Release Date:  August 9, 2001

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-126  (Superseded by PAR-04-062)

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Application Receipt Dates:  2001      April 20,    Aug. 24,    Dec. 17
                            2002      April 22,    Aug. 20,    Dec. 17
                            2003      April 22,    Aug. 20,    Dec. 17
                            2004      April 22,    Aug. 20,    Dec. 17



This Program Announcement (PA) supersedes all previous announcements of the 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) 
Small Grant (R03) Program for support of pilot research that is likely to 
lead to a subsequent individual research project grant (R01) application. The 
research must be focused on one or more of the areas within the biomedical 
and behavioral scientific mission of the NIDCD:  hearing, balance, smell, 
taste, voice, speech, or language.

The Small Grant Program is designed to support basic and clinical research of 
scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent 
research career.  The R03 may be used to support individuals transitioning 
from postdoctoral status to their first independent research position.  In 
addition, the R03 may be used by early-stage clinician-scientists planning to 
make future application for an NIDCD mentored research career development 
award (K-award) to demonstrate the feasibility of the research to be proposed 
in their K-award application. 


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, NIDCD Small Grant 
Program, is related to several priority areas applicable to human 
communication.  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 on behalf of eligible investigators.  Racial/ethnic 
minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to 
apply.  Foreign institutions and United States organizations located in 
foreign countries are not eligible to apply for this program.

The R03 Program supports the research of scientists who are in the early 
stages of establishing an independent research career in the basic and 
clinical sciences of human communication, including individuals transitioning 
from postdoctoral status to their first independent research position.  
Applicants are not required to have their own independent research space or 
equipment.  It is intended that an R03 grant will enable such individuals to 
obtain preliminary data that is likely to lead to a subsequent individual 
research project grant (R01) application.

The NIDCD encourages early-stage clinician-scientists planning to make future 
application for an NIDCD mentored research career development award (K-
award), such as the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Awards (K08) or 
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Awards (K23), to 
consider applying for one year of support through an NIDCD R03 award, if 
needed to demonstrate the feasibility of the research to be proposed in their 
K08 or K23 application.  In addition, recipients of NIDCD K08 and K23 awards 
may hold an R03 award concurrent with the K-award, providing the aggregate 
number of years of R03 support (prior to and during the K-award) does not 
exceed three years and that the R03 does not provide the K-awardee with 
additional salary support.  The purpose of such an R03 award is to provide 
the mentored K-awardee with additional needed resources for the transition to 
independence. The research specific aims (SAs) of the R03 application should 
expand upon the SAs of the K08 or K23 award, rather than duplicate the SAs of 
the K-award. In this case, the concurrent professional effort associated with 
these awards is considered overlapping rather than additive. 

Former recipients of Federally-funded National Research Service Award (NRSA) 
fellowships and traineeships or mentored career development awards are 
eligible for this Small Grant Program.  Individuals who have served as 
Principal Investigators on any NIH research grant (including subprojects of 
program project and center grants) or other Federally-funded research grants 
are not eligible for the NIDCD R03 mechanism.

Other questions about eligibility may be directed to one of the program 
officials listed under INQUIRIES.


Applications for the Small Grant Program use the R03 funding mechanism and 
the NIH Modular Grant format (see NIH Guide, Notice of Modular Grant 
Application and Award, December 15, 1998) in preparing the budget. Small 
grants may be submitted for up to 2 modules of $25,000 each ($50,000 Direct 
Costs per year), for up to three years of support. Complete and detailed 
instructions and information on Modular Grants can be found below under 
Application Forms can be found at


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 protocols 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 10.1-43). 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, Volume 23, Number 11, March 18, 
1994, available on the web at:

Specifically, the investigator must include a section titled “Inclusion of 
Women and Minorities” that describes the composition of the proposed study 
population in terms of gender and racial/ethnic group, and provides a 
rationale for selection of such subjects. A description of proposed outreach 
programs for recruiting women and minorities as participants also must be 
included. Additional specific instructions can be found in the PHS 398 
Instructions at URL: 
under “RESEARCH PLAN,” “Human Subjects Research Section.”


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.  
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:

Specifically, the investigator must include a section titled "Participation 
of Children." This section should provide either a description of the plans 
to include children and a rationale for selecting or excluding a specific age 
range of child, or an explanation of the reason(s) for excluding children as 
participants in the research. If children will be excluded from the research, 
the application must present an acceptable justification for the exclusion. 
Additional specific instructions and exclusion criteria can be found in the 
PHS 398 Instructions at URL: under “RESEARCH 
PLAN,” “Human Subjects Research Section.”


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in 
a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of 
this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at: 

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award


NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website:


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.


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 NIH staff. 
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at is to be used in 
applying for these grants, with modular budget instructions beginning on page 
13 of the application instructions. Applicants are permitted, however, to use 
the 4/1998 revision of the PHS 398 for scheduled application receipt dates 
until January 9, 2002. If you are preparing an application using the 4/1998 
version, please refer to the step-by-step instructions for Modular Grants 
available at


The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) 
at are to be used in 
applying for these grants and will be accepted at the standard application 
deadlines ( as indicated in the 
application kit.  This version of the PHS 398 is available in an interactive, 
searchable PDF format. Although applicants are encouraged to begin using the 
5/2001 revision of the PHS 398 as soon as possible, the NIH will continue to 
accept applications prepared using the 4/1998 revision until January 9, 2002. 
Beginning January 10, 2002, however, the NIH will return applications that 
are not submitted on the 5/2001 version.  For further assistance contact 
GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/710-0267, Email:

The specific R03 guidelines listed below (e.g., page limitations, number of 
copies, application dates) supersede the PHS 398 instructions.

COVER PAGE: Item 2, type "Small Grant Program NIDCD" in "Title" box, and 
check the "YES" box, indicating the application is in response to a Program 
For revised/amended applications, an introduction (not to exceed one and one-
half pages) in addition to the research plan is required.  This introduction, 
which is not included in the eight-page limit, should respond to the comments 
and concerns of the Initial Review Group delineated in the summary statement. 
Changes to the application’s Research Plan should be marked in the amended 

The research plan should not exceed eight pages.  Information regarding 
specific aims, background and significance, preliminary studies/progress 
report, and research design and methods are all included in this eight-page 

Up to three publications, submitted manuscripts, or abstracts may also be 
included as Appendix material.  (Please refer to PHS 398 application for 
additional Appendix guidelines.)  Letters of reference are not required.

Applications that exceed the page limit or requirements for type/font size 
and margins may be returned to the investigator without review.  (Please 
refer to PHS 398 application for details.) 

Use the mailing label in the application kit to mail the original (less 
Appendices) and three copies of the application (less Appendices) to:
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

To ensure that the application is received in sufficient time for the review, 
please send an additional two copies and five sets of Appendices to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS Room 400-C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

The submission, review, and award schedule for the Small Grant Program 
through December 2004 is:

Application Receipt Dates:  Dec 17      Apr 22      Aug 20
NIDCD Committee Review:     Feb/Mar     Jun/Jul     Oct/Nov
Council Review:             May         Oct         Jan
Earliest Funding:           Aug         Jan         May

If the receipt date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to the following 
Monday, if the date falls on a holiday, it will be extended to the following 
business day.

Only one Small Grant application may be submitted by a Principal Investigator 
per receipt date.  Applicants may not submit an R01 application on the same 
topic concurrently (i.e., to be considered within the same review cycle) with 
the submission of a Small Grant application.


Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit in 
accordance with the standard NIH procedures by an initial review group (IRG) 
convened by the NIDCD. As part of the initial review, all applications will 
receive a written critique.  Those applications deemed to have the highest 
merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will be 
discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level of review by 
the NIDCD Advisory Council.

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.  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.

(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 
methods?  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 

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

(7)  Evaluate the reasonableness of the proposed budget and the project’s 
duration in relation to the proposed research.

(8) Evaluate the adequacy of the measures proposed for protection of 
humans, animals and/or the environment, 
to the extent they may be adversely affected by the research proposed in the 

Applications will be subsequently reviewed by the National Deafness and Other 
Communication Disorders Advisory Council.


Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:
o scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o availability of funds
o programmatic priorities.


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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. Thomas Johnson
Telephone:  (301) 402-3461
Dr. Daniel Sklare
Telephone:  (301) 496-1804

Dr. Barry Davis
Telephone:  (301) 402-3464

Voice and Speech
Dr. Lana Shekim
Telephone: (301) 496-5061

Dr. Judith Cooper
Telephone:  (301) 496-5061
The address and FAX number for the above-named persons are:

Scientific Programs Branch
Division of Extramural Research 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS Room 400C, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
FAX:  (301) 402-6251

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Sara Stone
Grants Management Office
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS Room 400B, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 402-0909
Fax:  (301) 402-1758


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No.93.173.  Awards are made under authorization of sections 301 and 405 of 
the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) 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.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

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