Release Date:  February 23, 1998

PA NUMBER: PA-98-029


National Cancer Institute


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites exploratory/developmental grant
applications to study the molecular and cellular biology of metastatic tumor
cells.  This special initiative is designed to promote collaborations and
facilitate scientific interchange between investigators, one with experience in
the biology of metastasis and the other in a more basic scientific discipline
such as molecular or cellular biology, or biochemistry.  Therefore, prospective
Principal Investigators need to identify a research collaborator.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas.  This PA, Molecular And Cellular Biology of
Metastatic Tumor Cells, is related to the priority area of cancer.  Potential
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00474-0 or (Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).


Applications may be submitted by foreign and 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.   Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.


Support of this program will be through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
exploratory/development research grant (R21).  Applicants will be responsible for
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project.  Awards will be
administered under the PHS policy as stated in the Public Health Service Grants
Policy Statement, DHHS Publication No. (OASH) 94-50,000, revised April 1, 1994
and in this PA.

The direct costs per year for each application funded by the NCI must not exceed
$75,000.  The total project period for an application funded by the NCI in
response to this PA may not exceed two years and is not renewable.

The Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants program (R21) provides limited
funds for short-term research projects.  These grants provide an opportunity for
initiating studies that may be preliminary in nature.  Research investigators in
relevant fields are invited to apply for these grants in order to develop
preliminary data that could form the basis of future research project grant (R01)

The Principal Investigator must be accountable to the applicant organization
officials for the proper conduct of the project.  The research collaborator must
be named and their time and effort should be listed on the budget page.


The goal of this initiative is to provide funds for preliminary research projects
that will form the basis of future R01 applications to investigate metastasis. 
The intent is to (1) foster collaborative research between investigators with
basic molecular and cellular biological and biochemical research experience, and
those with experience in metastasis research, and (2) increase the number of
laboratories and investigators addressing issues of metastasis.

The scope of the research may encompass the application of any aspect of
molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry to the investigation of
metastasis biology.  Applications should be for preliminary data gathering or
pilot feasibility studies, and should be founded on the combined research
experience of the Principal Investigator and his/her collaborator.  The
application should specifically address how the application meets the intent of
the initiative, e.g., the development of a new collaboration between an
investigator with basic molecular and cellular biological and biochemical
research experience and one with experience in metastasis research.  Furthermore,
the research collaborator should address how the proposed research will relate
to and integrate with other ongoing research in his/her laboratory.  Just as the
initiative is intended to foster a research collaboration, the application itself
should clearly be the product of in-depth discussions and input from both the
research collaborator and the Principal Investigator.


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 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 20, 1994
(FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.

Investigators also may obtain copies of  the policy 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.
5/95) 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, E-mail: The title and number of the program announcement must be typed
in Section 2 on the face page of the application and the YES box must be marked.

The completed original application and five legible copies must be sent or
delivered 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 Public Health Service
referral guidelines. Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical
merit by study sections of the Center for Scientific Review, NIH in accordance
with the standard NIH peer review procedures.  Following scientific-technical
review, the applications will receive a second-level review by the appropriate
national 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.  The
reviewers will comment on the following aspects of the application in their
written critiques 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 by the reviewers 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 a 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

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 support?

The initial review group will also examine: the appropriateness of proposed
project budget and duration; the adequacy of plans to include both genders and
minorities and their subgroups 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


Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
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.

The following additional factors will be considered for applications assigned to
the NCI:

--In order to increase the number of laboratories and investigators with
potential for a long-term commitment to metastasis research, preference in
funding will be given to those investigators that are early in their research

--The extent to which the proposed research develops collaborations that address
the purpose of the initiative

--How the proposed research relates to and integrates with other ongoing research
in the research collaborator's laboratory


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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. Suresh Mohla
Cancer Biology Branch
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 505
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-7028
FAX:  (301) 402-1037

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative issues to:

Mr. Brian Albertini
Grants Management Specialist
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza South, Room 243
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-7800 ext. 249


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.396, Cancer Biology.  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 part 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 of the American people.

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