This PA will remain active for three years, through the July 1, 2003
application receipt date.
THE SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY OF EARLY DEVELOPMENT (SEED)
Release Date: June 22, 2000
PA NUMBER: PAS-00-108 (see replacement PA-04-113)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute of Mental Health
THIS PA USES THE MODULAR GRANT AND JUST IN TIME CONCEPTS. IT INCLUDES
DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE USED
WHEN PREPARING APPLICATIONS IN RESPONSE TO THIS PA.
This Program Announcement (PA), jointly issued by the Demographic and
Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB) and the Child Development and Behavior
Branch (CDBB) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
(NICHD) and the Developmental Psychopathology and Prevention Research Branch
of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), invites research grant
applications focused on creating a science base on the development of children
living in low-income families. This PA falls under the Science and Ecology of
Early Development (SEED) 2000 initiative. SEED 2000 is designed as a
collaborative effort among the following agencies: U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services [NICHD, NIMH, Administration on Children and Families
(ACF), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE),
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)], and the Department
of Education (National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education
of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for
Education Statistics, and Office of Special Education Programs). Its main
focus is to establish a research agenda on the development of children in low-
income families that has scientific integrity and is highly relevant to policy
makers. The overarching goal of the SEED initiative is to foster research on
the multiple contexts of development--family, child care settings, schools,
neighborhoods, communities and broader cultural contexts-- and their impact on
the developmental trajectories of children in low income families.
The NICHD, NIMH, and their SEED partners seek to stimulate systematic,
multidisciplinary, and ecological research to understand the specific
cognitive, linguistic, sociocultural, and economic factors, and the complex
interaction among these factors, that promote or impede development of
children in low-income families. It is expected that the research studies
stimulated by this initiative will contribute scientific data on the
developmental trajectories of low-income children and have relevant
implications for emerging public policy issues, including health disparities.
The purposes of this PA are threefold: (1) to examine the effects of poverty,
as it interacts with a multitude of factors, on the developmental trajectories
of children in low-income families; (2) to identify risk and protective
factors for physical and mental health and cognitive, linguistic, affective,
and social development among children growing up in low-income families; and
(3) to identify social-ecological factors that affect the development of poor
children and that can be used to guide and inform policy, including the design
and implementation of effective interventions.
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of Healthy People 2010, a PHS led national
activity for setting priority areas. This Program Announcement (PA) is related
to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain
Healthy People 2010 at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.
Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign for-profit and
non-profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible
agencies of the Federal government. Racial/ethnic minority individuals,
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal
Investigators. Only new applications may be submitted in response to this
announcement; competing continuation applications for funded projects are not
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
This PA uses the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project grant
(R01) and the Interactive Research Project Grant (IRPG) award mechanisms.
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed
project will be solely that of the applicant. The total project period for an
application submitted in response to the PA may not exceed five years.
Use of the IRPG, consisting of theoretically and collaboratively linked
individual research project grants, is encouraged. For a description of the
IRPG mechanism, please refer to:
Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR
GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts being examined by the NIH.
Complete and detailed instructions and information on Modular Grants can be
found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.
The NICHD intends to commit approximately $1.5 million and the NIMH intends to
commit approximately $500,000 in total costs [direct plus Facilities and
Administrative (F&A) costs] in FY 2001 to fund three to four new grants in
response to this PA. SEED partner agencies may add funds to support or
supplement projects in the program. An applicant may request a project period
of up to five years. Because the nature and scope of the research proposed may
vary, it is anticipated that the size of awards also will vary. Although this
program is provided for in the financial plans of the NICHD and NIMH, awards
pursuant to this PA are contingent upon the availability of funds for this
purpose and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
At present, the largest group of poor people living in the United States is
children, and nearly one-fourth of poor children are under six years of age.
Children in poverty are especially at risk for problems in physical and mental
health, and cognitive and social development. Poverty among children is
associated with an array of problems, including low birth weight, infant
mortality, contagious diseases, and childhood injury and death. Poor children
are at risk for developmental delays in intellectual development and school
achievement. Compared to non-poor children, poor children tend to have lower
average levels of school-related skills and their progress through school is
slower and more subject to termination from dropout. Poor children also have
relatively high rates of social/emotional and behavioral problems, including
anxiety, social withdrawal, aggression, and delinquency; lack of self-esteem
and self-efficacy; and psychological distress. Although poor children are at
risk for problems, many are healthy, intellectually productive, and socially
The ecological context in which poor children develop has been significantly
altered in the last two decades by major sociodemographic changes in community
and family structure and population composition. For example, the increase in
the rate of maternal labor force participation, the parallel increase in the
enrollment of children in non-parental care facilities, and the rapid decline
in the proportion of two-parent families have created different challenges and
opportunities for poor families. The majority of poor children live in one-
parent households, and the poverty rate for fatherless families is higher than
for two-parent households. Today’s poor families are likely to have complex
and shifting family structures, highly diverse ethnic and linguistic
backgrounds, and uneven education and employment.
Other factors that have drastically shaped the context in which families live
include the recent changes in welfare reform, health care, and child welfare
as well as the major economic expansion of the last decade.
Communities also have undergone drastic changes. In this era of globalization
and the emergence of the network society, concentrated urban poverty and
related dimensions of economic disadvantage, such as racial and ethnic
exclusion, have affected child development in ways that are not fully
understood. Violence that children experience in their own homes and
communities or through television, movies, and interactive video games is
increasingly common as are substance abuse, periods of homelessness, and
serious mental illness.
Although there is an expanding body of research on the consequences on growing
up poor for children and families, this research is, in general, discipline-
specific, not well integrated across disciplines, and reveals some gaps. To
address this issue, in October 1997, under the auspices of SEED, the NICHD
convened a workshop to discuss the issues involved in crafting a research
agenda that examines the impact of poverty on child development and health
outcomes. The workshop participants included distinguished scientists in
developmental psychology, economics, education, evolutionary biology,
medicine, and sociology. The main goals of the workshop were to provide a
multidisciplinary perspective on the research base on poverty and child
development; to identify the most pressing scientific issues involving poverty
and child development; and to offer new ideas and research questions that
could lead us to develop a new science of research that is
multidisciplinary, longitudinal, and that embraces an ecological approach to
the study of child development. The group identified the following areas in
which research is needed:
1. The nature of poverty and how to measure it
The study of poverty and its effects on children needs to consider that
poverty is best defined along a continuum that encompasses, but exceeds, the
official poverty threshold, from the underclass through the working class.
Poverty is a conglomerate of conditions and events; it is not a categorical
variable and it needs to be studied in the context of ethnicity, culture, and
race, taking into account the variability across and within groups.
One of the fundamental issues related to estimating the effects of poverty on
children’s outcomes is measurement. Future research should consider the
recommendations of the National Research Council Panel on Poverty and Family
Assistance: Concepts, Information and Needs, and Measurement Methods.
However, investigators should not limit themselves to this definition and
should consider other indices of economic well-being such as social capital,
human capital, and economic resources.
2. The effects of family structure, family processes, and income poverty, and
other indices of poverty, on child outcomes
There is a compelling rationale and need for the development of a
comprehensive program of research that can identify the full range of
individual, social, economic, cultural, and community factors, and the
interactions among these factors, that are directly relevant to the
development of children in low-income families. Such a program of research
needs to attend to children living in fragile circumstances, including
homeless children, children in foster care, and children living in families
affected by chronic physical or mental health problems such as depression or
substance abuse. Research on these issues needs to address the multiple
domains of development including physical and mental health, and social,
emotional, cognitive and linguistic development.
Debates continue over the extent to which income alone makes a significant
difference in children’s lives. Many questions remain about the relative
contributions of economic resources and parental characteristics to children’s
outcomes. Research suggests that the timing of poverty has a significant
effect on children’s outcomes and that income alone does not seem to make a
significant difference in improving the physical health, mental health, or
behavioral development of poor children.
3. The mechanisms through which poverty exerts its effects
Research on poverty to date has documented an array of associations between
poverty and child outcomes. However, there is little understanding of the
pathways or mechanisms--the black box-- by which poverty (income and other
aspects of poverty) has positive or negative effects on children’s
development. To understand poverty’s effects on children’s outcomes, we need
to examine how it affects their living environments, including composition,
safety, structure, and social relationships as well as access to health care,
child care, and other social services. We need research that advances our
understanding of what is in the black box.
4. The role of communities and neighborhoods in children’s development
There is an accumulating body of research that examines neighborhood effects
on children’s development. If neighborhood effects on children’s outcomes
exist, they are presumed to be constituted from social processes that involve
collective aspects of community life. Departing from a social capital
perspective, research needs to explore what determines and sustains social
support for children. Research to date has focused on how mechanisms such as
informal social support or social control bear on the well-being of children.
Yet our understanding of the social mechanisms hypothesized to mediate the
effects of neighborhood structural characteristics is still developing.
Investigations of social mechanisms including spatial externalities, in
conjunction with racial differences in spatial advantage and disadvantage, are
beginning to emerge. Violence in communities, both intra-family and
neighborhood, has a profound effect on children and families.
5. The implications of poverty for interventions
Understanding the dynamics of poverty is essential to understanding how
policies affect children’s development. Family poverty and children’s
outcomes need to be understood in their social contexts, which have changed
dramatically. There was a sense among workshop participants that research
needs to focus on the factors or combination of factors that lead to change in
children’s lives under different conditions of poverty. The challenge for
researchers and others is to gain insight into what is the optimal timing for
interventions and what interventions are optimal for whom, when, and under
6. The appropriateness of existing measures of child development and the
development of new measurement tools and methodologies
In terms of measures, workshop participants suggested that existing
instruments are not sufficient to predict outcomes across socioeconomic and
cultural groups. For example, recent research suggests that many existing
measures of the proximal child-rearing environment (e.g., the HOME Inventory)
may be less useful for low income families than they are for higher income
families and may not capture elements of parenting relevant for minority
groups. Consequently, there is a need to develop new measurement tools that
can capture both commonalities and differences across ethnic and cultural
groups. In addition to the need for new tools for the study of poverty and
its effects on children’s outcomes, there was a collective sense among the
participants that research studies need to use a diverse range of research
methodologies, including both longitudinal and ethnographic designs, and a
combination of both qualitative and quantitative measures.
In conclusion, workshop participants noted that the field of child development
has not fully integrated relevant socioeconomic data with children’s
developmental trajectories. For example, economic studies of time use have
not traditionally been linked to studies on children’s development. There is
little research on how various cognitive and socio-emotional characteristics
that influence language, memory, learning, and planning ability develop in
impoverished environments. Similarly, little is known about how environmental
factors, including family and peer group contexts, and societal norms, shape
children’s socio-emotional characteristics and, in turn, influence children’s
engagement in cognitive tasks, or how socio-emotional development in the
context of poverty affects various facets of cognitive development (e.g.,
language, memory, reasoning, and theory of mind). While there are protective
mechanisms that moderate the effects of poverty and result in better outcomes
for some children, these are poorly understood. Likewise, little is known
about how ethnic and cultural variation interacts with poverty to affect
children’s development. Further, research on early brain development has not
been linked to differences in the factors that mediate the effects of poverty
on children’s development. At a more macro level, research has paid little
attention to the way geographical mobility due to economic needs influences
the stability and quality of housing and schooling and, consequently,
children’s developmental trajectories.
In light of recent social, cultural, and economic changes that have increased
the diversity of the U.S. population, there is a need for new theories and
research that specifically address the development of children in poverty and
the diverse social and cultural contexts that shape children’s developmental
trajectories. The intent of this initiative is to stimulate this work and to
encourage interdisciplinary collaborations among scientists from different
Objectives and Scope
A major goal of this research initiative is to obtain converging scientific
evidence that ultimately can become the base for a new science that seeks to
understand the diverse developmental trajectories of children in low-income
families, how development is enhanced or impeded in low income communities,
the effects of a complex mix of factors on development, and the optimal points
This initiative solicits studies that focus specifically on the integration of
research on environmental, social, economic, and developmental factors that
affect developmental processes and outcomes for children, and that draw on
current theoretical and methodological advances in behavioral research.
Specifically, this initiative encourages research that (1) is
multidisciplinary; (2) uses existing sources of data and/or justifies new data
collection efforts; (3) is or can be linked to other relevant national efforts
across disciplines; and (4) has relevance for public policy.
Specifically, this initiative seeks collaborative, interactive research
projects to address these overarching research questions:
o What are the effects of poverty on child development?
o What are the mechanisms through which poverty affects child development?
o What are the moderators (e.g., demographic, family, neighborhood, and policy
factors) of the effects of poverty, that is, what provides for positive child
development in the face of poverty and what compromises development?
o What interventions are effective in preventing or mitigating the adverse
effects of poverty on child development? What mechanisms or moderating
factors should they target?
o What is the role of child care, as a mechanism, moderator, or intervention,
in child developmental trajectories? How do family characteristics and child
care act together to promote or impede optimal child development?
In addition to the above questions, this PA addresses two cross-cutting
issues, namely measurement and theory. Are current measures and theories of
child development adequate to capture and characterize the development of
children given the variety of family structures, community and economic
influences, and ethnic and cultural diversity of the current U.S. population?
How might existing measures be modified and what new measures must be
developed to address the complex issues in the social ecology of early
development? The issue of measurement should extend not only to measurement of
child development in different settings, but also measurement of poverty and
its concomitants. Although researchers may choose to focus on measurement
and/or theory issues alone, their work should contribute to answering one or
more of the research questions.
Research Priorities and Examples of Research Questions
The following research priorities and examples of research questions are
offered to illuminate areas of particular interest to the NICHD, NIMH, and
SEED partners. Examples of research questions that address the objectives of
this PA include, but are not limited to:
Effects of poverty on child development
o How do children who live in impoverished conditions develop self-regulation
and the ability to manage stress? How do they develop values and goals? How
do learning, memory, and planning ability develop in different contexts such
as the home environment, school or day care setting, and the neighborhood?
How do the relations between these different contexts promote or impede
optimal child development?
o How do families' characteristics (e.g., household structure, relations with
kin outside the household, parents' age, parents' education, and psychological
resources) influence children’s development? How do neighborhood and
community characteristics (e.g., neighborhood cohesion, access to services,
violence) influence families and children and shape the processes by which
poverty affects child developmental outcomes?
o What are the mutual influences of a child’s health, genetics, nutrition,
mental health, and personal characteristics on child outcomes and how do
conditions of poverty interact with these factors? How do children’s age,
gender, and temperament interact with parents' characteristics to influence
parenting patterns? How do the interactions between parent and child
characteristics in predicting child outcomes differ in different physical and
social environments? What is the role of culture in shaping how poverty
influences children’s outcomes in different family and social contexts?
o How do early childbearing and unwanted pregnancy affect fathers' and
mothers' parental behaviors? How do these affect child outcomes? How are
these effects augmented or minimized by income, SES, and other economic
factors? Does extended family or community support directly or indirectly
affect child outcomes?
o What are the pathways to competence and healthy development for low income
children, minority children, and children with special needs? What factors
promote healthy development and what factors or combinations of factors place
children at risk for poor developmental outcomes?
o What are the emotional and behavioral problems and disorders experienced by
children living in poverty? What are the factors related to impoverished
conditions that may place children at risk for future mental health problems
o How does family income in the early years affect children’s early and later
development? Is there variability by ethnic or cultural group? If income
inequality is not the primary reason for poor children’s unequal
opportunities, how do additional resources translate into child resources?
What are some implications for interventions?
o How do low-wage working families cope with work demands, such as irregular
hours and shift work; with family responsibilities, including child care
needs, training and education, responsibility for caregiving to elderly
parents, and/or managing other family members' health needs; and with
instability of housing and employment? What is the effect of various coping
strategies on child development?
o What role do fathers play in child-rearing and child care and how does their
involvement with their children and their families relate to children’s school
readiness? What influence do fathers have on children at different
developmental stages? How does father involvement vary by cultural group?
How is father involvement influenced by his relationship with the child’s
mother as well as his own characteristics including economic resources, mental
health, and parenting attitudes? How do fathers and children create
nurturant, positive relationships in the context of the family, neighborhood,
o How does the community context affect poverty? How do communities create
environments that are safe and stimulating for children? Why do some children
succeed while others do not? What are the relations between the family and
other contexts? What are the community and family resources? How do they
combine to affect development? What formulas work successfully and which lead
Mechanism through which poverty affects child development
o What are the pathways or mechanisms through which income, or lack thereof,
influences children’s outcomes? How does variation in children’s
characteristics (e.g., health, biogenetic contribution, temperament) account
for differences in developmental outcomes? How do pathways vary as a function
of children’s family, neighborhood, community, and other environmental
o What are the various mechanisms (e.g., timing of poverty, parenting in
impoverished environments, intra-family allocation of resources, the
contribution of fathers and other caregivers to the development of their
children, and neighborhood influences) that transmit or buffer the effects of
o What are the cultural and ethnic variations in the mechanisms through which
factors related to poverty influence children’s outcomes?
o How do focused vs. comprehensive intervention approaches vary in terms of
child outcomes? How do programs that target the child or the family differ
from those that also address other aspects of the child’s environment such as
the school, neighborhood, or community? How do different intervention
approaches affect children’s outcomes in different cultural and ethnic groups?
What are the processes by which interventions affect change in different
cultural and ethnic groups?
o How can the development of children living in poverty be enhanced? What are
effective strategies for promoting healthy development? What strategies are
effective for fostering positive social and emotional development and its role
in children’s school readiness? What strategies are effective for promoting
language and literacy development in young children?
o What are effective mental health services and interventions for children and
their families who are experiencing poverty? Which mental health prevention
models are appropriate and effective for children who live in impoverished
conditions? Are there innovative interventions for mental health problems for
children and families who are living in poverty?
o What type of child care arrangements do low-income parents make for their
children? How do quality of care and type of care interact with home factors,
and how do these interactions affect child outcomes? How do children in
multiple child care arrangements fare in comparison to children in single
child care arrangements? How do parents balance their own needs with the
needs of their children when choosing child care?
o What is the quality of care that is purchased by low-income families with
the help of subsidies? How does the use of subsidies affect the quality,
safety, and stability of care that children receive? Do parents who receive
child care subsidies make different choices regarding the type and quality of
care for their children than low-income parents who do not receive subsidies?
o Given that many children experience multiple child care arrangements, as
well as multiple caregivers, what role do secondary caregivers play in
children’s physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development? How do
children who spend their time in different child care settings of different
quality differ from those children who spend their day in more stable
environments? How does kinship involvement in child care vary by cultural and
ethnic group? How do secondary caregivers influence development at different
developmental stages? How do different child care arrangements and kinship
networks interact with family, neighborhood, and community characteristics to
affect children’s outcomes?
Research Designs and Data Sources
The utilization of existing data is encouraged for its cost-efficiency
whenever scientific goals can be met by its use. There is a wide range of
such data collected in the U.S. and available for research purposes. Each
data set has its particular strengths and weaknesses, which the investigator
must understand and deal with. Such resources include, but are not limited
to, the Study of Income and Program Participation, Panel Study of Income
Dynamics, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Researchers may be
aware of, and have access to, other data that are appropriate for answering
the questions they wish to address. For a description of these various
datasets please see http://www.nichd.nih.gov/cpr/dbs/resources.htm.
New data collection is justifiable if existing data are not appropriate to the
aims of the proposed study. In such cases, scientific sampling procedures are
highly desirable to ensure that sample biases do not vitiate the research
objectives. Prior contact with the program staff listed under INQUIRIES,
below, is strongly encouraged for any applicant considering such an effort.
Applicants proposing new data collection are encouraged to make their data
available for use by other researchers and should outline plans for
accomplishing this in the application.
Applicants proposing research that draws on social scientific approaches that
have not been widely applied to research on poverty and child development are
particularly encouraged to apply. Collaborations involving anthropologists,
historians, economists, sociologists, political scientists, epidemiologists,
and psychologists may be needed to advance theoretical and methodological
approaches to the study of children’s developmental trajectories. Therefore,
applicants are encouraged to consider research designs which are innovative,
integrative of multiple perspectives, and which utilize, as appropriate, a
range of methods and analytic techniques.
It is the intention of the SEED program to support projects that will
accumulate information that not only furthers the scientific understanding of
child development from an ecological perspective, but also informs public
policy. Therefore, Principal Investigators from projects funded under the
SEED initiative will be expected to engage in an interactive, collaborative
process; each participating Principal Investigator will be expected to
participate in workshops and conferences designed to further the
research/public policy dialogue. These initiatives encourage the
participation of junior scholars who might develop links with researchers to
explore training opportunities.
Annual Meeting for Investigators
Principal Investigators will be expected to attend an annual SEED
Investigators Meeting to share findings, research approaches, and core
instruments or data elements. Applications should include in the budget
development sufficient funds to support travel for the Principal Investigator
to one three-day meeting in Washington, DC, in each of the requested years of
support. NIH SEED investigators will interact with staff from SEED agencies
and their contractors and grantees at these events.
INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS
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 are 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, published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59
14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number
11, March 18, 1994, and available at:
INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS
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 or 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," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and
Contracts, March 6, 1998, and available at:
Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff
listed under INQUIRIES. Program staff also may provide additional relevant
information concerning the policy.
URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within
specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH
solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation
to view the Internet sites. Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.
Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398
(revised 4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as
indicated in the application kit. These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research, on the Internet at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html, and from the Division
of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of
Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone
301-435-0714, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Instructions: Interactive Research Project Grant (IRPG)
A description of the Interactive Research Project Grant may be found at:
An IRPG group consists of the coordinated submission of two or more
applications for related research project grants (R01) that do not require
extensive shared physical resources. Although these applications must describe
the objectives and scientific importance of the collaboration, each project
must be capable of being accomplished independently. The Principal
Investigators may be from one or more institutions. Each application will be
reviewed independently for scientific merit and those judged to have
substantial merit will be considered for funding both as an independent award
and as a component of the proposed IRPG group.
A separate application must be prepared by each participating
institution/Principal Investigator. It is important that all applications
comprising the IRPG group cite this PA on line 2 of the application face page
Application Instructions: Modular Grant Applications
The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets. Only
limited budgetary information is required under this approach. The just-in-
time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when there
is a possibility for an award. It is anticipated that these changes will
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers, and NIH staff.
The research grant application form PHS 398 (revised 4/98) is to be used in
applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.
Applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up to a total
direct cost request of $250,000 per year. (Applications that request more than
$250,000 direct costs in any year must follow the traditional PHS 398
application instructions.) The total direct costs must be requested in a
ccordance with the program guidelines and the modifications made to the
standard PHS 398 application instructions described below:
o FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs
(in $25,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000) and Total Costs [Modular
Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] for the initial
budget period. Items 8a and 8b should be completed indicating the Direct and
Total Costs for the entire proposed period of support.
o DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD: Do not complete Form Page 4
of the PHS 398. It is not required and will not be accepted with the
o BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT: Do not complete the
categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398. It is not required
and will not be accepted with the application.
o NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION: Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative
page. (See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for
sample pages.) At the top of the page, enter the Total Direct Costs requested
for each year. This is not a Form Page.
Under Personnel, list key project personnel, including their names, percent of
effort, and roles on the project. No individual salary information should be
provided. However, the applicant should use the NIH appropriation language
salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student compensation in developing
the budget request.
For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of Total Costs (Direct
plus F & A) for each year, each rounded to the nearest $1,000. List the
individuals/organizations with whom consortium or contractual arrangements
have been made, the percent effort of key personnel, and the role on the
project. Indicate whether the collaborating institution is foreign or
domestic. The total cost for a consortium/contractual arrangement is included
in the overall requested modular direct cost amount. Include the Letter of
Intent to establish a consortium.
Provide an additional narrative budget justification for any variation in the
number of modules requested.
o BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: The Biographical Sketch provides information used by
reviewers in the assessment of each individual’s qualifications for a specific
role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall
qualifications of the research team. A biographical sketch is required for
all key personnel, following the instructions below. No more than three pages
may be used for each person. A sample biographical sketch may be viewed at:
- Complete the educational block at the top of the Form Page;
- List position(s) and any honors;
- Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on
research projects ongoing or completed during the last three years;
- List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations.
o CHECKLIST: This page should be completed and submitted with the
application. If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the
type of agreement and the date. All appropriate exclusions must be applied in
the calculation of the F&A costs for the initial budget period and all future
o The applicant should provide the name and telephone number of the
individual to contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if
additional information is necessary following the initial review.
The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 of
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application including the
Checklist, and five signed photocopies, in one package, to:
CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral
guidelines. Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit
by an appropriate scientific review group convened in accordance with the
standard NIH peer review procedures. 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 appropriate national
advisory council or board.
The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health. In
the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research
will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these
criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score,
weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that the application
does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major
scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, an
investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not
innovative but is essential to move a field forward.
(1) Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims
of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive
(2) Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the
project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider
(3) Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method?
Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
(4) Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited
to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience
level of the Principal Investigator and other researchers (if any)?
(5) Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be
done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ
useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional
In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all
applications also will be reviewed with respect to the following criteria:
o The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities, and their
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. Plans for
the recruitment and retention of subjects also will be evaluated.
o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
o The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project
proposed in the application.
Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended
applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, availability of
funds, and program priorities.
Inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquires regarding programmatic issues to:
Natasha Cabrera, Ph.D.
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B13, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Cheryl Boyce, Ph.D.
Developmental Psychopathology and Prevention Branch
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD 20892-9617
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Mr. Michael Loewe
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos.
93.864 (Population Research), 93.865 (Research for Mothers and Children), and
93.121 and 93.242 (NIMH). Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301
and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and
administered under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and
45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental
review requirements of Executive Order 12372, or to Health Systems Agency
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.
Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices