Release Date:  October 4, 2001

RFA:  RFA-AA-02-002

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  December 28, 2001
Application Receipt Date:       January 17, 2002



The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) seeks 
applications to support research to identify, characterize, and reduce 
through prevention, treatment, and health services interventions  
alcohol-related health disparities in American ethnic and cultural 
populations and their subpopulations.  Target populations are intended 
to include but not be limited to persons of African heritage, 
Hispanic/Latino culture, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, Asian 
Americans, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island Populations.

The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to address major 
aspects of alcohol-related health disparities through research on 
epidemiology, pathogenesis, metabolism, neuroscience, and prevention, 
treatment and health services.  The NIAAA encourages multidisciplinary 
and interdisciplinary research in collaboration with clinicians and 
scientists at minority serving institutions.  


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 RFA
is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants 
may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at


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. Faith-
based organizations are eligible to apply for these grants. 
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with 
disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.


This RFA will support research through the National Institutes of 
Health (NIH) Research Project grant (R01) and Exploratory/Development 
grant (R21) award mechanisms, as well as an Education Project grant 
(R25). Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the 
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant. The total 
project period for a research project grant (R01) application submitted 
in response to this RFA may not exceed 5 years. 
Exploratory/developmental grants (R21) are limited to 3 years for up to 
$100,000 per year for direct costs. Education Project grants (R25) are 
also limited to three years but have a maximum of $250,000 per year in 
total costs (i.e., includes indirect costs which may not exceed 8% of 
direct costs).  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.


The NIAAA intends to commit approximately $3 million in FY 2002 to fund 
up to 12 new and/or competitive continuation grant applications in 
response to this RFA. Because the nature and scope of the research 
proposed might vary, it is anticipated that the size of awards will 
also vary. Although the financial plans of the NIAAA provide support 
for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the 
availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of 
meritorious applications. At this time, it is not known if this RFA 
will be reissued. Applicants should request funds to attend an annual 
meeting on alcohol-related health disparities to be arranged by the 


Alcohol consumption is associated with a wide range of adverse health 
and social consequences, both acute (e.g., traffic deaths, other 
injuries) and chronic (e.g., alcohol dependence, liver damage, stroke, 
cancers of the mouth and esophagus).  The scope and variety of these 
problems are attributable to differences in the amount, duration, and 
patterns of alcohol consumption; differences in genetic vulnerability 
to particular alcohol-related consequences; and differences in 
economic, social, and other environmental factors.  
Ethnic and cultural disparities in alcohol-related problems vary with 
the problem under consideration and are of pressing public health 
concern.  Alcohol-related death rates (for all categories of alcohol-
related mortality combined) are higher among Blacks than whites.  
Recent research indicates that cirrhosis death rates are higher among 
white men and women of Hispanic origin than among non-Hispanic black 
and white Americans.  Alcohol-related traffic deaths are many times 
more frequent (per 100,000 population) among American Indians or Alaska 
Natives than among other minority populations. 
The incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) appears to be several 
times higher in some African American and American Indian communities 
than in the general population. Research also reveals that although 
African American teenagers typically drink less than their white or 
Hispanic counterparts, their mortality from cirrhosis is substantially 
higher as they approach middle age. Other adverse health consequences 
associated with alcohol consumption such as cirrhosis, alcoholic liver 
disease, HIV/AIDS, cardiomyopathy, pancreatitis, and alcohol-related 
sleep disorders are also more prevalent in some minority populations. 
Finally, increases in risky drinking behavior (i.e., drinking and 
driving) have been reported among Hispanics.  Since ethnic minority 
groups have differing genetic backgrounds, it is possible that some of 
the disparities in disease incidence and prevalence are due to 
differences in genetic predisposition.  This is suggested for example, 
by reports that some groups exhibit greater susceptibility to the same 
total dose of alcohol, or exhibit similar degrees of pathogenesis with 
reduced exposure. Furthermore, genetic and biological factors may 
interact with behavioral and cultural factors to manifest health 

The continuing development of scientific knowledge about the incidence, 
prevalence, etiology, and course of alcohol-related problems among 
minority populations and their subpopulations is, thus, of fundamental 
importance.  The nation’s increasing cultural and ethnic diversity adds 
to the complexity of this task, but also highlights opportunities for 
significant new insights about the causes and consequences of alcohol-
related health disparities. Epidemiological research increases 
understanding of the nature and scope of alcohol-related health 
disparities and helps define new hypotheses for subsequent research.
Disparities seen in organ damage, pregnancy outcome, and the other 
sequelae of alcohol consumption may be related to biological and/or 
environmental factors, as well as their complex interactions.  Thus, 
while genetic differences in alcohol metabolism or the central nervous 
system reactivity to alcohol may be important risk factors, so also are 
differences in patterns of drinking and access to health care.  
Research on the interplay of ethnicity, culture, and environment as 
they affect consumption patterns, quantity, and type of alcohol (e.g., 
wine, beer, malt liquor, distilled spirits) might, likewise, provide 
valuable information about the underlying causes of the differential 
alcohol-related pathology found in some minority populations and 

With respect to prevention, there is a critical need to identify and 
evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions to prevent 
alcohol abuse, dependence, and related problems among racial and ethnic 
minority populations.  First, there is a need to evaluate in various 
minority groups the efficacy of interventions that have proved 
effective in studies of the general population or populations that are 
predominantly white.  It is also important to determine the 
applicability to minority populations of naturally occurring prevention 
strategies that have proved effective through natural experiments that 
focus on cross sections of the population as a whole. Moreover, 
investigators need to test the assumption that interventions (both 
treatment and prevention) tailored to the health needs and problems of 
minority populations and/or delivered in a culturally competent fashion 
will be more effective than generic interventions.  Furthermore, 
research is needed to identify the social and cultural factors that may 
influence motivation for treatment, adherence to treatment, and 
treatment outcomes. Such research may involve tests of interventions 
that have been reported as effective for the population as a whole but 
not for particular racial/ethnic subgroups, or exploit the alcohol-
related data that have not been exploited in existing data sets.  
Important considerations in undertaking minority-focused intervention 
research include the theoretical justification for potential new 
interventions, samples of sufficient size to draw conclusions about 
effects on that particular group, and possible comparisons with other 
groups or with a sample of the general population.


1) Epidemiology 
- Increase knowledge about the incidence, prevalence, etiology, course, 
and natural history of alcohol-related problems, including alcohol 
abuse and alcohol dependence, among minority populations.
- Examine the relationship of alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse and 
dependence to other psychiatric disorders and conditions among 
racial/ethnic populations.
- Examine the relationship of alcohol consumption to the development, 
course and outcomes of physical illnesses including heart disease, 
cancer, liver disease and HIV/AIDS in racial/ethnic subgroups.
- Explore patterns of alcohol consumption (e.g., frequency, quantity, 
duration, beverage type) which may increase or decrease risk for 
particular alcohol-related problems among minority populations.
- Increase knowledge about risk and protective factors (personal, 
environmental and genetic) for alcohol-related problems among minority 
- Explore the effects of assimilation into the adopted environment on 
the initiation of alcohol use and the development of alcohol-related 
problems (including alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence) among 
minority immigrant groups.
- Elucidate factors associated with the initiation of and abstinence 
from drinking among adolescents and young adults in specific minority 
- Determine the relationship between alcohol consumption during 
pregnancy and the high incidence of infant mortality, stillbirths, and 
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) among some minority groups.
- Examine the role of alcohol consumption in intentional and 
unintentional injury and death (including homicide, suicide, and 
traffic crashes) among minority populations.
2) Adverse Pregnancy and Infant Health Outcomes 
- Based on minority populations, develop and test research- and 
theoretically-based interventions for addressing the educability of FAS 
and ARND children ages 3-8; considering neurocognitive, neurobehavioral 
assessment studies, neuro-imaging studies and animal model research. 
3) Biomedical, Behavioral and Neuroscience 

- Longitudinal follow-up studies in minority populations to determine 
the relationship between sociocultural and genetic factors in the 
initiation of drinking and development of alcohol-related problems.

- Studies on the effects of sleep loss on behavioral symptoms, 
sympathetic nervous system activity, and cellular immune function in 
African Americans with alcohol dependence.

- Studies on whether ethnic differences in alcohol-induced sleep 
disturbances contribute to the variation in sympathetic nervous system 
and immunological effects of alcohol.

- Studies on the interactive effects of alcohol and HIV on progression 
of central nervous system disease in minority populations.

- Determine how known racial differences in alcohol-metabolizing 
enzymes interact with sociocultural variables to influence alcohol 
consumption patterns and adverse health outcomes in minority 
- Identify mechanisms where alcohol contributes to development of 
diseases in minority groups with disparities in survival rates, 
especially associated with Hepatitis C, AIDS, and opportunistic 
infectious diseases.
- Develop biomedical interventions that address those mechanisms.  
4) Prevention Interventions 
- Conduct pre-intervention studies to determine those aspects of 
minority drinking environments, patterns, and problems as well as 
community norms, values and unique cultural factors that are likely to 
influence the outcomes of preventive intervention efforts. 
- Replicate in minority communities preventive interventions based in 
schools, colleges, and families that have proved to be effective in 
general populations.    
- Assess effects on minority populations of integrated community-based 
environmental strategies to reduce alcohol-related crashes, violence, 
and sales to minors.
- Determine effects on minorities of laws and regulations that set BAC 
limits, mandate driver’s license revocation or increase the price of 
alcoholic beverages through increased taxes.
- Design and test new interventions for alcohol problems that have been 
virtually untouched by preventive interventions including worksite-
related alcohol problems, early onset of alcohol consumption in 
elementary school children, and alcohol-related domestic, bar, and gang 
- Conduct additional studies of interventions to prevent Fetal Alcohol 
Syndrome (FAS) and other alcohol-related birth defects among high-risk 
minority populations, taking into account cultural barriers to 
prevention and cultural facilitators.
- Assess effects of laws, sanctions, and their enforcement designed to 
decrease driving under the influence (DUI)and its consequences, with 
specific emphasis on high-risk minority communities.  
- Implement and test mass communication and media advocacy targeted 
toward minorities and involving appropriate cultural symbols and 
community leaders.
- Conduct secondary analyses of existing large prevention-outcome data 
sets having unanalyzed data on minority respondents.
- Elucidate the impact of alcohol use and abuse on HIV/AIDS prevention 
efforts among minority populations and develop culturally relevant 
interventions for primary and secondary prevention of HIV infection 
among alcohol abusers in ethnic minority communities.
5) Treatment 

- Assess the relative efficacy of established treatments for 
alcohol abuse and dependence in different minority groups.
- Develop and test behavioral/psychosocial therapies tailored to 
the needs of specific minority populations and subpopulations 
suffering from alcohol dependence/abuse and a comorbid 
psychiatric disorder.
- Evaluate the efficacy of pharmacological treatments in various 
minority populations, using medications alone or in combinations, 
or in conjunction with behavioral/psychosocial interventions.
- Determine the validity of assessment instruments for minority 
- Identify social and cultural factors that mediate and moderate 
motivation for treatment, adherence to treatment, and treatment 
- Develop behavioral techniques to improve retention of minority 
clients in alcoholism treatment.
- Develop and test effective interventions for minority 
adolescents with alcohol problems. 
- Determine the effects of alcoholism treatment among minorities 
who are both alcohol abuse/dependent and HIV positive.  Possible 
outcome measurements include alcohol consumption, adherence to 
HIV treatment regimens, and HIV risk behaviors.

6) Health Services Research 

- Effectiveness studies of how improved treatment outcomes can be 
achieved in applied clinical settings.

- Studies of access to alcohol treatment for minority populations, 
including barriers to treatment, insurance coverage and other financial 
limitations, and availability to culturally sensitive behavioral 

- Studies of disparities in the costs, cost-effectiveness, cost-
benefits, or cost-offsets of treatment for minority clients or for 
treatment clinics operating in minority communities.

- Studies of the processes that lead individuals to seek treatment, 
including individual decision-making; informal social influences from 
family and friends; and institutional pressures from employers, the 
legal system, or social welfare agencies.

7) Science Education and Health Professionals Education Initiative
- Develop and evaluate science education programs for middle high 
school students in minority communities.

- Train physicians and other health care providers to implement 
effective evidence-based protocols for: detecting alcohol-related 
problems among minority populations; conducting office-based, primary 
care setting, and community clinic based interventions (including brief 
therapy and pharmacotherapy); and referring minority patients for 
additional treatment when indicated


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups 
and their sub-populations 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 
indicating 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 

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities 
as Subjects in Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts on August 2, 2000 
(; a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at  
The revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and 
require: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a 
description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address 
differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including 
subgroups if applicable; and b) all investigators to report accrual, 
and to conduct and report analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic group differences.


It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age 
of 21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or 
supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons 
not to include them.  This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) 
applications submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as 
Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published 
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is 
available at the following URL address: 

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.


NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject 
participants for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for 
research involving human subjects.  This policy announcement is found 
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 
2000, at the following website:


As of the October 2000 receipt date, applicants must supply a general 
description of the Data and Safety Monitoring Plan for ALL clinical 
trials; this must be included in the application
The degree of monitoring should be commensurate with risk. NIH Policy 
for Data and Safety Monitoring requires establishment of formal Data 
and Safety Monitoring Boards for multi-site clinical trials involving 
interventions that entail potential risk to the participants. The 
absence of this information will negatively affect your priority score.


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.


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been 
revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom 
of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) 
first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with 
Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency 
in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a 
regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  It is important for 
applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment.  NIH has 
provided guidance at:

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application 
should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design 
and include information about this in the budget justification section 
of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to 
structure informed consent statements and other human subjects 
procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under 
this award.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, 
address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the 
identities of other key personnel and participating institutions, and 
the number and title of the RFA in response to which the application 
may be submitted.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not 
binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent 
application, the information that it contains allows NIAAA staff to 
estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent December 28, 2001.


The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 
5/2001) at are 
to be used in applying for these grants and will be accepted at the 
standard application deadlines ( 
as indicated in the application kit.  This version of the PHS 398 is 
available in an interactive format. For further assistance contact 
GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/710-0267, Email:


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 (rev. 5/2001) at is to be used 
in applying for these grants, with modular budget instructions provided 
in Section C of the application instructions.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form 
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  
Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use this label could 
result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not 
reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA 
title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the 
application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also 
available at:

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, in one package 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:

Extramural Project Review Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Blvd, Suite 409, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in 
the heading of this RFA.  If an application is received after that 
date, it will be returned to the applicant without review.
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application 
in response to this RFA 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 substantial revisions of applications already 
reviewed, but such applications must include an introduction addressing 
the previous critique.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR 
and responsiveness by NIAAA.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive 
applications will be returned to the applicant without further 
consideration.  If the application is not responsive to the RFA, CSR 
staff may contact the applicant to determine whether to return the 
application to the applicant or submit it for review in competition 
with unsolicited applications at the next review cycle.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be 
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer 
review group convened by the NIAAA in accordance with the review 
criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process in 
which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific 
merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, will be 
discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review 
by the NIAAA National Advisory Council.

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 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 this field?

(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 alternative tactics?

(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 

(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 support?

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

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

o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation 
to the proposed research.

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.

o  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data, if appropriate.)


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    December 28, 2001
Application Receipt Date:         January 17, 2002
Peer Review Date:                 March-April 2002
Council Review:                   May 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 1, 2002


Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o  scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o  availability of funds
o  programmatic priorities.


Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to 
clarify any issues or answer questions from potential applicants is 

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Thomas Gentry, Ph.D.
Office of Collaborative Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard MSC 7003, Suite 302
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express mail/courier)
Telephone:  (301) 443-6009
FAX:  (301) 480-2358

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Judy Fox Simons
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 505
6000 executive Blvd. (MSC-7003)
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
(For express mail use:
Rockville, MD 20852)
Telephone:  (301) 443-2434


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No. 93.273.  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 
Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits 
smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a 
facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, 
health care, or early childhood development services are provided to 
children.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and 
advance the physical and mental health of the American people.

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