Release Date:  March 15, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PA-00-078

National Institute of Mental Health



Both the behavioral and public health sciences have a long, rich history in 
basic and applied research aimed at improving the lives of all Americans.  
These disciplines have complementary expertise in areas such as biometrics, 
research design, intervention development and implementation, and outcome 
analyses, to name just a few research topics.  Both disciplines have 
contributed to major improvements in our Nation's mental and medical health 
through advances in prevention and treatment.  Even greater improvements can 
be achieved if behavioral and public health scientists increase their 
collaboration in areas of clearly shared interests.  The purpose of this 
program announcement is to solicit applications that integrate basic 
behavioral science and public health expertise in collaborative research on 
mental health and disorders.  The program announcement is in response to the 
Report of the National Advisory Mental Health Council Behavioral Science 
Workgroup, “Translating Behavioral Science into Action.”  The full report, 
which indicates the scientific topics encouraged under this program 
announcement, may be found at

The basic behavioral sciences offer expertise that could be applied to a 
range of public health problems relevant to mental disorders, symptoms, or 
related disability.  Pertinent areas of expertise in the basic behavioral 
sciences include research on emotion and motivation, cognitive and emotional 
functioning, persuasion, family processes and networks, and socio-cultural 
and environmental processes.  Public health areas of expertise include 
descriptive and experimental epidemiology, and the development and 
implementation of preventive intervention technologies.  Proposals under this 
announcement should include collaborations between investigators from both 
the basic behavioral sciences and public health to address a range of 
critical problems focused on mental disorders, symptoms, and related 

“Translating Behavioral Science into Action” highlights three specific areas 
of study: (1) understanding basic behavioral processes in mental illness, (2) 
understanding how mental illnesses and their treatments affect the abilities 
of individuals to function in diverse settings and roles, and (3) 
understanding how social or other environmental contexts influence the 
etiology and prevention of mental illness and the treatment and care of those 
suffering from mental disorders.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Program Announcement, 
Integrating the Basic Behavioral Sciences and Public Mental Health, is 
related to the priority area of Mental Health and Mental Disorders.  
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at


Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and non-
profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal Government.  Foreign institutions are not eligible 
for the Small Grant (R03) mechanism.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, 
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal 


This PA will use the following research grant mechanisms:  R01 (Research 
Project Grants), and Investigator-Initiated Interactive Research Project 
Grants (IRPG), R03 (Small Grants), and R21 (Exploratory/Developmental 
Grants).  The Research Project Grant (R01) provides up to five years of 
funding that is commensurate with the science proposed.  An IRPG group 
consists of the coordinated submission of two or more RO1 applications for 
related research project grants that do not require extensive shared physical 
resources.  Although IRPG applications must describe the objectives and 
scientific importance of the collaboration, each project could be 
accomplished independently.  The principal investigators may be from one or 
more institutions.  An IRPG group must include a minimum of two independent 

The Small Grant (R03) provides two years of funding with a maximum of $50,000 
direct costs for each year.  The Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) 
provides three years of funding with an average of $125,000 direct costs for 
each year; it is intended for pilot testing of interventions and other 
aspects of intervention development.

For all R03 and R21 applications, and for all competing R01 applications 
requesting up to $250,000 direct costs per year, specific application 
instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" 
streamlining efforts being undertaken at NIH.  More detailed information 
about modular grant applications, including a sample budget narrative 
justification pages and a sample biographical sketch, is available via the 
Internet at:  
Applications that request more than $250,000 in any year must use the 
standard PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application instructions.

Because the various grant mechanisms have special eligibility requirements, 
application formats, and review criteria, applicants are strongly encouraged 
to consult with program staff (listed under INQUIRIES) and to obtain the 
appropriate additional announcements for those grant mechanisms.  Information 
specific to the R03 grants may be found at: Information 
specific to the R21 grants may be found at  Information 
specific to the IRPG grants may be found at


A broad range of research would benefit from integrating the basic behavioral 
sciences and public mental health.  “Translating Behavioral Science into 
Action,” which indicates the scientific topics encouraged under this program 
announcement, may be found at  
Topics include, but are not limited to:

o  Understanding basic behavioral processes in mental illness;

o  Understanding how mental illnesses and their treatments affect the 
abilities of individuals to function in diverse settings and roles; 

o  Understanding how social or other environmental contexts influence the 
etiology and prevention of mental illness and the treatment and care of those 
suffering from mental disorders;  

o  Examining risk and protective processes associated with co-morbid mental 
and medical disorders (e.g., heart disease and depression, anxiety disorders 
and cancers), developing conceptual models of new interventions, and initial 
testing of the new interventions;

o Using principles and findings from the basic behavioral sciences to improve 
adherence to interventions for mental disorders; developing models of 
preventive, treatment, and rehabilitative interventions and innovative 
strategies to enhance adherence to them;

o  Investigating various informed-consent procedures, advance directives, and 
other research ethics topics in groups at risk for or suffering from mental 

o  Examining principles and findings from the basic behavioral sciences that 
affect individuals’ willingness to participate in interventions, response to 
interventions, functioning/disability, and other outcomes.

o  Investigating how interpersonal communication styles of providers (e.g., 
authoritarian, egalitarian) and client preferences for particular styles 
interact to affect willingness to participate in interventions, response to 
interventions, functioning/disability, and other outcomes;

o  Examining approaches to decrease stigma related to mental disorders, 
including studies of the social context of stigma as well as studies of 
individuals who are stigmatized;

o Examining cultural explanations for disorder and how they affect 
receptivity and response to interventions, particularly when the client’s and 
family’s explanations differ from those of the mental health provider;


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and 
their sub-populations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

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 (FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 
23, No. 11, March 18, 1994 available on the web at the following URL address:


It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. 
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 

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


Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program contacts listed 
under INQUIRIES with any questions regarding their proposed project and the 
goals of this PA.

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as indicated 
in the application kit.  Application kits are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research and from the Division of Extramural Outreach 
and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge 
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 710-0267, Email:  Applications are also available on the World Wide Web 


The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets.  Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The just-in-
time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when there 
is a possibility for an award.  It is anticipated that these changes will 
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and Institute 
staff.  The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used 
in applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.


Modular Grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up 
to a total direct cost request of $250,000 per year.  (Applications that 
request more than $250,000 direct costs in any year must follow the 
traditional PHS 398 application instructions.)  The total direct costs must 
be requested in accordance with the program guidelines and the modifications 
made to the standard PHS 398 application instructions described below:

PHS 398

o  FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs 
(in $25,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000) and Total Costs [Modular 
Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] for the initial 
budget period Items 8a and 8b should be completed indicating the Direct and 
Total Costs for the entire proposed period of support.

4 of the PHS 398.  It is not required and will not be accepted with the 

categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application.

o  NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION - Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page.  (See for 
sample pages.)  At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs 
requested for each year.  This is not a Form page.

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

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

o  Provide an additional narrative budget justification for any variation in 
the number of modules requested.

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

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

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

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

Applicants planning to submit an investigator-initiated new (type 1), 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended/revised 
version of the preceding grant application types requesting $500,000 or more 
in direct costs for any year are advised that he or she must contact the 
Institute program staff before submitting the application, i.e., as plans for 
the study are being developed.  Furthermore, the application must obtain 
agreement from the Institute staff that the Institute will accept the 
application for consideration for award.  Finally, the applicant must 
identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member and 
Institute who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy requires an applicant to obtain agreement for acceptance of both 
any such application and any such subsequent amendment.  Refer to the NIH 
Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 20, 1998 at 

Any application subject to this policy that does not contain the required 
information in a cover letter sent with the application will be returned to 
the applicant without review.

The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 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 five signed photocopies in one package to:

6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710 
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral 
guidelines.  Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an appropriate scientific review group convened by NIH in accordance 
with the standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit 
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a 
process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will 
be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by 
the appropriate national advisory council or board.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
behavioral and biological systems, improve the control of disease, and 
enhance health.  In the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss 
the following aspects of the application in order to judge the likelihood 
that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of 
these goals.  Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in 
assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each 
application.  Note that the application does not need to be strong in all 
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus 
deserve a high priority score.  For example, an investigator may propose to 
carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is 
essential to move a field forward.

(1) Significance:  Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that 
drive this field?

(2) Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

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

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

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

The initial review group will also examine: the appropriateness of proposed 
project budget and duration; the adequacy of plans to include both genders, 
minorities and their subgroups, and children as appropriate for the 
scientific goals of the research and plans for the recruitment and retention 
of subjects; the provisions for the protection of human and animal subjects; 
and the safety of the research environment.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:  
Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, availability of 
funds, and program priority.


Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions 
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Peter Muehrer, Ph.D.
Health and Behavioral Science Research Branch
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavior, and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6190, MSC 9615
Bethesda, MD 20892-9615
Telephone:  (301) 443-4708
FAX:  (301) 480-4415

Junius J. Gonzales, M.D.
Division Services Research & Clinical Epidemiology Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7141, MSC 9631
Bethesda, MD 20892-9631
Telephone:  (301) 443-3364
FAX:  (301) 443-4045

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX: (301) 443-6885

The National Cancer Institute, although not formally participating in this 
Program Announcement, is very interested in applications relating to basic 
behavioral processes and public health as they relate to cancer or cancer 
risk.  If you are planning research which focuses  upon  issues related to 
family concerns, adherence, co-morbidity and other areas noted in this 
Program Announcement relating specifically to cancer and/or cancer risk, 
please contact:

Michael Stefanek, Ph.D
Chief, Basic Biobehavioral Research Branch
Behavioral Research Program
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Blvd., EPN 211
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone  (301) 496-8776
FAX   (301) 435-7547


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.242.  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, and the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement, effective 10/1/98.  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, and 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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