RELEASE DATE:  August 1, 2003
RFA Number:  RFA-AA-04-001
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 




o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in 
collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC) invites applications for the "NATIONAL ALCOHOL 
The purpose of the RFA is to provide a funding mechanism for timely 
translational research regarding screening, brief intervention and 
follow-up in emergency medicine departments as part of National Alcohol 
Screening Day.  

Alcohol problems are common, preventable and treatable.  Research has 
shown that fourteen million American adults suffer from alcohol abuse 
or alcoholism, and more than 100,000 people die from alcohol-related 
diseases and injuries each year.  About a third of all adults in the US 
engage in some kind of risky drinking behavior, ranging from occasional 
to daily heavy drinking.  

For as long as emergency departments have existed, physicians and 
nurses have encountered and helped individuals with alcohol problems.  
However, in most emergency departments, screening is not routine, 
emergency room patients are often not identified, offered brief 
interventions or referred for alcohol use disorders. 

Nationwide, alcohol use accounts for a large portion of Emergency 
Department (ED) visits each year. There are approximately 108 million 
visits to the nearly 4000 Emergency Departments in the United States 
each year.  As many as 30% of these ED patients present with alcohol 
related problems.  Controlled clinical trials of screening, brief 
intervention and referral (SBIR) have shown positive outcomes in 
decreasing or eliminating alcohol use, reducing injury rates and other 
alcohol associated risks, and reducing costs to society.  Hospital EDs 
offer a concentrated opportunity not available elsewhere for alcohol 
abuse and addiction screening, brief counseling and referral. The ED is 
an ideal setting in which to meet people who drink in harmful or 
hazardous patterns with a targeted intervention at the time of an 
adverse event, what is known as "a teachable moment."  

Yet nationwide, ED physicians miss many opportunities for alcohol 
screening and brief intervention.   Factors that contribute to low 
levels of screening by ED physicians include lack of: 1) a knowledge-
base in alcohol abuse and addiction which is the rationale for 
treatment; 2) exposure to standardized clinical screening instruments; 
3) training in brief intervention methods; 4) familiarity with referral 
resources; and 5) feedback about reductions in problem drinking that 
result from well-placed, targeted interactions with patients.

A report released by the Institute of Medicine in 1990 recommended 
greater use of screening and brief interventions for a broad spectrum 
of alcohol-related problems.  The report focused on opportunities for 
intervening in alcohol-related problems and emergency medicine settings 
were identified as an excellent opportunity to intervene and place 
special emphasis on alcohol problems.

In addition, the "Tenth Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol 
and Health" states that the efficacy of brief interventions in 
emergency care settings, such as hospital emergency departments and 
trauma centers is a relatively new area of research.  A summary of 
research findings can be found in the report to Congress.

The research literature also shows that screening for alcohol problems 
using a validated self-assessment tool, combined with intervention in 
the form of brief advice and/or referral for further evaluation 
constitutes a simple, affordable and effective method for preventing 
the development and progression of alcohol problems.

National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) is a program funded through a 
partnership between two agencies of the Department of Health and Human 
Services: the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and 
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. NASD is a one-day event 
that offers the first broad-scale, science-based education, screening 
and intervention program for alcohol problems. The program uses 
screening and brief intervention to empower Americans to reassess and 
change their drinking patterns to safeguard their health, and/or to get 
evaluation and treatment to prevent the progression of an alcohol 
problem.  The NASD in-person screening and intervention is designed to 
be conducted in a wide variety of settings, including EDs, using a 
validated screening tool.

This initiative presents extraordinary opportunities to demonstrate 
that it is possible to conduct emergency department screenings for 
alcohol problems among individuals visiting emergency settings and 
increase the likelihood of intervening via brief interventions and 
referrals to appropriate alcohol treatment.

Translational research conducted in conjunction with National Alcohol 
Screening Day is needed to further develop and test effective methods 
for screening, identifying, and referring emergency room patients to 
alcohol treatment services. Specific areas of focus include the 

- Develop methods to effectively implement a model of screening and 
brief intervention into the practice of emergency medicine.
- Identify ED patients with alcohol use disorders via screening over a 
period of time.
- Develop and test methods to facilitate referral of appropriate 
patients from emergency departments to alcohol treatment specialists
- Compare drinking patterns and problems in injured and non-injured 
emergency room patients.
- Adapt the National Alcohol Screening Day approach into routine 
practice in high-volume emergency department settings, and evaluate its 
effectiveness with patients and providers.
- Determine if NASD conducted in Emergency Department settings improves 
an individual's probability of accepting referral to treatment and/or 
decreasing alcohol intake.
- Test the feasibility of ED practitioner's participation in NASD.

The topics listed above are meant only as illustrations of the types of 
research that an applicant can propose for individual research studies.  

The project organization will include a coordinating center for data 
collection and analysis, a group of screening and brief intervention 
trainers, and 10-12 co-investigators located in academic emergency 
departments who will collaborate on the proposed study.  The 
coordinating center will oversee collection and analysis of data from 
the academic emergency centers.  Individual academic emergency centers 
will be responsible for the recruitment of staff screening 
participants, meeting Institutional Review Board approval, data 
collection and analysis, tracking of patients for follow-up, and 
distribution of incentives to respondents.

All applications are welcomed that are appropriate to the research 
objectives of this RFA.  

This RFA will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) award 
mechanism (, 
and the NIH Small Grant Program (R03) mechanism 

As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, 
and executing the proposed project.  This RFA is a one-time 
solicitation. The anticipated award date is February 27, 2004. 
Applications that are not funded in the competition described in this 
RFA may be resubmitted as NEW investigator-initiated applications using 
the standard receipt dates for NEW applications described in the 
instructions to the PHS 398 application.

This RFA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the modular 
budgeting format. (See   
Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in 
each year of $250,000 or less, use the modular format.  This program 
does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants 
Policy Statement at 

The participating IC(s) intends to commit approximately $475,000 in FY 
2004: $300,000 to fund 10 to 12 academic emergency department sites and 
$175,000 to fund one data coordinating site. Applicants for the ED 
sites will use the R03 mechanism and may request a project period of up 
to 1 year and a budget for direct costs of up to $25,000. Applicants 
for the data coordination site will use the R21 developmental grant 
mechanism and may request a budget of up to $275,000 direct costs for a 
period of two years. Because the nature and scope of the proposed 
research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated 
that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the 
financial plans of the IC(s) 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. 

The purpose of the RFA is to provide a funding mechanism for timely 
translational research regarding screening, brief intervention and 
follow-up in emergency medicine departments as part of National Alcohol 
Screening Day.  An Academic Emergency Center is defined as an Emergency 
Department affiliated with an accredited medical school that both 
trains residents in emergency medicine and conducts research on 
emergency medicine topics. 
You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution is an Academic 
Emergency Center and 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 institution 
o Faith-based or community-based organizations

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.


Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to 
carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their 
institution to develop an application for support.  Individuals from 
underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with 
disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs. 
Individuals must work in an academic emergency medicine department.  

The individual investigators will be required to attend a post award 
meeting with other awardees to decide on the final common research 
design.  The individual investigators and their screening staff will 
also attend training on screening and brief interventions at their 
local site by a group of expert trainers in this area. Individual 
investigators will also be required to share data with the entire 
collaborative group of investigators.  


We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity 
to answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into 
three areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants 
management issues:

o Direct your inquiries about scientific/research issues to:

Peggy Murray, M.S.W.
Office of Collaborative Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 302
6000 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
Telephone: 301-443-2594
FAX: 301-480-2358

Anton C. Bizzell, MD, Medical Officer
Office of Collaborative Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 302
6000 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 402-0514 
FAX: (301) 480-2358

o Direct your inquiries about peer review issues to:

Eugene G. Hayunga, Ph.D.
Chief, Extramural Project Review Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 409
6000 Executive Boulevard, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-4375
FAX: (301) 443-6077

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters 

Judy Fox (formerly Simons) 
Chief, Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Willco Building, Suite 504
6000 Executive Boulevard, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
(301) 443-4704 (telephone)
(301) 443-3891 (fax)


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is 
available at in 
an interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 710-0267, Email:

Applications requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be 
submitted in a modular grant format.  The modular grant format 
simplifies the preparation of the budget in these applications by 
limiting the level of budgetary detail.  Applicants request direct 
costs in $25,000 modules.  Section C of the research grant application 
instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at includes step-
by-step guidance for preparing modular grants.  Additional information 
on modular grants is available at

USING THE RFA LABEL:  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:

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes the following information:

o Descriptive title of the proposed research
o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
o Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA 

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 IC staff to estimate the potential review 
workload and plan the review.
The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning 
of this document. The letter of intent should be sent to:

Chief, Extramural Project Review Branch
ATTN: AA-04-001
Office of Scientific Affairs 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 
6000 Executive Boulevard, Room 409, MSC 7003 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003 
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Fax: 301-443-6077 

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the Checklist, 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 
must be sent to:

Chief, Extramural Project Review Branch
ATTN: AA-04-001
Office of Scientific Affairs 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 
6000 Executive Boulevard, Room 409, MSC 7003 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003 
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service) 

APPLICATION PROCESSING: 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.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and 
funding assignment within 8 weeks.
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.  However, when a previously unfunded application, 
originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be 
submitted in response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW 
application.  That is the application for the RFA must not include an 
Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text 
must not be marked to indicate the changes.  While the investigator may 
still benefit from the previous review, the RFA application is not to 
state explicitly how.

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR 
and responsiveness by the NIAAA. 

Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be returned to the 
applicant without further consideration.

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:

o Receive a written critique
o 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 and assigned a priority score
o Receive a second level review by the National Institute on Alcohol 
Abuse and Alcoholism National Advisory Council. 
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: 

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these 
criteria in assigning the application's overall score, weighting them 
as appropriate for each application.  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.

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?

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?

INNOVATION: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or 

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)?

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?  

human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their 
participation in the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria 
included in the section on Federal Citations, below).
of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic 
groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific 
goals of the research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the 
sections on Federal Citations, below).

are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section f 
of the PHS 398 research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) 
will be assessed.  


DATA SHARING:  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data. 

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested 
period of support in relation to the proposed research.


Application Receipt Date:  October 14, 2003
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  September 15, 2003
Peer Review Date:  Nov-Dec 2003
Council Review:  February 4, 2004
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: March 1, 2004


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.

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION: Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that 
applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated 
with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection 
against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the 
subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to 
be gained. 

components involving Phase I and II clinical trials must include 
provisions for assessment of patient eligibility and status, rigorous 
data management, quality assurance, and auditing procedures.  In 
addition, it is NIH policy that all clinical trials require data and 
safety monitoring, with the method and degree of monitoring being 
commensurate with the risks (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998:  

of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-
populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research 
projects unless a clear and compelling justification is 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 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide 
for Grants and Contracts on October 9, 2001 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition 
of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in 
compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language 
governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new 
PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and 
the extramural community.  The policy continues to require for all NIH-
defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or 
proposals and/or protocols must 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) 
investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 

SUBJECTS: The NIH maintains a policy 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, 

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 is available at

policy requires education on the protection of human subject 
participants for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for 
research involving human subjects.  You will find this policy 
announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement, 
dated June 5, 2000, at

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 PA 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.

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 RFA 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 the 
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 discourage 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.

Return to Volume Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.