RELEASE DATE:  June 17, 2003

PA NUMBER:  PAR-03-140 (Reissued as PAR-07-432)

EXPIRATION DATE: August 14, 2006  (Expired August 14, 2006 per NOT-GM-06-114)

(Also see NOT-OD-06-104)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) 


This Program Announcement replaces PAR-00-139, which was published in the NIH 
Guide to Grants and Contracts on September 22, 2000.



o  Purpose of the PA
o  Program Objectives
o  Mechanism of Support
o  Eligible Institutions
o  Individuals Eligible to Become PREP Scholars
o  Special Requirements
o  Where to Send Inquiries
o  Submitting an Application
o  Peer Review Process
o  Review Criteria
o  Award Criteria
o  Required Federal Citations


The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program Branch of the Division 
of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) of the National Institute of 
General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides research training opportunities for 
students from minority groups that are underrepresented in the biomedically 
relevant sciences, including mathematics.  As part of the ongoing commitment 
to the development of prospective underrepresented minority researchers and 
the enhancement of their training, the MARC Program provides support to 
stimulate the interest of underrepresented minority students to consider 
biomedical research as a career.

The MARC Branch is reissuing its institutional initiative, the Post-
baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), to encourage 
underrepresented minorities who hold a recent baccalaureate degree in the 
biomedically relevant sciences to pursue a Ph.D.  The purpose of this program 
is to heighten the interest of the post-baccalaureate participants in such 
areas of scientific research as cell biology, biophysics, biochemistry, 
genetics, neurobiology, physiology, computational biology and behavioral 
sciences.  It is anticipated that participation in this program will 
facilitate the development of a cohort who will become the scientists who 
address the health problems that disproportionately affect minorities and the 
medically underserved people of this country.  Participants in this program 
will acquire stronger research skills and improve the skills and 
competitiveness necessary for the successful pursuit of a graduate degree.  

Institutions with programs that have demonstrated significant experience in 
training Ph.D. candidates in the biomedical sciences and/or behavioral 
sciences may request from six to 12 post-baccalaureate positions, with a 
maximum of no more than 12 per year for each year of the grant (i.e., 60 
participants for a five-year grant period), for individuals to engage in 
mentored research studies and student development activities under the 
direction of faculty preceptors. 

For this Program Announcement, underrepresented minority baccalaureates are 
individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been 
determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical 
research.  Nationally, individuals who have been found to be underrepresented 
in biomedically relevant research include, but are not limited to, United 
States citizens who are African American, Hispanic American, Native American, 
and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.  In this Program Announcement, the 
term "science" means the biological, chemical, computer, physical, and 
behavioral sciences, including mathematics, which have relevance to 
biomedical research.


In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NIH was encouraged to increase the 
number of underrepresented minorities participating in biomedical and 
behavioral research.  In response to the Act, institutions with graduate 
programs and demonstrated experience in training Ph.D. candidates in the 
biomedical sciences and faculty involved in biomedical research would have an 
opportunity to target those talented and promising minority baccalaureate 
graduates who, for a variety of reasons, have decided to postpone application 
to Ph.D. programs.  The overall goal of this initiative is to increase the 
number of competitively trained underrepresented minority students who enroll 
in and eventually complete biomedical sciences Ph.D. programs.  In addition, 
we hope to develop a cohort who will eventually become the scientists who 
conduct research on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, 
respiratory diseases, HIV, and other STDs, substance abuse, and other areas 
that address reducing health disparities. 

The applicant institution should define the goals and specific measurable 
objectives of its proposed program and how meeting those institutional goals 
and objectives will fulfill the objectives of this Program Announcement.  The 
application should make clear how each of the proposed programmatic 
activities will contribute to meeting the PREP scholars' needs and the 
institution's stated goals and specific measurable objectives.  The 
application should provide a plan to evaluate whether the specific measurable 
objectives, as stated in the application, have been met and how those data 
obtained will be analyzed.

Applicant institutions are required to submit the following information:

o  Evidence of the applicant institution's commitment to the advancement of 
underrepresented minority students in the participating science departments.
o  Evidence of the applicant institution's efforts to recruit and retain 
underrepresented minority students in the participating science departments.
o  Evidence of previous involvement of faculty in providing meaningful 
research mentoring to underrepresented minority students in the proposed 
participating departments.
o  Description of a clear plan for the development of PREP scholars that 
includes courses and developmental activities that could provide them with 
the knowledge and skills needed to address any biomedical/behavioral 
scientific problem including those that pertain to health disparities, in 
addition to conducting mentored research.

Applicant institutions are expected to provide detailed plans for the 
recruitment and selection criteria of PREP scholars and involvement of the 
scholars in any special developmental activities. For example, a program's 
curriculum or developmental activities might provide a broad overview of 
subjects as well as the skills and knowledge relevant to the national need of 
addressing health disparities, such as the human genome project or 
translational research. In addition, the overall curriculum should strengthen 
the mathematical and quantitative skills needed by the scholars to eventually 
complete the Ph.D. degree.  Thus, the application should clearly describe how 
the PREP scholars would be better prepared for Ph.D. training and how the 
applicant institution will evaluate the quality and success of its PREP 
initiative.  The application should also provide information on the 
credentials of the proposed faculty preceptors, including their experience as 
mentors, current research programs and publications, and current grant 

Only one application per institution may be submitted for this PA.  


This PA will use the NIH Institutional Educational Project (R25) award 
mechanism.  As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, 
directing, and executing the proposed program.  The maximum initial grant 
period is five years with the opportunity to compete for renewal at the end 
of the period.

This PA does not use the just-in-time concepts.  It also does not use the 
modular budget format.  This program does not require cost sharing as defined 
in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at  Facilities and 
administration costs will be provided at a rate of 8% minus exclusions.


You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following 

o  Domestic private or public institutions, such as universities and 
o  Research institutions or centers with graduate programs that have 
experience in training Ph.D. candidates and that offer a solid research 


To be eligible for participation in the program as a PREP scholar, 
individuals from underrepresented minority groups must have graduated with a 
baccalaureate degree in a biomedically relevant science from an accredited 
U.S. college or university no more than 36 months prior to applying to a PREP 
program.  All individuals selected as scholars must intend to apply, within 
two years, for graduate education that will eventually lead to the research 
doctorate.  In addition, PREP scholars must be U.S. citizens or permanent 

The period of appointment for scholars participating in this post-
baccalaureate program is for up to two years.  During the period of 
appointment, the scholars will work as apprentice scientists in a preceptor's 
laboratory and participate in student development and/or educational 
activities at the applicant institution.  The applicant institution should 
set as goals for its PREP scholars academic criteria that would allow for 
their admission to a Ph.D. program.  It is expected that if the PREP scholar 
performs satisfactorily, he/she will be strongly encouraged to apply for 
admission to the Ph.D. program of the applicant institution, if it has one, 
as well as Ph.D. programs of other institutions.  The PREP scholar's 
preceptor must be an active researcher with an extramurally funded research 


Responsible Conduct of Research

Applicant institutions must describe in detail plans for teaching responsible 
conduct in biomedical research to all PREP scholars and provide progress 
reports of the type of instruction given, who attended, and who taught.  This 
is mandatory for all PREP grant applicants.  Applications without plans for 
instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered 
incomplete and may be returned to the applicant without review.

Although NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal requirements, 
PREP programs are encouraged strongly to consider instruction in the 
following areas: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for 
handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects, 
and data management.  Within the context of training in scientific integrity 
it is also beneficial to discuss the mutual responsibilities of the 
institution and the post-baccalaureate participants supported by this 

Plans must address the subject matter and format of the instruction, the 
degree of faculty participation, attendance of PREP scholars, and the 
frequency of instruction.  In addition, the rationale for the proposed plan 
of instruction must be provided.

During peer review the plans will be judged acceptable or unacceptable 
separately from the overall merit of the training program.  The judgment will 
be based on the appropriateness of the topics, format, the nature of faculty 
participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction to the level and 
type of training being provided.  The plan will be discussed after the 
overall determination of merit, so that the quality of the plan will not be a 
factor in the determination of the priority score.  Regardless of the 
priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded. 

Reporting Requirements

A progress report will be required two months before the end of each budget 
period.  A final report will be required within 90 days after the termination 
date of the award.  All progress reports must include information on each 
PREP scholar's progress and the benefits that the scholar derived from the 
program.  In addition, the progress report should include information on the 
applicant institution's success in motivating these scholars to enroll in 
Ph.D. programs.  Based on each year's progress report, the number of PREP 
slots may be modified depending on the rate of the PREP scholars enrolling in 
Ph.D. programs at the applicant institution or other institutions.  In 
addition to the progress report, a Financial Status Report (FSR) will be 
required 90 days after the end of each budget period.


We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas: programmatic, peer review, and financial or grants management issues, 

o Direct your questions about programmatic issues to:

Adolphus P. Toliver, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2753

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Richard I. Martinez, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-2849
FAX:  (301) 480-8506

o Direct questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Ms. Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594 5132
FAX:  (301) 480-2554


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 710-0267, 

The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

ALLOWABLE COSTS:  Costs for the overall administration of the PREP 
initiative, including coordination and evaluation of the program, are 
allowable.  Such costs include salary support for the Program Director (up to 
15% effort) for the portion of time devoted specifically to administering the 
program, salary support for secretarial or clerical help when directly 
related to the PREP initiative, and support for evaluation activities. 

PREP SCHOLARS SALARIES:  Remuneration for PREP scholars is through salary and 
wages.  Beginning PREP scholars will be paid a salary of $21,000/year.  The 
maximum compensation package, which includes fringe benefits and tuition and 
fees (if applicable) a PREP scholar may be paid should not exceed 
$30,000/year.  The following conditions must be met:

o  The PREP scholar must be performing necessary work relevant to the 
proposed training plan. 
o  There must be an employer-employee relationship between the scholar and 
the university.
o  The total compensation must be reasonable for the work performed.
o  It is the institution's practice to provide compensation for all students 
in similar circumstances, regardless of the source of support for the 

TUITION REMISSION:  The applicant institution may request tuition remission 
for a course it deems necessary to enhance the preparedness of a PREP scholar 
for graduate studies and specifically justified.  However, tuition remission 
may not exceed the in-state tuition cost at institutions that also have out-
of-state tuition charges.
TRAVEL:  Applicants may request support for travel of PREP scholars to 
scientific meetings or to present scientific papers.  Requests for PREP 
scholars travel to scientific meetings must be carefully and specifically 

FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATION ALLOWANCE:  A facilities and administration 
(F&A) allowance based on 8 percent of total allowable direct costs (this 
excludes tuition, fees, health insurance, and equipment) will be paid.

UNALLOWABLE COSTS:  Housing, food, or recruitment expenses of any kind are 
not allowable costs under this program.  Support for faculty research is not 
allowable, since faculty preceptors in competitive programs are expected to 
have their own research support and an active research program capable of 
supporting the mentored research experience of PREP scholars.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:  Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted only for the receipt date listed in the heading 
of this PA.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist and three signed photocopies of 
application, in one package 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)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and 
appendix materials must be sent to:

Richard I. Martinez, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement must be received on or before the application receipt date 
listed in the heading of this PA.  The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) 
will not accept any application in response to this PA that is essentially 
the same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant 
withdraws the pending application.  This does not preclude the submission of 
a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such an 
application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within 8 weeks.  


Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned to NIGMS.  Incomplete 
and/or unresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant without 
further consideration.  An appropriate review group will be convened by the 
NIGMS in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures 
(  Those applications that are complete 
and responsive will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a second level of review by the National Advisory General Medical 
Sciences Council.


A suitable review group assembled by the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review 
will evaluate applications for technical and scientific merit based on the 
following criteria:

o  Appropriateness of the measurable specific objectives and the plan for the 
evaluation of the program;
o  Quality of the proposed research training and student development 
activities and probability they will provide a meaningful experience for the 
PREP scholars; 
o  Qualifications and experience of the program director to carry out the 
proposed program;
o  Quality and experience of the proposed research faculty as investigators 
and research mentors;
o  Evidence of the institution's adequacy and availability of research 
resources and research training environment;  
o  Evidence of the applicant institution's efforts to recruit and retain 
underrepresented minority students in the participating departments;
o  Evidence of previous involvement of faculty in providing meaningful 
research mentoring to underrepresented minority students in the proposed 
participating departments; 
o  Description of a clear plan for the development of PREP scholars that 
includes courses and developmental activities that could provide them with 
the knowledge and skills needed to address any biomedical/behavioral 
scientific problem including those that pertain to health disparities, in 
addition to conducting mentored research; and  
o  Appropriateness of the scope of the program and its potential benefit to 
the PREP scholars.

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA:  In addition to the above criteria, the following 
items will be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the 
priority score:

subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation 
in the proposed research will be assessed (see criteria included in the 
section on Federal Citations, below).

plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups 
(and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated.  (See Inclusion Criteria included in the 
section on Federal Citations, below.)

be used by the PREP Scholars in their research experience, the five items 
described under Section F of the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions (rev. 5/2001) will be assessed.


DATA SHARING:  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data.

Responsible Conduct of Research Plan.  Applications must include the 
applicant's plans for providing instruction in the responsible conduct of 
research, including the rationale, subject matter, appropriateness, format, 
duration and frequency of instruction.  No award will be made if an 
application lacks this component.  

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget.


Applications submitted in response to this PA will compete for available 
funds with all other recommended PREP applications.  The following will be 
considered in making funding decisions:

o Scientific and technical merit as determined by peer review.
o Relevance to program priorities.
o Availability of funds.


is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their 
sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification are 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 
AMENDMENT "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects 
in Clinical Research – Amended, October 2001," published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(; a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at 
The amended policy incorporates:  the use of an NIH definition of clinical 
research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB 
standards: clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical 
trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials: 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.

The NIH maintains a policy 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 is available at .

policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for 
all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at  

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC):  Criteria for federal funding of research 
on hESCs can be found at and at  Only 
research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem 
Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see  
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the official NIH 
identifier for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research.  
Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without 

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.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to 
the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", 
the "Privacy Rule," on August 14, 2002.  The Privacy Rule is a federal 
regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
(HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable 
health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for 
Civil Rights (OCR).  Those who must comply with the Privacy Rule (classified 
under the Rule as "covered entities" must do so by April 2003 (with the 
exception of small health plans which have an extra year to comply).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside 
with the researcher and his/her institution.  The OCR website 
( provides information on the Privacy Rule, including 
a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered 
entity?"  Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH 
processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, 
cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES:  All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations.  
Unless otherwise specified in a 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.  Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010:  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 is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject to 
the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.   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.  All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, 
cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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)
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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