Release Date:  November 2, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-008

National Institute on Drug Abuse


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announces the availability of 
support for a Social Work Research Development Program (SWRD) focused on the 
development of social work research in all areas of drug abuse intervention 
and services research.

The award mechanism is designed to provide flexibility to meet unique 
institutional needs for developing an enduring drug abuse research program. 
The goal is to strengthen the institutional infrastructure and to develop the 
capability of faculty members to develop and carry out interdisciplinary drug 
abuse research. 

This program responds to a growing recognition of the role of social work in 
the field of drug abuse intervention and, in part, addresses the gap between 
drug abuse research and practice that was identified by the National Advisory 
Council on Drug Abuse.  This program is consistent with the principal 
recommendations of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences 
report Bridging the Gap Between Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships 
with Community-Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment.  The goals of this program 
are two-fold: (1) to build a stable infrastructure for drug abuse research in 
schools of social work; and (2) to increase interdisciplinary participation in 
drug abuse research in order to improve the quality of interventions aimed at 
reducing drug abuse and addiction in this country.  

It is expected that efforts from the SWRD will lead to other research (R01, 
R03) and career development proposals (e.g., training grants, fellowships).


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 (PA), Social 
Work Research Development Program, is related to one or more of the priority 
areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at


Only domestic public and private universities and/or colleges that award 
graduate degrees in social work/social welfare may apply.  Racial/ethnic 
minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to 
apply as principal investigators.


This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) resource-related 
research project (R24) award mechanism to enhance the capability of resources 
to serve biomedical and behavioral research. 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 5 years.   


Social work is the largest allied health care profession in the United States. 
Social workers practice across a diverse range of settings, including drug 
abuse prevention and treatment programs. In the field of drug abuse 
interventions, social workers are one of the primary professional groups 
providing care to individuals, groups, families, and communities dealing with 
drug abuse and related health and emotional problems. 

The social work perspective recognizes complex interactions among social 
systems including patients and their families, service providers, and service 
organizations.  Based on its systems perspective and expertise in dealing with 
diverse, multi-problem target groups, the social work profession can provide a 
unique and valuable contribution to the improvement of drug abuse practice.

This potential has remained largely unrealized in the drug abuse arena because 
of the absence of adequate organizational and financial infrastructures that 
support increased participation by social workers in rigorous drug abuse 
intervention and services research.

Most social work research during the past three decades has been based in the 
Nation's schools of social work and dissemination of those findings has been 
limited largely to the social work field. Locating research centers in schools 
of social work will stimulate a productive environment in which social work 
researchers can and will take leading roles in multidisciplinary research 
teams comprised of research professionals from many disciplines.  The intended 
result is integrated drug abuse research programs that rapidly integrate sound 
scientific findings into standard practice.  

Applicants are required to develop collaborative relationships with other 
departments and schools and with public sector agencies involved in drug abuse 
prevention and treatment with children, adolescents, and adults.  Within this 
new structure, it is expected that one or more multi-disciplinary study teams 
will be created to ensure the development of a comprehensive program of drug 
abuse research. 

An SWRD should be planned and organized to address major scientific knowledge 
gaps and needs in drug abuse intervention and services research. Each SWRD 
should clearly define one or more core research areas that will be addressed 
by the SWRD study teams.

Core Research Areas might include but are certainly not limited to:

- Research on the prevention of drug use among children, adolescents, and the 

- Community-based behavioral and social science research aimed at the 
prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other adverse health and social 
consequences among drug users and their partners as well as preventing drug-
related crime and delinquency.  

- Research on individual, family, group and non-traditional interventions, 
including outreach centers and mobile health care units.

- The development of screening and assessment technologies, patient-service 
matching strategies for prevention and treatment of drug use and dependence.

- Research on the changing structure of drug abuse treatment and prevention 
services, including how treatment and prevention is financed and managed and 
how these changes impact on the quality, access, use, costs, and outcomes of 
drug abuse interventions.

- Research that addresses alternative intervention settings including social 
service and welfare agencies with special attention to the impact of changes 
to the traditional safety net on services delivered to this high risk 

The selection of core research areas should be justified on the basis of the 
public health significance of the issues to be addressed, the current state of 
scientific knowledge, the feasibility of doing research in the designated 
areas (e.g., availability of measurement instruments, populations to study), 
and the capacity of the applicant organization to conduct research in this 
area. Ongoing research in the school and university related to the core area 
should be described. The plan for each core research area to be undertaken by 
the applicant must be clearly defined for the entire period of support 

SWRD Program Specifications

The SWRD Program will provide support for two components, both of which are 
required: (1) Infrastructure Improvement Plan, and (2) Research Pilot 

1.  Infrastructure Improvement Plan - SWRD's are expected to involve 
experienced researchers from other relevant academic departments and 
professional schools, in addition to social work researchers. Applications 
might include investigators from disciplines such as psychiatry, psychology, 
pediatrics, nursing, education, epidemiology, statistics, sociology, 
economics, business, and public health.

Applicants must specify particular needs and explain how the award will enable 
them to achieve the goals of the SWRD program. The Infrastructure Improvement 
Plan may request, for example, salary costs of core personnel, including the 
Program Director, research resources shared across research team projects such 
as statistical consultation, data storage and analysis, equipment, support of 
pilot studies, support of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral research 
assistants, etc. Support may also be provided for studies that involve 
conceptualizing drug abuse research problems and research approaches, 
establishing relationships with service providing agencies and policymakers, 
developing and refining research instruments. Other necessary related 
implementation costs may also be requested, but they must be identified and 

Costs may also include:

- support of collaborative linkages with senior scientists in other 
departments and other institutions;

- support of activities such as enrolling in advanced seminars in particular 
areas of drug abuse research, or in methodological or statistical design;

- support of released time from teaching;

- support of junior faculty or those who have not conducted drug abuse 
research to develop mentorship collaborations with senior investigators at 
other institutions;

- support faculty to attend/participate in scientific meetings such as 
conferences, seminars, etc;

2.  Research Pilot Proposals - In addition to the Infrastructure Improvement 
Plan support, the program provides support for two to four developmental 
research projects by SWRDC study teams.  The intent of this component of the 
program is to support projects that enhance the overall research enterprise, 
and lead to research projects and programs supported under other research 
grant mechanisms. Funding to support undergraduate and graduate students to 
serve as research assistants may also be requested as a part of each research 
enhancement proposal.

The individual proposals should be designed to take advantage of the 
infrastructure improvement plan being supported by the program and should be 
an integral part of the SWRDC application. 

Additional Requirements

The plan for the proposed SWRD should (1) assess the current institutional and 
faculty capacity to conduct drug abuse research; (2) identify unmet needs; and 
(3) describe the activities to develop the institutional infrastructure and 
faculty capacity to conduct drug abuse research. The overall SWRD plan must 
include a discussion of the Core Research areas and both an Infrastructure 
Improvement Plan and two to four Research Pilot Proposals.

The Principal Investigator/Program Director must serve as the manager of the 
SWRD research teams and provide administrative leadership by devoting at least 
60 percent of her/his time to the SWRD, including time spent on drug abuse 
research projects. The Program Director must be responsible for the planning, 
coordination, and efficient operation of the program, preparation of the 
budget, control of expenditures, staff appointments to the research teams, and 
space allocation. Another individual may be designated as responsible for the 
day-to-day administration of the SWRD.

Close collaboration and strong support of the SWRD from the Dean or Director 
of the School of Social Work and the university are required.

In furtherance of this NIDA initiative, each SWRD is encouraged to have close 
links with State and/or local drug abuse authorities.  Applicants should to 
demonstrate formal relationships with one or more public agencies where drug 
abuse treatment and/or prevention services are provided.

The applicant must include a plan for the development of an SWRD Advisory 
Panel that incorporates research staff, community practitioners, and 
consumers/patients.  This plan must clearly define how the advisory panel will 
work with the research team(s) in the SWDR in the development of research.

I.  Infrastructure Improvement Plan

The infrastructure improvement plan must be focused on one or more core areas 
of research that will be enhanced and developed by the infrastructure 
improvement plan and the individual research pilot proposals.

Core Research Areas:  The SWRD Infrastructure Improvement Plan must clearly 
define and describe one or more core research areas that will be addressed by 
the SWRD study teams. Separate descriptions must be provided for each of the 
major core areas applicable to the proposed SWRD. This should include 
descriptions of individual pilot and early developmental research projects to 
be supported by the grant. 

These descriptions should include:

- review of the relevant literature and existing knowledge;
- objectives and significance of the research;
- research design; proposed study samples;
- research investigators and estimated percentages of effort; and
- a timetable for project implementation.

The plan should describe the institution's strategy for improving the quality 
and environment of its drug abuse research and educational programs.  Details 
of the role that the SWRD will play in achieving its objectives; the rationale 
for the selection of specific improvement strategies and their relation to the 
long-term institutional goals; and the improvements anticipated as a result of 
an SWRD award should be addressed.

The applicant should describe the current institutional capacity to support 
drug abuse research and should provide a summary of all existing research 
projects at the institution. The summary of current projects should include 
the title and substantive focus of research supported; the name and discipline 
of the principal investigator; names and discipline of other participating 
faculty; the amount, source, and level of funding by year; the time-line for 
completion of the project; any cross-institutional collaboration; and the 
significance of the project for this proposal.

The infrastructure improvement plan should identify current gaps and needs and 
should propose activities that will enable the institution to better support 
drug abuse research. The plan should:

- describe research facilities and resources that are available for drug abuse 
- describe specific equipment or infrastructure support needed to conduct the 
proposed research (Detailed justification is required for requested equipment 
- describe the collaborative research relationships and linkages under way or 
being established between the school of social work and researchers in other 
relevant disciplines;
- document close linkages with one or more State drug abuse authorities and/or 
one or more major public drug abuse agencies, if applicable.

The infrastructure improvement plan should include study team research and 
research development plans. Such research team plans might involve:  

- a description of the specific area of drug abuse research the study team 
intends to pursue, including the present state of team knowledge and research 
experience in this area, the significance and importance of work in this area, 
and the feasibility of methods and resources for the research; 
- a description of additional training and experience (types of skills, 
knowledge, methods, theory, statistics, etc.) needed by the study team members 
in order to further develop his/her research capability;  and 
- specific plans for meeting these needs, e.g., consultation and/or 
collaborative research with senior scientists, workshops, and specialized 

The nature, amount, and duration of non-Federal commitment to the plan, 
including fiscal, personnel, and facilities, should be documented.

II. Research Pilot Proposals 

Applications should include 2-4 research pilot proposals which are intended to 
be developmental projects leading to expanded research efforts.  Research 
proposals should include information on (1) specific aims; (2) background and 
significance of the pilot to the longer term research goals; (3) design of the 
pilot study; (4) protection of human subjects, if applicable; (5) consultants/ 
collaborators proposed; (6) consortium/ contractual arrangements; and (7) 
literature cited.

The applicant should also indicate the relationship of this research 
enhancement proposal to the institution's overall SWRD plan to develop drug 
abuse research.


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 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 the following URL address:


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.


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:

Applicants planning to submit an investigator-initiated new (type 1), 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended/revised 
version of the preceding grant application types requesting $500,000 or more 
in direct costs for any year are advised that he or she must contact the 
Institute or Center (IC) program staff before submitting the application, 
i.e., as plans for the study are being developed. Furthermore, the application 
must obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept the 
application for consideration for award. Finally, the applicant must identify, 
in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member and Institute or 
Center who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  This policy requires
an applicant to obtain agreement for acceptance of both any such application and
any such subsequent amendment. Refer to the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,
March 20, 1998 at

Applications for a SWRD must include two separate components: (1) an 
Infrastructure Improvement Plan and (2) two to four (2-4) Research Pilot 
Proposals. For the purposes of the page limitations of sections 1 through 4 of 
PHS 398, the overall Infrastructure Improvement Plan may not exceed 25 pages. 
Each Research Pilot Proposal is limited to an additional 10 pages each for the 
sections 1 through 4. Applications exceeding the page limits will be returned.

Submit a signed, typewritten, original of the application, including the 
checklist and five signed photocopies in one package to:

6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

A supplemental application may be submitted to include additional individual 
Research Pilot Proposals, if they stay within the time frame of the original 


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 appropriate national 
advisory board or council. 

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance the 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 both the Infrastructure Improvement Plan and each of the Research Pilot 
Proposals 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 this deserve a high priority score.

Infrastructure Improvement Plan

- the appropriateness and relevance of the proposed improvement strategies to 
the school's and institution's needs; their compatibility with SWRDC 
objectives; and their potential for effecting significant and lasting 
improvements in cooperative academic drug abuse research competitiveness;
- the adequacy, amount, and duration of the non-Federal commitment to the plan 
(e.g.,  financial, personnel, facilities);
- the quality and potential of the plan to develop one or more core 
substantive areas of drug abuse research; 
- evidence of cooperation and commitment from faculty in other departments 
and/or institutions involved in drug abuse research, with one or more State 
drug abuse authorities, and one or more public drug abuse agencies;
- the quality and appropriateness of the proposed plans for the development of 
the research team;
the adequacy of the plan for involving an Advisory Panel in the development of 
this research program;
- the potential of the project's management organization and proposed research 
team to become leaders in the field of drug abuse research and improve the 
environment for collaborative drug abuse research;
- scientific leadership, experience, and appropriateness of the Program 
Director for the implementation of the SWRD;

Research Pilot Projects

- The potential of the study to be a building block in the development of 
future research.
- Innovation and creativity of the approach in addressing a core research 
- Qualifications of the team leader and the research team. 
- Feasibility of the proposed research design, methods and analyses in 
relation to the aims of a pilot project.

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

- The adequacy of plans to include both genders, 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.
- The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research.
- 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.
- The adequacy of plans for including children as appropriate for the 
scientific goals of the research.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:  
the overall scientific and technical merit of the research as determined by 
peer review; SWDR program priorities and balance, the availability of funds; 
and adequacy of the provisions for the protection of human subjects.


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

Direct Inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Peter Delany, D.S.W.
Deputy Chief, Services Research Branch, 
Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 4222, MSC 9565
Bethesda, MD  20892-9565
Email:  PD32N@NIH.GOV
Telephone:  301-443-4060

Jerry Flanzer, D.S.W.
Social Science Analyst
Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 4222, MSC 9565
Bethesda, MD  20892-9665
Email:  JF199I@NIH.GOV
Telephone:  301-443-4060

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Gary Fleming, J.D., M.A.
Chief, Grants Management Branch
6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 3131, MSC 9541
Bethesda, MD  20892-9541
Email:  GF6S@NIH.GOV
Telephone:  301-443-6710

Direct inquiries regarding review matters to:

Teresa Levitin, Ph.D. 
Director, Office of Extramural Program Review
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 3158  MSC 9547
Bethesda, MD  20892-9547
Telephone:  301-443-2755


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.279.  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.  This program is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review. 

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant recipients to 
provide a smoke-free work place 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 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 he physical and mental health of 
the American people.

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