Release Date:  April 3, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PA-00-085

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is seeking 
applications for exploratory/developmental (R21) grant applications for 
collaborative research projects to encourage new or strengthen existing 
cooperative relationships between established alcohol research scientists and 
scientists in minority and/or predominantly minority institutions.  Awards 
under this program are intended to enhance and extend the alcohol research 
activities of minority scientists.  It is expected that projects will be 
mutually beneficial to the collaborating scientists and to the advancement of 
research on alcoholism and alcohol abuse.  Exploratory/developmental grants 
(R21) are intended to develop new research activities that could serve as the 
foundation for the development of more intensive and larger research studies.  
Normally grants supported under this PA will be for $50,000 or $75,000 per 
year (direct costs) for two years.  Exceptional proposals can be considered 
for up to $100,000 in direct costs per year, for a maximum of three years.

The issues related to alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and reduction of alcohol-
related problems are complex.  The NIAAA supports alcohol relevant basic and 
applied research involving a wide array of health science fields and related 
academic disciplines.  Because the United States is a multi-cultural, multi-
ethnic Nation with wide diversity in the patterns, trends, and practices 
around alcohol use and abuse, much can be gained from research partnerships 
in this field. 


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 
(PA), Developmental Grants for Minority Collaborative Projects, is related to 
one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of 
"Healthy People 2010" at:


Applications may be submitted by domestic, 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 these 
grants. Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with 
disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

One scientist must apply as principal investigator with a colleague from a 
laboratory or research site in the collaborating institution.  It is 
recognized that scientific opportunities may arise that warrant a formal 
collaborative effort between the principal investigator and individuals from 
more than one institution.  The collaborator must hold a position at a public 
or private non-profit institution that will allow him or her adequate time 
and provide appropriate facilities to conduct the proposed research.  The 
linkages for collaborative efforts must be between institutions in the United 
States. Simultaneous submissions of both an exploratory/developmental and a 
regular research grant (R01) application on the same topic will not be 


This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) R21 award mechanism. 
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicant. The total project period for an 
application submitted in response to this PA may not exceed 3 years.

Applicants may request up to $100,000 in direct costs per year for up to 
three years through the NIAAA Exploratory/ Developmental Grant (R21) 
mechanism.  Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs will be awarded based 
on the negotiated rate at the time of the award. These awards are not 
renewable; however, a no-cost extension of up to one year may be granted to 
the grantee institution prior to expiration of the project period.  
Investigators are encouraged to seek continued support for their research 
projects through a research project grant (R01).

Awards are made to the applicant institution to support a collaborative 
research project that will be performed, in part, at the collaborator's 
research site.  Funds may be included to purchase supplies for the 
collaborator's laboratory and to support travel for the collaborators as 
justified by the needs of the research proposed.  Annual awards will be made 
subject to continued availability of funds and progress achieved.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR 
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts being examined by the NIH. 
Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grant 
applications can be found at


The purpose of this program announcement is to encourage exploratory/ 
developmental studies that will complement and enhance existing alcohol 
research efforts.  The establishment of this program will provide 
opportunities for attracting additional scientists to the alcohol field.  
This program will establish a process for making the accumulated knowledge 
and experience of alcohol investigators available to colleagues in 
historically and predominantly minority institutions to address relevant 
issues and problems.  The number of scientists who are identified as members 
of underrepresented minority groups and who are engaged in alcohol research 
is extremely small.  Clearly there is a need to develop ways to assist and 
encourage minority scientists to become active in the conduct of studies that 
can advance the rapidly growing knowledge base in the alcohol field. It is 
anticipated that this program will provide support to enhance research 
capabilities in research oriented minority institutions; to
collaboratively pilot test a hypothesis before a larger more complex project 
is developed; to develop new technology or methodologies to facilitate the 
study of appropriate research problems; and to create opportunities for 
collaborating scientists to acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to 
submit competitive research grant applications.  The intent is to advance 
understanding, contribute meaningfully to the literature, and to 
significantly advance alcohol research efforts in minority institutions.  
Minority investigators may also apply directly for an 
exploratory/developmental grant from NIAAA.
It is anticipated that collaborative efforts established through this program 

a) facilitate development of alcohol relevant epidemiologic, biomedical, 
behavioral, treatment, prevention, and policy research activities in minority 
b) provide opportunities to scientifically explore biological, behavioral, 
and socio-cultural phenomena that may help to explain differing degrees of 
severity and disease progression of alcohol induced adverse effects observed 
among and within minority groups and subgroups;
c) enhance development of talent, scientific expertise and resources capable 
of making unique contributions to the field;
d) stimulate development of alcohol focused research training programs in 
schools of medicine and other doctoral degree programs in minority and 
predominantly minority institutions; and
e) facilitate development of the foundation for the coordinated conduct of 
scientifically sound studies and interventions on a broad and inclusive basis 
that reflects the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural heterogeneity of the U.S. 

Applications may be made for support of research in any scientific area 
relevant to alcohol abuse.  While applications may involve a wide variety of 
biomedical, biobehavioral, or clinical disciplines, relevance to the mission 
of the Institute must be clear. Applications for studies aimed at problems 
outside these areas will be returned without review.  Areas of interest to 
NIAAA are described in program announcements that can be obtained on the 
NIAAA web page


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 are 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 and is available on the web at the following URL 


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.


All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites. Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.


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 may be obtained 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 at:

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, reviewer's 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 $100,000 per year. 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 

PHS 398

o FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs (in 
$25,000 increments up to a maximum of $100,000) 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.

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.

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 consortium.

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.

Applications not conforming to these guidelines will be considered 
unresponsive to this PA and will be returned without further 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:

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 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 National 
Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
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 

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their 
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research

o The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project 
proposed in the application.

In addition, applications will be evaluated by criteria specifically related 
to the intentions of this Program Announcement as outlined above.  These 
include the effectiveness of the planned collaboration, and the potential for 
scientific advancement regarding issues related to health disparities among 
various minority populations and subpopulations.

Additional consideration pertinent to the review of Exploratory/Developmental 
Grant (R21) applications:

- Pilot/feasibility studies may contain little or no preliminary data.  
Review should focus on whether the rationale for the study is well developed 
and whether the proposed research is likely to generate data that will lead 
to a regular research project grant or full-scale clinical trial. Adequate 
justification for the proposed work may be provided through literature 
citations, data from other sources, or investigator-generated data.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions: 
scientific merit 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 inquires regarding programmatic issues to:

Ernestine Vanderveen, Ph.D.
Division of Basic Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 402
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-2530
FAX:  (301) 594-0673
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Ms. Linda Hilley
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-0915
FAX:  (301) 443-3891


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.273.  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, 285 and 290) and administered under NIH grants policies and 
Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  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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