Full Text PAR-96-030
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 6, March 1, 1996
PA NUMBER:  PAR-96-030
P.T. 44, FF

  Biomedical Research Training 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Application Receipt Date:  January 10 and May 10
The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program Branch of the
Division of Minority Opportunity in Research (MORE) of the National
Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) provides research
training opportunities for students and faculty from minority groups
who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, including
mathematics.  As part of its ongoing commitment to the development of
prospective underrepresented minority researchers and the enhancement
of their training environment, the MARC Program provides support for
underrepresented minority students to improve their preparation for
graduate training in the biomedical sciences.
This program announcement for MARC'S new Undergraduate Student
Training in Academic Research  (U-STAR) program replaces the existing
junior/senior and freshman/sophomore components of the MARC Honors
Undergraduate Research Training (HURT) Program and supersedes all
previous MARC HURT announcements.  The most significant change in the
MARC U-STAR program is the emphasis on the measurable goals and
specific objectives as stated by the applicant institutions in
fulfilling the objectives of this announcement.
Institutions submitting renewal applications must comply with the
submission requirements as set forth in this new announcement.  NIGMS
will no longer accept competing applications for the previous MARC
HURT components. However, existing policies and provisions will
remain in effect for current MARC HURT recipients until completion of
the non-competitive years of their existing grant period.
Applications will be accepted from colleges and universities offering
the baccalaureate degree in which students enrollments are drawn
substantially from ethnic minority groups underrepresented in the
biomedical sciences, including mathematics.  For purposes of this
announcement, underrepresented minority students 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 biomedical research include but are not
limited to US citizens who are African American, Hispanic American,
Native American, and Pacific Islanders.
The MARC  program is open to qualified undergraduate honors students
majoring in the sciences with an expressed interest in a career in
biomedical research and intentions to pursue postgraduate education
leading to a Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or other combined professional
degree/Ph.D.  The period of appointment to the MARC U-STAR program is
two years at the junior/senior level. Effective with this program
announcement, freshman and sophomore stipends will no longer be
provided.  Although freshman/sophomore stipends are not provided,
institutional programs may be designed to include pre MARC student
development activities to identify and prepare students for the MARC
U-STAR program.
Awards under this program announcement will use the Institutional
National Research Service Awards (NRSA) T34 mechanism.  The
responsibility for planning, direction and execution of the proposed
project lies solely with the applicant institution.  The maximum
initial grant period is five years, with opportunity for competitive
renewal at the end of that period.
Allowable Costs
The requested budget may include costs for stipends, tuition, and
fees for trainees, and limited travel for trainees and faculty, and
release time for MARC faculty. Funds for trainee-related costs such
as course supplies and equipment essential for research training or
faculty costs for enhancing their professional credentials may be
requested with strong justification.
Stipends:  NRSAs provide funds, in the form of stipends, to MARC
U-STAR students.  A stipend is provided as a subsistence allowance
for trainees to help defray living expenses during their appointment
period.  It is not provided as a condition of employment with either
the Federal Government or the awardee institution.  The current
annual stipend for students in their junior/senior year is $7656.
No departure from the established NIH stipend schedule may be
negotiated by the institution with the trainee.  The sponsoring
institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in addition
to the stipends paid by the NIH. Such additional amounts may be in
the form of augmented stipends (supplementation).  This
supplementation to offset the cost of living may be provided by the
awardee institution but must not require any additional obligation
from the trainee.  Federal funds may not be used for supplementation
unless specifically authorized under the terms of the program from
which such supplemental funds are to be received. Under no
circumstances may PHS funds be used for supplementation.
Tuition and Fees:  Tuition and fees, including self-only medical
insurance, for the individual in training, are allowable trainee
costs if such charges are required of all persons in a similar
training status at the institution, without regard to their source of
support.  Family medical insurance coverage is not an appropriate
charge to the MARC U-STAR grant.
Travel:  Trainee/faculty travel including attendance at scientific
meetings that the institution determines to be necessary to the
individual's research training is an allowable expense. However,
there must be a strong justification for faculty travel. In addition,
support for trainee travel to a research training experience away
from the grantee institution is permitted.
Trainee Related Expenses: Trainee related expenses may be requested
to defray the cost of other research training expenses such as
equipment and research training supplies. However, requests for these
expenses must be strongly justified.
Faculty Related Costs:  MARC U-STAR faculty related costs for
workshops or to take courses to enhance their professional
credentials may be requested.
Evaluation costs:  Costs related to an institution's evaluation of
its MARC U-STAR program may be requested.
Student Development Activities:  Costs related to student development
activities to aid freshman and sophomores may be requested and should
be strongly justified.  However, the MARC U- STAR program will NOT
provide stipends and student travel.
Release Time:  Release time for specifically identified faculty, who
are directly involved in special training activities for MARC
students, and whose responsibilities for training these students
extend beyond what is routinely and normally expected of faculty at
the applicant institution may be requested with significant and
strong justification. In general, the MARC U-STAR program will NOT
provide research support and research release time for faculty.
Indirect costs:  An indirect cost allowance based on eight percent of
total allowable direct costs (this excludes tuition), or actual
indirect costs, whichever is less, will be paid.
Tax Liability
Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code applies to the tax treatment
of all scholarships and fellowships.  Under that section, non-degree
candidates are required to report all stipends, and any monies paid
on their behalf for course tuition and fees required for attendance
as gross income. Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for
tax purposes) any amounts used for tuition and related expenses such
as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of
instruction at a qualified educational institution.
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the
relationship between NRSA trainees and institutions.  NRSA stipends
are not considered salaries.  In addition, trainees supported under
the NRSA are not considered to be in an employee-employer
relationship with the NIH or the awardee institution.
It must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of
the tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service and the
courts.  PHS takes no position on what the status may be for a
particular taxpayer, and it does not have the authority to dispense
tax advice.  Individuals should consult their local IRS office about
the applicability of the law to their situations and for information
on the proper steps to be taken regarding their tax obligations.
Responsible Conduct of Research
Applicants should describe plans for teaching responsible conduct in
biomedical research to all trainees (attendance mandatory) and
provide progress reports on the type of instruction provided, who
attended, and who taught.The plans will be judged acceptable or
unacceptable separately from the overall merit of the training
program on the appropriateness of the topics, format, participation
of faculty, and the frequency and duration of instruction to the
level and type of training being provided.  If the plan is
unacceptable, the application will not be considered for an award
until an acceptable plan is provided.
Reporting Requirements
A progress report will be required at the end of each fiscal year.  A
final report will be required within 90 days after the termination
date of the award.  All progress reports must include information on
each student participant delineating the student's progress and all
benefits the student derived from the program, as well as the
training plan for the coming year.  This progress report must also
contain information on MARC U-STAR (and where appropriate, MARC HURT)
graduates, their subsequent schooling and/or their careers.  For
applicants submitting competing renewals the progress report in the
competing application may satisfy this requirement.
It is the intent of the MARC U-STAR program to address the current
deficiency of, and the anticipated crisis regarding, the paucity of
minority students earning degrees in biomedical sciences, including
mathematics. To this end, the objectives cited below have been
identified.The objectives of the MARC U-STAR Program are: to increase
the number of competitively trained underrepresented minority
students enrolled in programs that lead to the research doctorate; to
strengthen the faculty, science course curriculum and research
training programs in biomedical sciences at minority serving
institutions; and to aid in the development of research training
infrastructure at minority serving institutions.
The MARC Branch recognizes that there are differences in
institutional environments and institutional missions. Therefore, the
emphasis of this program will be on the measurable goals and specific
objectives as stated by the applicant institution in fulfillment of
the objective of this announcement.
Applicants should define the nature and extent of under-represented
minority student participation in the biomedical sciences at the
applicant institution and the previous history of the MARC U-STAR
(formerly, the MARC HURT program) program at the applicant
institution (if applicable) including the uniqueness, coherence and
success of this program at the applicant institution in sending
competitively trained students on to graduate programs that lead to
the research doctorate.
Applicants should define the goals and specific measurable objectives
of the institution's program and how meeting these institutional
goals and objectives will fulfill the goals of this announcement.
Applicants should explain their proposed MARC U-STAR program in
detail.  Discussion should include, but is not limited to, an
explanation of how their MARC U-STAR Program as designed will
significantly strengthen the institutions capability for training
students in the biomedical sciences; the impact of the institutions
proposed program on retention and academic success of students
majoring in the biomedical sciences, including mathematics; how
students will be selected and  specific arrangements for any special
extramural activities; and how student participants will be better
prepared for graduate training.
Applicants who request funds for freshman and sophomore student
development activities must specify why such activities are
appropriate for the overall goals of the institutions MARC U-STAR
program.  These applications should describe how the extension of
preparatory training to the freshman and sophomore levels with a
combination of mentoring, tutoring, science preparatory courses and
laboratory experiences during the academic years and summers is
appropriate for this specific population.  For example, a student
development activity may need additional resources to serve the
academic non-research needs of the students.
Academic institutions with other programs for supporting student
development and research training such as a Minority Biomedical
Research Support (MBRS) grant, Bridges to the Future grants, NRSA
training grants, National Science Foundation grants or Howard Hughes
Medical Institute grants should define the relationship between those
programs and the MARC U-STAR program.  The application should
delineate the manner in which MARC U-STAR trainees will interact with
the programs of these other sources of support.
The applicant institution should describe the institution's plans for
assessing its proposed program, by stating the goals of the
evaluation, the questions that will be addressed by the evaluation
design, and the methods that will be used for analyzing the data.
Tracking of student participants in the institution's program must
extend to determining the careers/postgraduate school outcomes of the
MARC students.The applicant institution should describe specific
arrangements for providing special extramural summer training at
universities and laboratories other than the applicant institution.
The applicant institution should be able to demonstrate the benefits
of this program on recruitment, development, retention, graduation
rates and career outcomes of students in the biomedical sciences at
the applicant institution. These data will be used as a baseline for
future evaluation of the success in meeting the goals and specific
objectives of the proposal.
Minority serving institutions wishing to apply for support under this
program should request application forms, guidelines, and additional
information by calling (301) 594-3900, or writing to the MARC Program
Branch Office, National Institute of General Medical Sciences,
National Institute of Health, 45 Center Drive MSC-6200,  Natcher
Building, Room 2As.37D, Bethesda, MD 20892-6200.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the Checklist, and three photocopies of the signed application in one
package to:
BETHESDA, MD 20872-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
should also be sent to the MARC Program Branch at the address given
Upon receipt, applications will be administratively reviewed by NIH
staff.  Incomplete and/or unresponsive applications will be returned
to the applicant without further consideration.  Those applications
that are complete and responsive will be evaluated in accordance with
the criteria stated below for scientific and technical merit by
appropriate peer review groups.  The second level of review will be
provided by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council.
Review Criteria:
o  feasibility of the proposal as defined by the stated goals and
specific measurable objectives;
o  qualifications and experience of the Program Director and faculty
to carry out the proposed program;
o  appropriateness of the program's plan to meet the goals of this
solicitation as well as the goals and specific measurable objectives
of the application;
o  availability of honors undergraduate underrepresented minority
students in the participating science departments who are interested
in graduate study leading to the Ph.D in the biomedical sciences;
o  evidence of graduating underrepresented minority students
progressing to, and completing, higher education in the sciences;
o  feasibility of the student development activity, if proposed;
o  evidence of institutional commitment and strength of the efforts
of the institution to foster professional development of
underrepresented minority faculty and to train underrepresented
minority students in biomedical sciences;
o  appropriateness of the administrative plan for managing the
proposed program, including adequacy of space for research training,
additional courses and/or workshops;
o  the proposed plan for the trainee's off-campus research
o  appropriateness of the applicant institution's plan for evaluating
the impact of the program, including a system to track the future
course of program participants and their academic and career
outcomes; and
o  acceptability of the Responsible Conduct of Research plan.
Award decisions will be based on the merit of the applications, the
applicants' ability to meet the goals and objectives of this program
announcement and an acceptable responsible conduct of research plan.
Awards are made only to institutions with financial management
systems and management capabilities that are acceptable under PHS
policy.  Awards will be administered under the PHS Grants Policy
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this program announcement
are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants is welcomed.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Adolphus P. Toliver, Ph.D.
Minority Access to Research Career Branch
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
Email:  ToliverA@GM1.NIGMS.NIH.GOV
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal 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) 480-3423
Email:  HollandA@GM1.NIGMS.NIH.GOV
NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants made under the authority
of Section 487 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act as amended and
administered under Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part
66.  The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 93.880 is applicable
to these awards.
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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