Release Date:  December 17, 2001 (Reissued as RFA-AG-07-005)
(See NOT-AG-02-001)

RFA:  RFA-AG-02-004

National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 30, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       February 26, 2002

The National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Nursing 
Research (NINR), and the National Center for Minority Health and Health 
Disparities (NCMHD), invite applications from qualified institutions for 
the creation or continuation of Resource Centers for Minority Aging 
Research (RCMARs).  The long-range RCMAR infrastructure building goals 
are to:  (1) improve the health and well being of older minority 
populations and (2) provide resources to enable research to be conducted 
that will identify ways to reduce health disparities.  RCMARs focus 
research upon specific social, cultural, and behavioral mechanisms 
leading to improved health and functioning by emphasizing research 
designed to:  (1) inform public policy, (2) develop culturally-informed 
disease and disability prevention and health promotion strategies, (3) 
improve community, group, or individual based interventions that will 
result in optimal health outcomes, and (4) improve the measurement of 
social, psychological, economic, and other concepts germane to the 
health of older minority populations.  More basic or clinical research 
areas will be considered if they are relevant to the four emphases 
listed immediately above.  These emphases are congruent with the 
objectives of NIA"s Strategic Plan to Address Disparities in Aging 
(National Institute on Aging, 2000,

To meet the long-range goals, RCMARs will create research infrastructure 
for the following objectives:  (1) establish a mechanism for mentoring 
research careers focused on the health of minority elders, (2) enhance 
cultural diversity of the professional workforce conducting research on 
the health of minority elders, (3) conduct research on and deploy 
strategies for recruiting and retaining minority group members in 
social, behavioral, economic, epidemiological, and/or biomedical 
research dealing with the health of the elderly, (4) facilitate 
innovative strategies to support enduring research careers in minority 
health, and/or encourage the recruitment of established researchers to 
undertake research on minority aging health, (5) improve the research 
methods and tools necessary to conduct rigorous and comparable research 
on diverse populations, (6) advance scientific knowledge leading to a 
decrease in health disparities, and (7) disseminate research results to 
scientific and non-scientific communities addressing the resolution of 
health disparities through the improvement of minority health.  Many 
health disparities are already well documented requiring little further 
elaboration.  While health disparity trends require constant 
surveillance, RCMAR funding is intended to create an infrastructure that 
will, in the long run, serve to close the health disparities gap by 
improving minority health outcomes.

Centers are encouraged to design a research and mentoring program that 
focuses upon a problem area using the scientific strengths of a given 
site.  This problem area focus can be defined in several ways and may 
include, for example:  (1) a specific health problem, (2) a specific 
wellness goal, (3) a series of related problems or goals, (4) the 
development of racially/ethnically sensitive measurements, (5) research 
on the recruitment and retention of minority subjects, (6) the 
development and dissemination of unique strategies for mentoring and 
retaining minority investigators.  Other examples of problem focus areas 
include: (7) the advancement of research methods such as intervention 
research on exercise, diet, various preventive health strategies, and 
savings, the role of socioeconomic determinants of health disparities, 
(9) health disparities within minority populations, (10) health care 
delivery access, (11) risk factor reduction, (12) the identification of 
new risk factors, or (13) research on hypotheses relating to health 
disparities such as the role of cumulative stress and inequality versus 
variations in levels of education, income, and wealth related resources.  
RCMARs are encouraged to characterize their defined research focus using 
multiple levels of analyses and multiple disciplines (Singer and Ryff, 
2001). Because problems related to minority health are embedded in 
multiple systems, interaction among cultural, social, behavioral, 
psychophysiological, and clinical sciences is anticipated and encouraged 
in order to satisfy the site-specific research problem focus.   


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 Request for 
Applications (RFA), Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research and 
Coordinating Center, 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 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.  Awards will not be made 
to foreign institutions.  Applications from racial/ethnic minority 
individuals, women and persons with disabilities are encouraged. 
Applicants must demonstrate access to and experience working with the 
selected minority population(s).  Applicants can come from either TMBIs 
or from other institutions that demonstrate a strong, functional and 
cooperative arrangement with minority researchers and/or minority 
organizations.  Institutions or affiliates should have prior experience 
in conducting minority research including skills in social survey or 
qualitative research techniques and methodologies for recruiting, 
maintaining, and assessing minority populations.  At the time of 
application, institutions participating as part of a proposed center 
must have among them at least three or more externally funded, current, 
peer-reviewed projects involving human subjects in the RCMAR-related 
areas of reducing health differentials, health care access, and/or 
minority research, as related to aging research.  The projects must be 
expected to continue for at least a year after the time of application. 
At least three projects should be in place during the P30 award period. 
Applications from institutions not previously funded as Resource 
Centers for Minority Aging research will compete on an equal basis with 
competing continuation applications.  

Applications are invited for a Coordinating Center (CC) to serve a 
facilitating role for RCMAR site interaction as well as a conduit for 
translating RCMAR objectives and findings to a scientific and general 
audience.  The CC can be part of a RCMAR or can be an independent 
freestanding site.  The CC must demonstrate an ability to work 
cooperatively with selected RCMAR sites and possess sufficient 
scientific expertise in the areas outlined in this RFA to serve the 
national clearinghouse function outlined below.


This program will be supported by an NIH Core Center Grant (P30).  
Applicants must request five years of support.  No decision has yet been 
made on whether to reissue this RFA to continue these Centers after five 

If an applicant is requesting a Coordinating Center only, that applicant 
may use the P30 format as well, except that the application will contain 
only materials relevant to the CC.  If the RCMAR application is for both 
a Center and the CC, then the CC request can be presented as though it 
were a separate Core. 


Funds Available:  RCMAR Sites

The award of Center grants pursuant to this RFA is contingent upon the 
availability of funds for this purpose.  The intent is to fund between 
five (5) and seven (7) RCMARs in Fiscal Year 2002.  The specific number 
awarded will be contingent upon the merit of the applications and the 
availability of funds.  These applications do not compete for funding 
within the general pool of dollars available for investigator-initiated 
research proposals.  The total cost (direct plus facilities and 
administrative (F&A) costs) per center is expected to range between 
$500,000 and $750,000, and may not exceed $750,000 per application for 
the first year (excluding an elective Coordinating Center component, see 
below).  Years two through five may not exceed a three percent per year 

Funds Available:  Coordinating Center

The award of a Coordinating Center (CC) pursuant to this RFA is 
contingent upon the availability of funds for this purpose.  The CC may 
be an independent entity, not associated with a specific RCMAR site or 
it may be part of a specific site"s application. The intent is to fund a 
single CC in FY 2002.  The CC should propose a five year budget.  The 
total cost of the CC (direct plus indirect costs) is expected to range 
between $175,000 and $250,000 for the first year.  Years two through 
five may not exceed a three percent per year increase.  

The RCMAR program is intended as a continuing and expanded research 
investment in the process of closing the gap between minority and non-
minority elderly populations" health status and health care (Martin & 
Soldo, 1997).  The need for a continuing effort in this regard is clear.  
While the health of minority populations in general is improving, the 
gap between minority and non-minority populations remains (Berkman & 
Mullen, 1997).  

The RCMARs also address racial and ethnic disparities in the inclusion 
of minority researchers in the professional scientific workforce.  This 
professional workforce is intended to conduct independent research on 
the health of older populations.  The involvement and fostering of 
minority researchers in independently funded health related research is 
a pressing need (National Institute on Aging, 2000).  RCMARs will 
enhance the capacity of minority and non-minority researchers and TMBIs 
to conduct research among and within minority groups.  In addition to 
mentoring researchers, another infrastructure need is the involvement 
and maintenance of older minority populations as research subjects in 
both social and biomedical research (Levkoff, Prohaska, Weitzman, & Ory, 
2000, Napoles-Springer, Grumbach, Alexander, Moreno-John, Forte, Rangel-
Lugo, & Perez-Stable, 2000).  Knowledge of techniques to enhance 
involvement of these populations in research lags behind science"s need 
to study health problems encountered by the targeted groups.  Therefore, 
the development and dissemination of scientifically verifiable 
techniques for the recruitment and retention of minority participants in 
social, behavioral, and clinical research is a central objective in this 

The Centers are also expected to contribute to the development and 
dissemination of research methods and measurement tools that have 
validity, reliability, and generalizability across the targeted 
populations (Skinner, Teresi, Holmes, Stahl, & Stewart, 2001).  Without 
valid social, behavioral, or clinically relevant measures that are 
comparable across populations, it is impossible to determine the precise 
magnitude or precursors of the disadvantaged status of minority 
populations.  The development and dissemination of both measurement and 
complex methodological tools inherent to studying the health of minority 
populations is a significant component of the RCMARs.

The RCMAR solicitation is intended to meet its objectives by requiring 
that the selected RCMARs embrace several, but not necessarily all of the 
following general requirements:

o focus mentoring and research using multiple disciplines and multiple 
levels of analyses on a defined health, wellness, or research problem 

o increase learning and mentoring relationships between experienced 
researchers and those not previously funded and those recruited from 
other areas who will examine minority health in older populations, 

o increase the minority presence and diversity of the research on aging 

o increase the research skills and experience of junior faculty at 
either majority or traditionally minority-based institutions (TMBIs),  
o increase cultural expertise and understanding, improve community 
liaison techniques, and improve the methodological skills of those 
majority and minority researchers with limited research familiarity with 
diverse populations or limited experience with behavioral, social 
science, and epidemiological research in such populations, 
o support pilot research projects designed to: (a) improve the health of 
minority populations, (b) lead to prevention and intervention strategies 
at multiple levels of analysis, (c) address health problem interventions 
targeted to specific minority/ethnic groups, and  (d) result in 
subsequent independent investigator awards for minority researchers or 
those conducting research on older diverse populations, 

o support mentoring relationships that will establish enduring research 
careers in minority aging,
o create an infrastructure to test models that improve enduring access 
to older minority individuals for participation in biomedical, social, 
and behavioral research,

o support research that develops valid, reliable, and generalizable 
measurement tools and research strategies across and within disparate 
racial/ethnic groups, 

o support rigorous research that addresses complex methodological issues 
inherent to studying health disparities between and within populations.

o establish a firm foundation for progress in research on the health of 
minority populations.

RCMAR applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on one or more 
specific problem area(s) as outlined in the Purpose section of this RFA.  
These problem areas must be relevant to the RCMAR goal of creating an 
infrastructure that facilitates research and information dissemination 
to reduce health disparities between minority and non-minority 
populations.  In pursuit of a Center"s unique focus, applicants are 
strongly encouraged to collaborate with at least one other NIA research 
center (i.e., Roybals, Pepper Centers, Alzheimer"s Disease Centers, 
Demography Centers, Shock Centers, or the National Archive of 
Computerized Data on Aging) or NINR Center, especially if the Center is 
nearby.  The application should demonstrate how the collaboration would 
mutually benefit the scientific goals of the collaborating centers.  A 
list of NIA Centers is available upon request from the NIA Program 

A PI from a TMBI or a non-TMBI may submit a RCMAR proposal.  Partnership 
arrangements between institutions are also encouraged but not required.  
If submitted by a non-TMBI, the PI should demonstrate current 
involvement of minority researchers at the professional level.  

Applicants must demonstrate an ongoing involvement with the host 
community.  To this end, the application should include at least one 
community-based, minority-oriented organization as a partner in the 
RCMAR proposal.  Institutions involved in the RCMAR must demonstrate 
prior minority aging research addressing health disparities that are 
relevant to the particular Center"s problem area focus.  

Each selected RCMAR is required to work with a Coordinating Center (CC) 
in developing a plan for submitting a program-wide, semi-annual Program 
Emphasis and Outcomes Report.  The selected RCMARs will be required to 
actively participate in the Program Emphasis and Outcomes reporting 
procedure.  Each site will also be required to send three participants 
(one of whom is the PI) to an Annual Investigators" Meeting to be held 
either in the Washington, DC area or at a RCMAR site, mutually agreeable 
to all RCMARs and NIA program staff.  The application must budget for 
attendance at this yearly meeting.  

The RCMAR should be organized around a series of Core activities related 
to the defined research focus.  The application should provide a plan 
for the integration of activities across the RCMAR site"s Cores.  
The function of each Core is outlined below.  The specific 
organization of the RCMAR and the interaction among Cores should be 
described and justified in the application.  The application should 
present an identifiable and separate budget for each Core and a 
description of each Core"s role in the activities outlined in the 
RFA. While four Cores are required, each applicant may propose and 
justify additional Cores.  Key investigators in each Core should be 
recognized experts in the content area of that Core.

Special Requirements:  Administrative Core
RCMARs must have strong and experienced central leadership with an 
Administrative Core directed by the PI.  This Core will coordinate 
proposed activities and maintain an internal information flow of 
activities and decisions. The Administrative Core will coordinate the 
Program Emphases and Outcomes contribution and work closely with the CC 
in developing and maintaining the Program Emphasis and Outcomes Report.  
This semi-annual Report, which will be collated by the Coordinating 
Center, is a mechanism for synthesizing research findings, 
methodological developments, and progress toward meeting goals 
established by each RCMAR regarding its unique problem focus.  The 
Report will be disseminated to scientific, host community, and policy 
audiences, as well as NIH program officials.  Critical elements of the 
Administrative Core follow.  

o The PI must possess experience in conducting research with minority 
elderly populations and experience in mentoring minority investigators.  
He/she should demonstrate how prior professional experience in mentoring 
and learning environments enhances the inclusion of minority 

o The Administrative Core must propose and show evidence of its ability 
to recruit an Advisory Panel of at least five members including two from 
relevant host community groups and two researchers focusing on minority 
aging, the latter not otherwise affiliated with the RCMAR.  New Advisory 
Panel members should not be named at the time of submission.  A 
statement about types of members and a description of how they will be 
recruited is adequate.  The Advisory Panel will meet yearly to 
review Center activities, contribute to the RCMAR"s Program Emphases and 
Outcomes report, and make recommendations regarding RCMAR functions.  A 
copy of the minutes of each meeting must be sent to the NIA Program 
Administrator through the CC.  

o The application must specify how the Administrative Core will 
create mechanisms and procedures to ensure that RCMAR Cores interact to 
maximum benefit. The objectives of that interaction must be specified.   
The application should also specify how results from the Center"s 
research will be synthesized and presented to affect the state of the 
science, policy, and health practices addressing in health disparities. 

o The application"s Administrative Core component should specify 
the mechanisms for ensuring that RCMAR researchers will interact 
with colleagues at the parent institution and at affiliated 
institutions, including community organizations.  In addition, any 
proposed interaction between the RCMAR and other NIA or NINR Center 
programs needs to be specified and documented.  This role can be 
delegated to other Cores.  The delegation must be specified in the 
Administrative Core presentation.  These mechanisms are needed 
to ensure: (1) the practicability of developing connections 
with minority communities, (2) recruitment and retention of minority 
investigators and participants, (3) the viability of mentoring and 
training relationships among affiliated institutions, when appropriate, 
(4) the enhancement of research, and (5) the creation of appropriate 
instruments and techniques for working with different racial/ethnic 

o The Administrative Core should specify its role in overseeing the 
selection of pilot studies for funding.  The selection must ensure that 
the Center"s problem-oriented research focus is maintained.  
Additionally, the Administrative Core, or the Investigator Development 
Core (see below) must propose and maintain a system for tracking its 
pilot study investigators to the completion of an independent research 
award beyond the duration of the RCMAR award.

o The Administrative Core will select two senior RCMAR participants who, 
with the PI, will prepare for an Annual Investigator"s Meeting lasting a 
day and a half.  The meeting will be organized by the CC with input from 
each Administrative Core to discuss progress and common problems in 
the conduct of the Centers.  Travel to these meetings should be 
budgeted as part of the Administrative Core.  

Special Requirements :  Community Liaison Core

The Community Liaison Core (CLC) serves several functions: (1) to 
increase the scientific knowledge of techniques to recruit and retain 
minority research participants, (2) to work with the host community in 
providing research participants for research projects funded by the 
Center, (3) to enhance recruitment and retention of older minority 
research participants in the parent and/or cooperating institutions" 
NIH-funded research projects, and (4) to provide feedback to the host 
community regarding research advances that may impact its members.  This 
research translation function is essential to successful community-based 
research.  It is important to note that the CLC is not intended to be 
predominantly a service function of the Center for the targeted study 
communities.  It is a science-generating core with expectations of 
research questions/data collection/science publications, and information 
generation useful to center investigators as well as the general science 
Experience indicates that intensive effort, specialized skill, 
and creativity are needed to recruit and retain older minority 
participants. To these ends, it is the responsibility of the CLC to 
develop and maintain relationships with minority group members and 
minority community-based organizations (CBOs). CLC staff are encouraged 
to work with CBOs to foster acceptance in minority communities for 
participating and remaining in research projects. The CLC"s role is to 
facilitate interaction among minority community members including formal 
and informal leaders, as well as with appropriate CBOs, and with 
researchers planning studies involving the host communities.  To this 
end, the CLC will create and maintain an infrastructure of minority 
group member participants for research involvement among RCMAR and other 
research projects at their home institution(s).  This objective can be 
met in tandem with other NIA or NINR cooperating institution"s centers, 
at the discretion of both the RCMAR and the other Centers.
The Community Liaison Core is encouraged to work closely with both the 
CBOs and the professional staff who plan and conduct research involving 
community members.  In conjunction with the Investigator Development 
Core and the Coordinating Center, the CLC must create and disseminate 
scientific information regarding techniques for recruiting and retaining 
minority research participants.  The RCMAR program is expected to become 
a source of research techniques for the recruitment and retention of 
minority group members for scientific research.  Each CLC is expected to 
contribute to that collective expertise.  The CLC will work in 
conjunction with the Coordinating Center"s clearinghouse function to 
facilitate the dissemination of state-of-the-art methods on recruitment 
and retention.   A plan for creating knowledge of recruitment and 
retention methods must be included in the application.  The plan 
may include publications and presentations of information, 
conferences and symposia, and outreach activities to other 
institutions conducting clinical, behavioral, and/or social research on 
Special Requirements:  Investigator Development Core

The goal of the Investigator Development Core (IDC) is to provide a 
mechanism for long-term mentoring that will lead to an enduring career 
in minority aging research. Mentoring relationships may include early-
career researchers as well as mentoring relationships that foster the 
recruitment of mid-career researchers into research on minority aging.  
It is the responsibility of the IDC to assure successful mentoring of, 
and collaboration with, minority researchers. This function has three 
components: Pilot Studies, Information Transfer Activities, and a 
Continual Mentoring Activity. 

The IDC must specify a mechanism for assuring the effective mentoring of 
minority researchers.  The RCMAR application should contain a plan for, 
and an evaluation strategy of, the mentoring process.  This plan is 
intended to demonstrate the RCMAR"s ability and commitment to enhancing 
diversity in the professional research workforce dealing with the health 
of the elderly.  Further, the IDC will work closely with the 
Coordinating Center in developing a strategy to assess the collective 
progress of all RCMARs toward meeting the mentoring goal for minority 
investigators.  This assessment will be part of the Program Emphases and 
Outcomes activity.

Investigator Development Core:  Pilot Studies

Each RCMAR must propose three pilot studies, with named investigators 
for the first year.  Support for each pilot study is expected to last 
one year.  However, pilot studies lasting more than two years are 
acceptable if fully justified.  Each RCMAR should anticipate funding a 
minimum of three pilot studies during each subsequent year of the 
project"s five year duration.  All pilot studies must involve a minority 
investigator at the professional level (e.g., as PI or as a major co-

The pilot studies should be used to collect preliminary data or analyze 
secondary data addressing the RCMAR"s problem focus area and can be used 
to: (1) develop or test clinical, social, behavioral, and/or 
economic interventions for decreasing differentials in health status or 
access to services among older minority and majority group members, 
(2) develop and validate measurement instruments or protocols suitable 
for use with minority groups, (3) test models of recruitment/retention 
strategies, (4) focus upon health behavior research addressing specific 
health problems (e.g., diabetes, prostate cancer, hypertension) or 
social problems (e.g., access to health systems, neighborhood influence 
on health) of minority aging populations, or (5) conduct research on 
minority aging issues germane to the interests of the RCMAR and the 
pilot investigator.  
The RCMAR application should include a three page summary (maximum) of 
each selected pilot study.  Each summary should contain a statement of 
the problem, methods to be used, anticipated results, and subsequent 
planned efforts leading to an independent investigator award.  An 
additional page containing the standard PHS Biographical Sketch for 
the investigator should be included.  The RCMAR proposal must include 
the criteria used for selecting the submitted pilot studies and propose 
a plan for reviewing pilot grant applications in subsequent years.  (The 
latter plan should be done jointly with the Administrative Core, see 
above.)  Each RCMAR application should provide evidence that the host 
institution(s) will be able to mentor a minimum of three new pilot 
projects per year for the duration of the grant period.  Funding for 
each pilot study may not exceed $20,000 (direct costs) per year.  Those 
monies must be budgeted by the IDC.  In years 02 through 05, each RCMAR 
will be responsible for:
o selecting and funding (maximum direct cost:  $20,000 for each pilot 
study) a minimum of three new pilot investigators in each year, 

o demonstrating that prior years" pilot studies lead to success in 
obtaining an independent investigator award (see "Continual Mentoring 
Activity," below), and 

o tracking the successes of its pilot investigators through the award of 
an independent grant.

Each RCMAR must develop and specify plans for disseminating information 
about the availability of pilot funds.  If consistent with the overall 
objectives of the specific RCMAR, the Center may fund researchers who 
are not members of the original participating institution(s).  If this 
route is chosen, the applicant must demonstrate how distance mentoring 
of these researchers will be accomplished.

Investigator Development Core:  Information Transfer Activities
In conjunction with the Community Liaison Core and the Coordinating 
Center (see below) each RCMAR will create a program for disseminating 
research information involving diverse older populations.  The audiences 
for these activities should include the host community, CBOs, relevant 
national populations, researchers at the host institution, investigators 
at other institutions, and the relevant scientific community.  
Information transfer activities may include, but are not limited 
to activities such as training programs, short courses, 
distance learning, presentations at professional meetings, presentations 
to community groups, and publications. The content of these activities 
are at the discretion of the RCMAR but should include information on:  
basic research methodologies, recruitment and retention of minority 
populations, substantive issues regarding health disparities among older 
diverse populations, and new findings based upon research undertaken by 
pilot investigators or others at the RCMAR.  The RCMAR may wish to seek 
Continuing Health Education credit for participants.  The information 
transfer activity of the IDC should be coordinated with the Community 
Liaison Core on issues of recruitment and retention. Proposals should 
describe the plan for developing and evaluating information 
dissemination activities.  

Investigator Development Core:  Continual Mentoring Activity

Each RCMAR will specify strategies for mentoring pilot investigators to 
the point of preparing, submitting, and resubmitting, if necessary, 
applications for independent investigator research awards.  The RCMAR 
application must specify how Pilot Investigators will be mentored 
subsequent to completion of the pilot award for a period sufficient to 
produce a successful research grant such as an NIA funded R03, R01, or 
K-award.  Similar granting mechanisms from NIA or other major funding 
organizations are acceptable but their relevance to aging must be 
demonstrable.  The procedures for this "Continual Mentoring" function 
may include a continual but lessened level of mentoring intensity than 
during the conduct of the pilot (e.g., mentoring at a distance), 
additional hands-on experiences to assure success in the application 
process, or other forms of continued help to assure that the pilot 
investigator is mentored through the successful completion of an 
independent investigator award.  Each RCMAR must specify how it will 
facilitate and track the evolution of mentees from pilot to independent 
investigator.  Each RCMAR, in conjunction with the Coordinating Center, 
will participate in a semi-annual reporting procedure to track the 
success of its pilot investigators through the completion of funded 
applications and publications.  

An optional function of the Investigator Development Core is to entice 
more established researchers into the field of minority aging research.  
The pilot research mechanism can be used for this purpose.  Tracking the 
outcome of this procedure will be required and reported to the 
Coordinating Center.  

Special Requirements:  Measurement Core
Each RCMAR will specify strategies for identifying, 
cataloging, distributing and/or creating culturally informed and 
scientifically valid epidemiological, behavioral, or social measurement 
tools. Measurement Core participants will have expertise in research 
methodology and measurement tools tested or developed for diverse 
populations or the specific cultural group in which the RCMAR 
concentrates its efforts.  The Measurement Core will demonstrate the 
potential for national leadership in measurement and research strategies 
as they apply to minority elders.  

Centers should develop and test strategies for enhancing culturally 
informed practices for collecting clinical, behavioral, and social 
science data (e.g., clinical assessment, assessing socioeconomic status, 
conducting qualitative research), attitudes toward the collection of 
relevant data (e.g., drawing blood, autopsy, other physical indicators, 
providing relevant but potentially sensitive information), or strategies 
for collecting epidemiological data (e.g., measures of neighborhood 
cohesion, systemic properties of communities and their impact on health, 
economic resources).  It is the responsibility of the Measurement Core, 
in conjunction with the Coordinating Center (see below), to create, 
identify, catalogue, and disseminate information in its domain.  
Contributions to an "Item Bank," coordinated by the CC are encouraged.  
The RCMAR application should specify plans for these activities.  
Centers are required to demonstrate how the Measurement Core will 
collaborate with its Investigator Development Core in mentoring new 
investigators and with cooperating institutional research centers (e.g., 
Alzheimer"s Disease Research Centers), if identified.  RCMARs are 
encouraged to specify how measurement development activities compliment 
or support on-going or pilot research projects in the host institution 
or in collaborating institutional research centers and institutions.   

Special Requirements:  Coordinating Center

One Coordinating Center (CC) will be established to facilitate and 
coordinate RCMAR activities.  In addition, the CC will serve the 
Resource Centers of Minority Aging Research by providing information to 
the scientific community generated by RCMAR scientists.  This function 
does not replace the professional publication responsibility of 
individual participating RCMAR scholars.  The CC will work closely with 
the NIA program administrator and, in coordination with the PIs and 
RCMAR personnel, be responsive to requests generated by NIA or NIH.    
Each applicant RCMAR is invited to submit as part of its response to the 
RCMAR RFA, a section proposing a Coordinating Center (CC).  Institutions 
not submitting a RCMAR proposal may also apply for a freestanding CC.  
Equal consideration will be given to non-RCMAR applying institutions as 
will be afforded RCMAR applications for award of the CC.  The first year 
budget for the CC is expected to be between $175,000 and $250,000 total 
costs (direct plus F&A costs).  Selection of the CC will be made by 
the NIA Director based on recommendations of the Initial Review Group 
and the Program Administrator. The CC will fulfill the following 

Coordinating Center:  Logistic Support
The CC will provide logistic support to the RCMARs and the NIA program 
administrator.  It will make all arrangements for a yearly RCMAR 
meeting, prepare minutes, and in coordination with other RCMAR PIs and 
NIA program staff, create the agenda and chair that meeting.  The CC 
will set aside a portion of its funds for support of the Annual 
Investigators" meeting.  (As described elsewhere in this RFA, funds to 
support attendees are the responsibility of the Administrative Core of 
each RCMAR.)  The CC will also have the responsibility of collecting 
information from participating RCMARs and for preparing the semi-annual 
Program Emphases and Outcomes Reports.  This report will be cumulative 
and highlight significant developments by the RCMARs, individually and 
collectively, and the CC in the creation and dissemination of new 
knowledge and program progress.  The focus of the semi-annual report 
will be upon progress made by the RCMARs in reducing health disparities 
and on the support of research by RCMAR scholars with that ultimate 
objective.  Additionally the CC will foster communication and 
cooperative arrangements between RCMARs and other institutional research 
Centers.  The CC will collect Advisory Panel minutes from each Center 
for the NIA program administrator.

The CC will create a mechanism for maintaining an active involvement in 
all aspects of the program.  This perspective will serve to:  link and 
foster joint research between various RCMAR sites, answer queries from 
the scientific and lay communities, link other NIA supported research 
activities with unique expertise among the RCMARs, serve the 
"translation" role for a broad audience of science, policy makers, and 
public, and demonstrate to a broad and diverse audience, the RCMARs" 
impact on the health of minority elders in the United States, and will 
coordinate and facilitate communication and activity links among the 

The CC will maintain an active RCMAR website with links to each RCMAR 
site and to participating ICs within NIH.  The website will serve as the 
source of information dissemination to scientific and lay audiences and 
will be accessible and readily identifiable to both audiences.  (See
Coordinating Center:  Data Collection and Dissemination Support
The CC will facilitate the sharing of scientific information, subject 
recruitment and retention techniques, and measurement tools among the 
Centers, with other research Center programs, and with the broader 
scientific community.  The goal of this activity is to further reduce 
health disparities in diverse populations.    By means of a 
Clearinghouse or Help Desk mechanism, the CC will collect and 
disseminate these items and encourage shared activities among the 
Centers including, but not limited to:  distance learning, training 
seminars and mentoring techniques developed by the various Investigator 
Development Cores, dissemination strategies and resources developed by 
the various Community Liaison Cores, works-in-progress and techniques 
for recruitment and retention of aging minority population members, and 
culturally neutral measurement tools developed by the various 
Measurement Cores.  The creation of and ready availability of an "Item 
Bank," in conjunction with the Measurement Cores, is encouraged.  Should 
the RCMAR sites participate in a joint data collection effort, the CC 
will centrally manage those data.   
The CC will establish a mechanism to inform interested researchers, 
policy-makers, and others interested in minority health of the 
methodological and scientific advances of the RCMARs.  The CC will be 
proactive in this effort.  

Budget Considerations
All RCMAR applicants should request and provide justification for five 
years of support.  The total costs for the first year of support may not 
exceed $750,000.  Years 02 through 05 may not exceed a request for a 
three percent per year increase.
The distribution of funds within the RCMAR to each Core is at 
the discretion of the applicant institution and must be justified by 
the activities of each Core.  Travel and per diem for three persons, one 
of whom must be the Principal Investigator, to attend a one and one half 
day Annual Investigators" Meeting should be included in the budget.  
The cost justification for each pilot study should be contained in 
the Investigator Development Core budget.  


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 AMENDMENT 
"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 


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:


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 IC staff to 
estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

Applicants are asked to include the identify of the minority group(s) 
to be served by the proposed RCMAR and a brief statement of the 
Center"s problem area focus, as discussed in the "Purpose" section of 
the RFA.  

The letter of intent is to be sent to the program staff listed under 
INQUIRIES by the letter of intent receipt date listed in the heading of 
this RFA.

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

In addition to the instructions contained in this RFA, see the document 
"NIA Guidelines for Preparing Multicomponent Applications" at:

Applications should be complete at the time of submission.  The 
Scientific Review Office, NIA, will determine whether late materials 
will be accepted.  If late materials are accepted, they will be limited 
to three typed pages for the whole application and the Scientific 
Review Administrator in charge of the review must authorize submission.

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, original of the application, including the Checklist, 
and three signed photocopies of the application in one package to: 

6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, send two additional copies of the 
application to:

Mary Nekola, Ph.D.
Chief, Scientific Review
Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205

It is important to send these copies at the same time as the original 
and three copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review. These 
copies are used to identify conflicts and to help ensure the 
appropriate and timely review of the application.

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 for responsiveness by NIA. Incomplete and/or non-responsive 
applications will be returned to the applicant without further 

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 NIA 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 National Advisory Council on Aging.

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 Center address an important problem?  If 
the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge 
be advanced?  What will be the effect of the Center 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 
projects 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 and minorities and 
their subgroups 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.

Additional General Review Criteria unique to this solicitation include 
the following.

o Evidence that the Center"s activities will have a general and enduring 
impact on the quality of research conducted to improve the health status 
of older members of diverse populations.

o Evidence that the Center"s research will impact positively health 
disparities in the United States.

o  Evidence that the proposed Center"s focus is sufficiently strong to 
assure progress toward meeting Center objectives.

o Evidence of experience with, and a commitment to, fostering working 
relationships with diverse populations.

o Evidence of a willingness and ability to cooperate with the CC in its 
RCMAR  "Resource" function through dissemination of information to 
general scientific and host community audiences.   

o  Evidence of the inclusion of minority researchers in the RCMAR 
o Evidence of prior research in the areas addressed by this RFA as they 
relate to diverse and older populations.
o Evidence of existing linkages, or a reasonable expectation of such 
linkages, with minority institutions and/or community organizations.
o  Appropriateness of the proposed budget.

The following criteria will be used in judging the adequacy of the 
administration of the proposed RCMAR.
o  Evidence of the scientific, leadership, and administrative ability of 
the RCMAR Director and his/her staff and a commitment to devote adequate 
time to program management.
o Evidence that the organization and processes proposed for internal 
communication, synthesis of Core functions, and commitment to community 
host groups will function to meet RCMAR objectives.
o Evidence that the initial pilot studies and mechanisms for review and 
administration of subsequent pilot studies will produce research that 
meets RCMAR objectives and will have a reasonable expectation of 
subsequent independent funding.
o Evidence that the Advisory Panel is well linked to the diverse 
population(s) served and to the broader gerontologic research community 
and is committed to the success of the RCMAR.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate the commitment of the 
host institution(s) to RCMAR objectives.
o Evidence that the academic environment(s) and its/their resources, 
including space, equipment, and facilities, are adequate to meet RCMAR 
o Evidence that the host institution is sufficiently flexible to foster 
multi-disciplinary interaction between its administrative units, the 
RCMAR, and organizations external to it (e.g., CBOs).

o Evidence of the host institution"s(s") fostering of and commitment to 
research on diverse populations and to minority researchers.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate the key personnel.
o Evidence of sustained research in areas chosen by the RCMAR and prior 
successful mentoring experience.
o Evidence of commitment to furthering RCMAR objectives through prior 
professional activity in the following areas:  (1) creating an 
infrastructure for increasing minority researcher mentoring, (2) 
successfully maintaining recruitment goals for minority participants in 
prior funded research, (3) conducting research addressing strategies for 
decreasing minority/non-minority health and/or access differentials in 
older populations, and (4) development of culturally sensitive 
assessment methods and tools.  

Each Core should demonstrate evidence that its functions address 
the objectives of the proposed RCMAR.  The review criteria for 
the Administrative Core are those of overall program administration 
and are listed above.  In addition to specific criteria in the 
discussion of the Community Liaison Core, the following criterion will 
be used for evaluating the CLC.  

o Evidence of an ongoing relationship or a reasonable expectation of the 
ability to create a relationship with diverse community groups.

o Evidence of a commitment to furthering research and dissemination on 
recruiting and/or retaining minority subjects in aging research.  

In addition to the specific criteria in the discussion of the 
Investigator Development Core, the IDC will be evaluated using the 
following criteria.
o Evidence of the scientific adequacy, appropriateness in meeting RCMAR 
objectives, and feasibility of the proposed pilot studies.
o Evidence of the intention, plans, and likelihood that the proposed 
pilot studies will result in the submission of a competitive, 
investigator initiated, independent research award.

o Evidence of a viable plan for the continuing mentoring of pilot 
investigators through a successful independent investigator award. 

o Evidence that during years two through five of the RCMAR, there is a 
sufficient pool of researchers to submit excellent pilot study 
o Evidence that the pilot study solicitation and selection process will 
provide scientifically rigorous and potentially fundable projects.
o Evidence that the mentoring strategy is likely to produce and retain 
diverse professionals in aging research.
In addition to the specific criteria in the discussion of the 
Measurement Core, this Core will be evaluated based upon the following 
o Evidence of prior experience in the creation and/or use of culturally 
informed and valid measurement tools.

o Evidence of a mechanism for working with the Investigator Development 
Core in the mentoring of pilot investigators and other institutionally 
based researchers in the use of culturally sensitive measurement and 
research methodology.   

o  Evidence of a willingness to work with the CC in the dissemination of 
culturally sensitive measures and methods.  

In addition to the specific criteria in the discussion of the 
Coordinating Center, the CC should meet the following criteria.

o Evidence of the availability of sufficient scientific expertise and 
the ability to work with scientists to serve the RCMARs" Clearinghouse 
function for a broad scientific community having specific information 
needs in:  measurement, recruitment and retention of older minority 
subjects, and the mentoring of minority investigators.   

o  Evidence of the ability to work with a diverse group of scientists in 
translating findings to both scientific and lay audiences.

o Evidence of experience with, or a reasonable expectation of success 
in, providing diverse sites with logistic support in arranging annual 
meetings, preparing pre- and post-meeting materials, and the 
coordination of joint Center activities (e.g., preparation of 
presentations at professional meetings).
o Evidence that the CC will be able to foster interaction between sites 
and between specific Cores for sharing developments and findings such as 
mentoring techniques, new research tools, recruitment and retention 
strategies that work/do not work, etc.
o Evidence that the CC can coordinate and maintain on-time progress 
reporting through a database for the cumulative semi-annual progress 

o Evidence of the ability to work with NIA staff in meeting agency 
requirements for coordinating a diverse scientifically based enterprise.

For Competing Continuation applications, a Progress Report must be 
included as part of the application.  The Progress Report should present 
evidence of accomplishments in each of the Core areas for the initial 
funding period.  


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 30, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       February 26, 2002
Date of Initial Review:         June 2002
Review by Advisory Council:     August 2002
Anticipated Award Date:         September 30, 2002

Funding criteria will be based upon scientific merit as specified in the 
Review Criteria, availability of funds, and RCMAR program priorities.  
Among those priorities is representation from African American, 
Hispanic/Latino American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Other 
Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native populations among 
the selected RCMARs.  Final selection will take into account racial and 
ethnic variation both within and between proposals as well as geographic 
location so as to select a balance among the most qualified of the RCMAR 
proposals.  Only applications for which at least four cores have been 
judged scientifically acceptable will be considered for award. 

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Sidney M. Stahl, Ph.D.
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 533
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 402-4156
FAX:  (301) 402-0051
Email:  ss333h@NIH.GOV
Direct inquires regarding fiscal matters to:
Carol Lander
Grants Management Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2N212
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No. 93.866 (Aging Research) and 93.361 (Nursing Research).   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 and contract recipients to provide 
a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  
In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits 
smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a 
facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, 
health care or early childhood development services are provided to 
children.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and 
advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


Berkman, L.F., & Mullen, J.M. (1997). How health behaviors and the 
social environment contribute to health differences between black and 
white older Americans.  In L.G. Martin & B.J. Soldo (Eds.), Racial and 
ethnic differences in the health of older Americans (pp. 163-182).  
Washington, DC:  National Academy Press.

Levkoff, S.E., Prohaska, T.R., Weitzman, P.F., & Ory, M.G. (2000).  
Recruitment and retention in minority populations:  lessons learned in 
conducting research on health promotion and minority aging.  Journal of 
Mental Health and Aging, 6:Spring.

Martin, L.G., & Soldo, B.J., eds. (1997). Racial and Ethnic Differences 
in the Health of Older Americans.  Washington, D.C.:  National Academy 

Napoles-Springer, A.M., Grumbach, K., Alexander, M., Moreno-John, G., 
Forte, D., Rangel-Lugo, M., & Perez-Stable, E.J. (2000). Clinical 
research with older African Americans and Latinos.  Research on Aging, 
22, 668-691.

National Institute on Aging (2000). Strategic Plan to Address Health 
Disparities.  Fiscal Years 2000 – 2005.  (See

Singer, B.H. & Ryff, C.D., Eds. (2001).  New Horizons in Health.  An 
Integrative Approach.  Washington, D.C.:  National Academy Press.

Skinner, J.H., Teresi, J.A., Holmes, D., Stahl, S.M., & Stewart, A.L. 
(2001). Measurement in older ethnically diverse populations. Journal of 
Mental Health and Aging, 7:Spring.

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