Release Date:  November 8, 2000

PA NUMBER:  PAR-01-014

National Institute on Drug Abuse



This program announcement (PA) is a reissuance of PAR-97-046, which was 
issued March 21, 1997, and is hereby withdrawn.  This reissuance will become 
effective as of the February 1, 2001, receipt date, and will remain in effect 
through the February 1, 2004, receipt date unless reissued.  This reissuance 
differs from the prior issuance in two major ways:  (1) three receipt dates 
are now offered, and (2) the scope of the behavioral research is expanded to 
include all areas of behavioral research related to drug abuse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), through the issuance of this PA 
seeks to facilitate the entry of beginning investigators into the field of 
behavioral science research.  NIDA invites newly independent investigators to 
submit applications for small-scale, exploratory, or pilot research projects 
related to NIDA’s behavioral sciences mission.  Funding of B/START awards is 
relatively rapid; i.e., within approximately six months of the date of 
receipt of the 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 Program Announcement 
(PA), “Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition-NIDA,” is related 
to one or more of the priority areas.  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.  Foreign institutions are not eligible for a B/START 
award.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with 
disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.  

To be eligible for a B/START award, the proposed principal investigator must 
be independent of a mentor at the time of award, but be at the beginning 
stages of her/his research career.  No B/START award will be made to 
individuals in training status.  Thus, applicants may submit applications 
only after their training is complete.  The proposed principal investigator 
may not have been designated previously as principal investigator on a 
National Institutes of Health (NIH) or federally-supported research project 
or component (except a dissertation research grant) or have received similar 
support from another federal agency; e.g., the National Science Foundation.  
Previous receipt of a National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship 
is permissible.  Recipients of mentored K-awards are not eligible.  

Because this program is targeted at newly independent investigators, 
individuals who are more than five years beyond training status should 
consider other mechanisms of support.


This PA will use the NIH Small Grant (R03) award mechanism.   An award is not 
to exceed $50,000 in direct costs and is for a period of one year only.  The 
award is not renewable.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and 
execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.

Because this announcement targets newly independent investigators, this 
mechanism is ideal for obtaining pilot data that could serve as the basis for 
a subsequent grant application using other mechanisms of support.  Therefore, 
under this PA, inclusion of pilot data is not a requirement.

As an alternative mechanism of support to the B/START, investigators 
interested in pursuing periods of supervised training and career development 
are encouraged to consider NIDA’s career development award mechanisms.  
Information on these mechanisms is provided at

Prospective B/START applicants may also wish to consider NIDA’s standard 
Small Grants Program as another alternative funding mechanism (see  

Resubmission of a B/START application is not permitted.

The principal investigator on a B/START award may not be replaced.  Transfer 
of a B/START award with the principal investigator to another institution may 
be requested.  


NIDA, through the issuance of this PA, seeks to facilitate the entry of 
beginning investigators into the field of behavioral science research.  NIDA 
recognizes the contributions that behavioral methods and perspectives can 
make toward understanding and treating drug abuse and addiction.  In order to 
assure the development and implementation of sustained, systematic 
applications of behavioral expertise to drug abuse research, it is essential 
to ensure that opportunities for involvement in drug abuse research are made 
available to behavioral investigators who are at the early stages of building 
their independent research programs. 

To be appropriate for a B/START award, research must be primarily focused on 
behavioral processes and research questions.  Thus, research on genetic, 
neural, or other biological processes would be appropriate for a B/START 
award only if its overall emphasis were on understanding behavioral processes 
or outcomes.

Research proposed under B/START need not be conducted in drug-abusing 
populations or involve administration of drugs; however, the relevance of the 
research to drug abuse or drug addiction must be clearly established in the 

In all proposed research, investigators are encouraged to consider designing 
the research so as to permit an analysis of data by gender.

All areas of behavioral research related to drug abuse are sought under this 
announcement including (a) animal and human basic behavioral and cognitive 
research aimed at elucidating underlying behavioral and cognitive mechanisms, 
determinants and correlates of drug abuse, and characterizing the 
consequences of drug abuse and addiction; (b) research incorporating neural 
and other biological approaches if the research has a primary focus on 
behavior or cognition;  (c) drug abuse epidemiology, risk and protective 
factors, prevention, treatment, and drug abuse services; and (d) behavioral 
as well as cognitive research directed at the relationship between drug abuse 
and HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.  These areas of interest include, 
but are not limited to:

o  Measurement of the incidence, prevalence, and patterns and trends of drug 
abuse (in various stages) and its adverse effects.

o  Identification of risk, vulnerability, protective, and resiliency factors 
for drug use and dependence.

o  Studies of behavioral mechanisms that may underlie drug dependence; e.g., 
learning and conditioning processes, cognitive processes, tolerance, 
habituation, and sensitization.

o  Studies of learning, motivational, cognitive, and emotional factors 
contributing to the acquisition of drug taking, maintenance, withdrawal, and 

o  Characterization of the effects of abused drugs on diverse behavioral 
domains, including sensory-perceptual, psychomotor, learning, motivation, 
cognitive, social, and cultural, as well as the reciprocal role of adverse 
outcomes on further drug involvement.

o  Development of new animal behavioral models that correlate well with the 
human pattern and consequences of drug use and dependence.  Such models may 
include an examination of neural processes.

o  Development of new animal behavioral/cognitive models to serve as 
screening procedures in the search for pharmacotherapies to treat drug 

o  Development of mathematical or computational models of learning, 
conditioning, or cognitive processes relevant to drug abuse.

o  Laboratory, field, and epidemiological studies of the behavioral, 
cognitive, social, and cultural factors involved in the transition from drug 
use to drug dependence.

o  Behavioral genetic approaches either in animal models (e.g., transgenic 
animals, development of simple high-input behavioral screens) or in human 
subject studies (e.g., establishment of pedigrees, twin studies).

o  Studies of innovative theory-based drug abuse prevention programs, 
including HIV prevention programs as they relate to drug abuse.

o  Studies of behavioral treatments of drug dependence, including animal 

o  Identification of factors affecting prevention and treatment access, 
entry, readiness, retention, and compliance. 

o  Studies of the effects of organization, financing, and management of 
services on prevention and treatment outcomes. 

o  Studies of strategies to prevent and reduce HIV risk and other infectious 
diseases among drug abusers.

o  Studies of drug abuse treatment services for HIV seropositive patients and 
for those at risk for HIV infection.


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 or justification is 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 103-43).

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 is 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 

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


The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse recognizes the importance of 
research involving the administration of drugs to human subjects and has 
developed guidelines relevant to such research.   Potential applicants are 
encouraged to obtain and review the recommendations of Council before 
submitting an application that will administer compounds to human subjects.  
The Guidelines are available on NIDA’s Home Page at or may be obtained by calling (301) 443-2755.


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.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) and will be accepted at the three 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: and may be 
downloaded at

Prior to submitting an application, investigators are strongly encouraged to 
contact the program contact listed under INQUIRIES in order to assess the 
responsiveness of their proposed project to the mission of NIDA and to the 
goals of this PA.

Sections a-d of the Research Plan must not exceed ten pages in total.


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 


Modular grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules.  
B/START applicants may request a maximum of two modules for a total direct 
cost of $50,000.  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

FACE PAGE - Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs and 
Total Costs [Modular Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) 
costs] for the one-year budget period.   Items 8a and 8b should be completed 
indicating the Direct and Total Costs for the entire proposed period of 
support.  Because this award is for one year, the figures for Items 7a and 7b 
should be the same as Items 8a and 8b.

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

categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application.

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.

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 F&A) 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 in 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.

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.

CHECKLIST - This page must 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.

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 number and title of this PA must be typed on line 2 on the face page of 
the application form and the YES box must be marked.

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

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

To permit an expedited review of the applications, applicants must 
simultaneously send two additional copies of the application to:

Director, Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3158, MSC 9547
Bethesda, MD  20892-9547
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

The standard receipt dates apply to this PA:  February 1, June 1, and October 


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established NIH referral 
guidelines.  Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by a scientific review group organized by NIDA.  As part of the initial 
merit review, all applications will receive a written critique.  In 
approximately five months, applicants will be notified by NIDA staff whether 
or not the application will be funded.  No funding will occur during the 
months of October and November.

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 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.

(1)  Significance:  Does this study address an important problem?

(2)  Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 

(3)  Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or 

(4)  Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work?

(5)  Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?

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

o  The adequacy of plans to include 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 in relation to the 
proposed research.

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


Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended 
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:  
Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, appropriateness 
to the goals of the B/START program, availability of funds, and program 


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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Cora Lee Wetherington, Ph.D.
Division of  Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4282, MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD  20892-9555
Telephone:  301-435-1319
FAX:  301-594-6043

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Gary Fleming, J.D., M.A.
Grants Management Branch
Office of Planning and Resource Management
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3131, MSC 9541
Bethesda, MD  20892-9541
Telephone:  (301) 443-6710
FAX:  (301) 594-6847

Direct inquiries regarding review matters to:

Teresa Levitin, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3158, MSC 9547
Bethesda, MD  20892-9547
Telephone:  (301) 443-2755
FAX:  (301) 443-0538


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.279.  Awards are made under authorization of sections 301 and 405 of the 
Public Health Service Act as amended by  (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 
45 CFR Part 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 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.

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