
treatments) for work injuries and illnesses of the musculoskeletal system.

2b.  Traumatic Injuries.  Injury exacts a huge toll in U.S. workplaces.  On an
average day, 16 workers are killed and more than 17,000 are injured.  The leading
causes of occupational injury fatalities over the period 1980 to 1992 were motor
vehicles, machines, homicides, falls, electrocutions, and falling objects.  The
leading causes of the nonfatal injuries were overexertion, contact with objects
or equipment, and falls.

Relatively good information is available on the overall burden of work injuries
including the industries and occupations where they occur most frequently and
with greatest severity.  The challenge is to move beyond this broad understanding
to specific strategies that address the complex interplay between machines,
tools, and behavioral and environmental factors that cause injuries at a
worksite.  Research applications are sought which will:  (1) conduct etiological
research into risk factors or contributors to occupational injuries; (2) advance
knowledge of the interactions between human performance/human limitations and
workplace, machine and equipment design to remove the possibility of unsafe
actions; (3) develop models and simulations for the safe design, operation and
maintenance of workplaces and equipment; (4) develop cost/benefit analysis models
of various prevention strategies; and, (5) develop simple cost-effective injury
prevention models and guidelines for application by safety and health
practitioners in the field.

2c.  Indoor Environment.  Traditionally, indoor nonindustrial occupational
environments have been considered clean and relatively free of exposures to
substances which pose a health hazard.  In the last 20 years, however, reports
of symptoms and other health complaints related to these indoor environments have
been increasing.  More than half of the U.S. workforce is employed indoors, and
estimates of the proportion of indoor workers affected by these problems range
up to 30 percent.  Among the requests received annually by NIOSH for occupational
health investigations, the proportion related to indoor nonindustrial
environments has increased dramatically, from 2 percent in 1980  to 40 percent
in recent years.

Research applications are sought in the following areas: (1) causes or prevention
of health effects from indoor work environments, including the transmission of
communicable respiratory diseases, asthma or other allergic diseases, or  acute
symptoms from unknown causes or multiple chemical sensitivities.  (Strategies of
particular interest include intervention designs to evaluate the  effectiveness
of environmental controls or of following current practice standards for building
operation and improving relevant exposure (microbiological or chemical)
assessments); (2) creating practical tools to help the building sector create
healthier indoor environments, such as new or improved measurement tools for
exposure assessment, and scientifically-validated guidelines to help assure
healthy indoor environments (e.g., for design, operation, and maintenance
actions, or through building performance); and (3) estimating health and other
social and economic consequences (such as health care costs, absenteeism, and
productivity losses) resulting from adverse effects of indoor environments, as
well as potential benefits of improved indoor environments.

2d.  Asthma and Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease.  Asthma and Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are leading respiratory diseases in the U.S.
and major causes of morbidity and mortality.  Although both diseases have
nonoccupational causes, workplace exposures also contribute to their development,
persistence, and exacerbation.  More research is needed to guide efforts to
prevent and reduce the occupational contribution to these diseases.

Research applications are sought in the following areas: (1) estimation of the
proportions of COPD and/or asthma in the adult general population that are
attributable to occupational causes, including industry- and agent-specific
attributable fractions; (2) risk factors for developing asthma or COPD in
response to occupational agents, which might include attention to exposure-
response relationships, novel means of characterizing exposure or exposure
kinetics, host factors, modifying factors (such as smoking or impaired lung
function), and conditions necessary for occupational asthma to completely
resolve; (3) methods for identifying substances that may cause asthma prior to
their introduction into the workplace; (4) application of methodological
approaches to assessing the burden of occupational asthma/COPD with attention to
healthy worker effect; (5) mechanisms and pathophysiology of asthma or COPD
caused by occupational exposures; and (6) approaches useful for effective
screening and surveillance of worker populations at risk for airways diseases
caused by occupational exposure.

3.  Special Populations at Risk.  Occupational hazards are known to be
distributed differentially, and workers with specific biologic, social and/or
economic characteristics are more likely to have increased risks of work-related
diseases and injuries.  This announcement targets a subset--older workers and
racial ethnic minorities--of the special populations included in the NORA
priority area.  The relative proportions of these special populations within the
workforce is increasing.  It is estimated that, by the year 2000, approximately
39 percent of the projected U.S. population of 275 million will be a member of
a minority population (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African
American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Hispanic or Latino.) 
The median age of the U.S. workforce is rising as a result of the aging of the
"baby boom" generation, an increasing percentage of older workers remaining in
the workforce, as well as an increasing number of older workers reentering the
workforce after retirement.  As a result, between 1992 and 2005, the number of
workers aged 55 and older is projected to increase by 38 percent.

Research applications are sought in the following areas: (1) the nature and
magnitude of risks to minority and older workers, including the social and
biologic factors (e.g., biochemical susceptibility) that may influence a workerþs
risk for injury or disease; (2) the incidence and mechanisms of diseases and
injuries in minority and older worker populations; (3) the interdependence
between work organizations and individuals and the consequences of adapting work
(flex-place, flex-time, job sharing, retraining, reengineering, etc.) to the
needs and capacities of these special populations; and, (4) the characteristics
of the work/workplace that facilitate or impede the productivity of older workers
and the ability of older workers to stay in the workforce.

4a.  Social and Economic Consequences of Workplace Illness and Injury. 
Occupational injuries and illnesses remain a leading cause of morbidity,
mortality, and economic loss in the United States.  The annual costs to employers
for workersþ compensation increased from $2.1 billion in 1960 to $60 billion by
1992.  In addition to the direct costs such as those for health care, employers
also incur numerous indirect costs including those for additional hiring and
training and disruption of work processes.  Other costs are borne by injured
workers and their families through reduced income, depletion of savings and
increased expenditures and by the community through increased use of social
services and cost shifting between health and social service agencies. Leigh, et
al. (Leigh, J.P. et al., Occupational Injury and Illnesses in the United States,
Arch. Intern. Med., 157, 1557-68, 1997) estimated that, for 1992, the total
direct and indirect costs associated with occupational injuries and diseases were
$171 billion annually, but noted that these estimates were likely to be low in
part due to the lack of data for a number of the associated indirect costs.

Research applications are sought in the following areas: (1) measures of total
economic costs (direct and indirect) and non-economic costs borne by injured
workers and their families, by employers; and by non-occupational community,
State and local government services; and (2) evaluation of the economic benefit
of interventions (e.g., ergonomic work system and task redesign) including
occupational health service interventions, and assessment of their contribution
to the cost of work-related illness and injury at both the service system level
(e.g., managed care in compensation services) and service component level (e.g.,
cost-effectiveness of different clinical treatments for back pain).

4b.  Health Services Research.  Despite the large burden and cost of work-related
morbidity and mortality, relatively little is known about the structure and
functioning of occupational health services.  Occupational health services (OHS)
research includes evaluation of both service components and delivery systems,
including distribution and coverage, access, appropriateness, acceptability,
utilization, equity, quality, organization, policy and planning, management,
financing, productivity, effectiveness and efficiency, and impacts on health
needs, health status and occupational hazards.

Research applications are sought in the following areas:
(1) descriptions of the state, the distribution of types, and the prevailing
trends in the provision of OHS for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation
of work-related illness and injury, and the interactions of OHS with other parts
of the health care system; (2) evaluation, in terms of health and vocational
outcomes (e.g., return to work), of different occupational health services and
systems (e.g., managed care versus fee-for-service compensation services), and
service interventions (e.g., different treatments for back pain); and (3)
evaluation of the effectiveness (through clinical trials, observational research,
and clinical trials) of the effectiveness and efficiency of clinical therapeutic
interventions and rehabilitation modalities for occupational diseases and
injuries.

5.  Intervention Effectiveness Research.  Many workplace prevention and
intervention programs have been developed and implemented in workplaces, yet few
have undergone systematic evaluation to determine their impact on health and
safety outcomes.  Evaluations of the effectiveness of intervention efforts can
provide crucial guidance and corrective feedback for current and future
occupational health and safety (OSH) intervention efforts.  Evaluation research,
whether descriptive or experimental, can provide a firm base of evidence for what
works, what does not, and why, and assure better use of limited resources in
workplace implementations of preventive and control strategies. This announcement
targets intervention efforts addressing work-related traumatic injuries,
musculoskeletal disorders, asthma and COPD as well as the implementation of
engineering controls, use of personal protective equipment(PPE) and/or changes
in the organization of work systems or tasks.

Research applications are sought which focus on the systematic evaluation of (1)
the effectiveness of intervention efforts addressing musculoskeletal disorders,
traumatic injuries,and work-related asthma and COPD; (2) the practicality and
usability of specific control strategies, technologies and/or PPE in the
elimination or reduction of hazards; (3) the identification of critical factors
for implementing and conducting effective OSH programs; (4) the components of
effective OSH programs, including worker participation programs, training or
other organizational and administrative aspects, as well as engineering
solutions; and (5) identification and elimination of barriers to the
implementation of interventions, such as a lack of acceptance due to
practicality, perception that cost is prohibitive, etc.

Applications are encouraged that will evaluate interventions in real work
settings, assessment of cost-effectiveness and identification of adverse or
unexpected outcomes of interventions.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Human Subjects

If the proposed project involves research on human subjects, the applicant must
comply with the Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, 45 CFR Part
46, regarding the protection of human subjects.  Assurances must be provided to
demonstrate that the project will be subject to initial and continuing review by
an appropriate institutional review committee.  The applicant will be responsible
for providing assurance in accordance with the appropriate guidelines and form
provided in the application kit.

WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the CDC and the NIH to ensure that women and racial and
ethnic groups will be included in CDC- or NIH-supported research projects
involving human subjects, whenever feasible and appropriate.  Racial and ethnic
groups are those defined in OMB Directive No. 15 and include American Indian or
Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific
Islander, and Hispanic or Latino.  Applicants must ensure that women and racial
and ethnic minority populations are appropriately represented in applications for
research involving human subjects.  Where clear and compelling rationale exist
that inclusion is not feasible, this situation must be explained as part of the
application.  In conducting the review of applications for scientific merit,
review groups will evaluate proposed plans for inclusion of minorities and both
sexes as part of the scientific assessment and assigned score.  This policy does
not apply to research studies when the investigator cannot control the race,
ethnicity and/or sex of subjects.

Further guidance to this policy is contained in the Federal Register, Vol. 60,
No. 179, Friday, September 15, 1995, pages 47947-47951 and/or in the "NIH
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research" Federal Resister of March 28, 1994 [FR 59, 14508-14513], and in the NIH
Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by May 1, 1998, a letter of intent
that includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, address,
and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the names 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 subsequent
applications, the information allows CDC and NIH 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 the Grants Management Officer at the
address listed under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used in applying
for this grant.  The form is available at most institutional offices of sponsored
research and from CDC by calling 1-888-GRANTS4.  You will be asked your name,
address, and telephone number and will need to refer to Announcement No. 98044. 
You will receive a complete program description, information on application
procedures, and application forms.  Also, this and other CDC Announcements can
be found on the CDC homepage (http://www.cdc.gov) under the "Funding" section,
as well as on the NIOSH homepage (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html) under
"Extramural Programs."

THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS IS JUNE 23, 1998, AND APPLICANTS MUST
MAIL THE ORIGINAL AND FIVE COPIES OF THE APPLICATION TO THE FOLLOWING LOCATION:

RON VAN DUYNE
GRANTS MANAGEMENT OFFICER
ATTN:  JOANNE WOJCIK
PROCUREMENT AND GRANTS OFFICE
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
255 EAST PACES FERRY ROAD, NE., ROOM 300, MS E-13
ATLANTA, GA  30305

Deadlines
Applications will be considered as meeting a deadline if they are either:
a. Received at the above address on or before the deadline date, or
b. Sent on or before the deadline date to the above address, and received in time
for the review process.

Applicants should request a legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark or obtain
a legibly dated receipt from a commercial carrier or the U.S. Postal Service. 
Private metered postmarks shall not be accepted as proof of timely mailings. 
Applications that do not meet the criteria above are considered late applications
and will be returned to the applicant.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by CDC and NIH for completeness and
responsiveness and will be assigned to the appropriate Institute.  Applications
determined to be incomplete or unresponsive to this RFA will be returned to the
applicant without further consideration.  If the proposed project involves
organizations or persons other than those affiliated with the applicant
organization, letters of support and/or cooperation must be included.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the announcement will be
reviewed by an initial review group and determined to be competitive or non-
competitive, based on the review criteria relative to other applications
received.  Applications determined to be non-competitive will be withdrawn from
further consideration and the principal investigator/program director and the
official signing for the applicant organization will be promptly notified. 
Applications judged to be competitive will be discussed and assigned a priority
score.  Following initial review for scientific merit, the applications will
receive a secondary review for programmatic importance (for applications assigned
to NIH Institutes, the review will be conducted by the appropriate Council).

Review criteria for scientific merit:

o Technical significance and originality of proposed project.

o Appropriateness and adequacy of the study design and methodology proposed to
carry out the project.

o Qualifications and research experience of the principal investigator and staff,
particularly but not exclusively in the area of the proposed project.

o Availability of resources necessary to perform the project.

o Documentation of cooperation from collaborators in the project, where
applicable.

o Adequacy of plans to include both sexes and minorities and their subgroups as
appropriate for the scientific goals of the project.  (Plans for the recruitment
and retention of subjects will also be evaluated.)

o Appropriateness of budget and period of support.

o Human Subjects.  Procedures adequate for the protection of human subjects must
be documented.  Recommendations on the adequacy of protections include: (1)
protections appear adequate and there are no comments to make or concerns to
raise, (2) protections appear adequate, but there are comments regarding the
protocol, (3) protections appear inadequate and the Initial Review Group has
concerns related to human subjects, or (4) disapproval of the application is
recommended because the research risks are sufficiently serious and protection
against the risks are inadequate as to make the entire application unacceptable.

Review criteria for programmatic importance:

o Magnitude of the problem in terms of numbers of workers affected.

o Severity of the injury or disease in the population.

o Usefulness to applied technical knowledge in the identification, evaluation,
or control of occupational safety and health hazards on a national or regional
basis.

o Propensity to improve understanding of the pathophysiology (includes
biomechanics), diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of occupational irritant
dermatitis, work-related musculoskeletal disorders and asthma or COPD caused by
occupational exposures.

AWARD CRITERIA

Final funding decisions are based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the
relevance of the project to the Instituteþs priorities, and availability of
funds.  Awards are expected to begin in September  1998, although some awards may
not begin until FY 99.  Awards will be made for a 12-month budget period within
a project period not to exceed 3 years for traditional research and demonstration
projects, and 2 years for pilot studies.

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters and location for submitting
applications to:

Joanne Wojcik
Grants Management Branch
Procurement and Grants Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
255 East Paces Ferry Road, NE, MS-E13
Atlanta, GA  30305
Telephone:  (404) 842-6535
FAX:  (404) 842-6513
Email:  jcw6@cdc.gov

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Roy M. Fleming, Sc.D.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, NE.
Building 1, Room 3053, MS-D30
Atlanta, GA  30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-3343
FAX:  (404) 639-4616
Email:  rmf2@cdc.gov

Sidney M. Stahl, Ph.D.
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 533
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 402-4156
FAX:  (301) 402-0051
Email:  ss333h@nih.gov

Alan Moshell, M.D.
Skin Diseases Branch
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-25L
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5017
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  am40j@nih.gov

James S. Panagis, M.D., M.P.H.
Musculoskeletal Diseases Branch
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 5AS-37K, MSC 4500
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5055
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  jp149d@nih.gov

George S. Malindzak, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 T.W. Alexander Drive, MD EC-23
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-3289
FAX:  (919) 541-5064
Email:  malindzak@niehs.nih.gov

Gail Weinmann, M.D.
Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Suite 10018, MSC 7952
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 435-0202
FAX:  (301) 480-3557
Email:  weinmang@gwgate.nhlbi.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.262, 93.846, 93.113, 93.115, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, and 93.866.  This program
is authorized under the Public Health Service Act, as amended, Section 301(a) [42
U.S.C. 241(a)], and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Section 20(a)
[29 U.S.C. 669(a)].  The applicable program regulation is 42 CFR Part 52.

The CDC and NIH 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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