Full Text TW-95-003

INTERNATIONAL TRAINING AND RESEARCH IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL
HEALTH

NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 40, November 18, 1994

RFA:  TW-95-003

P.T. 34, 44

Keywords: 
  ENVIRONMENT 
  Occupational Health and Safety 


Fogarty International Center
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 16, 1995
Application Receipt Date:  April 20, 1995

PURPOSE

The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of
Health (NIH), in collaboration with the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), NIH, and the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), invites applications from non-
profit private or public U.S. institutions with interest in
developing international training and research programs related to
environmental health for foreign health scientists, clinicians,
epidemiologists, toxicologists, engineers, industrial hygienists,
chemists, and allied health workers from developing countries and
emerging democracies.  New applications are invited for institutional
grant programs in both general environmental health and occupational
health.

These new programs are named in honor of the late Dr. Irving Selikoff
of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Norton Nelson of New
York University, in recognition of their lifelong commitment to the
training of health professionals in the occupational and
environmental health sciences.  Dr. Selikoff was internationally
recognized and an exceedingly strong proponent of international
cooperation in the health sciences.  These programs acknowledge the
pivotal role of Dr. Selikoff as a founder of the Collegium Ramazinni
and its Institute and build upon these efforts to promote
international cooperation and collaboration in the fields of
occupational and environmental health.

Dr. Norton Nelson was internationally recognized for his leadership
in the environmental health sciences.  He was instrumental in efforts
to establish both NIOSH and NIEHS and was widely sought for his
advice and expertise.

As we look toward the future, it is clear that environmental and
worker safety and health research are becoming more and more
dependent upon international collaboration.  Because of the global
magnitude of environmental and occupational health problems, a broad
based program of international training and research in environmental
and occupational health sciences would have significant benefits both
locally in the collaborating countries as well as globally.  Such a
program is envisioned to cover general environmental health issues
such as air and water pollution, hazardous wastes and injury control,
as well as issues related to occupational safety and health.  Global
concerns such as climate change and ozone depletion could also be
included among the various curricula offered.

A major goal of the International Training and Research in
Environmental and Occupational Health Program is to train scientists
of other countries to deal effectively with environmental and
occupational health through epidemiologic research, environmental
monitoring, engineering control and prevention research programs.
This program will help to (1) establish the necessary epidemiologic
and related research, including engineering and industrial hygiene
and medical expertise needed in countries affected by environmental
or occupational health problems and facilitate new research efforts
which supplement or complement U.S. research and (2) establish
cooperative relationships between U.S. and foreign research groups
and support cooperation, for example, between U.S. academic research
centers and foreign scientists.  Collaborations established through
this effort will help to facilitate standardized assessment and
monitoring of environmental and occupational health hazards and
problems and prepare for the coordinated conduct of scientifically
valid and ethically sound studies and interventions on an
international basis.

Applicants are encouraged to relate training to ongoing research
efforts in collaborating countries.

In this new program substantial emphasis will be placed on chronic
disease prevention and the control of injuries.  Subjects to be
introduced as part of the environmental and occupational health
training and research will, for example, include epidemiology,
biomechanics, industrial hygiene, planning, design and engineering
aspects of worker safety and health, air and water quality
engineering, atmospheric chemistry, toxicology, risk assessment,
hazardous waste disposal, environmental and occupational health
organization and management, delivery of environmental and
occupational health services, and evaluation of efficacy and
effectiveness of intervention measures.

Establishment of this new program will allow the accumulated
knowledge and experience of U.S. environmental and occupational
health experts to be available to assist and work with their
colleagues on a global basis to address common global problems.

While the major linkages under this program are expected to be
between institutions in the U.S. and those in developing countries
and emerging democracies, within allowable limits, research
collaborations can include other industrialized nations in addition
to the U.S.

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), International Training and Research in
Environmental and Occupational Health, is related to the priority
areas of environmental health and occupational safety and health.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full
Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (Summary
Report: Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of
Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325
(telephone 202-783-3238).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The grantee institution must be a U.S., non-profit private or public
institution capable of meeting the objectives in this RFA.  Though
most applications are envisioned to be from academic institutions, a
non-academic non-profit institution may apply if there is evidence of
support through NIEHS or NIOSH programs and that collaborating
arrangements exist to satisfy the academic requirements of this RFA.
Questions about eligibility and partnerships with colleagues and
institutions in the U.S. and overseas should be referred to the
individuals listed in this RFA.  Only one application will be allowed
under this program from each U.S. institution.

While the major linkages under this program are expected to be
between institutions in the U.S. and those in developing countries
and emerging democracies, within allowable limits, research
collaborations can include other industrialized nations in addition
to the U.S.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Grants will be made as international training grants in epidemiology
(D43) institutional awards for a total project period of five years.
Continued support depends on satisfactory performance as judged by
annual progress reports, site visits, and meetings of program
directors.

Types of Training:

1.  Training, for example, in epidemiology concepts and methods,
environmental monitoring, industrial hygiene, field studies and other
research related to environmental and occupational health that will
lead to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree for individuals with previous field
research experience;

2.  Training, for example, in epidemiology, field studies,
environmental monitoring, industrial hygiene, and research related to
environmental and occupational health that will lead to the M.S.
degree for individuals without prior field research experience;

3.  Short-term comprehensive courses in epidemiology, toxicology,
chemistry, industrial hygiene and environmental and safety
engineering, with an emphasis on control of occupational injuries and
illnesses, for health and safety professionals to be given in the
U.S.;

4.  Training in laboratory procedures and research techniques related
to environmental and occupational health for individuals with the
M.S. or Ph.D. degree to be given in the U.S.; and

5.  Postdoctoral research training for foreign scientists who want to
expand their abilities in the epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention and
treatment of environmental and occupational disease and injury.
Postdoctoral training can take place both in the U.S. and in foreign
countries.

Three other types of training should be offered in-country:

1.  Practical and applied short-term training related to
environmental and occupational health for professionals, technicians
and allied health professionals, including worker health and safety
representatives, faculty of worker training facilities and other
safety health trainers;

2.  Advanced research training for selected current and former
trainees to enable them to continue this advanced training in their
home country and to participate in in-country research projects.
While applicants can plan to include such training (estimated to be
of about two years duration) as part of competing applications,
individual appointments must be approved in advance as a
reprogramming request and be under the guidance of the program
director and his or her faculty colleagues.

3.  Support to enable U.S. faculty to be involved in advanced
research and in training activities conducted in-country.

Trainees:

Trainees shall be foreign nationals who are not permanent U.S.
residents and who are involved in or are expected to be involved in
environmental or occupational health research and prevention
activities in their home country.  The following categories of
individuals are eligible for training:

1.  Foreign health professionals (M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent);

2.  Foreigners with a bachelors or masters degree in a basic,
physical, engineering or health science;

3.  Technicians, worker safety and health specialists, and health
care workers;

4.  Professionals such as engineers, chemists and industrial
hygienists; and

5.  Current or former trainees involved in advanced research training
in their home countries.

Allowable Costs:

U.S. investigators may request funds to support research projects in
the trainees' home country that emanate from the M.S. and Ph.D.
epidemiological and related training program.  The research supported
(1) must be one of the requirements in fulfillment of an M.S. or
Ph.D. degree or part of research training, (2) be relevant to an
environmental or occupational health problem in the trainee's
country, and (3) may form the basis for a long term collaboration
funded by future research grant support.

The following cost categories are eligible for reimbursement under
this program.  It should be noted that the following stipends and
allowances are maximums and applicant institutions are encouraged to
design the most cost-effective programs generally at lesser amounts:

o  Living allowance (stipend) comparable to trainee's professional
level and compatible with established NIH guidelines, but not to
exceed $45,000 per annum while undergoing training in the U.S.;

o  Living allowance (stipend) while conducting in-country
dissertation research or in-country advanced research training at a
level comparable to that received by similar professionals in-
country, but also not to exceed $45,000 per annum;

o  Tuition and fees at the U.S. university;

o  Round trip economy class air fare between the U.S. and home
country (two trips for M.S. or Ph.D. candidates and advanced research
trainees, one for all others);

o  Allowance for the grantee institution of up to $600 monthly per
student to cover health insurance, travel to scientific meetings, and
incidental research expenses;

o  Additional research support of up to $15,000 per trainee to
facilitate the conduct of advanced research training in the home
country conducted by current or former trainees; the program director
is expected to have projects submitted for this funding peer reviewed
by the U.S. institution;

o  Support of up to $10,000 for in-country field research in partial
fulfillment of the M.S. or Ph.D training program;

o  Travel and per diem for the program director and U.S. faculty
colleagues to provide guidance to students conducting
dissertation-related field studies or advanced research training in
their home countries;

o  Program director's salary (up to 10% of annual salary or $10,000,
whichever is smaller);

o  Travel and per diem for U.S. faculty presenting short-term, in-
country courses;

o  Support (travel, per diem and pro-rated salary, up to 10% of
annual salary or $10,000, whichever is less), to enable U.S. faculty
to be involved in advanced research training activities conducted in-
country; and

o  In keeping with the intent to maintain a flexible program,
requests for an administrative supplemental budget will be considered
for increases of up to 20 percent of funded levels in a given budget
year for the expansion of prior approved activities to meet special
needs and take advantage of unusual opportunities.  Such requests
will be reviewed by program staff and support will depend upon
availability of funds.

For administrative expenses:

o  Administrative expenses at the U.S. institution (secretarial
expenses, etc.) not to exceed 10 percent of the direct costs of this
award.  While a portion of salary (up to 10 percent) for the program
director for the purpose of administering this award is allowable, it
is encouraged that this be provided for under related grants or
awards funded by the NIH and CDC.

For related activities with other industrialized nations:

o  Support for travel and subsistence of U.S. or foreign
investigator(s), and the exchange of data, materials and supplies,
not to exceed 10 percent of direct costs of this award unless prior
approval is secured from the FIC.  As a condition of this special
expenditure, the applicant must indicate that some form of cost-
sharing will be provided by the counterpart institution in an
industrialized nation.

Only one application will be allowed under this program from each
U.S. Institution.

Grantee institutions may request an indirect cost allowance based on
eight percent of the total allowable direct costs exclusive of
tuition and related fees and expenditures for equipment.  The total
allowable cost (direct and indirect) per grant for the first year of
this five year award must not exceed $150,000.  Applicants should
assume a budget increase of four percent per year for each succeeding
year.  While applicants may develop programs at or close to these
limits, they are strongly encouraged to pursue the most cost-
effective approaches for implementing these programs.  The intent is
to award four grants depending upon the quality of the approved grant
applications and the availability of funds.

As noted above, before any funds can be expended from this award, the
grantee institution must show evidence of approval for collaborative
research between the U.S. and foreign countries and institutions
included in the program through an endorsement from the appropriate
government officials as well as from the collaborating institutions.

The anticipated date of award is on or before September 30, 1995.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Approximately $500,000 (total costs) will be available for this
program in FY 1995, reflecting support from the FIC the NIEHS, and
the NIOSH.  An estimated four awards will be made depending upon the
quality of approved applications.  It is anticipated that other
public and private sector organizations will become collaborators in
support of these programs.  All collaborators would be so recognized
for their contributions which could increase the number of awards
made.  The total (direct and indirect) cost per grant for the first
year must not exceed $150,000.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this program are to train scientists from
developing countries and emerging democracies to deal effectively
with environmental and occupational health problems through
epidemiologic research, environmental monitoring, engineering control
and prevention research.  Applications that include collaborations
with countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America are
especially welcome and encouraged.  The program is intended to
support collaborative research between U.S. and foreign scientists
who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in the epidemiology,
diagnosis and prevention of environmental and occupational health
problems and to stimulate scientists from nations affected by such
problems to cooperate and to share research and practical knowledge
in combatting this global problem.

This program is intended to complement ongoing environmental and
occupational health research and training efforts of the NIH and
other agencies of the Public Health Service and the U.S. government.
Emphasis will be given to the development of human resources in those
countries having or likely to have severe general environmental and
occupational health problems.

Specifically the program is designed to:

o  Increase expertise in epidemiology, engineering, and other
components of environmental and occupational health through short-and
long-term training at U.S. institutions, which may lead to M.S. or
Ph.D. degrees in epidemiology, engineering, toxicology, and other
related areas;

o  Increase laboratory expertise of technical assistants in foreign
countries who are engaged in epidemiological and other studies
related to environmental and occupational health through in- country,
short-term, didactical, and technical training; and

o  Expand ongoing collaborative training and research in
environmental or occupational health between U.S. and foreign
scientists.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The primary effort of the program should be directed toward
developing countries and emerging democracies that have, or are
likely to have, population groups with a significant incidence of
environmentally- and occupationally-related diseases and injuries.
Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America are
eligible to participate as are countries in Africa, Asia and the
Pacific Region, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union.

The majority of candidates for training will be selected from those
countries where the U.S. program director and colleagues either have
well established in-country research efforts or a significant
potential to develop such collaborative relationships as, for
example, through a history of joint collaborations or publications.
This does not preclude establishing new collaborative arrangements,
for example, in countries or areas where environmentally- and
occupationally-related diseases and injuries have not yet developed
epidemic proportions.

Trainees from industrialized countries may be allowed into the
program only under special, well justified circumstances and with
prior approval by the FIC as a reprogramming request to meet special
training needs to support unique collaborative relationships.

As part of proposed training programs, the applicants must describe
their training in the responsible conduct of research, consistent
with NIH policy (NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 21,
Number 43, November 27, 1992) to be part of the programs.  An award
will not be made unless such a description is included.

Before any funds can be expended from this award, the grantee
institution must show evidence of approval for collaborative research
between the U.S. and foreign countries and institutions included in
the program through an endorsement from the appropriate government
officials as well as from the collaborating institutions.  These
approvals should be included in the application.

The applicant institution must include a plan describing the
recruitment and selection procedures for trainees as well as plans
for continued collaboration with former trainees.

Protection of human subjects and laboratory animals:

Applicable provisions for the protection of human research subjects
and laboratory animals in research and training activities must be
met in both domestic and foreign settings.  Title 45 CFR, Part 46,
provides guidelines concerning Department of Health and Human
Services regulations for the protection of human subjects and the
Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory
Animals.  These are available from the Office for Protection from
Research Risks, National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive
Boulevard, Suite 3B01, Rockville, MD 20892.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) 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
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," which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (59 FR 14508-14513) and printed in
the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11, March
18, 1994.

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

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by January 16, 1995, 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 may be submitted.  Although a letter of intent
is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review
of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows
NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid
conflict of interest in the review as well as to provide important
information to prospective applicants.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Dr. Kenneth Bridbord
International Studies Branch
Fogarty International Center
31 Center Drive MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
U.S.A.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for this grant.  These forms are available at most U.S.
institutional offices of sponsored research and from the Office of
Grants Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes
of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892,
telephone 301/435-0714; and from the program administrator listed
under INQUIRIES.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) 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.

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

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

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

Dr. Ethel B. Jackson
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences
Post Office Box 12233
111 Alexander Drive (must include for express delivery) Research
Triangle Park, NC  27709

Applications must be received by April 20, 1995.  If an application
is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant
without review.  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.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by DRG
and responsiveness by the FIC in collaboration with the NIEHS and
NIOSH.  Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant
without further consideration.  If the application is not responsive
to the RFA, the application will be returned to the applicant without
review.  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 the NIEHS in accordance
with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, a process (triage) may be used
by the initial review group in which applications will be determined
to be competitive or non-competitive based on their scientific merit
relative to other applications received in response to the RFA.
Applications judged to be competitive will be discussed and be
assigned a priority score.  Applications determined to be non-
competitive will be withdrawn from further consideration and the
Principal Investigator and the official signing for the applicant
organization will be notified.

The second level review will be provided by the FIC Advisory Board in
September 1995.

The following criteria apply to all applicant institutions.  Factors
to be considered in the scientific evaluation of each application
include:

In general, the likelihood that the applicant institution can meet
the objectives stated in this RFA and specifically:

o  The strength of the academic program in environmental and
occupational health and depth of the faculty's experience in
environmental and occupational health-related basic and physical
science and engineering disciplines;

o  Quality of teaching and research facilities and resources
including those at institutions in other countries;

o  Previous success in training epidemiologists, industrial
hygienists and other environmental and occupational health
specialists, and in maintaining collaboration with former trainees
including assisting former trainees in obtaining support for their
research;

o  The likelihood, based on accomplishments of current and former
trainees, that individuals selected for the proposed training will
contribute meaningfully to science and health progress following
return to their home countries;

o  Demonstrated support for domestic and international environmental
and occupational health, epidemiological and related research and
training as evidenced by support from the NIH or other sources.
Examples of such support include participation in or collaboration
with the NIEHS research and training programs (e.g., environmental
health research centers and superfund programs); participation in or
collaboration with the NIOSH research and training programs (e.g.,
Educational Resource Centers, Centers for Agricultural Disease and
Injury Research, Education and Prevention and NIOSH individual
project training grants); as well as support from other NIH
institutes;

o  Demonstrated capacity or potential to provide in-country research
training, which involves support for the research and appropriate
guidance for selected, highly qualified current and former trainees;

o  Demonstrated capacity or potential to help support in-country
trials of engineering and other interventions;

o  Capacity to provide in-country courses and workshops for
indigenous technical staff, and worker safety and health specialists,
as well as the quality of proposed technical training, including
training conducted by former trainees;

o  Demonstration of continued or future support for the program from
governments and institutions and other non-governmental organizations
from collaborating countries; and

o  Demonstrated capacity or potential to coordinate program
activities with related efforts of other PHS programs, other federal
agencies and international organizations, including the World Health
Organization.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review;

o  cost-effectiveness of programs;

o  availability of funds;

o  program balance among critical research training areas of emphasis
such as, but not limited to, occupational vs. general environmental
health, essential industries such as agriculture, construction,
mining and transportation; critical problem areas such as air, water
pollution or hazardous waste; and vital disciplines such as
epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, industrial hygiene and
engineering control technology.

o  geographic distribution among countries involved in applications
under consideration including but not limited to countries in Central
and Eastern Europe and Latin America; and

o  unique collaborative relationships such as affiliations with U.S.
and international environmental organizations, U.S. and international
worker organizations, U.S. tripartite relations with institutions in
developed and developing countries, as well as unique cooperative
arrangements involving both labor and management.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome
and prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their
proposals with program staff prior to submission.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. Kenneth Bridbord
International Studies Branch
Fogarty International Center
31 Center Drive MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD  20892-2220
Telephone:  (301) 496-2516
FAX:  (301) 402-2056
Email:  sn5@cu.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Silvia Mandes
International Research and Awards Branch
Fogarty International Center
31 Center Drive MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
Telephone:  (301) 496-1653
FAX:  (301) 402-0779
Email:  som@cu.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This general type of program is described in the Catalog of Federal
Domestic Assistance No. 93.154.  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 to
Health Systems Agency review.

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant
recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use
of all tobacco products.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American
people.

.

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