INDIVIDUAL PREDOCTORAL NATIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE AWARDS FOR M.D./PH.D. FELLOWSHIPS Release Date: April 20, 1999 PA NUMBER: PA-99-089 (This PA has been reissued, see PA-05-151) (Expiration date extended, see NOT-MH-05-011) Expiration date: August 8, 2005 P.T. National Institute of Mental Health National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences THIS PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT REPLACES PAR-96-003), WHICH WAS PUBLISHED IN THE NIH GUIDE, VOL. 24, NO. 37, OCTOBER 20, 1995. PURPOSE The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) provide National Research Service Awards (NRSAs) to individuals for research training in specified areas of biomedical and behavioral research. The purpose of the combined M.D./Ph.D. fellowships program described in this Program Announcement is to help ensure that highly trained physician/scientists will be available in adequate numbers and in the appropriate research areas and fields to meet the Nation"s mental health, drug abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and alcoholism and environmental health sciences research needs. In addition, this mechanism has the potential to train clinical investigators who wish to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented studies (see Each Institute has different program goals and initiatives, therefore, potential applicants should contact the appropriate Institute office, listed under INQUIRIES, prior to preparing an application, to obtain current information about each Institute"s program priorities with regard to fellowships. Information may also be obtained from the Institute websites listed under INQUIRIES. HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000 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 Program Announcement, Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Awards for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships, is related to the priority areas of human resource development for mental health and mental disorders, alcoholism, alcohol and other drugs of abuse, tobacco and the environmental health sciences. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS It is important that prospective applicants consult "National Research Service Awards Guidelines," published in the NIH GUIDE, Vol. 26, No, 21, June 20, 1997. It can be found at the following URL: Citizenship: The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of award. A non-citizen national is a person, who, although not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. They are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence must be in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551), or must be in possession of other legal verification of such status. For example, if an individual is in possession of the proper validation on his/her passport, a notarized photocopy of the passport could suffice. Since there is a six-month limitation on this validation, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring institution to follow-up and assure that the individual received the I-551 prior to the six month expiration date. An individual expecting to be admitted as a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date listed in the fellowship program announcement may submit an application for an individual NRSA fellowship. The submission of documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application. Any applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to award. Applicants who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, i.e., are in possession of an Alien Registration Receipt Card or other legal verification of such status, should check the Permanent Resident box in the citizenship section on the face page of the fellowship application. Applicants who have applied for and have not yet been granted admission as a permanent resident should also check the same box, but should write in the word "pending." Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for support from the NRSA. Degree Requirements: An applicant for an NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA or NIEHS NRSA M.D./Ph.D. individual fellowship must have a baccalaureate degree and show evidence of both high academic performance in the sciences and significant interest in research in areas of high priority to the participating Institutes. The applicant must be enrolled in an M.D./Ph.D. program at an approved medical school, accepted in a related scientific Ph.D. program, and supervised by a mentor in that scientific discipline when the application is submitted. The typical applicant will apply during the first year of medical school for funding to begin in the second year, however, applications may be submitted at any stage of medical school. Sponsoring Institution: As mentioned above, the applicant must be enrolled in an M.D./Ph.D. program at an approved medical school and accepted in a related scientific Ph.D. program. The institutional setting may be domestic or foreign (with appropriate justification) private or public (Note: NIEHS will not accept applications from foreign institutions). The sponsoring institution must have staff and facilities available on site to provide a suitable environment for performing high-quality research training. The Ph.D. phase of the program may be conducted outside of the sponsoring institution, e.g., Federal laboratory including the NIH intramural program. An NRSA may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA. An individual may not have more than one competing NRSA application pending with PHS concurrently, nor be the Principal Investigator on any other NIH funded grant mechanism. An NRSA recipient may, however, accept concurrent educational remuneration from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and loans from Federal funds. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT Awards made under this program announcement will use the INDIVIDUAL PREDOCTORAL NATIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE AWARDS FOR M.D./PH.D. FELLOWSHIPS (F30) mechanism to provide combined medical school and predoctoral Ph.D. support for a maximum of six years, no other predoctoral NRSA support may be received during this time. Any exception to these limitations requires a waiver from the Director of the awarding Institute based on a review of the justification provided by the individual awardee and his or her sponsor. Continued support beyond the first year is dependent upon satisfactory progress toward the combined degree. Annual reports are to be provided by the fellow, the Ph.D. department and sponsor, and the medical school. Although NRSAs are not usually made for study leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., or similar professional degrees, or for study that is part of residency training leading to a medical specialty, this program is specifically designed to support training in an established, combined M.D./Ph.D. program. Allowable Costs Stipends: The annual stipend for predoctoral individuals will remain fixed for the period of support, unless the stipend level is changed in the NIH annual appropriation. Applicants should consult with Institute Program Staff for the latest stipend level. Alternatively, applicants may obtain information about current stipend levels and other policy documents from the URL for "NIH Training Related Policy Documents": The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514, describes the tax liability of all persons supported under the NRSA program. The stipend is not a payment for services performed, i.e., it is not a salary. Further, NRSA fellows are not considered to be in an employer-employee relationship with the NIH or the sponsoring institution, and it is unallowable for institutions to seek funds for, or to charge individual award recipients for, costs normally considered employee benefits. The stipend may be supplemented by the sponsoring institution without obligation to the trainee fellow. PHS grant funds may not be used for this purpose. An institution may also provide additional funds to a fellow in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant on a limited part-time basis apart from the normal training activities. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the fellow"s training, nor be for the same research program. Refer to the NRSA Guidelines for additional requirements and information associated with compensation. Research Allowance: An allowance of up to $2,000 per predoctoral fellow per twelve month period will be provided to the sponsoring institution to help defray such expenses as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific meetings, and related items for the individual fellows, and to otherwise offset, to the extent possible, appropriate administrative costs of graduate research training. The allowance is provided only upon official activation of the award, and the sponsoring institution is expected to administer the allowance and disburse the funds. If an individual fellow is not in a training status for more than six months of the award year, only one-half of that year"s allowance may be charged to the grant. Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees will be funded in accordance with the NIH policy, "Tuition Costs on NIH NRSA Training Grant and Fellowship Awards--New Policy," NIH Guide, Vol. 25, No. 2, February 2, 1996 ( NIH will reimburse 100 percent of the cost of tuition up to $2,000 and 60 percent of tuition costs above $2,000 for the predoctoral fellow. Tuition, for the purposes of this NRSA policy, means the combined cost of tuition, fees, and self- only health insurance. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES Important Note: Applicants must propose to conduct biomedical or behavioral research in areas of high priority/public health significance to mental health, drug abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, or the environmental health sciences and document that the proposed graduate program and proposed research project offers them an opportunity to develop expert research skills and knowledge leading to a research career in these specific areas. Applications with marginal or no mental health, drug abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, or the environmental health sciences relevance will be considered unresponsive to this program announcement. These applications will not be reviewed and will be returned to the applicant. This action is not subject to appeal, therefore, it is of utmost importance that ALL perspective applicants contact the appropriate Institute office, listed under INQUIRIES, prior to preparing an application. The research training experience must provide: a strong foundation in research design, methods and analytic techniques, the development or enhancement of the trainees ability to conceptualize and think through research problems with increasing independence, experience in conducting, presenting and publishing independent research, the opportunity to interact with members of the scientific community at meetings and workshops (including NIH sponsored meetings), and the development and documentation of a well thought out career plan to increase the applicant"s ability to secure federal support for his/her research. The applicant’s experience should be under the guidance and supervision of a committed sponsor who is an active and established investigator in the area of the applicant"s proposed research. The research training program should be carried out in a research intensive environment that includes appropriate human and technical resources and is demonstrably committed to research training in the particular program proposed by the applicant so that the applicant can grow as a creative scientist. The application must include evidence that instruction in the principles of responsible conduct of research will be incorporated into the proposed research training plan. Applications without plans for training in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and will be returned without review. The NRSA legislation requires that the Nation"s overall need for biomedical research personnel be taken into account by giving special consideration to training physicians who propose to become active biomedical researchers. The NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA, and NIEHS recognize the critical importance of training physicians to become researchers as well as training clinicians to conduct patient-oriented research. The enormous complexity of biomedical and behavioral science today prevents the standard course of study at most medical schools from providing the experience necessary to develop researchers. Since scientists who are both medical doctors and trained investigators play a vital role in helping to bring the highest scientific standards into basic, clinical, epidemiologic, prevention, and services research settings, integrated curricula that combine training for the M.D. degree with extensive research experience have been developed. There is a critical need in the mental health, drug abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and environmental medicine research arena for physician/scientists with the medical training to investigate problems of disease in humans. The graduates of an M.D./Ph.D. program differ from most other clinicians in having had intensive research experience in basic science to foster fundamental scientific knowledge and insight into basic, clinical, epidemiologic, prevention, and services investigations. The NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA, and NIEHS expect the fellows trained under this program to become outstanding scientists interested in research on mental health and mental illness, drug abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and the environmental health sciences, both as members of interdisciplinary teams and as individuals able to design, conduct, interpret, and analyze a sophisticated program of research. There is a critical need for investigators at the basic/clinical/ epidemiologic/prevention/services interface. New developments (for example, in neuroscience, especially molecular and cellular neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, neurogenetics, and neural modeling) have made it possible to study etiological and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying mental disorders, drug abuse and addiction, and alcohol-related disorders. Clinical and epidemiologic research now involves linkage studies to determine the genetic locus of abnormal genes in a mental disorder, differential hybridization methods to detect possible abnormalities in genomic regulation, and other basic science methods in clinically and epidemiologically driven research. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences supports both clinical and basic mechanistic research into the adverse health effects resulting from exposure to toxic environmental agents. It is generally accepted that there exists a burden of environmentally associated disease or dysfunction on human health, but the establishment of a cause and effect relationship for particular environmental exposures to a particular human disease, dysfunction, or decrement of function has been a consistent challenge. Although there have been successes, for example, in aflatoxin induced liver cancer, asbestos exposure, and lead exposure, the NIEHS seeks to increase its commitment to clinical research to human studies, and to training the scientists to carry out this research in order to expand these successes to other areas. Promising areas in which environmental exposures are postulated to play a major role in dysfunction or disease include, but are not limited to, neurodegenerative diseases, endocrine disruption and reproductive system effects, developmental abnormalities, pulmonary diseases, and children’s health. There is also great interest in elaboration of the factors involved in genetic susceptibility, which would explain the variability in the population in response to exposure to toxicants. Training opportunities supported under this announcement are expected to originate in a variety of disciplines and subspecialties, and responsiveness will mainly be assessed by the nature of the individual training and research project, and its relevance to a particular environmental health issue. Additionally, major changes in research direction and paradigms have led to a strong public health focus in clinical intervention, health services and prevention research in NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA and NIEHS. Because of an acute shortage of physician/scientists in these critical research areas, potential applicants who are interested in such careers are especially encouraged to apply. A wide range of disciplines are appropriate for Ph.D.s, including (but not limited to) public health, epidemiology, economics, bioethics, computer science and pharmacy). Applicants are strongly advised to consult with NIH staff. Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Awards must be activated within six months of receipt of award notice (see below for application receipt, review, and start dates). No funds may be disbursed until the individual has started training under the award and an Activation Notice (PHS 416-5) has been submitted to and accepted by the NIH awarding component. Individuals are required to pursue their M.D./Ph.D. training program on a full- time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the training program. INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS 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 was 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: INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS 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 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. APPLICATION PROCEDURES Prospective applicants should contact the relevant Institute Program Staff listed under INQUIRIES, for pre-application consultation and information regarding the application process. The Individual National Research Service Award application kit PHS 416-1 (rev. 8/95) must be used in applying for fellowships. These forms 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, FAX: (301) 480-0525, Email: Application kits are also available on the Internet at: The number and title of this program announcement must be typed in Item 3 on the face page of the application form. At least three completed letters of reference in sealed envelopes must be attached to the application. Applications without the required number of reference letters will be returned without review. Application Receipt and Review Schedule: Applications for the NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA or NIEHS M.D./Ph.D. predoctoral fellowship will be accepted and reviewed three times a year according to the following schedule: Application Receipt Date: Apr 5 Aug 5 Dec 5 Review Meeting: Jun/Jul Oct/Nov Feb/Mar Notification: Aug/Sep Dec/Jan Apr/May Earliest Possible Start Date: Sep Jan May Applications received after these receipt dates are subject to assignment to the next cycle, or may be returned to the applicant upon request by the applicant. An original and two copies of the completed and signed application are to be submitted 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) Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the following important items in PHS 416-1: Part I (Prepared by Applicant): Item 5. Training Under Proposed Award. Identify the Ph.D. discipline according to the NIH Lexicon of NRSA disciplines on page 27 of the instructions. Candidates who expect to receive a Ph.D. in Neuroscience should enter a code number of 188 (Neurobiology). Item 22. Scholastic Performance. In addition to the information requested in the application, applicants should provide scores for MCAT, GRE, and other exams relevant to medical and graduate school that they have taken recently. Item 29a. Activities Under Award. Typically, an M.D./Ph.D. student spends the first 2 years of the program in medical school courses with a limited amount of time devoted to Ph.D. work, the third and fourth years of support are spent on Ph.D. work, and the last 2 years are used to complete medical school. Applicants should describe how they expect to divide their time between medical and graduate school, e.g., medical school courses, graduate school courses, research, research training, etc., during both the school year and the summer for each year of the program. A minimum of 40 hours/week are required for support under the NRSA program. Item 29b. Research Proposal. All applicants should provide a research plan, including a description of a research proposal in which they will be involved as part of their training. The plan should include substantive detail that adds to the information about time allocations requested in Item 29a. Part II (Prepared by Sponsor): Items 32 and 33. Sponsor"s Previous Fellows/Trainees, Training Plan, Environment, and Research Facilities. The sponsor must currently be funded to conduct independent research (e.g., Principal Investigator on an R01 or equivalent) and must describe past experience in the guidance of other research trainees and fellows. In addition, the sponsor must describe in detail his/her commitment to and proposed role in guiding the individual applicant. The chairman of the graduate committee for the Ph.D. program must also describe the department"s commitment to and proposed role in guiding the individual applicant and any modifications to the department"s usual Ph.D. requirements that are necessary to facilitate this trainee"s special needs. The application must include evidence that training in the principles of responsible conduct of research will be incorporated in the research experience of each fellow. This should be presented under Item 33. Issues such as conflict of interest, data recording and retention, professional standards and codes of conduct, responsible authorship, and ethics in biological and behavioral research can provide the substantive base of such training. REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines. Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures. As part of the merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and will be assigned a priority score. Review Criteria The F30 individual M.D./Ph.D. predoctoral fellowship is designed to train future generations of outstanding clinician/scientists committed to pursuing a career in mental health, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, or environmental health sciences research. The review of an application will focus on the following: the applicant, the research training plan, the sponsor, and the institutional environment/commitment. Information from the letters of reference will be used to inform considerations of these factors, and the final priority score will reflect the overall evaluation of the entire application. Applicant: o the applicant"s potential for, and commitment to, a productive scientific career. The reviewers may take into account the applicant"s history as a student, as well as past and current involvement in research activities. Research Training Plan: o objectives, design, and direction of the proposed research program, o specificity and clarity of the description of the research skills and knowledge to be acquired and objective evaluation of progress in each area, o overall coherence and potential of the research training plan to provide the fellow with individualized supervised experiences that will develop research skills, o clarity, completeness, originality, and significance of the goals of the proposed research training plans, o adequacy of knowledge of relevant literature and current methods in the proposed research area, o Potential of proposed research training to serve as a sound foundation that will lead the applicant to a productive career in mental health, drug abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, or the environmental health sciences research, o adequacy of plans for the protection of human subjects, animals, or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the research proposed, o adequacy of plans to include women, children and minorities as subjects in research, if applicable, o adequacy of plans to provide training in the responsible scientific conduct of research. Sponsor: o caliber of the sponsor as a researcher, including successful competition for research support, o evidence of the proposed sponsor"s understanding of and commitment to fulfilling the role of sponsor and mentor, o evidence of an understanding of the applicant"s research training needs and a demonstrated ability, on the part of the sponsor, to assist in meeting those needs, o past research training record of the sponsor in terms of the rate at which former predoctoral trainees obtain their doctoral degree and go on to postdoctoral or other scientific careers. Institutional Environment/Commitment: o training environment including the institutional commitment to research training and career development, the quality of the facilities and related resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject populations) and the availability of research support. AWARD CRITERIA The responsibility for award decisions resides solely with authorized program staff of the Institutes. The following criteria will be used in making award decisions: (1) overall merit of the application, (2) relevance of the application to the research priorities and mission of the awarding institute and program balance, and (3) availability of funds. INQUIRIES Inquiries are encouraged. Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit each Institute"s Internet Website in order to obtain current information about program priorities, research topics of interest, and policy guidelines: NIMH: NIDA: NIAAA: NIEHS: Inquiries regarding programmatic issues may be directed to: Henry Khachaturian, Ph.D. Office of Science Policy and Program Planning National Institute of Mental Health 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8208, MSC 9667 Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 443-4335 FAX: (301) 443-3225 Email: Andrea Baruchin, Ph.D. Science Policy Branch National Institute on Drug Abuse 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5230, MSC 9591 Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 443-6071 FAX: (301) 443-6277 Email: Tina Vanderveen, Ph.D. Division of Basic Research National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 6000 Executive Boulevard, Room 402, MSC 7003 Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 443-2531 FAX: (301) 594-0673 Email: Carol Shreffler, Ph.D. Organ Systems and Toxicology Branch EC-23 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Telephone: (919) 541-1445 FAX: (919) 541-5064 Email: 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 Email: Gary Fleming Grants Management Branch National Institute on Drug Abuse 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3131, MSC 9541 Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 443-6710 FAX: (301) 443-9127 Email: Judy Simons Grants Management Branch National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 504, MSC 7003 Bethesda, MD 20892-7003 Telephone: (301) 443-2434 FAX: (301) 443-3891 Email: Jackie Russell Grants Management Branch EC-22 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Telephone: (919) 541-0751 FAX: (919) 541-2860 Email: AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos. 93.272, 93.278, 93.282, and 93.894. 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 NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66 and 45 CFR Part 74. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards will be administered under NIH policy as stated in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (October 1, 1998). NIH strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the nonuse 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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