Release Date:  October 19, 2001

RFA:  RFA-CA-02-002
National Cancer Institute
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  February 6, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       March 13, 2002


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites cooperative planning grant 
applications (using the U56 mechanism) in an effort to strengthen the national 
cancer program by developing models to reduce significant negative 
consequences of cancer disparities seen in certain U.S. populations. This 
grant will support the planning, development and conduct of radiation oncology 
clinical research trials in institutions that care for a disproportionate 
number of medically underserved, low income, ethnic and minority populations 
but have not been traditionally involved in NCI-sponsored research. The grant 
will also support the planning, development and implementation of nurturing 
partnerships between applicant institutions and committed and experienced 
institutions actively involved in NCI-sponsored cancer research.  All 
approaches to planning are encouraged, as long as they address the following 
essential features: a focus on cancer disparities, radiation oncology clinical 
research, institutional commitment, organizational capabilities, facilities, 
and interdisciplinary coordination and collaboration. At this time, NCI 
anticipates issuing another RFA for the establishment of additional Cancer 
Disparities Research Partnerships in fiscal year 2003.


The burden of cancer is not borne equally by all population groups in the 
United States. Twenty-nine years have passed since the War on Cancer was 
initiated, and during this period, the disparities in cancer incidence and 
mortality in segments of the U.S. population have continued to rise. The 
unequal burden is exemplified by differences in cancer morbidity and mortality 
as a function of gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.  Men are about 
50% more likely than women to die from cancer. The incidence of colon and 
rectum, and lung and bronchus cancers in Alaska Natives and African American 
men and women is higher than that of other ethnic groups. Death rates from 
prostate cancer among African American men are almost twice those of white 
men.  The incidence of cervical cancer in Hispanic women has been consistently 
higher at all ages than for other women, although African American women have 
the highest rate of dying from cervical cancer.  Five-year survival rates by 
selective sites among populations experiencing the negative consequences of 
health disparities in the U.S. (e.g., African Americans, Asians, Pacific 
Islanders, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Indians, native Alaskans, and/or those 
of low socioeconomic status) are lower than the 5-year survival rates of the 
rest of the population. The cancer mortality rates for lung, trachea, 
bronchus, and pleura for minority males and females differ widely when 
measured by state economic area.  Examples of geographical differences are 
seen in a pattern of excessive prostate cancer among African American males in 
the Southeastern U.S., particularly in rural areas. High rates of esophageal 
cancer in the District of Columbia and in the Coastal area of South Carolina 
appear to be related to alcohol consumption, tobacco use and dietary 
deficiencies. Persons of low socioeconomic status generally have higher cancer 
death rates than persons of higher socioeconomic status.  

The significant negative consequences of cancer-related health disparities are 
also reflected in risk behaviors and health service utilization.  These 
include higher rates of smoking among some populations (e.g. American 
Indians), strikingly higher rates of obesity among African Americans and 
Hispanics, and related dietary practices.  Similarly, differentials have been 
documented by age, income, education, and race/ethnicity in these health 
practices as well as in cancer screening and treatment. Data confirm lower 
rates of cancer screening and early detection, differential treatment 
patterns, and greater frequency of a number of chronic diseases with similar 
risk profiles to cancer.  These and many other factors contribute to more 
advanced disease at diagnosis, lower survival, and higher cancer death rates 
among certain population groups. 

Objectives and Scope

Health care institutions providing cancer services to a disproportionate 
number of medically underserved, low income and/or minority populations, 
whether urban or rural, are not often linked to the national cancer research 
enterprise as effectively as they could be and often struggle to maintain 
state-of-the-art cancer care. As a result, radiation oncologists in these 
institutions have difficulty in starting, developing, and sustaining research 
programs either independently or collaboratively. Thus, the populations 
primarily served by these institutions, largely minority, ethnic, and/or low 
income, do not readily benefit from the rapid progress being made in cancer 
research in radiation oncology, and may bear an unequal burden of disease as a 
result. The populations targeted by this cooperative planning grant tend to 
access the health care system in the advanced stages of their disease and, 
because of this, radiation oncology usually represents a major treatment 
alternative. Therefore, the field of radiation oncology offers a unique 
opportunity to explore ways to reduce the significant negative consequences of 
cancer-related health disparities due to its technological base, the facility 
of application, and as a entry platform for inclusion of medical and surgical 
oncology research. These institutions, when provided the necessary resources 
and mentoring and supportive partnership with an experienced and committed 
research institution, represent an opportunity for conducting and/or expanding 
participation in clinical trials developed for radiation oncology and combined 
modality therapy.

The low involvement of health care institutions in cancer research that 
predominantly serve populations who experience the worst consequences of 
cancer-related health disparities must be addressed.  The increased 
involvement of these institutions is necessary in order to develop a stronger 
national cancer research effort aimed at understanding the disparities of 
cancer incidence and mortality in those populations.  This cooperative 
planning effort is dedicated to developing stable, long-term radiation 
oncology clinical research trials programs and partnerships to increase the 
participation of applicant institutions in the nation’s cancer research 
enterprise. Members of the Cancer Disparities Research Partnership (CDRP) 
would be expected to combine their expertise in working with affected 
populations to develop outreach programs that effectively reach individuals 
and physicians and that increase the recruitment and retention of target 
populations into clinical trials and prevention protocols.

The four overall objectives and scope of this Request For Applications (RFA) 
are to solicit cooperative planning grants that would: 1) build and stabilize 
independent and collaborative clinical research capabilities of institutions 
providing radiation oncology care to populations experiencing the negative 
consequences of cancer-related health disparities; 2) increase the number of 
clinical scientists engaged in radiation oncology research by providing access 
to and participation in clinical trials with the target populations; 3) 
improve the effectiveness of the applicant institution and its partner 
institution in developing and sustaining activities focused on radiation 
oncology clinical research trials and mortality and morbidity in cancer among 
the target populations, continuing past the life of this grant; and 4) 
establish priorities for and initiate stable, long-term collaborations and 
partnerships that will strengthen competitive cancer research, research 
training and career development, education and outreach capabilities at both 
the applicant institution and the partner institution that address problems 
and issues relevant to the disproportionate cancer incidence and mortality. 

The most significant components of a U56 Cancer Disparities Research 
Partnership application are: 1) a thorough description and implementation plan 
of the proposed radiation oncology clinical trials research effort that must 
address the negative consequences of cancer disparities in the population 
served with the inclusion of examples of pilot clinical trials research 
projects, and 2) the articulation of the steps to be taken with potential 
partner institutions during the first year of the award to develop a 
comprehensive and supportive partnership relationship and the subsequent 
implementation of that plan over the remaining life of the grant with the 
selected partner. The expectation is that successful Cancer Disparities 
Research Partnership projects will ultimately be competitively funded grants 
(e.g., R03, R01, project on a P01; project on a P50).

The National Cancer Institute is strongly committed to reducing cancer-related 
health disparities across the cancer control continuum from prevention to end-
of-life.  The NCI’s Strategic Plan to Reduce Health Disparities can be viewed 
at  The Institute 
supports research to understand the complex causes of disparities in cancer 
risk, incidence, and mortality, including socioeconomic, cultural, 
environmental, institutional, behavioral, biological factors, and other 
contributing factors seen in the health care delivery system.  The overall 
goal is to understand the causes of health disparities and to develop 
effective interventions to eliminate these disparities that result in 
significant negative outcomes.  More research is needed that specifically 
addresses these and other cancer disparities if these trends are to be reduced 
and brought into balance with the rest of the population.  Information about 
cancer incidence and mortality rates in different U.S. sub-populations can be 
obtained at the following website address:

o  The applicant institution must have the necessary facilities to provide 
radiation oncology services according to current standards, such as three 
dimensional treatment planning and CT simulation.
o  The applicant institution must have a level of professional expertise that 
includes one or more board certified radiation oncologists and physics support 
at one or more full-time Ph.D. or MS level. 
o  The percentage of one or more of the target populations (e.g., African 
Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, 
Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and/or those with low socioeconomic 
status) served by the applicant institution must be greater than the state 
average of that population according to the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau 
statistics; and have a greater cancer incidence and/or mortality than the 
national average according to NCI data. 
o  The applicant institution must be a primary provider of care for the 
population group(s) identified in the bullet above according to the respective 
State Department of Health statistics.
o If the applicant institution currently receives NCI research funding, it 
cannot exceed $100,000 annually.
o If currently participating in NCI-sponsored clinical trials, the applicant 
institution’s accrual level must be 1% or less of cancer patient base to 
o The applicant must submit base line metrics with the application as 
described in the Supplemental Application Guidelines.
o The applicant institution must identify a Co-PI from each of the proposed 
partner institutions. 
o  Any new project/program and shared resources for development in response to 
this RFA must not overlap in purpose and intent with existing 
projects/programs and shared resources funded at the applicant institution by 
the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant, National Center for Research Resources 
Infrastructure Grants, National Institute of General Medical Sciences Minority 
Biomedical Research Support Grant or any other peer reviewed funded program.
o  All recipients of CDRP U56 Planning Grant Awards will be expected to 
participate in an annual meeting sponsored by the Radiation Research Program 
(RRP) of the NCI. Travel funds for this purpose should be included in the 
grant application from the applicant institution.
o  Once a CDRP U56 grant is funded, specific guidelines for non-competing 
renewal applications will be provided to the grantee.

The following terms and conditions will be incorporated into the award 
statement and provided to the Principal Investigator(s) as well as the 
institutional official at the time of the award.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is a 
cooperative agreement (U56), an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an 
"acquisition" mechanism) in which substantial NIH scientific and/or 
programmatic involvement with the awardee is anticipated during performance of 
the activity. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support 
and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and otherwise 
working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role, but it is not to 
assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activity.  
Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility for 
the activity resides with the awardee(s) for the project as a whole, although 
specific tasks and activities in carrying out the studies will be shared among 
the awardees and the NCI/RRP Program Scientist, as described below.

1.  Awardee Rights and Responsibilities

a. Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities for the project as a 
whole, including defining objectives and approaches, planning, implementing, 
clinical trials development, participant recruitment and follow-up, data 
collection, quality control, interim data and safety monitoring, analysis and 
interpretation, preparation of publications, as well as collaboration with 
their partner and other awardees, and with assistance from NCI/RRP Program 
b. Awardees will be required to participate on and follow the advice and 
recommendation of the Program Steering Committee, in meeting the intent of the 
c. Each partnership should plan regular meetings (no less than monthly) to 
discuss the progress and directions of its activities to insure that the 
necessary interactions are taking place.
d. The Principal Investigator, Co-Investigators, and other designated 
investigators will attend an Annual Meeting to be organized by NCI staff in 
Washington D.C.  
e. Each partnership will submit annual progress reports to the NCI that 
describe the activities and accomplishments during the previous funding period 
as part of the Non-Competing Continuation Renewal.
f. Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data 
developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access 
consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies and agree to the 
appropriate sharing of methods and data among collaborating institutions.

2.  NCI Staff Responsibilities 

The NCI/RRP Program Scientist will have substantial scientific-programmatic 
involvement during the conduct of this activity, through technical assistance, 
advice and coordination above and beyond normal program stewardship for 
grants. The NCI/RRP Program Scientist will have substantial involvement in 
assisting the awardee in the development of partnerships, identifying new 
areas of opportunity, recommending mid-course corrections on an annual basis 
and generally ensuring that the U56 CDRP remains focused on the intent of this 
initiative.  The NCI/RRP Program Scientist will be involved in the following 
a. Serve as a voting member on the Program Steering Committee, and, as 
determined by that committee, its subcommittees. 
b. Work closely with individual investigators and partners to facilitate 
successful collaborations. 
c. Facilitate access to fiscal and intellectual resources provided by NCI, 
NIH, RRP, industry, private foundations and federal funding agencies. 
e. Provide assistance in reviewing and commenting on all major transitional 
changes of the awardee or partner institution's activities prior to 
implementation to assure consistency with the goals of this RFA.
f. Help reprogram efforts, including options to modify clinical research 
projects/programs when they are not making headway relative to the time-line 
for achieving the objectives of the RFA.
g. Monitor institutional commitments and resources to ensure that the 
partnership receives the maximum chance of stabilization and success.
h. Organize and make final decisions on the agenda for an annual workshop that 
engages all of the partnerships and other participants as needed. This meeting 
will be held for all funded investigators to share progress and research 
insights that may benefit all of the projects.
i. Call additional meetings/workshops of the participants to address emerging 
areas of high priority to the NCI and/or the problems of high cancer incidence 
and mortality in populations experiencing cancer disparities. 

An NCI Program Director from the staff of the NCI Radiation Research Program 
(RRP) will provide the normal level of grant stewardship and monitoring and 
generally ensure that the U56 CDRP grant efforts remains focused on the intent 
of this initiative.

3.  Collaborative Responsibilities

A Program Steering Committee (PSC) will be composed of the Principal 
Investigator from the applicant institution, who is the Principal Investigator 
for the award, the Co-Investigator from the institution that was selected as 
the partner, and the NCI/RRP Program Scientist. The Principal Investigator 
from the awardee institution, the co-investigator from the partner institution 
and the NCI/RRP Program Scientist will each have one vote.  The chairperson, 
who will be someone other than the NCI/RRP Program Scientist, will be selected 
by the PSC. The PSC will meet a minimum of twice a year to review and resolve 
operational and implementation issues and propose recommendations for 
establishing or changing priorities. The PSC's recommendations, in the form of 
a written annual report, are to be submitted to the leaders of the applicant 
institution and the partner institution, the Board of Scientific Advisors’ 
Program Advisory Committee and to the NCI.

The Program Advisory Committee (PAC) will be composed of three members of the 
NCI Board of Scientific Advisors and the RRP Program Director as an Ad Hoc 
member. The Program Advisory Committee will serve as the primary advisory 
board of the overall grant program with the responsibility to provide advice 
and make recommendations that include but are not limited to changing 
priorities and directions or identifying areas of new opportunity. The 
recommendations are to be used by the principal investigators in guiding and 
directing the development of the CDRP program.  After appropriate discussions, 
the awardee generally will be expected to accept and implement the 
recommendations of the PAC; in those situations where the recommendations are 
not feasible to implement, the Principal Investigator of the applicant 
institution must provide a thorough explanation and rationale to the PAC. 

Subcommittees may be established or external advisors may be called upon to 
provide appropriate advice, as the PSC or PAC deems appropriate. NCI/RRP staff 
will serve on subcommittees, as the PSC or PAC deems appropriate.

An annual meeting of all Principal Investigators, the members of the Program 
Advisory Committee, the RRP Program Scientist and other experts as necessary 
will be held to review and discuss individual progress and that of the overall 
CDRP Program.

4.  Arbitration 

Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the 
scope of the award), between award recipient and the NCI/RRP may be brought to 
arbitration.  An arbitration panel will be composed of three members -- one 
selected by the Program Steering Committee (with the NCI/RRP member not 
voting), or by the individual awardee in the event of an individual 
disagreement, a second member selected by the NCI, and the third member 
selected by the two prior selected members. This special arbitration procedure 
in no way affects the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is 
otherwise appealable in accordance with the PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, 
Subpart D and HHS regulation at 45 CFR Part 16.


The administrative and funding instrument to be used for this program will be 
the cooperative agreement U56, an assistance mechanism (rather than an 
acquisition mechanism) in which substantial NIH scientific and/or programmatic 
involvement with the awardee is anticipated during the performance of the 
activity. Under a cooperative agreement, the NIH's purpose is to support 
and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and otherwise 
working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role. NCI/RRP staff 
works cooperatively with the award recipients in a partner role and does not 
assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activity. 
Details of the responsibilities, relationships, and governance of the 
activities to be funded under the cooperative agreement(s) are discussed in 
this document under the section "Terms and Conditions of Award."

NCI anticipates issuing another RFA for the establishment of additional CDRPs 
in fiscal year 2003. At this time the NCI anticipates that there will not be a 
renewed competition after 5 years. If the NCI does not continue the program, 
awardees may submit grant applications through the usual investigator-
initiated grants program.

NCI/RRP anticipates making up to three 5-year grant awards in fiscal year 
2002.  NCI also anticipates issuing another RFA for the establishment of 
additional CDRPs in fiscal year 2003. The NCI/RRP plans to set aside $2.1 
million for the initial year's funding that includes direct costs, costs for 
facilities and administration, and one-time capital equipment costs.  
Excluding one-time capital costs expended in the first year, applicants may 
request a budget for direct costs of up to an average of $400,000 per year 
over the five years of the grant. Because the nature and scope of research and 
partnerships may vary, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also 

Funding in response to this RFA is dependent upon the receipt of a sufficient 
number of meritorious applications. Although this program is provided for in 
the financial plans of NCI/RRP, the award of grants pursuant to this RFA is 
contingent upon the anticipated availability of funds for this purpose. Awards 
are not renewable. The NCI/RRP will make a commitment for funding a 
partnership for the full term of the award.  Because the nature and scope of 
the research proposed in response to this RFA may vary, it is anticipated that 
the sizes of awards will vary also. 
The total project period for applications submitted in response to this RFA 
may not exceed five years. The anticipated award date is September 20, 2002.

Applications will only be accepted from health care institutions accredited by 
the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations, either in the 
United States or in territories under U.S. jurisdiction, which have Letters of 
Commitment from potential partners that are NCI-designated Cancer Centers, 
RTOG participating institutions or other NCI-sponsored cooperative group 
participating institutions that wish to develop comprehensive partnerships 
with the applicant institution.  

The applicant institution must be the primary provider of radiation oncology 
care to one or more populations identified with cancer-related health 
disparities (e.g., African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, Native 
Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and/or those 
with low socioeconomic status as defined by the Federal poverty level or the 
state-defined level, if lower) at a percentage greater than the state average 
of that population according to the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau statistics; and 
have a greater cancer incidence and/or mortality than the national average 
according to NCI data.

Each Cancer Center or cooperative group participating partner institution is 
limited to no more than one Cancer Disparities Research Partnership (U56) 
planning grant application.  


Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged. The 
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is 

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issue to:

Frank Govern, Ph.D.
Deputy Chief, Radiation Oncology Sciences Program
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, 6015A
6130 Executive Blvd, MSC 7440
Bethesda, MD  20892-7440
Telephone:  (301) 496-6111
Fax:  (301) 480-5785
Norman Coleman, M.D.
Chief, Radiation Oncology Sciences Program
National Cancer Institute, DCTD, RRP
Executive Plaza North, 6015A
6130 Executive Blvd, MSC 7440
Bethesda, MD  20892-7440
Telephone:  (301) 496-6111
Fax:  (301) 480-5785

Direct inquiries regarding review issues to:

Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8109, MSC 8239 
Rockville, MD  20852 (express service) 
Bethesda, MD  20892-8236
Telephone:  (301) 496-3428
Fax:  (301) 402-0275

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal or budget matters to:

Ms. Barbara Fisher
Grants Management Specialists
National Cancer Institute
6120 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-8626
Fax:  (301) 496-8601


Prospective applicant institutions are asked to submit by February 6, 2002, a 
letter of intent (LOI) that includes a descriptive title of the proposed CDRP 
U56 planning partnership, address, and telephone number of the applicant 
institution’s Principal Investigator and the co-investigators of the submitted 
possible partner institutions, the identities of other key personnel and 
participating institutions, and the number and title of the RFA in response to 
which 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 allow NCI staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan 
the review. 

The letter of intent is to be sent to the program staff members listed under 
INQUIRIES by the letter of intent receipt date.


Letter of Intent Receipt:         February 6, 2002
Application Receipt Date:         March 13, 2002
Peer Review Date:                 May/June, 2002
Review by NCAB Advisory Board:    September 9-11, 2002
Earliest Anticipated Award Date:  September 20, 2002


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:

The application research plan should address the following elements:
1. The objectives and scope of the RFA;
2. Detailed information addressing the ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Section of the 
3. Detailed information addressing the SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Section of the 
4. History and background of cancer activities as described in No. 1, Metrics 
Evaluation Plan of the Supplemental Application Guidelines;
5. Information in response to No. 2,3, and 4, General Information of the 
Supplemental Application Guidelines;
6. Partnership Plan (see Partnership Plan, Supplemental Application 
7. Pilot and Feasibility Studies Examples (see Examples of Pilot Clinical 
Trials Research Projects, Supplemental Application Guidelines);
8. Budgets for each year over the course of the grant award (see CDRP 
Allowable Costs, Supplemental Application Guidelines).

Additional Materials to Include in the Application

The NCI has Supplemental Application Guidelines for this RFA that have been 
added due to the unique aspects of this U56 CDRP RFA.  The Supplemental 
Application Guidelines reside on the Radiation Research Program’s Website:

All clinical trials supported or performed by NCI require some form of 
monitoring. The method and degree of monitoring should be commensurate with 
the degree of risk involved in participation and the size and complexity of 
the clinical trial. Monitoring exists on a continuum from monitoring by the 
principal investigator/project manager or NCI program staff to a Data and 
Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB).  These monitoring activities are distinct from 
the requirement for study review and approval by the Institutional Review 
Board (IRB). For details about the Policy of the NCI for Data Safety 
Monitoring of Clinical Trials see

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

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive
Room 1040 - MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
(20817 for express service)
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must also 
be sent to:

Referral Officer 
Division of Extramural Activities 
National Cancer Institute 
6116 Executive Blvd., Room 8109, MSC-8329 
Rockville, MD  20852 (express courier)
Bethesda, MD  20892-8329

Applications must be received by March 13, 2002.  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 announcement 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 a 
substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such an 
application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and 
responsiveness by the National Cancer Institute. Incomplete and/or non-
responsive applications will be returned to the application 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 Division of Extramural Activities of the National Cancer Institute 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 
Cancer Advisory Board.

Review Criteria
The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health. The 
reviewers will comment on the following aspects of the application in their 
written critiques 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 by the reviewers 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 a 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 application bring together sufficient expertise to 
address an important cancer-related health disparities problem? If the aims of 
the application are achieved, how will the collaborative undertaking advance 
scientific knowledge?  What will be the effect of these studies on addressing 
cancer-related health disparities?

2. Approach.  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses 
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
application?  Do letters of commitment support the priorities and objectives 
of the plan for the collaborative partnership? Does the application 
demonstrate the ability to achieve a comprehensive partnership plan with one 
of the interested parties within the one-year develop period? Does the 
application convincingly demonstrate that these commitments will be stable and 
long lasting? Does the application exhibit the necessary strength for 
implementing radiation oncology clinical research trials? Does the applicant 
provide evidence about the adequacy of the resources (e.g., discretionary 
resources, space, faculty positions, and protected time for research?

3. Innovation. Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or method? 
Are the approaches or methods original and innovative? Does the project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

4. Investigator.  Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited 
to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience 
level of the principal investigators and other researchers (if any)?  Are the 
qualifications and experience of the collaborating investigators adequate to 
provide strong programmatic (e.g., scientific) and administrative leadership?  
Are the qualifications and experience of other key personnel of the applicant 
and the interested partners adequate to successfully plan for and achieve the 
objectives of this planning effort?

5. Environment.  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Does the proposed work take 
advantage of the unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? 
How would resource/infrastructure provide long-term stability to the 
activities of the partnership? 

The initial review group will also examine:

o  the scientific merit of the proposed pilot projects; 
o  the appropriateness of proposed project budget and duration;
o  the adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities (and their 
subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research and plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects;
o  the provisions for the protection of human participants;
o  the safety of the research environment; 
o  the adequacy of the Data and Safety Monitoring Program to be in place prior 
to the start of patient protocol activity;
o  the adequacy of the proposed plan to share data.


Applications recommended by the National Cancer Advisory Board will be 
considered for award based upon the following:

o  the scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o  the availability of funds
o  the geographical location
o  the programmatic priorities

The earliest anticipated award date is September 20, 2002.


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 biomedical 
research projects involving human subjects, unless clear and compelling 
rationale and justification is provided that the 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 research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research", published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contract on 
August 2, 2000.; a 
complete copy of the updated guidelines are available at The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all 
applications and proposals and/or protocols to 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) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.


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 and supported by 
the NIH, unless that are clear and compelling scientific and ethical reasons 
not to include them. This policy applies to all initial (Type I) 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 
Investigators may also obtain copies of the policy from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.


All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
NIH policy on education in the protection of human research participants now 
required for all investigators, which is published in the NIH Guide for Grants 
an Contracts, June 5, 2000 (Revised August 25, 2000), and is available at the 
following URL address  
A continuing education program in the protection of human 
participants in research is now available online at


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited 
publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has 
the force or 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 applications 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 subject procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected 
under this award.


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 Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion 
and disease prevention of “Healthy People 2010,” a PHS-led national activity 
for setting priority areas. This RFA, “Cancer Disparities Research 
Partnerships,” is related to the priority areas of cancer and health 
disparities. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of “Healthy People 2010” 


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.398, Cancer Research Manpower.  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 Parts 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.

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