Full Text CA-94-030


NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 33, September 16, 1994

RFA:  CA-94-030



National Cancer Institute

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 28, 1994
Application Receipt Date:  January 20, 1995


The Cancer Biology Branch, Division of Cancer Biology, Diagnosis, and
Centers (DCBDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites new faculty at
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to apply for small
research grants to pursue basic science projects that are relevant to
the goals of the NCI.  The aim of this Request for Applications (RFA)
is to provide new HBCU faculty with an opportunity to establish a
research program to which they will commit time during both the
academic year and the summer.  It is expected that this opportunity
will not only increase the research base at HBCUs, but also broaden the
educational experience for students and expand mentoring possibilities.


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 RFA,
Small Grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is
related to the priority area of cancer.  Potential applicants may
obtain a copy of "Health 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 202-783-3238).


Applications may be submitted by Historically Black Colleges and
Universities.  The faculty member who serves as Principal Investigator
(PI) for the project must have had no more than seven years of
experience beyond his or her post-doctoral training.  Applications from
minority and women investigators are especially encouraged.


This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) small grant
(R03) mechanism.  Applicants will be responsible for the planning,
direction, and execution of the proposed projects.  The total proposed
project period for each application submitted may not exceed three
years.  The total proposed direct costs for each year may not exceed
$85,000, up to $35,000 of which may be used for equipment purchases in
the first year.  The anticipated award date is August 1, 1995.

The award and level of support depends on receipt of a sufficient
number of applications of high scientific merit.  Although this program
is provided for in the financial plans of the NCI, the award of grants
pursuant to this RFA is contingent upon the continuing availability of
funds for this purpose.  At this time, the NCI has not determined
whether this solicitation will be repeated.

The present RFA is for a single solicitation with a specified deadline
of January 20, 1995, for receipt of applications.  The NCI anticipates
making up to ten awards for project periods of up to three years, if
meritorious proposals and funds are available.


Approximately $1,000,000 in total costs per year will be committed to
fund applications specifically submitted in response to this RFA.  It
is anticipated that 8 to 10 awards will be made.


A.  Background

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a vital
national resource for the education of African-American men and women;
more than 50 percent of African-American physicians and Ph.D.
scientists are graduates of an HBCU.  Most HBCUs are primarily teaching
institutions; like many non-minority teaching institutions, few HBCUs
maintain a sizable research grant base.  However, they continually
attract high-quality, well-trained new faculty who have teaching as
their principal goal, but who are also motivated to continue to pursue
research.  This RFA is designed to provide new HBCU faculty with an
opportunity to initiate cancer-related research projects, to sustain
their continued professional growth, and to build a research base in
colleges and universities that often have less than a critical mass of

B.  Objective and Scope

Many new HBCU faculty who are motivated to develop research programs,
but initially fail to get grant support, abandon this important
endeavor.  New faculty may have fewer research resources than more
established faculty with which to acquire preliminary data and less
time during the academic year to perform research.  This RFA for
specialized small grants can support pilot projects that have less
preliminary data and a more narrow scientific focus than is required
for an investigator-initiated research project (R01).  In addition to
the opportunity to implement a research program, this RFA will enable
HBCU faculty to involve students in an on-going research project.
Because African-American scientists and physicians continue to be
under-represented in the cancer research community, HBCUs afford a
unique environment for significant numbers of minority students.  The
ability to observe and participate in on-going cancer research projects
at the undergraduate or graduate level would broaden the educational
experience for the students, provide mentoring opportunities for the
faculty, and possibly attract more minority students into scientific
and clinical careers in cancer research.

The areas of basic in vitro and in vivo research supported by the NCI
that are appropriate for this RFA, include, but are not limited to:
the cellular and molecular biology of malignant cells; the role of the
immune system in tumor growth and progression; the means to improve the
diagnosis and prognosis of cancer; the mechanisms of cancer induction
and promotion by chemicals, viruses, and environmental agents; drug
discovery and synthesis of new anti-cancer agents; the biochemical and
molecular mechanisms of anti-tumor drug action; the pharmacology and
toxicology of anti-tumor agents; the identification and evaluation of
agents that prevent carcinogenesis; the identification of biological
markers of risk or exposure; the role of nutrition in cancer.
Collaborations within, or external to, the applicant institution are
encouraged whenever they are appropriate to provide resources and
expertise that is germane to the research proposed in the application.



It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH-supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results from
the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43)
and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies (Concerning the
Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and Concerning the Inclusion
of Minorities in Study Populations) which have been in effect since
1990.  The new policy contains some new provisions that are
substantially different from the 1990 policies.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research," which was reprinted in the Federal
Register of March 28, 1994 (59 FR 14508-14513) to correct typesetting
errors in the earlier publication, and reprinted in the NIH GUIDE FOR
GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of March 18, 1994, Volume 23, Number 11.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the program
staff or contact person listed below.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by October 28, 1994, a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the research, the
name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the
identities of other key personnel or collaborators, 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 subsequent applications, the information
that it contains is helpful in planning for the review of applications.
It allows NCI staff to estimate the potential review workload and to
avoid conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Cheryl L. Marks at the
address listed under INQUIRIES.


The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev 9/91) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research; from the Office of Grants
Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of
Health, Westwood Building, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone
(301) 710-0267; and from the NCI program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be affixed
to the bottom of the face page.  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 number and
title must be typed on line 2a of the face page of the application form
and the YES box must be marked.

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

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

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
must be sent to:

Ms. Toby Friedberg
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 636
6130 Executive Boulevard MSC 7405
Bethesda, MD  20892-7405 (If using U.S. Postal Service)
Rockville, MD  20852 (If hand-delivered or delivery service)

It is important to send these copies at the same time that the original
and three copies are sent to the Division of Research Grants (DRG);
otherwise the NCI cannot guarantee that the applications will be
reviewed in competition with other applications received on or before
the designated receipt date.

Applications must be received by January 20, 1995.  If an application
is received after that date, it will be returned.  The Division of
Research Grants 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 DRG 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 DRG and
responsiveness by the NCI.  Incomplete applications will be returned to
the applicant without further consideration.  If NCI staff find that
the application is not responsive to the RFA, it will be returned
without further consideration.

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 NCI in accordance with the review criteria
stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, a process (triage)
may be used by the initial review group in which applications will be
judged to be competitive or non-competitive based on their scientific
merit relative to other applications received in response to the RFA.
Applications judged to be competitive will be discussed and assigned a
priority score.  Applications determined to be non-competitive will be
withdrawn from further consideration and the principal
investigator/program director and the official signing for the
applicant organization will be promptly notified.  The second level of
review will be provided by the National Cancer Advisory Board.

The review group will assess the scientific merit of the studies
according to the following criteria:

1.  Scientific and technical feasibility and originality of the
proposed research;

2.  Appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research;

3.  Qualifications of the Principal Investigator and his or her
collaborators to perform the research;

4.  Availability and adequacy of resources and facilities necessary to
perform the research;

5.  Appropriateness of the proposed budget in relation to the proposed

6.  Evidence of commitment by the applicant institution to provide
space and appropriate release time from teaching responsibilities to
support the proposed research.


Applications considered by the National Cancer Advisory Board will be
considered for award based upon (a) scientific and technical merit; (b)
availability of funds; and (c) programmatic priorities.


Written and telephone inquiries concerning the objectives and scope of
this RFA or the content of the intended research project are strongly

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues and address the letter
of intent to:

Dr. Cheryl L. Marks or Dr. Gladys M. Glenn
Division of Cancer Biology, Diagnosis, and Centers
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 505
6130 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD  20892-7385
Telephone:  (301) 496-7028
FAX:  (301) 402-1037

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Michelle Burr
Grants Administration Branch
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza South, Room 243
Bethesda, MD 20892-7150
Telephone:  (301) 496-7800, Ext. 231
FAX:  (301) 496-8601


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
No. 93.396, Cancer Biology Research.  Awards are made under the
authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A
(Public Law 78-410, 42 USC 214, as amended; Public Law 100-607, 42 USC
285 and 285a) and administered under PHS grants policies.

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant
recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of
all tobacco products.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American


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