Full Text AG-93-003


NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 24, July 2, 1993

RFA:  AG-93-003

P.T. 34, FF

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 
  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 

National Institute on Aging

Application Receipt Date:  October 20, 1993


Small grants (R03) to support doctoral dissertation research will be
available for minority doctoral candidates.  Grant support is
designed to aid the research of new minority investigators and to
encourage individuals from a variety of academic disciplines and
programs to study problems in aging.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Request
for Applications (RFA), Minority Dissertation Research Grants in
Aging, is related to the priority area of aging.  Potential
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:
Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (Summary Report:
Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents,
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone


The applicant investigator applying for a dissertation research grant
must be an individual from a minority group enrolled in an accredited
doctoral degree program in the biomedical, social, or behavioral
sciences and must have approval of the dissertation proposal by a
named committee.  Note that this initiative is no longer limited to
"underrepresented minorities".  The student must also be conducting
or intending to conduct dissertation research on aging or problems
related to aging.  Research topics should fit within one or more of
the areas described below for each individual program (see National
Institute on Aging Contacts).

The applicant must be a registered doctoral candidate in resident or
nonresident status.  The applicant must have a dissertation topic
approved by the named committee.  This information must be verified
in a letter of certification from the thesis chairperson and
submitted with the grant application (see APPLICATION PROCEDURES).

The applicant institution must be domestic and will administer the
grant on behalf of the proposed investigator.  The applicant
investigator for dissertation research grant support must be a
citizen of the United States or hold a permanent resident visa.  The
performance site may be foreign or domestic.


The mechanism of support is the NIH small grant (R03).  Grants to
support dissertation research will provide no more than $25,000 in
total direct costs.  Dissertation research grants will be
administered in accordance with the U.S. Code Annotated, Title 42,
Part B, Section 284.  Awards will depend on the availability of
funds.  The NIA expects to fund up to 20 dissertation research
projects in 1993.


The NIA anticipates fundins approximately 20 grants with a total
program cost of $600,000.


Grant Conditions.  The following conditions apply to dissertation

o  Work on the funded project must be initiated within three months
after the date of the award.

o  An awardee may be invited to participate in a meeting or
presentation of other NIA dissertation awardees.

o  A Principal Investigator who discontinues or suspends a project
during the grant period must inform the Grants and Contracts
Management Office immediately in writing.  The NIA may suspend or
terminate the grant as requested by the Principal Investigator or on
its own initiative.

o  The dissertation constitutes the final report of the grant.  Two
copies of the dissertation must be submitted.  The dissertation must
be officially accepted by the faculty committee or university
official responsible for the candidate's dissertation and must be
signed by the responsible officials.

Continuation of Support.  Grantees who have been funded for 12 months
of a project requiring 24 months must submit a continuation
application with a progress report ten months after the award begins.
Decisions concerning support beyond 12 months are based on the
availability of funds and on evidence of acceptable progress.



NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and
cooperative agreements will be required to include minorities and
women in study populations so that research findings can be of
benefit to all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or condition
under study; special emphasis should be placed on the need for
inclusion of minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders
and conditions which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is
intended to apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or
minority are excluded or inadequately represented in clinical
research, particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear
compelling rationale should be provided.

The composition of the proposed study population must be described in
terms of gender and racial/ethnic group.  In addition, gender and
racial/ethnic issues should be addressed in developing a research
design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of
the study.  This information should be included in the form PHS 398
in Sections 1-4 of the Research Plan and summarized in Section5,
Human Subjects.  Applicants are urged to assess carefully the
feasibility of including the broadest possible representation of
minority groups.  However, NIH recognizes that it may not be feasible
or appropriate in all research projects to include representation of
the full array of United States racial/ethnic minority populations
(i.e., Native Americans (including American Indians or Alaskan
Natives), Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics).

The rationale for studies on single minority population groups should
be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research includes human
biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology,
prevention (and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of
diseases, disorders or conditions, including but limited to clinical

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research or clinical studies in which human tissues
cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,
every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and
racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of
the study broadly, and the should be addressed by applicants.  For
foreign awards, the policy on inclusion of women applies fully; since
the definition of minority differs in other countries, the applicant
must discuss the relevance of research involving foreign population
groups to the United States' populations, including minorities.

If the required information is not contained within the application,
the application will be returned.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in
the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of
women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the
scientific question(s) addressed AND the justification for the
selected study population is inadequate, it will be considered a
scientific weakness or deficiency in the study design and will be
reflected in assigning the priority score to the application.

All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required
to address these policies.  NIH funding components will not award
grants or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these


Scope of Awards.  Applicant investigators should request support for
the amount of time necessary to complete the dissertation.  However,
a dissertation research grant usually is awarded for a period of 12
months, but may be awarded for up to 24 months.  Investigators who
need 24 months to complete the research project will be required to
submit a continuation application for support beyond the first 12
months.  Continuation support may be awarded if satisfactory progress
is being made, but the total direct costs of the entire project may
not exceed $25,000.  An application that exceeds this amount will be

An applicant who receives support for dissertation research under a
grant from the NIA may not at the same time receive support under a
predoctoral or fellowship grant awarded by any other Federal agency,
nor be supported under any other research project grant.

Allowable Costs.  Expenses usually allowed under PHS research grants
will be covered by the NIA dissertation research grants, but may not
exceed $25,000 for the project.  Allowable costs include the
investigator's salary (not to exceed $10,000); direct research
project expenses such as travel to one scientific meeting (limited to
$500), data processing, supplies, and dissertation costs.  Any level
of effort that is less than full time by the candidate must be fully
justified.  No tuition or permanent equipment is allowed.  Small
equipment requires special justification.  Indirect costs are limited
to eight percent of requested direct costs, less equipment.

Application form.  Special guidelines for dissertation grant
applications are available from the Office of Extramural Affairs (see
address below).  The application is to be submitted on form PHS 398
(rev. 9/91) available from the university's office of sponsored
research and the Office of Grants Inquiries, Division of Research
Grants, National Institutes of Health, Westwood Building, Room 449,
Bethesda, Maryland 20892, telephone 301/710-0267.  The special
instructions described here and in the application kit must be
followed.  Write "Minority Dissertation in Aging" under Item 2a of
the face page.  If human subjects and/or vertebrate animals will be
involved, evidence of the required institutional review must be given
on the face page of the application.  Furthermore, instructions on
pp. 22-23 of the application kit must be followed.  The mailing label
in the kit must be glued to the envelope and the RFA label stapled to
the face page of the original application or processing and review of
the application may be delayed.  Applications will be assigned to the
NIA for review and possible funding.

Closing date.  Applications must be received by October 20, 1993.
Application materials must be sent directly to:

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

Copies required.  The applicant must submit the original and three
copies of the completed application, which includes a detailed
narrative project description (not to exceed 10 pages) and letters.
An additional two copies must be sent to:

Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C212
Bethesda, MD  20892
ATTN:  Minority Dissertation

Additional Material

o  Letter from the faculty committee or university official directly
responsible for supervising the development and progress of the
dissertation research must be submitted with the application.  The
letter must:  (a) fully identify the members of the committee and
certify their approval of the proposed dissertation topic and (b)
note that the university official or faculty committee expects the
doctoral candidate to proceed with the approved project proposal with
or without NIA support.

o  Transcript of applicant's graduate school record

o  Biodata of mentor limited to 2 pages

o  Statement of the applicant's career goals to be placed under

o  Although not required, identification of the applicant's minority
group would be helpful so effectiveness of the program can be

Conformity.  An application that does not conform to the
instructions, including additional guidelines, will be returned.  The
information in the required narrative project description must be
presented in a form suitable for detailed scientific and technical


Dissertation research grants are competitive.  Review will be
conducted by a special committee convened by the NIA for this
purpose.  Applications may first receive a preliminary review by a
subcommittee to establish those applications deemed to be
competitive.  Applications not recommended for further consideration
will be returned to the applicant with an abbreviated summary
statement.  Reviewers will be selected on the basis of their research
accomplishments and knowledge and their experience in research
training.  All elements of the application will be considered in the
review process.  Emphasis will be given to the scientific merit,
feasibility, and relevance of the project to aging research, and to
the qualifications of the candidate.  Review results and funding
decisions will be announced within six months after the submission
date.  Review criteria, funding decisions, and continuation of
support are described below.

Review Criteria.  Review criteria include significance of the
research problem, relationship of proposed research to NIA mission,
research design, research methods, personal qualifications of the
candidate, supervision to be provided the candidate, institutional
facilities and support structure, and budgetary appropriateness.

Funding Decisions.  Reviewers will designate applications in which
the merit is not significant and not substantial as "Not Recommended
for Further Consideration."  The remaining applications will be
considered for funding, with specific modifications if appropriate.


The anticipated date of award is May 1994.  Final funding decisions
are based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the relevance of
the project to NIA priorities, and the availability of funds.


Interested applicants must request the full RFA, additional
guidelines for preparing the application and discuss the suitability
of the mechanism by letter or by telephone with the first person
named below.  The applicant will then be referred to the relevant
program director to discuss the suitability of the research topic.

Phyllis B. Eveleth, Ph.D.
Deputy Associate Director and Training Officer
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2C218
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-9322

Direct inquiries relating to fiscal matters to:

Mr. Joseph Ellis
Grants Management Officer
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.366.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act Title IV, Part A (Public Law 79-410, as
amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 DSC 241 and 285) and administered
under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45
CFR Part 74.  The requirements of Executive Order 12372,
"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," are not applicable to
NIA research grant programs.


Return to RFAs Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index

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

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