Full Text PAR-96-052
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 15, May 10, 1996
PA NUMBER:  PAR-96-052
P.T. 34

  Biomedical Research Training 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 

National Center for Research Resources
Application Receipt Date:  October 1, annually
The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program encourages
active biomedical and/or behavioral scientists to work as partners
with educators, media experts, community leaders and other interested
organizations on projects to improve the student (K-12) and the
public understanding of the health sciences.
In FY 1991, 24 pilot projects were funded under a joint National
Institutes of Health (NIH)/Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health
Administration (ADAMHA) Request For Applications to determine the
feasibility of such partnerships for increasing the scientific
literacy of Americans.  In FY 1994, the National Center for Research
Resources (NCRR) solicited applications to further develop existing
models and plan strategies for their dissemination to larger
audiences; 15 of these projects were supported.
This Program Announcement (PA) is intended to support either the
development (Phase I) or the dissemination (Phase II) of highly
meritorious and innovative models for enhancing K-12 student and/or
general public health science education.  The NCRR encourages the
submission of grant applications from eligible organizations to 1)
develop and evaluate model biomedical and/or behavioral science
education partnership programs or 2) develop effective strategies for
the dissemination of successful existing innovative biomedical and/or
behavioral science education partnership models.
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 PA,
Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), is related to all
priority areas. 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 202-512-1800).
Domestic organizations with a scientific and/or educational mission
are eligible to submit applications.  Such entities include colleges
and universities, state and local education agencies, professional
societies, museums, research laboratories, media producers, private
foundations and industries, and other public and private
education-related organizations, for-profit or non-profit.
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.
Foreign entities are not eligible.
Awards under this PA will use the education projects (R25) grant
mechanism.  The applicant will be solely responsible for the
planning, direction, and execution of the program. This PA is a
continuing solicitation and is effective until otherwise announced in
the NIH Guide.  The earliest annual award date for SEPA applications
will be July 1.
Because of the wide range of programs that may be proposed, it is
anticipated that the duration and size of awards may vary also.
However, requests may not exceed three years of support and requested
annual direct costs may not exceed $250,000.  Indirect costs, other
than those awarded to State or local government agencies, will be
reimbursed at eight percent of total allowable direct costs.  State
and local government agencies will receive reimbursement at their
full indirect cost rate.
The award of grants pursuant to this PA is contingent upon the number
of highly meritorious applications received and the availability of
Conditions of Award
Publications or audiovisual materials costing over $25,000 each may
be produced with project funds only if prior written approval is
obtained from the funding agency.  Two copies of the finished product
must be supplied along with the annual or final progress report.  Any
products derived from the project activity must be publicized and
must be freely available in the public domain.  Any project funded
under the SEPA program may not be used to endorse or publicize any
profit-making activities.
All publications, audiovisual materials and other products resulting
from SEPA activities supported entirely or in substantial part by NIH
should include the following or comparable acknowledgement of
"This project was supported by a Science Education Partnership Award,
RR-XX-XXX, from the National Center for Research Resources, National
Institutes of Health."
An annual progress report must be filed with the Grants Management
Officer, NCRR, and a final report is due within 90 days of the end of
the project period.  Reports should summarize the goals, methods, and
results of the activity undertaken.  It should be accompanied by at
least two copies of any materials intended for dissemination
developed as part of the SEPA project.
The conditions of award cited above represent only a portion of
applicable Public Health Service policy under which SEPA awards will
be administrated.  All awards will be administered under PHS grants
policy as stated in the Public Health Service Grants Policy
Statement, DHHS Publication No. (OASH) 94-50,000 (Rev.) April 1,
1994.  All SEPA program awardees should have access to a copy of this
In order for the NIH to fulfill its mission, it is necessary for
adequate numbers of students to enter and remain in mathematics and
science education tracks so that there will be a sufficient supply of
scientists, engineers and technicians to meet the Nation's future
workforce needs in the biomedical sciences and in the sciences
related to health.  The NIH also is dependent on a scientifically
literate public that understands the behaviors that increase the risk
of disease and the necessity for basic research to make progress
toward improving health.
The first SEPA program, initiated in 1991, seeded the development of
a variety of model programs in the health- related sciences.  The
programs funded were designed to convey the importance and excitement
of biomedical science in ways that create interest and enthusiasm
among the students involved.  Programs aimed at the general
population were directed to increasing knowledge of scientific terms,
concepts and reasoning, and the ability to understand health- related
scientific policy issues.  Priority was given to models that were
innovative and had the potential to be replicated for widespread use.
The programs focused on biomedical science areas, behavioral science
areas, and related issues such as health promotion, disease
prevention, and the inclusion of underrepresented groups.
The 1994 SEPA program focused on a) the finalization of those model
pilot programs that needed additional time to evolve and mature into
finished products, and b) the development of effective strategies for
the dissemination of well-evaluated, successful programs to reach a
larger, preferably regional or national, audience and thereby have a
significant impact on scientific literacy in the biomedical and/or
behavioral sciences.
Program Characteristics
This SEPA Program is intended to 1) support the development and
evaluation of model biomedical and/or behavioral science education
partnership programs (Phase I) or 2) provide funding for the
development of effective strategies for the dissemination of
successful existing innovative biomedical and/or behavioral science
education partnership models (Phase II).
The program will support grants designed to encourage scientists to
work with educators, community leaders and others to improve student
and public understanding of science, and increase interest of young
people in health science careers.  The focus of student activities is
to be at the kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) level.  The
scientists who study disease and illness, and those who carry out
basic research relating to these disorders, have a major contribution
to make by conveying their knowledge and also the excitement in doing
research.  However, it is essential that scientists work with
elementary and secondary school educators and administrators,
community leaders, foundations, industry, museums, the media, and
others in order to make effective contributions to improving science
education and improving public understanding of both the process and
accomplishments of science.
The program will support the development or the dissemination of
model programs that join working scientists, educators and others in
enhancing the precollege science education and public understanding
in biomedical science areas such as molecular biology, molecular
genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and bioinformatics; behavioral
science areas such as health promotion and prevention of disease,
such as AIDS; and ethical issues relating to, for example, genetic
engineering, environmental health, and responsible use of animals and
humans in research.  These are but a few examples; any of numerous
other biomedical and/or behavioral science areas may be proposed.
While SEPA projects must represent new activities and focus on
health-related science, coordination with existing science education
improvement programs, such as those funded by the National Science
Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education,
and others, are encouraged.
The types of activities that may be proposed include, for example,
the enhancement of current concepts in health sciences for current
and prospective precollege teachers; development of innovative
curricula involving state-of-the- art technologies; facilitation of
linkages between biomedical scientists and local community and school
programs, involving students, teachers and parents; inclusion of a
variety of media options in an educational partnership program; and
the provision of scientific/educational consultation to professional
or educational organizations or community groups to facilitate
scientific literacy.  Many other types of activities may be proposed.
Use of advanced technologies that incorporate modern pedagogical
approaches, such as technology-based curricula and interactive
computer strategies for enhancing student and teacher learning, are
encouraged, as are programs which support the enhancement of
biomedical science literacy for underrepresented groups in science,
including women and minorities.  Programs aimed at selected target
populations, such as ethnic, racial, or gender-specific activities,
must be culturally appropriate for these populations.
Grant funds may be requested for expenses clearly related and
necessary to conduct the projects, including both direct costs that
can be specifically identified with the project and allowable
indirect costs of the institution.  Expenses must be itemized and
justified for each year of the proposed project.
An annual SEPA Principal Investigator Meeting will be convened to
foster collaboration, discuss newly emerging national strategies,
coordinate dissemination, share evaluation methodologies and outcomes
and minimize duplication of efforts.  Travel funds for these
activities should be included in the budget request for each year,
and a statement regarding willingness to participate in these
activities should be included in the application.
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 new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 429B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations), which
have been in effect since 1990. The new policy contains some
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
All investigators proposing research using human subjects should read
the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects
in Clinical Research," which have been published in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11, March 18, 1994.
Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available in most
institutional offices of sponsored research and may be requested from
the Office of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, Office
of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge
Drive, Room 6207, MSC 7910, Bethesda, Md 20892-7910, telephone
301/710-0267, fax 301-480-0525, Email: asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.
Applicants must follow the instructions provided in form PHS 398
except for the following:
Face Page
Item 1.  Also indicate whether this is a Phase I or a Phase II
Item 2.  Check "YES" and identify the number and title of this PA.
Items 4 and 5 must be completed.  Item 6.  The project period begin
date should be the anticipated award date (i.e., July 1 or later).
The length of the project period may not exceed three years.
Research Plan
Except as noted below, the following guidelines are applicable to
both Phase I and Phase II applications.
In general, the research plan should be structured to provide
information sufficient to allow the reviewers to assess the project
in terms of the review criteria stated below.  Note that there are
separate sets of review criteria; one for plans to develop new SEPA
models (Phase I), another for plans to develop strategies to
disseminate SEPA-type models that have already been developed (Phase
Goals and Objectives (Phase I and Phase II applications)
Identify the long range goals for the project and describe the
specific objectives for the proposed project period.
Significance and Rationale (Phase I and Phase II applications)
Briefly summarize the background leading to the development of this
plan.  Explain why the particular strategy was chosen.  Include
information on the process and rationale for selecting the scientific
area, the educational approach, and the target population, and
indicate how this project will address an unmet need. Describe the
advantages and limitations of the model selected, and its potential
for widespread dissemination and adaptability for use by others.
Preliminary Studies (Phase I applications only)
For Phase I (model development), include any preliminary studies
relevant to this application by the principal investigator and/or
other key personnel.  Also provide any other information that will
help to establish the experience and competence of both program
leadership and partnership organizations to effectively carry out the
proposed project.
Progress Report (Phase II applications only)
For Phase II (dissemination), provide a detailed progress report of
achievements with the existing pilot model, including:
A description of the educational approach, the scientific content,
and the nature and extent of existing educational and scientific
partnerships and collaborative interactions.
A detailed description of the educational material produced. Identify
the actual materials as "Exhibits" and include in the application.
Do not label these materials as appendices. Some examples of exhibit
items are:  Print materials (newsletters, booklets), videos,
diskettes, and other computer software.  Limit exhibits to items that
are readily portable and to materials considered to be essential to
A description of the evaluation process.  Summarize the results of
this process.  Include the evaluation instruments in the appendix.
A summary of the impact of the current pilot model to date. Include
numbers of students, teachers and/or the public impacted by this
approach, and other relevant outreach accomplishments.
A description of any dissemination activities to date, or a
description of the stage of development of the current model with
respect to future dissemination plans.
Proposed Plan (Phase I and Phase II applications)
Describe in detail the activities proposed and how they will
contribute to achieving the stated goals of the program.  Give
quantitative data on the numbers of teachers, students, and/or
members of the general public projected to be involved and the
quantity and types of educational materials to be produced and/or
Explain the relevance and potential of this project for dissemination
to a broad population, including efforts aimed at underrepresented
groups in science, including both women and minorities.
Explain clearly the nature and extent of educational and scientific
partnerships and collaborations to be developed (or, for those
already established, any plans for expansion or modification), and
the roles of key participants in the planning and conduct of the
project.  Provide documentation of the interest and commitment of
partnership members to this project.
Describe the administrative plan to organize and manage the overall
project, and provide a timetable for the various tasks and activities
for the entire project period requested.
Describe the development and implementation of the plan for formative
and summative evaluations of project activities. Include strategies
for revisions to evaluative instruments and educational processes
and/or materials.
Specifically address the commitment of the applicant organization
(and partnership members as appropriate) to this project by including
evidence of contributions to project costs, and/or in-kind, resource,
or other contributions.  For Phase II (dissemination), describe the
plans for continuation of the program following termination of SEPA
program support.
Appendix Material
Information essential for the review of the application should not be
included in the appendix.  Appendix materials submitted with the
application must adhere to the PHS 398 requirements.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the Checklist, and three signed, exact photocopies, and one copy of
the Appendix, in one package to:
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 four copies of the Appendix, are to be sent to:
Office of Review
National Center For Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6018, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD 28092-7965
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
Applications must be received by the October 1 deadline.  If an
application is received after the deadline, it will be returned to
the applicant without review.
Applications will be reviewed by NIH staff for completeness and
responsiveness.  Applications that are incomplete or nonresponsive to
this PA will be returned to the applicant.
Applications that are considered complete and responsive will be
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer
review group convened by the NCRR in accordance with NIH peer review
procedures, using the review criteria stated below.  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 National Advisory
Research Resources Council, NCRR.
Review Criteria
Phase I - Development of New Models
Significance of Model
o  Appropriateness of proposed model to NCRR SEPA goals.
o  Significance and merit of the proposed educational pilot model in
terms of educational goals to be achieved for the target population
and evidence of unmet needs to be addressed.  Potential adaptability
of the model for use by others.
o  Significance of biomedical and/or behavioral science content and
participation by active scientists in appropriate disciplines.
o  Relevance and potential for dissemination to a broad population,
including underrepresented groups in science.
Program Design and Evaluation
o  Overall quality, feasibility, and adequacy of the design of the
program to achieve its specific aims and long term objectives.
o  Merit of the program's evaluation plans, including formative and
summative evaluation strategies.
Resources and Personnel
o  Qualifications, experience and commitment of the principal
investigator and other key personnel.
o  Appropriateness of proposed educational and biomedical and/or
behavioral scientific partnerships and collaborations.
o  Adequacy of institutional commitment from partnership members,
including evidence of contributions to the project, availability of
resources, and/or other examples of institutional commitment.
Phase II - Dissemination of Existing Models
Significance of Model
o  Appropriateness of selected model to NCRR SEPA goals.
o  Significance and merit of the selected educational pilot model in
terms of educational goals to be achieved for the target population
and evidence of unmet needs to be addressed.
o  Relevance and potential impact of dissemination to a broad
population, including underrepresented groups in science.
o  Adequacy of biomedical and/or behavioral science content, and
participation by active scientists in appropriate disciplines.
Progress and Current Status of Model
o  Significance of past progress, including evaluation of existing
model, program impact to date, and readiness for dissemination.
o  Effectiveness of existing resources and personnel, including
partnerships and collaborations.
o Applicability of model to broad populations.  Program Design and
o  Overall quality, feasibility, and adequacy of the design of the
program to achieve its specific aims and long term objectives.
o  Merit of the plans to evaluate dissemination activities, including
formative and summative evaluation strategies.
o  Adequacy of accessibility, feasibility, scope, and cost
effectiveness of dissemination strategies.
o  Appropriateness of plans to sustain the program after the period
of grant support ends.
Resources and Personnel
o  Appropriateness and qualifications of the program leadership and
other personnel to implement future plans as proposed.
o  Adequacy of scientific and educational partnerships and
collaborations for the proposed dissemination activities.
o  Adequacy of institutional commitment from partnership members,
including evidence of contributions to the project, availability of
resources, and/or other examples of institutional commitment.
Award decisions will be based on the technical merit of the
application as determined by peer review, availability of funds, and
other programmatic priorities to ensure a balance among the various
types of programs, populations served, and/or geographic
distribution.  Consideration will be given to reaching
underrepresented groups, including women and minorities.
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged.
The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential
applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Dr. Robert F. Hendrickson
Research Infrastructure
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6030, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0760
Email:  roberth@ep.ncrr.nih.gov
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Ms. Mary V. Niemiec
Office of Grants and Contracts Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6086, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0844
Email:  maryn@ep.ncrr.nih.gov
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.922.  Awards will be made under authorization of
the Public Health Service Act, Title III, Part A (Public Law 78-410,
as amended under 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 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 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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