Release Date:  May 15, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PAR-98-072


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) invites
applications from outstanding intramural and extramural postdoctoral fellows for
the Research Scholar Development Award (RSDA).  The RSDA will provide support for
postdoctoral fellows who are moving to assistant professor positions in an
academic institution.

The purpose of the RSDA is to ease the transition to an academic position by
enabling the awardee to focus on the establishment of his/her research laboratory
prior to submitting applications for grant support.

This is a two-year pilot program.


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, Research Scholar Development
Award, is related to the priority areas of HIV infection, diabetes and chronic
disabling conditions, maternal and infant health, sexually transmitted diseases,
and immunization and infectious diseases.  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) from the Superintendent of Documents,
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).


The candidate must have a health professional doctoral degree or its equivalent,
such as Ph.D, M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., D.N.S. and have
demonstrated the capacity for highly productive, independent postdoctoral
research in her or his chosen field prior to applying for this award.

For this pilot applicants must be either (a) postdoctoral fellows in an NIAID
intramural laboratory, or (b) postdoctoral trainees supported by an NIAID
Institutional NRSA training grant (T32) or an NIAID Individual NRSA postdoctoral
fellowship (F32).  Minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities, meeting
these requirements, are encouraged to apply.  Candidates must be U.S. citizens
or noncitizen nationals or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent
residence.  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.


The NIAID RSDA program will use the NIH Career Transition (K22) award.  The
project period for this award is two years; awards are not renewable.

NIAID intends to award 6-8 competing RSDAs per year for the two years of this
pilot program.


The primary objective of this Program Announcement is to help the awardee develop
a strong, independent research career.  This will be accomplished by supporting
outstanding postdoctoral scientists as they move to their first academic position
as assistant professors.  The RSDA will ease the transition so the awardee can
concentrate on establishing a viable research laboratory prior to applying for
research grant support.

Applications responding to this Program Announcement will be submitted in two


Because of the nature of this award, the applicant will not have identified a
sponsoring institution at the time of submitting the Phase I portion of the RSDA
application.  Thus, the front page of PHS 398 will not require a sponsoring
institution or institutional officials and signatures.

The following items on form PHS-398 application are required for the first phase
of an RSDA application:

1.  Biographical Sketch

A biographical sketch is required for the applicant, following the modified
instructions below.  Do not exceed the two-page limit.

o  Complete the education block at the top of the form page.

o  List current position(s) and those previous positions directly relevant to the

o  List peer-reviewed publications directly relevant to the proposed project with
full citation.

o  Provide information on research projects completed during the last five years
that are relevant to the proposed project.

2.  Candidate

The application must address the following issues regarding the candidate:

o  Establish the candidate's commitment and potential to develop into a
successful independent investigator in biomedical, behavioral, or public health

o  Summarize the candidate's immediate and long-term career objectives,
explaining how the award will contribute to their attainment.

3.  Research Plan

The candidate must describe the research plan as outlined in form PHS 398
including sections on the Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Progress
Report/Preliminary Studies, Research Design, and Methods.  The Research Plan
should be written by the candidate with help from the individualþs postdoctoral
supervisor (i.e. the supervisor at the institution where the applicant is
finishing his/her postdoctoral work).


If the applicant receives a fundable score after the review of Phase I of the
application, she or he will be notified in writing of NIAIDþs commitment to make
an award.  The candidate will then have a period of up to 12 months to identify
a suitable position as an assistant professor at an academic institution.  When
negotiations between the applicant and the institution are complete, Phase II of
the application can take place.

The following items are required for the second phase of an RSDA application:


A detailed budget for Initial Budget Period - complete form page 4 of the PHS 398
(rev. 5/95).

Budget for Entire Proposed Period of Support - complete the categorical budget
table on form page 5 in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) for up to two years of support. 
Begin the budget justification on Form Page 5 (see Item 2 below), using
continuation pages as needed.

2.  Budget Justification

o  List the name, role on project and percent effort for all project personnel
(salaried or unsalaried) and provide a narrative justification for each person.

o  Identify all consultants by name and organizational affiliation and describe
the services to be performed.

o  Provide a narrative justification for any major budget items, other than
personnel, that are requested for the conduct of the project.  Describe specific
resources committed by the sponsoring institution to support the applicantþs

o  Indirect costs will be calculated at the time of the award at an eight percent
rate or at the institutionþs actual rate, whichever is lower.  Applicants will
be asked to identify the indirect cost exclusions prior to award.

3.  Career Development Plan

Describe the career development plan, incorporating consideration of the
candidate's goals and prior experience.  It should describe a systematic plan to
obtain the necessary background and research experience to launch a career in
biomedical or behavioral research.  Statements from officials at the institution
chosen by the RSDA applicant should strongly address the research career and
academic plan for the candidate.

4.  Environment and Institutional Commitment

The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established research
program in biomedical and behavioral research.  The sponsoring institution also
must provide a detailed statement of institutional resources committed to foster
the candidate's development into a productive, independent investigator.  Prior
to the award, the candidate and an appropriate official (Dean, departmental
Chair, or equivalent) of the sponsoring institution must satisfactorily describe
the elements of a research program that will maximize the candidateþs chances for
a successful research career in an academic setting.


At least 75 percent of the recipient's full-time professional effort must be
devoted to the program while the remainder may be devoted to other research-
related, clinical and/or teaching pursuits consistent with the objectives of the


This award will provide up to a total of  $150,000 (direct costs) in the first
year, and up to $100,000 (direct costs) in the second year.

a.  Salary:  The amount of funding that may be used to support the awardeeþs
salary is limited to $50,000 per year (plus fringe benefits).  If the salary
negotiated between the awardee and the sponsoring institution is higher than
$50,000, the institution may use non-Federal funds to supplement its contribution
up to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary scale. 
Institutional supplementation of salary must not require extra duties or
responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the RSDA.  The RSDA
does not require that salary support be derived from the award; use of the entire
direct costs for research-related expenses is allowed.

The total salary requested must be based on a full-time, 12-month appointment. 
It must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the
institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution to other staff
members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the
department concerned.

b.  Research-Related Expenses:  These include salaries for technical support,
consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, and other research-related

c.  Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for secretarial or administrative
assistance is NOT allowed.

RSDA awards will be made under Expanded and Federal Demonstration Project
authorities to eligible institutions.

After review of the initial Phase I applications for scientific merit, funding
of the RSDA will depend largely on the institutional commitment of funds, time,
and other resources toward the development of the RSDA applicant shown in the
Phase II application.

Fees resulting from clinical practice, professional consultation, or other
comparable activities required by research and research-related activities of
this award may not be retained by the RSDA recipient.  Such fees must be assigned
to the grantee institution for disposition by any of the following methods:

o  The funds may be expended by the grantee institution in accordance with the
HHS/NIH policy on supplementation of career award salaries and to provide fringe
benefits in proportion to such supplementation.  Such salary supplementation and
fringe benefit payments must be within the established policies of the grantee

o  The funds may be used for health-related research purposes.

o  The funds may be paid to miscellaneous receipts of the U.S. Treasury.  Checks
must be made payable to the Department of Health and Human Services, NIH, and
forwarded to the Director, Division of Financial Management, NIH, Bethesda,
Maryland 20892.  Checks must identify the relevant award account and reason for
the payment.

Awardees may retain royalties and fees for activities such as scholarly writing,
service on advisory groups, or honoraria from other institutions for lectures or
seminars, provided these activities remain incidental and provided that the
retention of such pay is consistent with the policies and practices of the
grantee institution.

Usually, funds budgeted in an HHS/NIH-supported research or research training
grant for the salaries or fringe benefits of individuals, but freed as a result
of a career award, may not be re-budgeted.  The awarding component will give
consideration to approval for the use of released funds only under unusual
circumstances.  Any proposed retention of funds released as a result of an RSDA
career award must receive prior written approval of the program administrator.


Short leave periods to another institution, including a foreign laboratory, may
be permitted if directly related to the purpose of the award.  Only local
institutional approval is required if such leave does not exceed three months. 
For longer periods, prior written approval of the awarding organization is
required.  To obtain prior approval the award recipient must submit a letter
countersigned by his or her department head and the appropriate local
institutional official to NIAID describing the plan.  A copy of a letter or other
evidence from the institution where the leave is to be taken must be submitted
to assure that satisfactory arrangements have been made.  Support from the career
award will continue during such leave.

Leave without award support may not exceed 12 months.  Such leave requires the
prior written approval of the awarding institute and will be granted only in
unusual situations. Support from other sources is permissible during the period
of leave.  Such leave does not reduce the total number of months of program
support for which an individual is eligible.  Parental leave will be granted
consistent with the policies of the NIH and the grantee institution.


When a grantee institution plans to terminate an award, the awarding institute
must be notified in writing at the earliest possible time so that appropriate
instructions can be given for termination.

The Director of the NIH may discontinue an award upon determination that the
purpose or terms of the award are not being fulfilled.  In the event an award is
terminated, the Director of the NIH shall notify the grantee institution and
career award recipient in writing of this determination, the reasons therefor,
the effective date, and the right to appeal the decision.

Changes of institution will only be considered under extremely special

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are
required upon either termination of an award or relinquishment of an award in a
change of institution situation.


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
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
"NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994
(FR 59 14508-14513), and in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of March 18,
1994, Volume 23, Number 11.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the program staff or
contact person listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional
relevant information concerning the policy.


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 address:


Applications for Phase I are to be submitted on form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) and will
be accepted on the receipt deadlines indicated in the application kit. 
Application kits are available at most institutional offices of sponsored
research and 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; FAX (301) 480-0525, Email:  Forms are also available on the NIH Website at

For purposes of identification and processing, item 2 on the face page of the
application must be marked "YES." The PA number and the PA title must also be
typed in section 2.

The completed, signed original and five legible, single-sided copies of the
application and five copies of the appendices must be sent or delivered to:

BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817-7710 (for express/courier service)

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their plans and objectives of
their proposed application with the NIH staff member listed under INQUIRIES
before submitting an application.


Applications received in response to this program announcement will be reviewed
in accordance with the usual NIH peer review procedures.  Applications will be
reviewed for completeness by the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR). 
Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical
merit.  Phase I of the review process will be undertaken by a review committee
convened by the NIAID.  For this phase, the applicant will submit a research
proposal clearly delineating the scientific and technical aspects of the
application, without necessarily having identified a sponsoring academic
institution.  The research proposal will be submitted from the institution at
which the candidate is a postdoctoral trainee, and will be written under the
guidance of the traineeþs advisor.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive a written
critique.  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 and will receive a second level review by the National
Allergy and Infectious Diseases Advisory Council.

The following review criteria will be applied in Phase I of the review process:

1.  Candidate:  Is the candidate appropriately trained and suited to the proposed
career development activities; i.e., well trained and productive in his or her
current field and prepared for the proposed research activities?

2. Career Development Plan: Is the career development plan proposed one which
will give the candidate sufficient background and experience in research such
that the candidate can establish an independent research career?

3.  Research Plan: All candidates for this award must have had previous research
experience as postdoctoral scientists.  A strong research plan that is consistent
with the career development plan and the candidate's level of research
development should be provided.

4.  Significance:  Does this project address an important problem?  How well does
the proposed research experience complement the proposed career development

5.  Approach:  Are the methods adequately developed, well-integrated, and
appropriate to the research plan and career development goals of the candidate? 
Does the candidate acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative

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

a.  The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities, and their
subgroups and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of any clinical
research activities.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will
also be evaluated.

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

After the Phase I applications have been reviewed and have received a priority
score, those applicants with fundable scores will be notified in writing of a
conditional intent of the NIAID to make an award.  This document may be used by
the RSDA applicant to identify a suitable academic institution and enter into
negotiations for a position as assistant professor.

The second stage of the review process (Phase II) will take place after the
candidate and officials from the chosen academic institution have negotiated a
suitable position.  The second stage of the application (Phase II) must include
the items described earlier under the section PHASE II OF THE RSDA APPLICATION. 
The appropriateness and soundness of the arrangement negotiated between the
applicant and the new sponsoring institution will be carefully assessed by NIAID
staff.  The institutional commitment of resources, time and other factors
conducive to the research project and the career development of the RSDA
applicant will be carefully examined.  Applications from candidates appointed to
assistant professorships at the same institution where they held a postdoctoral
position must provide a strong justification for applying for the RSDA at that


Funding decisions will be made based on the recommendations of the initial review
group for Phase I, staff recommendations after Phase II review, and the
availability of funds.


Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged, especially
during the planning phase of the application.

Inquiries regarding programmatic issues may be directed to:

Milton J. Hernandez, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6003 Executive Boulevard, Room 3C21
Bethesda, MD  20892-7640
Telephone: (301) 496-3775
FAX:  (301) 402-0369

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Barbara Huffman
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6003 Executive Boulevard, Room 3C17
Bethesda, MD  20892-7640
Telephone:  (301) 496-3821
FAX:  (301) 402-0369


The RSDA awards are made under the authority of Title III, Section 301 of the
Public Health Service (PHS) Act as amended.  The Code of Federal Regulations,
Title 42 Part 52, and Title 45 part 74, are applicable to this program.  This
program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos. 93.855
and 93.856.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The HHS 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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