NIH SUPPORT FOR CONFERENCES AND SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2003 PA NUMBER: PAR-03-176 (This PAR has been reissued, see PA-06-041) (Peer Review contact change for NLM, see NOT-LM-05-007) EXPIRATION DATE: October 26, 2005 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: National Institutes of Health (NIH) ( COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS National Institute on Aging (NIA) ( National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) ( National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) ( National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) ( National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) ( National Cancer Institute (NCI) ( National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) ( National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) ( National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) ( National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) ( National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) ( National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) ( National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) ( National Eye Institute (NEI) ( National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ( National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) ( National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ( National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) ( National Library of Medicine (NLM) ( National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) ( Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) ( Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) ( Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) ( Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) ( Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) ( APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: April 15, August 15, and December 15, annually CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER(S): 93.113, 93.121, 93.172, 93.173, 93.242, 93.273, 93.279, 93.306, 93.394, 93.395, 93.396, 93.821, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.846, 93.847, 93.848, 93.849, 93.853, 93.855, 93.856, 93.862, 93.864, 93.865, 93.866, 93.867, 93.929, 93.859, 93.213, 93.286, 93.287, and 93.879 THIS PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT (PA) CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION o Purpose of the PA o Research Objectives o Mechanism(s) of Support o Eligible Institutions o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators o Special Requirements o Where to Send Inquiries o Submitting an Application o Supplementary Instructions o Review Process o Review Criteria o Award Criteria o Required Federal Citations PURPOSE OF THIS PA This Program Announcement (PA) provides updated guidelines for National Institutes of Health (NIH) support of scientific meetings. It replaces the previous guidelines issued in the NIH GUIDE on October 30, 1998, and is effective with the December 15th receipt date for cycle III applications. An NIH Conference Grant Website has been created to centralize information regarding grants for scientific meetings and conferences, at This site includes contact information for the participating NIH Institutes and Centers and Offices and links to detailed information regarding specific interests and funding parameters. This site and related links is updated frequently and interested parties should check periodically for the most current information. A major revision made in this announcement is the requirement that applications for conference grant support present a letter from the appropriate NIH Institute/Center (IC) staff documenting advance permission to submit an R13 or U13 application. As a streamlining measure, there are now three annual receipt dates for all applications for support of scientific meetings, and decisions about awards will normally be made within six months of submission. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The NIH recognizes the value of supporting high quality scientific meetings that are relevant to its scientific mission and to the public health. A scientific meeting is defined as a gathering, symposium, seminar, conference, workshop or any other organized, formal meeting where persons assemble to coordinate, exchange, and disseminate information or to explore or clarify a defined subject, problem, or area of knowledge. Support of such meetings is contingent on the fiscal and programmatic interests and priorities of the individual ICs, which are linked to the NIH Conference Grant website, MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This Program Announcement will use the NIH conference grant (R13) and conference cooperative agreement (U13) award mechanisms. Under the R13 mechanism, the applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. Multiple year awards may be made to a permanently sponsoring organization for conferences held annually or biennially on a recurring topic. The total project period for an application requesting support may not exceed five years. The NIH U13 is a cooperative agreement award mechanism. In the cooperative agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner with the Principal Investigator, as described under the section "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award." This PA does not use just-in-time concepts and does not use modular budgeting formats. Follow the instructions in the PHS 398 for non-modular research grant applications. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following characteristics: o For-profit or non-profit organizations o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories o Units of State and local governments o Eligible agencies of the Federal government o Domestic institutions/organizations o Faith-based or community-based organizations Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for conference grant support. An international conference can be supported through the U.S. representative organization of an established international scientific or professional society. INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to conduct the proposed scientific meeting is invited to work with that individual's institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Most ICs will accept applications for up to five years when a series of annual or biennial meetings is proposed by a sponsoring organization. Support for meetings held on a less frequent schedule must be applied for individually. For multiple year awards, the progress report (Form PHS 2590, available at, must be submitted two months prior to the next budget period start date. It should include a report on the previous meeting supported by the current grant, as well as a full description of the next planned meeting. A critical part of the application for NIH support of scientific meetings is documentation of appropriate representation of women, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and other individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented in science. These individuals must be included in all aspects of planning, organization and implementation of NIH-sponsored and/or supported meetings. "Appropriate representation" means representation based on the availability of scientists from these groups known to be working in a particular field of biomedical or behavioral research. If appropriate representation is not apparent, no award will be issued until program staff are assured of concerted recruitment efforts. Organizers of scientific meetings must document compliance with the GUIDELINES FOR INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS SUPPORTED BY THE NIH (included at All conference grant applications, including revisions, supplements, and competing renewals, require advance permission to submit an application from the appropriate NIH IC staff member, listed on the NIH Conference Grant website at This website also includes addresses and information for Offices at NIH that support conference activities, but these offices are not able to give permission for submission. Advance permission to submit an application should be requested early in the process and no later than six weeks before the receipt date. The letter from an NIH Institute or Center documenting advance permission to submit an application must be submitted with the application. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration policy statements. A U13 award is an assistance mechanism in which the Principal Investigator (PI) retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing and executing the proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner with the PI, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out the project will be shared among the awardee and NIH designated staff, as described below. 1. Awardee Rights and Responsibilities Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of the conferences. The Principal Investigator will retain custody of, and have primary rights to, information developed under the cooperative agreement, subject to Government rights of access, consistent with current Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), PHS, and NIH policies. Publication and copyright agreements and the requirements for financial status reports; retention of records; and terminal progress reports will be as stated in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Awardees are responsible for identifying specific milestones for conferences that will be supported during the project period, when multi-year conferences are supported. 2. NIH Staff Responsibilities An IC Project Scientist will have substantial scientific-programmatic involvement during conduct of this activity, through technical assistance, advice, and coordination above and beyond normal program stewardship for grants. Substantial involvement as a partner would include, for example, assisting in planning the agenda, selecting speakers, organizing a symposium, determining the content of the meeting, or determining the acceptability of submitted papers. Substantial involvement would not include serving as an invited speaker or providing limited advice. An IC Program Director will be responsible for normal stewardship of the award, and may also serve as a Project Scientist. The Program Director will be responsible for assessing the progress of multi-year conferences toward the accomplishment of specified milestones, and for recommending if further funds should be released to the project. 3. Arbitration: Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the scope of the award), between award recipients and IC may be brought to arbitration. An arbitration panel will be composed of three members one chosen by the awardee, a second member selected by the IC, and the third member selected by the two prior selected members. This special arbitration procedure in no way affects the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with the PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and HHS regulation at 45 CFR Part 16. These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration policy statements. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into two areas: scientific/research, and financial or grants management issues: Consult the NIH Conference Grant website,, to direct your questions to the appropriate individual. Issues that remain after consultation with IC staff and that are not addressed in this PA may be directed to: Linda M. Stecklein NIH Conference Grant Coordinator Office of Extramural Research National Institutes of Health 6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 3524 Bethesda, MD 20892 Phone: (301) 402-7989 Fax: (301) 480-0146 E-mail: SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using the Public Health Service (PHS) 398 research grant application instructions and forms, using the supplemental instructions described below. Applications must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at The DUNS number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, telephone (301) 710-0267, email SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS Advance permission to submit an application is required prior to submission of all conference grant applications, including new, competing continuation, supplemental, and amended applications. All applications must include the advance permission letter from the NIH IC staff member who has agreed to accept assignment of the application. The staff member granting advance permission must be one of the contacts designated at the NIH Conference Grant website, If an application is received without an acceptance letter, it will be returned without review. Note that advance permission does not mean the application will be funded. The following instructions are to be used in conjunction with the instructions accompanying application form PHS 398 (rev. 05/2001): o Form Page 1 (Face Page). The title of the meeting must be typed on line 1. The title and number of this Program Announcement must be typed on line 2 and the YES box must be marked. o Form Page 2 (Description, Performance Site(s)& Key Personnel). Complete a very brief description of the proposed meeting, including the dates, location, types of participants, goals, and topics to be covered. Enter the site of the meeting or workshop as the Performance Site. Key Personnel are defined as the Principal Investigator and those individuals responsible for the scientific planning, and organization of the meeting. o Form Page 4 (Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period). The appropriate IC conference award contact should be consulted for guidance regarding any IC- specific budget requirements. Enter the direct costs requested. Provide a narrative justification for each proposed personnel position, including role and proposed level of effort. Include information regarding efforts to obtain funding for this conference/meeting from other sources. Allowable Costs: Salaries in proportion to the time or effort spent directly on the meeting; rental of necessary equipment; travel and per diem or subsistence allowances; supplies needed for conduct of the meeting, only if received for use during the budget period; conference services; publication costs; registration fees; speakers' fees. Non-allowable Costs: Purchase of equipment; transportation costs exceeding coach class fares; visas; passports; entertainment; tips; bar charges; personal telephone calls; laundry charges; organization dues; honoraria or other payments for the purpose of conferring distinction or communicating respect, esteem or admiration; patient care; alterations or renovations; facilities and administrative costs. o Form Page 5 (Budget for Entire Proposed Project Period) Multiple year applications should provide the totals under each budget category for all additional years of support requested. o Form Page 6 (Biographical Sketch). Complete for Principal Investigator, Co- Chair, key personnel, and confirmed key speakers. o Research Plan. Section (A-D) may not exceed 10 pages. Letters of agreement from participants should be included in Section I. Requirements stated in Section E (Human Subjects) do not apply to conference grants. Use this section of the application to describe the objectives, specific program, and logistical arrangements for the meeting. Describe the format and agenda, including the principal topics to be covered, problems to be addressed, and developments or contributions the meeting might stimulate. Provide a detailed justification for the meeting, including the scientific need, timeliness, and usefulness of the meeting to the scientific community. Describe the composition and role of the organizing committee, and provide the names and credentials of key participants in the meeting, including the basis for their selection and documentation of their agreement to participate. Describe plans for the appropriate involvement of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in the planning and implementation of the proposed meeting. Estimate the expected size and composition of the audience, as well as the method of selection. Describe plans for publicizing the meeting and publication of proceedings. Identify related meetings held on the subject during the past three years. If this is one of a series of periodic meetings held by a permanent sponsoring organization, briefly describe and evaluate the last meeting in the series. Applications requesting multiple years of support must provide the following additional information for each future year requested, in as much detail as possible: meeting topic(s); tentative dates, locations, and participants; and contingency plans for future meetings dependent on, for example, the outcome of the first year's meeting or developments in the field. o Appendix. The Appendix is limited to announcements and reports of previous meetings under the same sponsorship. o Checklist. The checklist should be submitted. No information regarding F&A should be included as this is not an allowable cost for this mechanism. APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES Applications submitted in response to this Program Announcement will be accepted annually on April 15, August 15, and December 15. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, include the advance permission letter from NIH, and three 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) At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to the IC contact person identified in the NIH Conference Grant website, APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be mailed on or before the receipt dates listed above and on the first page of this PA. The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept an application in response to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an unfunded application already reviewed, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique. Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within eight weeks. REVIEW PROCESS Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned to a primary IC on the basis of the advance permission letter. Applications lacking such a letter will be returned without assignment or review. Secondary assignments will be made on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines. An appropriate evaluation group convened by the accepting IC will evaluate the application for scientific and technical merit. As part of the initial merit review, applications: o Will undergo a selection 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; o Will receive a written critique; o May receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory council or board. REVIEW CRITERIA 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 application will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. The scientific review group will address and consider each of the following criteria in assigning an overall score, weighing them as appropriate for each application. o Significance o Approach o Innovation o Investigator o Environment 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 applicant may propose to host a conference that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward. SIGNIFICANCE: Does this scientific meeting 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 endeavors on the concepts or methods that drive this field? APPROACH: Is the format and agenda for the meeting appropriate for achieving the goals of the conference? Is the meeting timely for the subject matter? How well do the plans for inclusion of women, minorities and persons with disabilities provide for their appropriate representation in the planning, organization, and implementation of the proposed meeting? Multi-year applications should address these issues for the length of the proposed grant period. INNOVATION: Does the meeting employ novel approaches or methods to fulfill its purpose? INVESTIGATOR: Is the PI well suited for organizing this conference? Are the qualifications of the PI appropriate and past performance adequate? Are the key personnel and selected speakers appropriate and well suited for their described roles in the conference? ENVIRONMENT: How appropriate is the meeting site? Does the applicant organization have the ability to contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed meetings, exhibits, interactions, etc., take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? BUDGET: Is the proposed budget and the requested period of support reasonable in relationship to the proposed plan? AWARD CRITERIA Applications submitted in response to this PA will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions: o Scientific merit of the proposed conference/meeting as determined by the evaluation process o Availability of funds o Relevance to program priorities REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 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. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. 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 PA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourages the 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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