Full Text TW-96-002
 
MINORITY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING GRANTS
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 7, March 8, 1996
 
RFA:  TW-96-002
 
P.T. 44, FF

Keywords: 
  Biomedical Research Training 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

 
Fogarty International Center
Office of Research on Minority Health
 
Application Receipt Date:  May 7, 1996
 
PURPOSE
 
The Fogarty International Center (FIC) and the Office of Research on
Minority Health (ORMH) will support the development of training
programs that offer international research training opportunities to
qualified minorities (undergraduates, graduate students and faculty
members) underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research
careers.  Funds will be awarded to support innovative approaches to
research training with a focus on (1) encouraging minority students
to pursue post-baccalaureate degrees and consider research careers in
the biomedical or behavioral sciences; (2) broadening minority
student research training to include international issues and
concerns; and (3) assisting the next generation of scientists to work
effectively in the global environment by establishing international
linkages on several levels--linkages between U.S. students and
foreign scientists at centers of biomedical and behavioral research,
between U.S. minority scientists and foreign scientists abroad, and
between minority and minority-serving institutions and research
institutions abroad.
 
Applications may be submitted from individual U.S. institutions or
from consortia of U.S. institutions with one lead institution.  For
the purposes of this program, consortia will link institutions that
have active international programs with those with limited research
and research training programs.
 
This request for applications (RFA) is for the fourth funding cycle
for this program.  Both new and competing renewal applications are
welcome.  In the original announcement for this program the funding
cycle was limited to three years,  and only the participation of
undergraduates and graduate students pursuing either the masters  or
doctoral degrees were encouraged.  In this RFA the funding cycle has
been extended to four years, a foreign mentor visitation component
has been added, and the participation of medical students with a
strong interest in pursuing biomedical or clinical research is
encouraged.
 
The support of Minority International Research Training (MIRT)
Programs is consistent with the legislative mandate of the Fogarty
International Center, which is to advance biomedical and public
health related research and training through international
cooperation.  The program is also unique in its potential for
ensuring diversity among the U.S. student population represented
overseas, in particular, since minority students are less likely than
their counterparts to participate in study abroad programs.
 
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000
 
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000",
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This RFA,
Minority International Research Training Program , is related to the
priority of educational and community-based programs with a primary
focus on special populations.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy
of  Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or
Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-0473-1) through the Superintendent
of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325,
telephone 202/512-1800).
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
The applicant institution and any associated institutions in a
consortium must be at least two- or four-year domestic school,
college or university.
 
The foreign research site(s) should be a university, college or other
research institution with strong, well established biomedical or
behavioral research and research training programs.  Close
cooperation between U.S. and foreign scientists and their
institutions is needed to provide participants with foreign mentors
who will participate in their research training.  Foreign mentors and
research collaborators should be accomplished scientific
investigators.
 
Participating students and faculty must be members of groups
underrepresented in careers in the biomedical sciences--African
Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaskan natives
and Asian/Pacific Islanders (i.e., American territories such as the
Philippine Islands, Guam, Samoa etc.)--and be U.S. citizens or
permanent residents who are pursuing degrees, studying and/or
conducting research in the biomedical or behavioral sciences at the
time of their appointment and during the program.  Students and
faculty must be affiliated with a U.S. college or university at the
time of selection for the program; however, their affiliation need
not be with the grantee institution.
 
Undergraduate student trainees must be pre-baccalaureate, preferably
those entering their junior and senior year (and in special cases
sophomores), pursuing a curriculum in the life sciences and related
areas and must show evidence of a commitment to obtaining a
postgraduate research-related degree in the biomedical or behavioral
sciences.
 
Predoctoral students must be enrolled in a U.S. graduate research
training program in the biomedical or behavioral sciences.  Medical
students, who are members of groups underrepresented in careers in
biomedical/behavioral research and who have a strong interest in
pursuing clinical or biomedical research, are eligible for
participation.
 
Faculty participants must have a regular, full-time faculty
appointment at the grantee institution or an institution in the
consortium.  For acceptance in the program, a research plan which
outlines the studies to be performed abroad including the expected
benefits must be provided to and approved by the program director.
In selected instances, with prior approval from the FIC, highly
qualified medical residents or fellows may participate as faculty in
the program.
 
One person called the faculty mentor may accompany each group of
approximately four to eight undergraduate students for the purpose of
serving as a general advisor/mentor during the training period
abroad.  The faculty member must hold a full-time tenure track or
tenured position at the grantee institution, hold a doctoral level
degree, and have a biomedical research plan for studies to be
conducted at the foreign host institution.  If a minority faculty
member is not available, any faculty member who meets the eligibility
criteria for faculty mentor may serve in this position.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
The mechanism of support is the institutional training grant award
(T37).  Domestic institutions may request up to four years of
support.
 
The following also apply:
 
o  For undergraduates, graduate students, and medical students,
stipends of up to $1,000 per month may be requested for the period at
the foreign site; and for U.S. faculty participants, stipends of up
to $3,000 per month are available.  Stipends may be supplemented from
non-Federal sources only; however, the stipend plus the home
institution support for participating faculty cannot exceed the
potential appointee s annual salary.
 
o  Funds to support student and faculty research activities at the
foreign site may be requested at a maximum level of $600 per month
per person.
 
o  Tuition, fees, insurance etc. (training related expenses for use
at the foreign site) may be requested up to a maximum level of $500
per month for undergraduates, graduate students (medical students),
and faculty participants.
 
o  Foreign living expenses of up to $1,000 per month for
undergraduate and graduate students and up to $2,000 per month for
faculty may be requested.
 
o  Economy class round-trip airfare on a U.S. carrier from home to
the foreign training site plus local ground transportation at the
foreign site may be requested.
 
o  For the foreign visitation component, foreign mentors (or their
designees) may receive economy class round-trip airfare on a U.S.
carrier plus a living allowance of up to $2,000 per month while in
the U.S.  In addition, foreign investigators visiting the U.S. for
extended periods of time (at least one month) and who are not able to
be maintained on salary from their home institution may be eligible
for a stipend of up to $3,000 per month depending on their level of
experience.  Research related expenses of up to $600 per month may be
requested.  As a pilot to support research training in developing
countries, supplements of up to $10,000 per year may be requested to
support collaborative research projects at the foreign site, subject
to peer review and prior FIC approval.  (Only 4 to 5 such supplements
will be made.)
 
o  If especially justified, the domestic applicant institution may
request up to 10 percent of the requested total direct costs for the
support of the principal investigator and/or other grant related
personnel for domestic administrative efforts.  These costs must be
well justified and specifically related to this grant.  Indirect
costs will be awarded to the grantee institution at a rate of eight
percent of the allowable direct costs.
 
Please note that stipends, research-related training costs, and
travel expenses are offered only for the time period that U.S.
participants are en route to or working at the foreign site.  Each of
the training grant awards must not exceed a total of $400,000 per
year, including direct and indirect costs.
 
FUNDS AVAILABLE
 
A total of $3,000,000 is available for this competition.  It is
expected that 10 to 15 new and/or competitive renewal awards will be
made in FY 96.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
The Minority International Research Training grants are designed to
offer research training opportunities to qualified students
(undergraduates and pre-doctoral trainees) and faculty to participate
in international biomedical and behavioral research programs abroad.
 
The proposed training program is expected to increase student and
faculty awareness of international research opportunities, to
acquaint students with the full range of career opportunities in
biomedical and behavioral research, and to encourage undergraduates
to pursue post-baccalaureate research degrees.  Faculty participants
are expected to gain from the foreign research experience in ways
that will contribute to the research and teaching programs at their
U.S. institutions.
 
Under these goals the following objectives have been identified:
 
o  To support research experiences for undergraduates in
international laboratories under the mentorship of outstanding
foreign scientists,
 
o  To support graduate student research training in areas that are
particularly research relevant to their masters thesis or doctoral
dissertation work,
 
o  To facilitate research collaborations between minority scientists
and scientists at centers of biomedical research abroad.
 
Additionally, the U.S. based foreign mentor provision is expected to:
(1) be mutually beneficial to U.S. participants and their foreign
mentors/collaborators in terms of facilitating collaborative
research, (2) to benefit U.S. institutions with limited research
capabilities, and/or (3) to provide additional research experiences
for U.S. minority students and health scientists.
 
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
 
The program director at the applicant institution will be responsible
for selecting and appointing student and faculty participants,
selecting foreign training site(s), and directing the program.
Except in the case of faculty mentors (see below), participating
students and faculty must be members of groups underrepresented in
careers in the biomedical sciences, which include, African Americans,
Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaskan natives, and
Asian/Pacific Islanders (i.e., American territories such as Guam,
Samoa, etc.) and be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or
permanent residents who are pursuing degrees, studying and/or
conducting research in the biomedical or behavioral sciences at the
time of their appointment and during the program.
 
The FIC and ORMH staff will closely follow the progress of each
training grant program through in-depth reviews of yearly progress
reports, periodic meetings of program directors, and site visits.
Training grants may include one or more of the following components:
 
The Undergraduate Program
 
This component will offer a biomedical research experience for
minority students at research centers abroad where arrangements have
been made to house and train the students for approximately 10 to 12
weeks at any appropriate time of the year.  Training at the foreign
site may include a short course in the language and culture of the
host country; however, research training must be carried out during
at least half of each weekday.  Undergraduate research projects may
include the collection of data, samples, or other information for
research purposes.  The projects may not include routine clinical or
laboratory work without a research component.  Each group of four to
eight students may be accompanied by a faculty member who would also
conduct research.  This person is the Faculty Mentor--see below.
 
Limited support may be available from the FIC for student attendance
at scientific meetings to present the results of their foreign
research. When needed, funds in the grant may also be rebudgeted to
support student attendance at scientific meetings for the purpose of
presenting their work.  For exceptionally qualified students,
research-related expenses (up to $500 per month) may be available (or
rebudgeted in the grant) to facilitate the continuation of
collaborative research projects and training after the students
return to the U.S.--see U.S. based collaborative research below.
 
Predoctoral Program
 
The predoctoral component provides support for research training for
minority predoctoral students at a foreign institution for periods of
3 to 12 months as a part of the requirement for (or as a research
elective in) the doctoral degree (or master's degree) program in
which the student is enrolled--support can only be received for the
period that the student is abroad, however.  Please note that the
application must demonstrate the benefit of foreign training.  The
above also applies to medical students with an identified strong
interest in pursuing biomedical or clinical research.  Some course
work may be included in the training plan; however, the period abroad
must be primarily for the conduct of research, to learn a technique,
to participant in a study or to utilize a resource or study
population.  Under special circumstances and with FIC staff approval,
research-related expenses of up to $500 per month may be available
(or rebudgeted) upon return to the U.S. institution for the
continuation of collaborative research and training.
 
Faculty Program
 
The faculty component supports minority faculty members employed at
U.S. colleges and universities to carry out collaborative,
biomedically-related research abroad for periods of 3 to 12 months.
The purpose of this component is to enhance faculty research through
a foreign collaborative effort and/or to provide unique sites for
undergraduate or graduate student training activities--the faculty
member may accompany students in the undergraduate research program
while also conducting research.  To participate, the U.S. faculty
member must have a doctoral-level degree or equivalent experience and
training.  Faculty participants are expected to conduct research on a
biomedically related topic in collaboration with a foreign
laboratory; their research plans should be submitted as an attachment
to the yearly progress reports.
 
In special cases, but only upon consultation with Fogarty staff,
faculty participants may receive appointments of a minimum of 1 month
to do collaborative research abroad, providing the following
requirements are met: (1) the proposed collaborative research
enhances and/or extends ongoing research in the potential
participant's laboratory, (2) the faculty member has a research plan
that can be completed in the limited time proposed, (3) the faculty
member has active peer- reviewed research support.
 
Faculty Mentor
 
The role of the faculty mentor is to serve as a mentor/advisor to
groups of four to eight minority undergraduate students during their
time at the foreign research site.  This involves assisting the
students in adjusting to and coping with all phases of their research
training and cultural experience while living abroad.  Please note
that the faculty mentor can only receive support from the training
grant while he/she is with the students.  Additionally, the faculty
mentor must be involved in a research project while at the foreign
site.  If a faculty mentor will be an important part of the program
and a minority faculty member is not available, a non-minority
faculty member may fill this position.
 
U.S.-Based Collaborative Research/Foreign Mentor Component
 
The U.S.-based collaborative research component is designed to
facilitate the research initiated at the foreign research training
site with the approved mentor (or collaborator).  To participate, the
foreign scientist must meet the following requirements:  (1) be an
approved foreign mentor/collaborator or his/her designated
representative, (2) hold a doctoral level degree or its equivalent,
(3) have a full-time appointment at the foreign training site, (4)
have a biomedical research plan that continues and/or extends the
collaborative research that was either ongoing or initiated during
the U.S. participants  time at the foreign training site.
 
INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS
 
While the majority of support for training-related research may be
derived from sources other than in this award, prospective awardees
are expected to comply with NIH policy concerning study populations
in the conduct of training-related research.
 
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 may also obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program Staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.
 
Assurances
 
While, in most cases, the primary support for training-related
research and associated assurances of protection for human subjects
and/or animals, will be covered through other funding mechanisms, the
program directors are responsible to assure that all training-related
research supported under this program meets applicable NIH
requirements.
 
Applicant institutions are reminded that adequate protection for
human subjects and animals at the foreign training site is an
essential requirement by the NIH.  Awardee institutions and each
performance site must agree that the rights and welfare of human
subjects and animals involved in research under this award shall be
protected in accordance with 45 CFR 46.  As a condition of award, not
as a condition of application, applicants and affiliated performance
sites are required to possess an applicable assurance of compliance
that has been approved by the Office for Protection from Research
Risks (OPRR) of the NIH.  Applicants will receive specific
information for obtaining foreign assurances following the initial
review of the application.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
Applications are to be submitted on the public health service grant
application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) using the special instructions
related to Institutional National Research Service Awards (Section
VII).  Note the requirement to use NRSA substitute pages MM, NN, OO
to be acceptable for initial review.  Applications kits are available
at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may be
obtained from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health,
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone
301/435-0714, email:  girg@drgpo.drg.nih.gov.
 
The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) application form
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the 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 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.
 
The completed application and three legible copies must be sent or
delivered to the following address and received by May 7, 1996:
 
DIVISION OF RESEARCH GRANTS
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for overnight courier delivery)
 
In addition, two copies of the completed application must be sent to
Dr. Flagg-Newton at the address listed under INQUIRIES.
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
All applications responding to this RFA will be reviewed for
scientific and technical merit by an NIH initial review group,
followed by a second level review by the Fogarty International Center
Advisory Board.  To be eligible for review, applications must be
complete and submitted in accordance with the application procedures
stated above.  Letters from the foreign collaborators and their
institutional officials indicating their willingness to participate
in this training program must accompany the application.
 
The following criteria apply to new applicant institutions as well as
those seeking a competitive renewal.  Factors to be considered in the
scientific evaluation of each application include:
 
o  Adequacy of methods and criteria for selecting student and faculty
participants,
 
o  Justification for selecting the proposed foreign sites including
the availability of adequate facilities and general environment for
the conduct of the proposed research training,
 
o  Adequacy of the qualifications (including level of education and
training) and relevant research experience of the principal
investigator, key personnel, and the ability of the foreign
mentor/collaborator to undertake and direct the foreign research
activities of the project,
 
o  Appropriateness of budget estimates and appropriateness and
duration of the proposed research training experiences for students,
 
The following also apply for applications for competitive renewal.
 
o  Progress and accomplishments including student educational
outcomes and research productivity (i.e, presentations at scientific
meetings, coauthored, peer reviewed publications) and faculty
participant productivity (i.e, peer reviewed publications, abstracts,
applications for research support.)
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications will compete for funds assigned to the Minority
International Research Training Grant Program of the Fogarty
International Center and the Office of Research on Minority Health.
The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
scientific, technical and educational merit of the application as
determined by peer review; likelihood that the proposal will
contribute to the achievement of the program's objectives, and
availability of funds.
 
INQUIRIES
 
Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcomed.
 
Inquiries regarding programmatic issues and two copies of the
application form may be directed to:
 
Dr. Jean L. Flagg-Newton
Division of International Training and Research
Fogarty International Center
Building 31, Room B2C39 - MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD  20892-2220
Telephone:  (301) 496-1653
FAX:  (301) 402-0779
Email:  flaggnej@ficod.fic.nih.gov
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Ms. Silvia Mandes
Division of International Training and Research
Fogarty International Center
Building 31, Room B2C39 - MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD  20892-2220
Telephone:  (301) 496-1653
FAX:  (301) 402-0779
Email:  mandess@ficod.fic.nih.gov
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.106.  Awards are made under the authority of the
Public Health Service Act, Title III, Part A, Section 307b (42 USC
2421) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
regulations, most specifically 42 CFR Part 61.  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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