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RFA-AA-09-008: Alcohol Pharmacotherapy and the Treatment and Prevention of HIV/AIDS (R03)

Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), (http://www.niaaa.nih.gov)

Title:   Alcohol Pharmacotherapy and the Treatment and Prevention of HIV/AIDS (R03)

Announcement Type

Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AA-09-008

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.


This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: February 12, 2009
Opening Date:  February 16, 2009 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)  
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): Not applicable
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization).
Application Due Date(s):  April 16, 2009
AIDS Application Due Date(s): Not Applicable
Peer Review Date(s): July/August 2009   
Council Review Date(s): August 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 1, 2009  
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: April 17, 2009

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants

    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information

2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Receipt, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
          1. Letter of Intent
    B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH
    C. Application Processing   
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contacts
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)

2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Objectives


The Effects of Alcohol Pharmacotherapies on the Treatment and Prevention of HIV/AIDS

Under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism requests research grant applications to conduct initial studies of the safety and feasibility of pharmacotherapies for alcohol use disorders in HIV-infected populations.  These studies will set the stage for future research to: 1) test innovative combined pharmacologic therapies for alcohol use disorders in HIV+ populations for the purpose of improving adherence to antiretroviral medications, reducing the rate of viral mutation and toxicity related to alcohol-ARV interactions, and reducing sexual risk-taking; and 2) assess the potential usefulness of pharmacological interventions for alcohol use disorders in preventing secondary HIV infections in targeted high risk populations of gay men and minority women.  Currently available alcohol pharmacotherapies may be tested in multiple regimens (e.g., those that do not require daily dosing) to determine safety and efficacy and to improve HIV/AIDS-related clinical outcomes, including survival.  It is expected that alcohol interventions will include a behavioral component meant to enhance the effects of the pharmacotherapy under examination. These behavioral interventions should improve adherence to the pharmacotherapy regimen being tested and improve the effects of the medication.  Studies funded under this initiative will lay the foundation for a future Cooperative Agreement to test alcohol treatments in populations of special interest, including but not limited to minority women and gay men.


In the US, approximately 20% of all HIV patients in treatment for HIV have been diagnosed with current co-occurring alcohol use disorders. The rates are even higher for a diagnosis of lifetime alcohol use disorders, with estimates of 26% to 60% in people living with HIV/AIDS as compared with 14% to 24% in the general population. This population, while highly clinically relevant, has been underrepresented in intervention studies, often labeled non-compliant, and screened out of efficacy trials of ARV medications. Disease models for addressing the complex course of the AIDS epidemic require that this population be identified and treated effectively to control the spread of HIV/AIDS.  This includes at-risk populations such as young gay men, among whom the incidence of HIV infection has been directly linked to sexual risk-taking under the influence of alcohol and drugs (Attributable Fraction: Sex Under the Influence: 29%, Heavy Drinking:  8.1%) and minority women, who are experiencing the highest rates of new HIV infection in the U.S. The current proposed projects will directly impact the type and quality of care available to this substantial segment of HIV+ individuals and inform both primary and secondary preventive intervention activities.

Pharmacological interventions for alcohol use disorders have not been evaluated in individuals with HIV at any stage in the infection, including during progression to AIDS, in the early stages of treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART), or at the point of treatment failure when so-called “salvage therapies” are needed.   Effective treatment for alcohol use disorders early in the course of disease and, in particular, initiation of medications for alcohol dependence may improve adherence, slow progression, and reduce risks for transmission. Biological markers of treatment response, including CD4 lymphocyte count, HIV viral RNA levels, and liver function as measured by AST, ALT, and GGT are directly responsive to continued drinking among HIV+ individuals and easily measured.

Heavy Drinking in HIV-positive Individuals and HAART Medication Adherence

The impact of alcohol use on HIV treatment outcomes is substantial. Alcohol problems in HIV-positive patients are associated with poor adherence to HAART medications. While HAART adherence in the general HIV+ samples ranges from 60% to 70%, estimates for adherence in HIV-positive at-risk drinkers are significantly reduced at 35-40%. A recent study using a large national sample of HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and medication adherence and found a strong temporal inverse dose response association between alcohol and medication adherence. The effect of alcohol was most pronounced in HIV-positive individuals, with an odds ratio for non-adherence of 1.8 in non-binge drinkers and 4.3 in binge drinkers. In this study, alcohol consumption was the most significant predictor of HAART medication adherence, with the greatest adherence associated with recent abstinence from alcohol. These findings support the argument that any reduction in heavy drinking may have a positive effect on HAART adherence.

Heavy Drinking and Sexual Risk Taking

Sexual risk behaviors (e.g. sexual intercourse without condom use; multiple sexual partners, etc.) that accompany alcohol use in HIV-positive individuals have major public health implications given the predominant role that sexual transmission plays in the current HIV epidemic. Alcohol use at any level is associated with increased sexual risk behaviors. The evidence for the impact of the treatment of alcohol use disorders on decreasing sexual risk behaviors is mixed. There are data indicating that individuals who receive treatment for alcohol problems experience reductions in risky sexual behaviors, including a decline in the number of sexual partners and high-risk partners, accompanied by increased condom use. Patients who completely abstain from alcohol use for the year following treatment achieve the greatest reductions in these behaviors.  On the other hand, other studies have shown no change in the prevalence of sexual risk behaviors among individuals receiving treatment for alcohol use disorders.

 Medications for Alcohol Use Disorders

Several medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat alcohol dependence.  These include oral naltrexone, extended-release injectable naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.  In addition, topiramate has recently demonstrated impressive treatment outcome in alcohol dependent patients. These compounds have not been tested in individuals with co-occurring HIV infection and alcohol use disorders. 

Oral Naltrexone

Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, was first approved for alcoholism treatment by the FDA in December 1994. Since then, it has been approved in over 35 countries around the world. Currently, the results of 29 clinical trials of naltrexone have been conducted in different populations and under a variety of conditions.  Most of these studies have demonstrated the efficacy of naltrexone, particularly in reducing relapse to heavy drinking. The effect size of naltrexone is similar to many medications used to treat other chronic, complex diseases, such as diabetes, depression, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. In the COMBINE study, the largest alcohol pharmacotherapy trial ever conducted, naltrexone was effective when used with a Medical Management therapy. These results indicate that naltrexone may be used successfully in primary care and general mental health care settings. 

Several studies have investigated the mechanism of action of naltrexone and have found that it curbs craving, attenuates alcohol-induced stimulation, and increases subjective ratings of sedation. Recent studies have further suggested that it diminishes the positive association between heavy drinking and mood state and disrupts the association between alcohol-induced stimulation and alcohol consumption. 

The safety profile of naltrexone is favorable. It is not addictive, has no interactions with alcohol or antidepressants, and has few serious side effects. The most common side effects are nausea and headache.

Efforts are being made to determine the effectiveness of naltrexone in various groups. In a recent study, naltrexone reduced heavy drinking in a population of less severe alcohol dependence/abuse patients, referred to as “early problem drinkers.” In two preliminary studies naltrexone appeared effective in older alcoholics, as well as in schizophrenic alcohol dependent or abusing patients.  Despite the known adverse effects of alcohol problems on HIV-positive individuals and the demonstrated benefit of naltrexone in heavy drinkers, there has not been a systematic evaluation of the efficacy and tolerability of naltrexone in HIV-positive patients or of the impact of this treatment on HIV-related clinical outcomes.

Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone

Adherence to medications is essential in producing optimal treatment outcomes.  For example, several studies have indicated that taking naltrexone 70 to 90 percent of the time is required to achieve its full benefit. To enhance compliance, two pharmaceutical companies have developed long-acting depot formulations of naltrexone that are effective for 30 days after administration.  They have reported that in multi-site clinical trials of the naltrexone depot formulations, alcohol dependent patients receiving them drank fewer days and had fewer days of heavy drinking than the placebo depot group.  In 2006 the FDA approved one of these long-acting formulations, Vivitrol, for the treatment of alcoholism. This has provided a viable treatment option for patients who do not want to take or may have problems taking their medications daily.


Acamprosate was studied extensively and approved in Europe years before approval in the US. Studies have consistently shown that individuals treated with acamprosate are more likely to complete treatment, have longer times to their first drink, have greater abstinence rates, and demonstrate longer cumulative abstinence periods than placebo-treated patients.  Still, acamprosate does not work for everyone.  For example, two large US trials failed to confirm the efficacy of acamprosate. The reason for the discrepancy between the European and US findings may be that patients in European trials had more severe dependence than patients in the US trials.

Acamprosate's mechanism of action has yet to be definitively identified, although several studies suggest that it modulates the activity of the glutamate system.  The side-effect profile of acamprosate appears favorable. There is no liability for drug dependence or interactions with other medications often taken by alcoholics, including disulfiram and antidepressants.  The most common side effect is diarrhea.  Since acamprosate is not metabolized by the liver, it is not contraindicated in liver disease, an advantage for those treated with HAART.


Disulfiram (Antabuse) is an aversive agent that has been used to treat alcoholism for over half a century. It inhibits aldehyde dehydrogenase, an enzyme involved in catabolizing acetaldehyde to acetic acid, resulting in accumulation of acetaldehyde. If alcohol is consumed by an individual on disulfiram, an intense uncomfortable reaction occurs, referred to as the disulfiram-ethanol reaction. Symptoms include facial flushing, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, hypotension, chest pain, and headaches.  At doses of 250 mg daily, disulfiram itself may produce certain adverse effects. These include mild effects such as sedation, drowsiness, headache, garlic-like or metallic taste, dermatitis, and skin rash as well as moderate to severe effects, including hepatotoxicity and peripheral neuropathy.  Several studies have demonstrated that disulfiram is effective in reducing alcohol consumption. Medication compliance appears to be a critical component for a positive treatment outcome with disulfiram.  Recently disulfiram treatment has been shown to be beneficial in patients with comorbid cocaine dependence and alcohol dependence or abuse.  Due to the risk of hepatotoxicity, it is essential that a physician examine the patient for symptoms and signs of hepatotoxicity and obtain liver function tests at onset of treatment and throughout the trial period. This is particularly important if disulfiram is used in combination with HAART medications.


Topiramate, a sulphamate fructopyranose derivative, facilitates GABA activity, antagonizes glutamate activity at the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) and kainate receptors, inhibits L-type calcium channels, and reduces voltage-dependent sodium channel activity.  It is currently approved for epilepsy in many countries around the world, including the US and Western Europe, and for migraine in the US.  Two recent clinical trials demonstrated that topiramate is effective in treating alcohol dependent patients, with an effect size greater than that observed with naltrexone and acamprosate. Importantly, efficacy was established in subjects who were drinking at the time of starting the medication. In contrast, most of the trials for naltrexone and acamprosate involved subjects who were abstinent before beginning the trial. Finally, the side-effects of topiramate are generally more severe than those of naltrexone and acamprosate. They include dizziness, paresthesias, psychomotor slowing, memory or concentration impairment, and weight loss. 

Populations with Comorbid Disorders

A primary objective of this initiative is to encourage research on the feasibility and efficacy of medications in HIV-infected patients with alcohol use disorders.   Many of these patients may also suffer from other substance use disorders.  For example, as many as 90 percent of cocaine addicts in both treatment and community settings have a problem with alcohol.  Problem drinking is  particularly prevalent among patients in methadone maintenance, with rates ranging from 16 to 33%, and has been associated with increased criminal activity, a higher incidence of depression and anxiety, greater likelihood of treatment failure, and higher rates of high risk sexual behavior and HIV infection.  In addition, patients suffering from alcohol and other substance abuse comorbidity have a higher suicide rate, have less social support, and are more likely to drop out of treatment.  Applications are encouraged to study this population in alcohol and substance abuse treatment settings.

Behavioral Interventions in Pharmacotherapy Trials

Choosing the appropriate behavioral intervention to combine with medications in these trials is vital for a successful outcome. For the alcohol component, it is essential that the therapy focuses on compliance enhancement. This consists of providing reminders, reviewing side-effects of the medication, and identifying obstacles to adherence. The therapy should also help the patient set a goal to either become abstinent or cut down to a safe level of drinking. Two brief therapies that have been successfully used in alcohol pharmacotherapy trials are the COMBINE Medical Management Therapy and the Brief Behavioral Compliance Enhancement Treatment (BBCET) Therapy.  To address the issues associated with HIV infection, the investigators may need to integrate components of HAART Medication Adherence Management, counseling for sexual risk behaviors, and counseling to address the specific needs of HIV-positive patients.

Monitoring the Safety of Patients

Since there is little or no information on combining medications to treat alcohol use disorders with HAART medications, it is essential for the safety of the subjects that these trials be closely monitored.  This includes monitoring the side-effects and toxicity of the combined medications. Liver function tests should be obtained regularly throughout the treatment period. It is also recommended that each study have an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board. 

Coordination of Research Effort

Within 3 months after awards have been made, NIAAA will convene a meeting of grantees to identify and agree upon a core set of alcohol and HIV-related outcomes that shall be standardized across all studies funded under this initiative.  

Research Objectives

General goals for this FOA include but are not limited to the development of effective pharmacological interventions for alcohol use disorders among HIV+ individuals to:

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

This FOA will utilize the expanded R03 grant mechanism to support projects including pilot and feasibility studies; small, self-contained research projects; and to foster the establishment of new research collaborations between HIV/AIDS and alcohol researchers. As the R03 is intended to support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources, it is intended that, with the use of this mechanism, investigators and collaborative research groups will be able to conduct initial pilot and feasibility studies to better position them for a subsequent R01 application.  The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.   

 This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts (see SF424 (R&R) Application Guide). It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budget formats (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, a U.S. organization submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less (excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

All foreign applicants must complete and submit budget requests using the Research & Related Budget component.

2. Funds Available

NIAAA intends to commit approximately $1M dollars in FY2009 to fund 4-6 applications.  The maximum allowable award is $100,000 per year over a maximum project period of 2 years, or a total of $200,000 in direct costs per award.

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 funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation. See NOT-OD-05-004.

NIH grants policies as described in the http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/preparing.htm for instructions).

The decision of whether to apply for a grant with a single PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs grant is the responsibility of the investigators and applicant organizations and should be determined by the scientific goals of the project. Applications for grants with multiple PDs/PIs will require additional information, as outlined in the instructions below. The NIH review criteria for approach, investigators, and environment have been modified to accommodate applications involving either a single PD/PI or multiple PDs/PIs. When considering the multiple PD/PI option, please be aware that the structure and governance of the PD/PI leadership team as well as the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual PDs/PIs will be factored into the assessment of the overall scientific merit of the application.  Multiple PDs/PIs on a project share the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of required reports. For further information on multiple PDs/PIs, please see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Number of Applications. Applicants may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct.

Resubmissions. Resubmission applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.

Renewals. Renewal applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, use the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

PDs/PIs should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant can submit an electronic application, as follows:  

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Registered

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Both the PDs/PI(s) and AOR/SO need separate accounts in the NIH eRA Commons since both are authorized to view the application image.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take four weeks or more. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their business official to determine whether their organization/institution is already registered in both Grants.gov and the Commons. The NIH will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and in accordance with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through Grants.gov/Apply.

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to NIH. Some fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application has several components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY includes all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA includes the data in the following components:

Required Components:
SF424 (R&R) (Cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist
PHS398 Modular Budget or Research & Related Budget, as appropriate (See Section IV.6., “Special Instructions,” regarding appropriate required budget component.)  

Optional Components:
PHS398 Cover Letter File
Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form

Foreign Organizations (Non-Domestic [non-U.S.] Entities)

NIH policies concerning grants to Foreign (non-U.S.) organizations can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: https://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm#_Toc54600260.

Applications from Foreign organizations must:

Proposed research should provide special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States (U.S.) or that augment existing U.S. resources.


Applications with Multiple PDs/PIs

When multiple PDs/PIs are proposed, NIH requires one PD/PI to be designated as the "Contact” PI, who will be responsible for all communication between the PDs/PIs and the NIH, for assembling the application materials outlined below, and for coordinating progress reports for the project. The contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status in the same way as other PDs/PIs, but has no other special roles or responsibilities within the project team beyond those mentioned above.

Information for the Contact PD/PI should be entered in item 15 of the SF424 (R&R) Cover component. All other PDs/PIs should be listed in the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component and assigned the project role of “PD/PI.” Please remember that all PDs/PIs must be registered in the eRA Commons prior to application submission. The Commons ID of each PD/PI must be included in the “Credential” field of the Research & Related Senior/Key Person component. Failure to include this data field will cause the application to be rejected.

All projects proposing Multiple PDs/PIs will be required to include a new section describing the leadership plan approach for the proposed project.

Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, a new section of the research plan, entitled “Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan” [Section 14 of the Research Plan Component in the SF424 (R&R)], must be included. A rationale for choosing a multiple PD/PI approach should be described.  The governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and the research project should be described, and should include communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts. The roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program should be delineated for the PDs/PIs and other collaborators.

If budget allocation is planned, the distribution of resources to specific components of the project or the individual PDs/PIs should be delineated in the Leadership Plan.  In the event of an award, the requested allocations may be reflected in a footnote on the Notice of Award (NoA).

Applications Involving a Single Institution

When all PDs/PIs are within a single institution, follow the instructions contained in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Applications Involving Multiple Institutions 

When multiple institutions are involved, one institution must be designated as the prime institution and funding for the other institution(s) must be requested via a subcontract to be administered by the prime institution. When submitting a detailed budget, the prime institution should submit its budget using the Research & Related Budget component. All other institutions should have their individual budgets attached separately to the Research & Related Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form. See Section 4.8 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the subaward budget form. 

When submitting a modular budget, the prime institution completes the PHS398 Modular Budget component only. Information concerning the consortium/subcontract budget is provided in the budget justification. Separate budgets for each consortium/subcontract grantee are not required when using the Modular budget format. See Section 5.4 of the Application Guide for further instruction regarding the use of the PHS398 Modular Budget component.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A. for details.

3.A. Submission, Review, and Anticipated Start Dates
Opening Date:  February 16, 2009 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)  
Application Due Date(s):  April 16, 2009
Peer Review Date(s):  July/August 2009
Council Review Date(s): August 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 1, 2009

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is not required for the funding opportunity.

3.B. Submitting an Application Electronically to the NIH

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html  and follow Steps 1-4. Note:  Applications must only be submitted electronically.  PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

In order to expedite the review, applicants are requested to notify the NIAAA Referral Office by email (bautista@mail.nih.gov.) when the application has been submitted.  Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application due date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the due date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two weekdays (Monday – Friday, excluding Federal holidays) to view the application image to determine if any further action is necessary.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the IC. Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. The submitting AOR/SO receives the Grants.gov acknowledgments. The AOR/SO and the PI receive Commons acknowledgments. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons. 

Note: Since email can be unreliable, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check periodically on the application status in the Commons.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity 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 a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an “Introduction” describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award if such costs: 1) are necessary to conduct the project, and 2) would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewal award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement).

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

PD/PI Credential (e.g., Agency Login)

The NIH requires the PD(s)/PI(s) to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component.

Organizational DUNS

The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

PHS398 Research Plan Component Sections

Page limitations of the PHS398 Research Plan component must be followed as outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. While each section of the Research Plan component needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan component as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.   

All application instructions outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide are to be followed, incorporating "Just-in-Time" information concepts, and with the following additional requirements:

Appendix Materials

Applicants must follow the specific instructions on Appendix materials as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (See https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm).

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan component. An application that does not comply with the required page limitations may be delayed in the review process.

Resource Sharing Plan(s)

NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of the research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. If the final data/resources are not amenable to sharing, this must be explained in the Resource Sharing section of the application (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm.)

(a) Data Sharing Plan: Regardless of the amount requested, investigators are expected to include a brief 1-paragraph description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data-sharing is not possible. Applicants are encouraged to discuss data-sharing plans with their NIH program contact (see Data-Sharing Policy or https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-032.html.)

(b) Sharing Model Organisms: Regardless of the amount requested, all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organisms and related resources or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible (see Sharing Model Organisms Policy, and NOT-OD-04-042.)

(c) Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS): Regardless of the amount requested, applicants seeking funding for a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible.  A genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (e.g., blood pressure or weight) or the presence or absence of a disease or condition.  For further information see Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (go to NOT-OD-07-088, and https://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.)

Foreign Applications (Non-Domestic [non-U.S.] Entities)

Indicate how the proposed project has specific relevance to the mission and objectives of the NIH/IC and has the potential for significantly advancing the health sciences in the United States. 

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria 

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to this FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIAAA and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/), using the review criteria stated below.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will:

Applications submitted in response to this FOA will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria 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, and weighted as appropriate for each application. Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a meritorious 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 or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? For applications designating multiple PDs/PIs, is the leadership approach, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance, and organizational structure, consistent with and justified by the aims of the project and the expertise of each of the PDs/PIs?

Innovation:  Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?

Investigators: Are the PD(s)/PI(s) and other key personnel 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? Do(es) the PD(s)/PI(s) and investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

Environment:  Do(es) the scientific environment(s) in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the rating:

Resubmission Applications (formerly “revised/amended” applications): Are the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group adequate? Are the improvements in the resubmission application appropriate?

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed.  See the “Human Subjects Sections” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R).

Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy 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 will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. See the “Human Subjects Sections” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R)
Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the adequacy of the plans for their care and use will be assessed. See the “Other Research Plan Sections” of the PHS398 Research Plan component of the SF424 (R&R). 

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget and Period of Support: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the appropriateness of the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research may be assessed by the reviewers. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

Applications from Foreign Organizations: Whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States or that augment existing U.S. resources will be assessed. 

2.C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)

When relevant, reviewers will be instructed to comment on the reasonableness of the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed resource sharing plan(s) into the determination of scientific merit or priority score, unless noted otherwise in the FOA. Program staff within the IC will be responsible for monitoring the resource sharing.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the NIH eRA Commons

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., “Funding Restrictions.”       

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities.

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished, when a recipient changes institutions, or when an award is terminated.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

1. Scientific/Research Contact(s):

Deidra Roach, M.D.
Division of Treatment and Recovery Research 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
5635 Fishers Lane, Rm. 2040
Bethesda, MD 20892, MSC 9304
Telephone: (301) 443-5820 
Fax: (301)443-8774    
Email: droach@mail.nih.gov 

2. Peer Review Contact(s):

Abraham P. Bautista, Ph.D. 
Chief, Extramural Project Review Branch
Office of Extramural Activities
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
5635 Fishers Lane, Room 2085  
Bethesda, MD 20892, MSC 9304
Telephone: (301) (301) 443-9737 
Fax: 443-6077 

3. Financial/Grants Management Contact(s):

Ms. Judy Fox
Chief, Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 
5635 Fishers Lane, Room 3023 
Bethesda, MD 20892,  MSC 9304
Telephone: (301) ) 443-4704 
Fax: (301) 443-3891
Email: jfox@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) 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 (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm).

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (Phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (“NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring,” NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing). Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local institutional review board (IRB) rules, as well as local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

Policy for Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS):
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information, see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Beginning October 1, 2004, all investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide 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 https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this funding opportunity 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.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
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 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” (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. 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 SF424 (R&R) application; 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 differences.

Inclusion of Children as Participants in Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. 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 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm).

Required Education on the Protection of Human Subject Participants:
NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC):
Criteria for Federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide in the project description and elsewhere in the application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s) for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed research.

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy, investigators funded by the NIH must submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (see http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. The NIH Public Access Policy is available at (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html). For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, Internet addresses (URLs) or PubMed Central (PMC) submission identification numbers must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles. Publicly accessible on-line journal articles or PMC articles/manuscripts accepted for publication that are directly relevant to the project may be included only as URLs or PMC submission identification numbers accompanying the full reference in either the Bibliography & References Cited section, the Progress Report Publication List section, or the Biographical Sketch section of the NIH grant application. A URL or PMC submission identification number citation may be repeated in each of these sections as appropriate. There is no limit to the number of URLs or PMC submission identification numbers that can be cited.

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 FOA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

Authority and Regulations:
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372. 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 Part 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 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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap, providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/.

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