Release Date:  December 12, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-031

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases



The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease 
(NIDDK) recognizes the need to increase the racial and ethnic diversity 
of the pool of scientists in research areas important to the NIDDK.  
This program is aimed primarily at recently trained M.D. and/or Ph.D. 
investigators.  The program will enable the applicant to accept a 
tenure-earning position, gain additional research experience while 
transitioning to independence, and obtain preliminary data on which to 
base a subsequent research grant application in an area of diabetes, 
endocrinology, metabolism, digestive diseases, obesity, nutrition, 
kidney, urology, or hematology research. This announcement replaces the 
former yearly RFA for these applications.


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 PA, NIDDK 
Small Grants for Minority Investigators, is related to the priority 
areas of chronic kidney disease; diabetes; food safety; and nutrition 
and overweight.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy 
People 2010" at


For the purpose of this announcement, underrepresented
investigators are defined as individuals belonging to a particular 
ethnic or racial group that has been determined by the applicant 
institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral 

In addition, applicants must have a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., D.O., 
D.V.M.) and at least 2-4 years of postdoctoral research experience at 
the time of application.  This training should have been in an area 
applicable to the research supported by the NIDDK.  Individuals with 
less than this amount of postdoctoral training are encouraged to apply 
for an Individual National Research Service Award fellowship (F32, see 
PA-00-104), the NIDDK Mentored Research Scientist Development Award 
(K01, see PA-99-069), the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award 
(K08, see PA-00-003), or the Mentored Patient-oriented Research Career 
Development Award (K23, see PA-00-004).  

The applicant must have direct access to an expert in the area of the 
proposed research who can provide guidance or any necessary assistance 
in carrying out the proposed project.  Applicants may not hold, nor 
concurrently apply for, any other PHS research project grants at the 
time of this application.  While priority will be given to applicants 
who have not previously been a Principal Investigator on a major 
research project grant, applicants are encouraged to apply for other 
research project grants during the course of, or following, this award.

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and nonprofit 
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and 
eligible agencies of the Federal Government.  


This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Research 
Grant (R03) award mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, 
direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely that of 
the applicant.  Total direct costs may be requested in the amount of 
either $25,000 or $50,000 (one or two modules) per year.  The total 
project period for an application submitted in response to this PA 
should, in general, be two years; however, if necessary and justified 
for the proposed project, three years may be requested.  The award is 
not renewable and individuals are only eligible for this award once in 
their careers.

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 Grants can be found at


For each Fiscal Year, approximately $750,000 in total direct costs for 
new awards will be available.  This level of support depends upon the 
receipt of a sufficient number of applications of high scientific 
merit.  This Program Announcement replaces the yearly RFA for this 
initiative; the level of available funding is consistent with that 
formerly committed to the RFA.


This PA will remain active for one year, through November 2001, at 
which time applications may no longer be submitted in response to this 
announcement.  It is anticipated that this PA will be re-issued at that 
time, however.   


The primary purpose of this PA is to foster the research careers of 
underrepresented minority investigators conducting research in areas of 
interest to the NIDDK.  Individuals who have received training through 
individual postdoctoral fellowships or institutional training grants 
still require a transition period to demonstrate independence and to 
generate the preliminary data necessary for obtaining independent 
funding.  This small grant program is meant to provide this 
transitional support and to encourage minority investigators to pursue 
research careers and become independent scientists.


Applicants are required to have available a recognized expert in the 
area of proposed research for guidance and consultation.  It is 
expected that this expert will assist the applicant in the design and 
conduct of his/her research.  It is not necessary for the expert to be 
at the same institution as the applicant, but he/she should be within a 
reasonable proximity to be available for guidance and consultation.  A 
letter from this recognized expert must accompany the application along 
with a current biographical sketch.  The letter should indicate the 
expert’s willingness to provide counsel and advice to the applicant and 
an initial plan for ongoing communication with the applicant.

In addition, as part of the application, the applicant must provide a 
brief summary of his/her long-term career plans and objectives.  This 
summary should state how this award would contribute to his/her 
development as a scientist.

A letter from the appropriate Department Chair or Division Chief, in 
support of the applicant, must also accompany the application.


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 are provided 
indicating 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 

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities 
as Subjects in Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts on August 2, 2000 
(; a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at  
The revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and 
require: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a 
description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address 
differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including 
subgroups if applicable; and b) all investigators to report accrual, 
and to conduct and report analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic group differences.


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 address:

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


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, or 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:

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 $50,000 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 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 $50,000) 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.

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

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 all 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 all 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.

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.  The 
Program Announcement title and number must be typed on line 2 of the 
face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

Submit the signed, original, single-sided application, including the 
Checklist, along with five signed photocopies and five collated sets of 
appendix materials in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040-MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application 
in response to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently 
pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending 
application.  The CSR 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.


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established Public Health 
Service 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 and assigned a 
priority score.
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.

o 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?

o 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?

o Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or 
methods?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or 

o 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)?

o 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 support?

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

o 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 evaluated.  

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration to the 
proposed research.

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

For this PA, all applications will also be reviewed with respect to the 

o The applicant’s plans and career goals.
o The availability of a recognized expert in the area of the proposed 
research for advice as indicated by a letter of support.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved 
applications assigned to the National Institute of Diabetes and 
Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:

o Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review;
o Availability of funds;
o Program priority;
o The applicant’s history of research training and research support.


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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Judith Podskalny, Ph.D. 
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, NIDDK 
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Rm. 667 MSC 5450
Bethesda, MD 20892-5450
Telephone:  (301) 594-8876

James Hyde, Ph.D.
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases, NIDDK
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Rm. 603 MSC5460
Bethesda, MD 20892-5460
Telephone: (301) 594-7692

Terry Bishop, Ph.D.
Division of Kidney, Urology, and Hematology, NIDDK
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Rm. 619 MSC5458
Bethesda, MD 20892-5458
Telephone: (301) 594-7726

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Donna Huggins
Division of Extramural Activities, NIDDK
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Rm. 637 MSC 5456
Bethesda, MD 20892-5456
Telephone:  (301) 594-8848 


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No. 93.847, 93.848, and 93.849.  Awards are 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 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 

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 

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