Clarification of Requirements for the NIH Partners in Research Program (R03) RFA-OD-07-001

Notice Number: NOT-OD-08-016

Key Dates
Release Date: December 6, 2007

Issued by
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) ( and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) ( on behalf of the NIH.

The purpose of this Notice is to provide clarification of several aspects of the NIH Partners in Research Program (R03), announced on October 12, 2007 in RFA-OD-07-001 (  Potential applicants also are encouraged to consult the Frequently Asked Questions posted at  These will be updated periodically until the application receipt deadline (January 11, 2008).

Type of Project Considered Responsive to this RFA

The Partners in Research Program will support new pilot and/or feasibility research projects designed (1) to study innovative interventions and/or techniques to improve public understanding of biomedical and behavioral research, (2) to develop strategies for promoting collaboration between scientists and the community to improve the health of the public, and/or (3) to identify the conditions (e.g., settings and approaches) that will enhance the effectiveness of such interventions and/or techniques.  These objectives may be addressed in the context of any biomedical or behavioral science topic within the mission of the NIH.  Evaluations of ongoing programs and biomedical or behavioral research projects that do not address one or more of these three program objectives will not be considered responsive to this RFA.  In addition, projects that  focus on the development of workshops, lectures, curricula, or training programs are also not responsive to this RFA. 

Peer review of applications will address the scientific and technical  merit of the proposed project in terms of both the science relevant to the objectives of this RFA (e.g., promoting collaboration) and the science related to the specific health topic on which it is focused (e.g., hypertension).

Qualifications of the Community Partner Principal Investigator

The Community Partner Principal Investigator (PI) is not required to have academic credentials or hold a specific position in the community organization.  The knowledge, background, and qualifications required will depend on the nature of the proposed project. This individual should:  (1) have the time and ability to take on the leadership responsibilities of the Principal Investigator role; (2) contribute actively to the design, implementation, and management of the research project; (3) demonstrate experience and expertise that are complementary to those of the research scientist PI and that will result in a strong PI team. This individual must be based at a community organization within the U.S. or its territories.  Key questions to ask when considering the Community Partner PI include:  Are the PIs and other key personnel appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the Principal Investigators and other researchers?  Do the PIs and investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project?  Does the application demonstrate true collaboration representing the differing perspectives and expertise of the multiple PIs? 

How to Construct Your Budget Request

Modular applications and awards employ a simplified process for developing and reviewing application budgets, documenting approved budgets, and making post-award budgetary changes.

Applicants will submit a single R03 grant application following the instructions for modular budgets. If an application is selected for funding, the academic/scientific institution and the community organization will be awarded  separate, administratively linked, grants. 

Modular applications request direct cost funding in modules of $25,000, up to the ceiling amount, plus applicable F&A costs. For the R03, a project period of up to two years and a budget for direct costs of up to two $25,000 modules, or $50,000 per year, may be requested (i.e., a maximum of $100,000 over two years in modules of $25,000 each.)  Applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are allowed. 

The modules should be a reasonable estimate of allowable, allocable, and reasonable costs for the proposed project, since only limited budget information is required for submission of a modular application, the standard application budget forms are not used. Applicants must submit budget information in accordance with the Modular Budget Format Page included in the PHS 398 application instructions. Sample modular application budget pages are available at

Applicants must use the current salary cap when determining the number of modules (see “Cost Considerations—Allowability of Costs/Activities—Selected Items of Cost—Salaries and Wages”). Given the ability to rebudget and to carry forward unobligated balances, funds generally should be available to cover any modest increase in the statutorily imposed salary cap.

The modular budget is accompanied by a narrative for all personnel by position, role, and percent level of effort. This includes consultants and any “to be appointed” positions. No individual salary information should be provided. The narrative accompanying the modular budget should include a description of the respective roles of the partners and their institutions on the proposed project.  Prior to award, information will be requested “Just in Time” on the specific budget requirements of each of the partner institutions.

As appropriate, the narrative also must address consortium/contractual costs (including applicable F&A costs) rounded to the nearest $1,000.  The narrative should list the individuals and organizations with whom consortium or contractual arrangements have been (or will be) made, the percent of effort of key personnel and their role on the project, and indicate whether the collaborating organization is foreign or domestic.  Because separate grants will be awarded, it is not necessary to include the partner institution as a subcontract in the original application.

Appendix Materials/Letters of Commitment

In the RFA, the instructions regarding appendix materials state that no publications or other printed material, with the exception of questionnaires or surveys, may be included in the Appendix.  Documentation of institutional commitment (e.g., letters) should be included as a PDF in the application itself as item 16, Letters of Support, in the PHS 398 section.  Such documentation would be needed to address this special review criterion:  Is there evidence of prior partnering activities and documentation of the commitment of the institutions to this partnership? 


For additional information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available at or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Scientific/Research Contacts

Alexis D. Bakos, Ph.D., MPH, RN,C
Program Director
Office of Extramural Programs
National Institute of Nursing Research
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Room 710, MSC 4870
Bethesda, MD 20892-4870
Telephone: (301) 594-2542
FAX: (301) 480-8260

Susan C. Streufert, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor for Extramural Policy
Office of the Director
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
31 Center Drive, 2A31, MSC 2420
Bethesda MD 20892-2420
Telephone: (30) 435-3437
Cell Phone: (301) 254-6428
eFAX: (301) 451-5392

Peer Review Contact

Robert Stretch, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Scientific Review
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, 5B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: (301) 496-1485

Financial/Grants Management Contacts

Brian Albertini
Chief, Office of Grants and Contract Management
National Institute of Nursing Research
6701 Democracy Plaza, Suite 710, MSC 4879
Bethesda, MD 20892-4870
Telephone: (301) 594-6869
FAX: (301) 480-8260

Bryan Clark
Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, 8A01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: (301) 435-6975

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
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