Full Text PAR-96-015
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 1, January 26, 1996
PA NUMBER:  PAR-96-015
P.T. 42

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Application Receipt Dates:  May 1 and November 15 annually
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) was
established to improve the quality, appropriateness, and
effectiveness of health care services and access to these services.
These purposes are achieved by supporting research and by promoting
improvements in clinical practice and in the organization, financing,
and delivery of health care services.
Also, AHCPR supports conferences on issues relevant to health
services research.  Some are supported by the awarding of small
grants (grants with direct costs of $50,000 or less).  This
announcement describes the
procedures and criteria for the AHCPR Small Grant Program for
Examples of the types of conferences eligible for support include
those with purposes in Research Development, Design and Methodology,
or Dissemination.
This announcement supersedes the small conference grant portion of
"Health Service Research Conference Grants," PA-91-61, published in
the NIH Guide on May 31, 1991 and in the Federal Register on July 15,
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.  AHCPR
encourages applicants to conduct conferences that addresses these
objectives.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2000" (Full Report: Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or Summary
Report: Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of
Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325,
telephone 202-783-3238.
Any non-profit organization is eligible to submit an application to
AHCPR for a small grant to support a conference.  Eligible
organizations include:  academic institutions, agencies of State and
local government, and private research and service organizations and
foundations.  Profit making organizations are not eligible to apply
for AHCPR grants.
AHCPR encourages women and members of minority groups to submit
Applications may request full or partial support for conferences.
Where partial support of a conference is requested, the review will
consider the overall structure and design of the conference as well
as the subcomponent for which support is being requested.
This program announcement uses the conference grant (R13) mechanism.
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.
Title IX of the Public Health Service Act gives AHCPR flexibility in
awarding grants with costs of $50,000 or less.  Such grants are
called "small grants."  AHCPR uses the small grant authority to
support three kinds of activities:  conferences, doctoral
dissertations, and small research projects.
This program is designed to reduce the costs of applying for grants
to fund small conferences and expedite review and awarding of small
conference grants.
Purpose and Scope of the Activity
This program announcement describes the AHCPR Small Grant Program for
Conferences.  Examples of the kinds of conferences eligible for
support include:  (1) Research Development Conferences which define
issues or problems in the delivery of health services and develop a
research agenda or strategy for studying them; (2) Design and
Methodology Conferences which address methodological and technical
issues of major importance in the field of health services research;
and (3) Dissemination Conferences which provide research information
to organizations and individuals involved in formulating or
evaluating health policy, managing health care programs, and
purchasing or using health services.
Allowable and Non-allowable Costs
Expenses allowed under the Small Grant Program for Conference Support
follow the guidelines described in the Application for a Public
Health Service Grant.  Areas of particular relevance to conference
grants and exceptions to the general policies are described below.
Direct Cost Expenditures
1.  Equipment.  Grant funds may be used for rental of necessary
equipment.  Funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment.
2.  Travel.  Proposed per diem or subsistence allowances must be
reasonable and will be limited to the days of attendance at the
conference plus the actual travel time required to reach the
conference location by the most direct route available.
Travel costs are limited to the extent provided by formal
institutional travel policy.  If the grantee institution has no
formal travel policy, Department of Health and Human Services travel
regulations shall be applied in determining the amount for travel
chargeable to grant funds.
Where meals and/or lodging are furnished without charge or at a
nominal cost (e.g., as part of the registration fee), the proposed
per diem or subsistence allowance must take this into consideration.
Transportation costs for those attending or participating in the
conference and paid with grant funds may not exceed economy class
fares.  U.S. carriers must be used where possible.
Grant funds may not be used to pay per diem or expenses other than
local mileage for local participants in the conference.
3.  Supplies.  Grant funds may be used for the purchase of supplies
for the conference, provided the supplies are received and used
during the project period.
4.  Conference Services.  Grant funds may be used for necessary
recording of proceedings, simultaneous translation, and subsequent
5.  Publication Costs.  Grant funds may be used to pay for the
publication and dissemination of conference proceedings.
6.  Registration Fees.  Registration fees when paid by the grantee to
other organizations on behalf of attendees may be paid from grant
funds, provided such fees cover only those allowable costs properly
chargeable to the grant.
7.  Entertainment and Personal Expenses.  Costs of amusement,
diversion, social activities, ceremonial, and related incidental
costs such as bar charges and personal telephone calls of
participants or guests cannot be charged to the grant.
8.  Federal Employees.  Grant funds may not be used to cover the cost
of travel or any payment to a full-time Federal employee except when
that employee is on leave without pay status from his or her
employing office.
9.  Honoraria.  Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of
conferring distinction on or to symbolize respect, esteem, or
admiration may not be paid from grant funds.  Speakers fees, however,
are allowable.
10.  Alteration and Renovations.  Grant funds may not be used to
support facility alteration or renovations of any kind.
11.  Meals.  When meals are an integral and necessary part of a
conference (i.e., working meals where business is transacted), grant
funds may be used for such meals.
Indirect Costs Expenditures
Indirect costs will not be allowed on grants in support of
conferences except in the most unusual circumstances and then only
after negotiation in advance of the award between the applicant
organization and AHCPR.
Terms and Conditions of Award
1.  Agreement for a limited number of AHCPR staff to attend and/or
participate.  This is necessary because only conference grants which
are germane to the programs of AHCPR are funded.  At the time of
award, the project officer will negotiate with the grantee(s) the
number of AHCPR staff members who are to attend and/or participate.
2.  Agreement to hold the conference within 12 months of the date of
the award, but no sooner than 60 calendar days from the time of the
grant award.  No support is provided for conferences held prior to
the time of the grant award under any circumstances.
3.  Agreement to submit an original and two copies of an executive
summary and one-page abstract of the proceedings to AHCPR no later
than 60 days after the conference.  At the time of the award, the
project officer will determine how many copies of the conference
proceedings will be required.
It is the policy of AHCPR that women and members of minority groups
be included in all AHCPR supported research projects involving human
subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification
are provided that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the
health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.
The NIH policy resulting from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43) supersedes and strengthens NIH's
previous policies (Concerning the Inclusion of women in Study
Populations, and Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study
Populations), which were in effect since 1990 and which AHCPR had
adopted.  The new NIH policy contains provisions that are
substantially different from the 1990 policies.  Refer to the "NIH
Guidelines on the 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 printed in the NIH GUIDE FOR
GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of March 11, 1994, Volume 23, Number 10.  AHCPR
follows the revised NIH Guidelines, as applicable.
Although conferences will not conduct research per se, research is
usually a primary focus of conferences supported by AHCPR, and
applications will be expected to demonstrate consideration for the
special needs of minorities and women.  This consideration should be
reflected in the design of the agenda, selection of topics and
speakers, as well as in the final product associated with the
conference, whether it is a research agenda or conference
Applicants may obtain copies of the Guidelines from those sources
listed above or from the AHCPR contractor, Global Exchange, listed
under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.  AHCPR program staff may also provide
information concerning this policy (See INQUIRIES).
These directions apply only to applications for grants of $50,000 or
less in costs.  Applicants seeking more than $50,000 for conference
support should consult AHCPR's General Conference Grant Announcement
for information.
Concept Letter
The first step in the application process is a "concept letter."  The
"concept letter" should not exceed two pages.  It should provide a
brief description of the purpose, significance, content, and audience
of the proposed conference.  No application will be accepted prior to
Agency receipt and review of a "concept letter".  These letters will
be accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Concept letters are to be addressed to:
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Office of Scientific Affairs
Small Grant Programs
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD  20852
Attn: Conference
After reviewing the "concept letter," AHCPR will inform potential
applicants whether they should submit a formal application for
review.  AHCPR will request an application if the conference will
complement other ongoing activities of the Agency or otherwise make a
significant contribution to health services research.
If the Agency responds to the "concept letter" by requesting an
application, there is a reasonable probability, but not absolute
certainty, that AHCPR will fund the project.
AHCPR will respond to a "concept letter" within 15 days of receipt.
Application Process
Only applications requested by the Agency in the response to a
concept letter will be accepted for review.
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  State and local government applicants
may use form PHS-5161-1, Application for Federal Assistance (rev.
9/92), and follow those requirements for copy submission.  These
forms are available at most institutional offices of sponsored
research and may be obtained from the Office of Grants Information,
Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge Drive, Room 3034, MSC 7762, Bethesda, MD  20892-7762,
telephone 301/710-0267, email:  girg@drgpo.drg.nih.gov.
AHCPR applicants are encouraged to obtain application materials from
the AHCPR contractor, Global Exchange, Inc., 7910 Woodmont Avenue,
Suite 400, Bethesda, MD  20814-3015; telephone 301/656-3100 or FAX
Applicants must follow the specific instructions included in the
"Application for a Public Health Service Grant:  PHS 398" (Rev.
5/95).  The narrative portion of the application will substitute for
the Research Plan described in PHS Form 398 (Rev. 5/95).  The
narrative must describe the:  (1) general purpose of the conference;
(2) planning process; (3) agenda and specific topics; (4) format; (5)
speakers and discussants; (6) expected products; (7) expected
participants; and (8) location, personnel, and facilities.
The narrative portion of the application must not exceed 15 pages in
length.  No additional material related to project justification
should be added as an appendix.
Any additional directions on how to apply for a Small Conference
Grant will be sent with the response to the concept letter.
The completed original application, and five legible copies,
requested by AHCPR in the response to the concept letter should be
addressed as follows:
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Office of Scientific Affairs
Small Grant Programs
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, Maryland  20852
Attn: Conference
Conference Grant Applications with proposed budgets above $50,000 in
costs must be sent in accordance with the submission dates in the PHS
398 form (rev. 5/95) and with procedures in the "Health Services
Research Conference Grants" program announcement.  Information on
those conferences may be obtained from Christine G. Williams, M.Ed.,
Acting Director, Center for Health Information Dissemination (See
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness and
responsiveness.  Incomplete applications will be returned to
applicants without further consideration.
In general, AHCPR staff will review applications for small grants to
support conferences.  Reviews are conducted by two or three reviewers
selected on the basis of knowledge and expertise relevant to the
particular application.  When the required expertise is not available
in AHCPR, staff from other Federal agencies or outside experts are
Based upon information provided in the concept letter, AHCPR decides
whether a proposed conference has merit before an application is
requested.  Therefore, the review of the application focuses on the
conference structure and design.  Reviewers will evaluate the
Review Criteria
o  The composition, role, and expertise of any advisory group used in
planning or conducting the conference.
o  The format of the conference, especially the relationship of the
format to the nature of the desired outcome of the conference.
o  The agenda and specific topics in relationship to the purpose of
the conference.
o  The proposed speakers and panel members and the criteria used for
their selection.
o  The involvement of potential users of information produced by the
conference in its planning.
o  The plan for evaluating and disseminating the results of the
o  The experience and training of the staff involved in planning and
managing the conference.
o  The adequacy of the facilities and other resources to meet the
objectives of the type of conference being planned.
o  The appropriateness of the budget including other sources of
Reviewers may approve the application or may identify problems that
must be resolved before an award is made.  In rare instances
applications requested on the basis of a concept letter may not be
approved because the application differs from what is described in
the initial letter or because the application contains one or more
serious problems that cannot be easily resolved.
Reviews will be completed 6 weeks after receipt of the formal
Applications will compete for available funds with all other
conference applications.  The following will be considered in making
funding decisions:  Quality of the proposed project, availability of
funds, and program priority.
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, including information
on the policy of inclusion of women and minorities in study
populations to:
Christine G. Williams, M.Ed.
Acting Director, Center for Health Information Dissemination
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 501
Rockville, MD  20852-4908
Telephone:  301/594-1360, ext. 145
FAX:  301/594-2286
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Carol Roache
Acting Chief, Grants Management Staff
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601
Rockville, MD  20852-4908
Telephone:  301/594-1447
FAX:  301/594-3210
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance Numbers 93.180 and 93.226.  Awards are made under
authorization of Title IX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C.
299-299c-6) and Section 1142 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.
1320b-12).  Awards are administered under the PHS Grants Policy
Statement and Federal regulations 42 CFR 67, Subpart A, and 45 CFR
Parts 74 and 92.  This program is not subject to the
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372.
The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco
products.  In addition, Public Law 103-227, The Pro-Children Act of
1994, prohibits smoking in  certain facilities (or in some cases, any
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education,
library, day care, health care, or early childhood development
services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the
American people.

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