Release Date:  August 6, 1999 (see replacement PAR-03-110)

PA NUMBER:  PAR-99-139

National Institute of Mental Health

Application Receipt Dates:  December 10, April 10, August 10

This PA replaces PAR-94-053,"Minority Dissertation Research Grants in Mental
Health," which was published in the NIH Guide, Vol. 23, No. 14, April 8, 1994.


The purpose of this program announcement is to stimulate and encourage
underrepresented minority (see ELIGIBILITY section) doctoral candidates to
pursue research careers in any area relevant to mental health and/or mental

A dissertation represents the most extensive research experience formulated
and carried out by doctoral candidates, with the advice and guidance of
mentors.  Dissertation research involves a major investment of the doctoral
student's time, energy, and interest and its substance is often the basis for
launching a research career.  The usual mechanisms used for the support of
doctoral dissertation research have not attracted significant numbers of
underrepresented minority students.  The intent of the dissertation research
grants is to attract larger numbers of underrepresented minority students as
mental health investigators and to assist in providing a positive and
constructive research experience that will stimulate them to pursue research
careers in this field.


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 program announcement,
Underrepresented Minority Dissertation Research Grants in Mental Health, is
related to the priority area of mental health and mental disorders.  Potential
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at


The student applying for an Underrepresented Minority Dissertation Research
Grant in Mental Health must be enrolled in an accredited doctoral degree
program in an area or discipline relevant to the mission of the NIMH and must
have approval of the dissertation proposal by a named committee, and must be
conducting or intending to conduct dissertation research on any problem
related to mental health or mental disorders.  The student applicant must be a
registered doctoral candidate.  All requirements for the doctoral degree
(excluding the clinical internship requirement) other than the dissertation
must be completed by the time of the award.  This information, and the
approval of the dissertation topic by a named committee, must be verified in a
letter of certification from the thesis chairperson and submitted with the
grant application (see APPLICATION PROCEDURES).

For the purpose of this program announcement, underrepresented minority
students are defined as individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial
group that has been determined by the grantee institution to be
underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research.  The applicant
institution administering the grant on behalf of the student applicant must be
domestic.  Applications may be submitted by any public or private non-profit
university, college, or professional school.  The doctoral candidate must be a
citizen or non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully
admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of an Alien Registration
Receipt Card) at the time of application.  Individuals on student or temporary
visas are not eligible, nor is anyone already receiving predoctoral support
under a National Research Service Award (NRSA) unless such support is
terminated prior to the dissertation award.  Academic institutions are
encouraged to facilitate application from qualified doctoral candidates.

Before submitting an application for a dissertation research grant, applicants
are encouraged to contact program staff listed under INQUIRIES to discuss any
aspects of this program that need clarification.


The mechanism of support is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) small
grant (R03).  Grants to support dissertation research will provide no more
than $25,000 for one year in direct costs.


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of underrepresented
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, Vol. 23,
No. 11, March 18, 1994 available on the web at the following URL address:


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

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies 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. 4/98) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research or 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: GrantsInfo@NIH.GOV.  The SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS described below
and in the application kit must be followed.

Applications must be submitted for the receipt dates of april 10, august 10,
or december 10.  Applications received late will be returned to the applicant. 
Further, an application that does not conform to the instructions, including
the special instructions provided below, will be returned.

The narrative portion of the application that describes the research plan of
the dissertation may not exceed 10 pages.  This does not include material on
human subjects, vertebrate animals, consultants/collaborators,
consortium/contractual arrangements, or literature cited.  The information in
the required narrative project description must be presented in a form
suitable for detailed scientific and technical review.  Applications exceeding
the 10-page length for the research plan will be returned without review.

The applicant must submit the original and three copies of the completed
application, which includes a detailed narrative project description and
Letter of Certification as noted below (also an original and three copies) to:

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

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

Henry J. Haigler, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6154 MSC 9609
Bethesda, MD  20892-9609


Scope of Awards

Applicant students may request support for the amount of time necessary to
complete the dissertation.  A dissertation research grant usually is awarded
for a period of 12 months, but may be extended without additional funds for up
to 24 months.  Within this time frame, applicant students may request support
for the amount of time necessary to complete the dissertation.  An extension
may be awarded if satisfactory progress is being made, but no supplemental
NIMH funds will be available.

Allowable Costs

Expenses usually allowed under PHS research grants will be covered by the NIMH
dissertation research grant but may not exceed $25,000 in direct costs for the
project.  An application that exceeds this amount will be returned.  Allowable
costs include the student's salary, not to exceed $14,688 for 12 months full-
time effort (corresponding to the current NRSA stipend level for predoctoral
students), and direct research project expenses such as data processing,
payments to subjects, supplies, and dissertation costs (e.g., printing and
binding of the dissertation).  Travel funds up to $1,000 may be requested to
attend one scientific meeting; additional travel costs in connection with
research at a remote performance site must be fully justified.  No tuition,
alterations/renovations, contracting costs, or space rental are allowed on
dissertation research grants.  Small equipment items may be requested if
special justification is provided for them.  Facilities and Administrative
costs are limited to eight percent of approved direct costs, less equipment.

Level of Effort

It is expected that students will devote 100 percent time and effort (based on
40 hours per week) on the dissertation.  Any level of effort that is less than
full time (40 hours per week) must be fully justified, and the student's
salary must be prorated accordingly.

Human Subjects/Vertebrate Animals

If human subjects and/or vertebrate animals will be involved in the research,
evidence of the required institutional review must be given on the face page
of the application.  Furthermore, the instructions in the application kit must
be followed.

Concurrent Support

An applicant who receives support for dissertation research under a
grant from the NIMH may not at the same time receive support under a
predoctoral training grant or fellowship grant awarded by any Federal
agency, nor be supported under any other research project grant.

Letter of Certification

A letter from the faculty committee or university official directly
responsible for supervising the development and progress of the
dissertation research must be submitted with the application.  The
letter must (a) fully identify the members of the dissertation
committee and certify their approval of the dissertation proposal;
(b) certify that all requirements for the doctoral degree, except the
dissertation and, if necessary, the clinical internship, are
completed or will be completed by the time the grant award starts;
(c) note that the university official or faculty committee expects
the doctoral candidate to proceed with the approved project proposal
with or without NIMH support; and (d) certify that the institution's
facilities and general environment are adequate to conduct the
proposed research.

Additional Material

A transcript of the applicant's graduate school record should be included with
the application as an appendix.  The Biographical Sketch Section of the Form
PHS 398 must contain a scientific autobiography.  This autobiography must
provide a statement of career goals, including reference to their interest in
the specific area of mental health/mental disorders research, and a
description of their intended career trajectory.  The mentor's biographical
data should not exceed two pages.  The mentor should also include information
in the Other Support pages according to the instructions in the PHS 398.


See PHS 398, rev. 4/98 - C. Specific Instructions (starting on page 6). 
However, note that not all of the Sections and Items are covered here.  For
those Sections and Items not covered below, follow the instructions in PHS

Section 1 (Pages 6-10).  Face Page (Form Page AA):

Item 2.  Response to Specific Program Announcement: Check "YES" and
enter the number and the title of this program announcement.

Item 3a.  Name of Principal Investigator: Designate by name the doctoral
candidate who is to be directly involved in carrying out the proposed
research.  The doctoral candidate must be listed as principal investigator.

Item 3d.  Position Title: Enter "Doctoral Candidate."

Item 3f.  Department, Service, Laboratory or Equivalent: Enter the name of
the department or program in which the principal investigator is a
candidate for a doctoral degree.

Item 6.  Dates of Proposed Period of Support: Most applicants are
expected to propose a total project period of 12 months for the
research project and its support.  A grant may be extended without additional
funds if more than a year is required.  If an extension beyond 12 months is
desired, the principal investigator must submit a report of progress no later
than 10 months after the effective date of the award.  A one-year extension of
the grant, without additional funds, may be provided if there is evidence of
acceptable progress.

Items 7 and 8.  Costs Requested for Initial Budget Period; and Costs Requested
for the Proposed Period of Support: Dissertation research grant applications
may request no more than $25,000 for one year in direct costs.

Item 9.  Applicant Organization: Indicate where project will be conducted. If
more than one performance site, list all of them.

Item 15.  Principal Investigator/Program Director Assurance: The
applicant must sign here.

Item 16.  Applicant Organization Certification and Acceptance: The official
signing for the applicant organization must sign here.

Sections 4 and 5 (Pages 11-13).  Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period
(Form Page 4-DD); and Budget for Entire Proposed Period of Support (Form Page

Follow the Instruction Sheet for PHS 398 (rev. 4/98).  Allowable costs include
the candidate's salary, not to exceed $14,688 for 12 months full-time effort
(corresponding to the current NRSA stipend level for predoctoral students);
direct research project expenses, such as data processing, supplies, payments
to subjects, and dissertation costs (e.g., printing and binding).  Travel to
one scientific meeting (requesting up to $1,000) is allowable; additional
travel costs in connection with research at a remote performance site must be
fully justified.  This research may not be supported at the same time under
any other research grant.  Any level of effort less than full time for the
candidate must be fully justified and the candidate's salary prorated
accordingly.  Permanent equipment, tuition, alterations/ renovations,
contracting costs, and space rental are not allowed on dissertation research
grants.  Small equipment items require special justification.  The applicant
must provide detailed justification for each budget item requested.

Section 9 (Page 14).  Research Plan:

The principal investigator must provide a narrative project description that
contains a detailed scientific and technical discussion of the following
specific points.  This must not exceed 10 pages (Items addressing human
subjects and/or regarding vertebrate animals must be filled out if human
subjects and/or vertebrate animals are to be involved.)  ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING

a.  A description of the research project and what it is intended to
accomplish; the relevance of the project to mental health/mental disorders

b.  A summary of related published research that addresses the identified

c.  The questions to be answered or the hypotheses to be tested by the project

d.  The methodological procedures to be followed and, whenever applicable,
information on such matters as sampling procedures, including the size and
composition of the population to be studied and the size and composition of
the sample and control groups, as well as a description of the types and
sources of data to be gathered, methodological problems to be encountered,
specific statistical analyses to be made, and steps that will be taken to
protect human subjects or research animals as appropriate

e.  The management of the project, including a schedule of the main steps of
the proposed investigation

f.  The facilities and resources that will be available in the project.


Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical
merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIMH in accordance with
the standard NIH peer review procedures.  Reviewers will take into account the
applicant's stage of development and the importance of the dissertation as a
learning experience that is part of the applicant's graduate education. 
Emphasis will be given to the scientific merit, feasibility, and relevance of
the project to mental health research areas.  The qualifications of the
candidate will also be emphasized in the review.  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 and
assigned a priority score.  It is the intent to provide review results and
announce funding decisions within four months after the receipt date.  Review
criteria, funding decisions, and continuation of support are described below.

Review Criteria for Dissertation Research Grant Applications:

The overall goal of NIH-supported research is to advance our understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In
the written review, comments on the following aspects of the application will
be made in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have
a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  For dissertation research
grants, review criteria include significance of problem; scientific quality of
the proposal; relationship of proposed research to expanding the knowledge
base in mental health research areas; research design and research methods;
personal qualifications of the candidate; supervision of the candidate;
institutional facilities and support structure; and appropriateness of budget. 
Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in the assignment of
the overall score:

(1) Significance.  Does the proposed project address an important problem in
mental health/mental disorders?  If the aims of the application are achieved,
how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  Will the results have heuristic

(2) Approach.  Are the conceptual framework, hypothesis to be tested, research
design, methodology, and analyses adequately developed, clearly defined, and
appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the proposal describe the main
steps of the investigation within the project period, acknowledge potential
problem areas and consider alternative approaches?  Does the proposal reflect
a grasp of scientific principles and adequate knowledge of other research
related to the problem?

(3) Innovation.  Within the context of dissertation research and training
experience, does the proposed project employ novel concepts, approaches or
methods?  Within the same context, are the aims original and innovative?

(4) Investigator.  Is the student applicant appropriately trained and well
suited to carry out the dissertation research?  Does the student shows promise
as a research investigator in areas relevant to the proposal?  Is the
experience and training of the student sufficient to carry out the research,
and is the proposed research project consistent with the long-term research
interests of the applicant?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the
experience level of the student?

(5) Environment.  Does the scientific and training environment in which the
work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Does the proposed
project take advantage of unique features of the scientific and training
environment?  Will the faculty advisor provide the necessary supervision and
mentoring to the student?  Is there evidence of institutional support
including available facilities appropriate to the research?

(6) Appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
proposed research.  The allocation of time and money reflects an understanding
of the research tasks to be accomplished and of the problems likely to arise.

(7) Adequacy of plans to include genders, children and adolescents, and
minorities and their subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the
research, or justification for their exclusion.  Plans for the recruitment and
retention of subjects will also be evaluated.

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the protection
of human and animal subjects, the safety of the research environment, and
conformance with the NIH Guidelines for the Inclusion of Women, Children and
Adolescents and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research.


Final funding decisions are based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the
relevance of the project to NIMH program support areas, program balance, and
the availability of appropriated funds.

Terms and Conditions specific to dissertation grants

o  Continuation of support without additional funds: under expanded
authorities, the grantee institution may extend this grant up to one year
without additional funds.  However, the letter to the NIMH staff regarding the
extension must include information documenting the progress of the awardees
during the first year of support.

o  Since this is a dissertation grant, the NIMH Program staff must be informed
if there is a change of mentor.  A biographical sketch and material on the new
mentor's research support should be provided for approval by NIMH.

o  Dissertation Research Grants may not be transferred another applicant
institution, unless under unusual and compelling circumstances.  One example
is if the mentor moves to a new institution and both the mentor and the
student wish to move together.

o  The dissertation constitutes the final report of the grant.  As a part of
the closeout process, two copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the
NIMH within 90 days of the termination of the grant.  The dissertation must be
officially accepted by the faculty committee or university official
responsible for the candidate's dissertation, and it must be signed by the
responsible official.

o  Awards will be administered in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy
Statement, October 1, 1998.

Concurrent Support

An applicant who receives support for dissertation research under a grant from
the NIMH may not at the same time receive support under a predoctoral training
grant or fellowship grant awarded by any Federal agency, nor be supported
under any other research project grant.


Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIMH staff regarding
current program priorities before applying for a grant.

For overall NIMH policy with regard to this initiative, contact:

Henry Khachaturian, Ph.D.
Office of Science Policy and Program Planning
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8208, MSC 9667
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-4335
FAX:  (301) 443-3225
Email:  hkhachat@mail.nih.gov

For specific Division-level program interests, contact the following training

Della Hann, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6217, MSC 9621
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-9700
FAX:  (301) 480-6000
Email:  dhann@mail.nih.gov

Walter L. Goldschmidts, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7196, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone: (301) 443-3563
FAX: (301) 443-1731
Email:  wgoldsch@mail.nih.gov

Enid Light, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7160, MSC 9635
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone: (301) 443-1185
FAX: (301) 443-4045
Email: elight@mail.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885
Email:  dtrunnel@mail.nih.gov


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.242.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health Service Act,
Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC
241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR 66 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health
Systems Agency review.  Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy as
stated in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (October 1, 1998).

PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the nonuse 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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