RELEASE DATE:  August 6, 2004


Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  September 25, 2009 - This RFA has been reissued as (RFA-AG-10-007).

EXPIRATION DATE:  November 19, 2004

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The John A. Hartford Foundation 
The American Federation for Aging Research

National Institute on Aging (NIA) 




o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support
o Funds Available 
o Eligible Institutions
o Eligible Training Program Directors
o Trainee Eligibility Requirements
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Supplementary Instructions
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

The National Institute on Aging, in collaboration with the American 
Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), the John A. Hartford Foundation 
and other foundation partners, invites applications for a new 
coordinated national program to provide short-term research training 
for medical students. This program continues and strengthens the 
AFAR/Hartford Foundation Medical Student Geriatric Scholars Program, 
established in 1994, which provided short-term research, clinical and 
didactic support for medical students, in allopathic or osteopathic 
schools, to expose them to career opportunities in aging-related 
research and academic geriatrics.


NIA, AFAR and the participating foundations intend the short-term 
research training program to:

o expose medical students, early in their training, to the excitement 
of ongoing research;

o encourage medical students to consider pursuing, and to plan for over 
time, either a basic science, health services, or clinical research 
career in the areas of research that are important to the NIA;

o increase the pool of physician scientists engaged in biomedical, 
clinical or health services research in those areas necessary to 
continue the mission of the NIA.

The key building blocks of the program will be a series of related 
Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) grants (T35) which 
will each provide support for training experiences of eight to twelve 
consecutive weeks under the supervision of experienced researchers.  
The program should contain a mix of didactic activities and research 
experiences appropriate to the level and interests of the participating 
student class. The program will also support students’ travel to the 
American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annual scientific meeting, to 
participate in an AGS/AFAR student poster session and roundtable 
luncheon, where students meet with peers and mentors in aging-related 
research and academic geriatrics.

NIA and the foundations have strong interests in continuing to 
diversify the research workforce committed to advancing the fields of 
aging and geriatric research. Therefore, applicants are strongly 
encouraged to make efforts to recruit medical students from diverse 
backgrounds for these short-term training experiences. Students who are 
members of ethnic or racial groups underrepresented in these fields and 
students with disabilities are important targets for these extra 
recruitment efforts. Others whose background and experience is likely 
to diversify the research questions being addressed or medical 
conditions explored are also appropriate targets for these efforts. 
Such students may include, for example, those from economically 
disadvantaged backgrounds or those with extensive experience in 
different cultures.

In carrying out their stewardship of human resource related programs, 
NIA or the participating foundations may request information essential 
to assess the effectiveness of this program.  Accordingly, you are 
hereby notified that you may be contacted for periodic updates on 
various aspects of the students’ follow-up activities and career 
choices and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the 


This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National 
Research Service Award (NRSA) Short-Term Training grant (T35) award 
mechanism. As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for 
planning, directing, and executing the proposed training program. This 
RFA is a one-time solicitation. Future unsolicited competing 
continuation applications based on this training program will compete 
with all other investigator-initiated applications and will be reviewed 
according to the customary review procedures. The anticipated award 
date is June 1, 2005. Applications that are not funded in this 
competition may be resubmitted as NEW applications using standard 
receipt dates for training grant applications described in the 
introduction to the PHS 398 form.


NIA and the participating foundations intend to commit approximately 
$750,000 in FY 2005 to fund 4 to 6 new grants in response to this RFA. 
An applicant may request a project period of up to 5 years and a budget 
for direct costs of up to $130,000 per year.  Because the nature and 
scope of the proposed research training 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 NIA and the 
participating foundations provide support for this program, awards 
pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and 
the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.  


You may submit an application if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics:

o  Non-profit organizations
o  Public or private institutions, such as universities and colleges
o  Units of State and local governments
o  Eligible agencies of the Federal government
o  Domestic Institution
o  Foreign Institutions are not eligible to apply


Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to 
organize and implement a high quality research training program are 
invited to work with their institutions as directors of research 
training programs in order to develop applications for support.  
Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as 
individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH 
programs.  The research training program director at the institution 
will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to 
the NRSA research training grant and for the overall direction, 
management, and administration of the program.
Trainees must have successfully completed at least one year, at a 
school of medicine or osteopathy, prior to participating in the 
program, and provide evidence of such likelihood at the time of 
application.  These grants are intended to introduce students to 
research experiences that they would not otherwise normally complete 
while medical students. 

Trainees must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States 
or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in 
possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, 
or some other legal verification of such status).  Non-citizen 
nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the 
United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on 
temporary or student visas and individuals holding Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., 
or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible. 


In a cover letter submitted with the application:

(1)  Awardees must agree to use a common electronic application 
process (to be developed by AFAR acting in conjunction with the 
awardees) to recruit students for the training awards. The form will 
require students to apply to a central site and indicate their 
preferences for different schools participating in the program. AFAR 
will make applications available on an internal web-site accessible 
only by awardees. In addition to contacting students directly awardees 
will use this site to indicate selection of candidates for the program. 
Students will use the site to accept or reject an offer from a 
particular program. AFAR will alert awardees to students who remain 
available for selection by the participating programs.

(2)  Awardees must agree to a schedule determined in advance by the 
group of awardees for initial offers of summer appointments and for 
final selection.

(3)  Awardees must agree to participate in American Geriatric Society 
events that involve summer student participants.


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

o  Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Robin A. Barr, D. Phil.
Office of Extramural Affairs
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C218, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-9322
FAX: (301) 402-2945

o  Direct your questions concerning peer review issues to:

Mary Nekola, Ph.D.
Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892-2292
Telephone:  (301) 496-9666
FAX:  (301) 402-0066

o  Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters 

Linda Whipp
Grants Management Officer
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
Bethesda, MD  20892-2292
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672

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

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

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does 
not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information 
that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review 
workload and plan the review.
The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning 
of this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Mary Nekola, Ph.D.
Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892-2292
Telephone:  (301) 496-9666
FAX:  (301) 402-0066


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must 
have a DUN and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number as the Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or 
cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 
705-5711 or through the web site at 
The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 
398 form. The PHS 398 document is available at in an 
interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 710-0267, Email:

This initiative is a collaboration among NIA and the participating 
foundations. On receipt of your application NIA staff will contact you 
to seek your permission to share the application and the results of the 
review with the collaborating partners.  NIA and the participating 
foundations will jointly consider the applications to determine 
responsiveness to the RFA (see below under PEER REVIEW PROCESS) and 
jointly consider the results of review in order to develop a funding 
plan (see below under AWARD CRITERIA).  


Institutions may request support for up to 18 trainees per year, based 
on a full-time, three month appointment. A trainee must be appointed 
for a minimum of two months (8 weeks) and a maximum of three months (12 
weeks) during a budget period.  Students may apply to participate in 
the program for more than one year, i.e., during two or more 
consecutive summers. All research training must be full-time during the 
specified training period.  It is expected that programs will provide a 
summer research training program.  The requested number of funded 
short-term training slots must be justified in the application based on 
the magnitude and focus of the research supported at the applicant and 
other co-applicant institutions, with particular attention to the areas 
of research supported by the NIA, and to the interest of qualified 
investigators who will serve as training faculty, research mentors and 
role models.  Students should be able to pursue basic, clinical or 
health services research projects in the broad areas of geriatrics and 

Applications must describe a plan for didactic instruction of the 
students as well as mentored research experiences. The research 
experiences should be ones that are tailored to permit clear progress 
in the course of the short-term training offered. Ideally the 
experiences should be planned to allow the students’ a role in a 
presentation or abstract. The didactic instruction should include 
training in the responsible conduct of research (see below). Faculty 
who will be mentors for the students must be identified in the 
application together with biographical information reflecting their 
prior experience in similar programs.

Applications may request support to recruit students who choose to stay 
at their current medical school and receive mentoring and instruction 
from researchers at that school. Applicants should include the list of 
schools considered eligible to participate in this outreach instruction 
and identify faculty at these schools who have agreed to serve as 
mentors. Biographical information that includes the mentoring history 
of participating faculty at outreach schools should be submitted as 
part of the application. If such outreach schools are part of the 
application then applicants may consider including one or two weeks of 
didactic instruction at the host school (including training in the 
responsible conduct of research) to provide a common orientation. 
Additional funds may be requested to cover travel and accommodation of 
outreach students during this training. Where an applicant anticipates 
that some students will remain at the distal school throughout the 
training period the application should describe the arrangements that 
have been made to ensure a shared training experience and training in 
the responsible conduct of research.

Funds may be requested for: 

o Stipends – The FY04 stipend level for trainees is $1731 per month.  
The stipend level actually awarded will be that in effect for 
predoctoral trainees at the time the award is issued. Stipends may be 
supplemented from non-Federal funds, however, under no circumstances 
may the conditions of the supplementation interfere with, detract from 
or prolong the participant’s NRSA supported training program. One use 
of supplemental funding could be to provide housing expenses, as 
needed, for student participants from another medical school.

A Statement of Appointment form (PHS 2271, rev. 4/98) must be submitted 
at the start of each trainee appointment and reappointment.  This form 
is available at the following URL address: Trainees supported under 
this program are not required to sign an NRSA Payback Agreement; 
however, they must submit an NRSA Termination Notice.

o Training-related Expenses The foundations will provide up to $15,000 
annually for faculty, laboratory, and technical assistance; supplies 
and equipment; consultant costs; and fees. Applicants should request 
these funds as part of the application and justify the request in the 
budget by identifying the kinds of activities and personnel to be 
supported with the additional funds. In addition, NIA will provide the 
current institutional allowance for trainees. In FY 2004 that amount is 
$183 per month per trainee. No part of these funds may be used to pay 
for secretarial or other kinds of administrative and clerical support. 
Accepted applicants may apply, on an annual basis, directly to AFAR for 
supplemental funding for programmatic expenses.  Available funds will 
vary from year to year, and are not guaranteed. 

o Travel Expenses – Through application to AFAR in the appropriate 
award years, the institution may request up to $1,000 per year per 
trainee to help defray the cost of travel to a relevant scientific 
meeting. The meeting should normally be the annual meeting of the 
American Geriatrics Society where events are planned particularly for 
trainees from this program.  The foundations will supply the funds that 
allow student travel.  The meeting will typically be held in the year 
following the budget period in which the student participates in 
his/her research training, particularly for students attending the AGS 
annual scientific meeting, which is held in May.

The institution may additionally seek up to $1,000 per year per trainee 
to cover travel and accommodation for any students at distal sites to 
travel to the central training institution for one or two-week courses. 
Institutions should estimate these costs in the initial application 
based on the anticipated number of students to be recruited from distal 
locations. NIA will pay these expenses.

Every NRSA trainee supported by an institutional training grant must 
receive instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (For more 
information on this provision, see the current announcement for NRSA 
Intuitional Research training grants [T32] published in the NIH Guide 
for Grants and Contracts[PA-02-109; Release Date: May 16, 2002] or at 
the following URL address:

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

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed, 
photocopies, in one package to:
Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and 
all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Mary Nekola, Ph.D., Chief
Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging 
Gateway Building, Room 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
For express/courier service use Bethesda MD 20814

Telephone:  (301) 496-9666
FAX: (301)402-0066 

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received on or before the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA.  If an 
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the 
applicant without review.
Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and 
funding assignment within 8 weeks.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application 
in response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently 
pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending 
application.  However, when a previously unfunded application, 
originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be 
submitted in response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW 
application.  That is, the application for the RFA must not include an 
Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text 
must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded 
version of the application.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR 
and responsiveness by NIA and the participating foundations. Incomplete 
and nonresponsive applications will not be reviewed. 

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 NIA in accordance with the review criteria 
stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications 

o  Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the 
applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority 
o  Receive a written critique
o  Receive a second level review by the National Advisory Council on 


The following criteria will be considered when evaluating the 

o  the objectives and design of the research, and didactic training 
program components; the degree to which the research experiences and 
training are appropriately tailored to medical students and to the 
duration of their expected training.

o  the plan to recruit students at the host institution and/or 
nationally and to seek out those from diverse backgrounds who may 
enrich the learning experiences of the group or influence the research 
questions being addressed.

o  quality of the applicant pool at the host institution and other 
included sites. This assessment will include consideration of the 
diversity of the applicant pool and of efforts to include students from 
diverse backgrounds in the applicant pool.

o  the qualifications of the program director and the participating 
preceptors as basic, clinical, and health services researchers, 
including publications and successful competition for research support 
in the fields of aging and geriatrics;

o  past training record of both the program director and the designated 

o  the institutional training environment, including the institutional 
commitment to training students in basic and clinical research, quality 
of the facilities, availability of appropriate courses and seminars, 
and the availability of research support;

o  (where applicants propose to include students located at distal 
campuses) the quality of the research environment available to students 
away from the host campus; the availability of appropriately qualified 
local faculty to work with students directly; the degree to which the 
host institution works to integrate the distal students into any shared 
learning experiences of students based on the main campus.

o  the institution’s plan to measure the effectiveness of the overall 
training program, including the productivity of the trainees (e.g., 
abstracts, presentations, publications); any differences among trainees 
based on where they receive their training (at the host institution or 
at distal sites); the impact of the program on the institution; and the 
impact of the program on the career choices, opportunities, and further 
research activities of the trainees.

The review group will also comment on each application’s plan for 
training in the responsible conduct of research.

human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their 
participation in the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria 
included in the section on Federal Citations, below).

to include subjects from both genders, and all racial and ethnic groups 
(and subgroups), 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 Inclusion Criteria in the 
sections on Federal Citations, below).

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

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


Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 18, 2004
Application Receipt Date: November 18, 2004
Peer Review Date: March 2005
Council Review: May 2005
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: June 2005


Award criteria that will be used by NIA and the participating 
foundations to make funding decisions are: 

o  Quality of the proposed training program as determined by peer 

o  Availability of funds;

o  Program priority, i.e., how focused on NIA research areas is the 
proposed training.


ANIMAL WELFARE PROTECTION:  Recipients of PHS support for activities 
involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on 
Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 
as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 
(, and the 
USDA Animal Welfare Regulations 
(, as applicable.

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

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 

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

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

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of 
research on hESCs can be found at 
and at
Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the 
NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal 
funding (see 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.  Applications that do not 
provide this information will be returned without review. 

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.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 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 DHHS 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 
( 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

proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page 
limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, 
Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information 
necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to 
view the Internet sites.   Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their 
anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet 

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of 
"Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority 
areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. 
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 
or Health Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under the 
authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as 
amended (42 USC 288) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 66 and. All 
awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and 
other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.  The 
NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at

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

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892