Full Text DA-97-001
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 12, April 19, 1996
RFA:  DA-97-001
P.T. 34

  Drugs/Drug Abuse 

National Institute on Drug Abuse
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  June 24, 1996
Application Receipt Date:  July 24, 1996
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is seeking research
applications to study the nature, determinants, and consequences of
drug craving as well as potential interventions on drug craving.  The
objective of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to encourage the
investigation of craving to further our understanding of and
treatment for drug abuse and addiction.
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,
Craving In Drug Abuse and Addiction, is related to the priority area
of alcohol and other drugs.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy
of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report: Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or
Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).
Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and
non-profit organizations, public and private, such as universities,
colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local
governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal government.
Foreign institutions are not eligible for First Independent Research
Support and Transition (FIRST) (R29) awards.  Racial/ethnic minority
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to
apply as principal investigators.
This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research
project grant (R01), FIRST Award (R29), exploratory/developmental
grant (R21), and small grant (R03).  Competing continuation
applications of ongoing grants are excluded from this solicitation.
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.  The
anticipated award date is March 1, 1997.
Awards made under the R29, R03 or R21 mechanism may not be renewed,
but it is expected that projects supported by these mechanisms will
provide sufficient data to apply for support of a research project
grant (R01).  There are special requirements and criteria for the
FIRST (R29) award and small grant (R03) grant applications.  If any
applicant intends to apply utilizing any of these mechanisms, he or
she should contact the program person listed in INQUIRIES for further
It is anticipated that up to $2 million in FY 1997 will be available
to support projects submitted under this RFA.  Because the nature and
scope of the research proposed in response to this RFA may vary, the
size of an award will vary also.  However, it is anticipated that
approximately six to seven new awards will be made under this RFA.
Many scientists and treatment providers in the field of drug abuse
believe that craving plays a critical role in the maintenance of and
relapse to drug abuse.  Accordingly, a number of definitions and
theoretical models including cognitive, neuronal, behavioral, social,
and motivational factors have been proposed to delineate the
processes involved in craving.  While some models have attempted to
confirm suggested relationships between drug craving, drug seeking
behavior and relapse, others have focused on subjective factors such
as potential distinctions between craving and liking (i.e., craving
can occur in the absence of liking), or between craving and urges.
Still other models have placed wants, desires, urges and cravings
along a continuum of increasing intensity.  Although there is support
for the idea that craving is an important subjective motivational
state, the empirical relationships between craving and physiological
measures or drug seeking behavior have not always been
straightforward.  For example, self-reports of craving in human
subjects frequently do not correlate with physiological measurements
or actual drug taking.
Because at present there is no consensus on how best to elucidate the
nature of drug craving, NIDA is encouraging rigorously designed and
controlled research to increase our knowledge and understanding of
craving, and the relationship between craving, drug abuse and
addiction.  A wide range of research in both existing and new
frameworks is encouraged.
Both animal and human research and multidisciplinary approaches are
encouraged.  Gender differences or gender-specific effects on craving
(e.g., effects of menstrual cycle) are also of interest.
Additionally, because craving has been a major focus of study in
ingestive behaviors and eating disorders research as well as in
alcoholism research, applications that relate these models and
hypotheses to issues in drug abuse are encouraged.
Examples of research topics responsive to this RFA solicitation may
include, but are not restricted to, the following:
o  Elucidate the role of learning, memory, and perceptual processes
in drug craving, withdrawal, and relapse.
o  Characterize craving as a function of drug type, duration,
frequency and pattern of drug use (e.g., chipping, binging) and route
of administration.
o  Elucidate how differing demographic, genetic/familial, ethnic or
individual variations influence craving, and how such differences are
manifested at differing stages of the lifespan.
o  Determine the relationship between brain reward systems,
neurotransmitter systems and drug craving with use of a variety of
methods including neuroimaging.
o  Identify the behavioral mechanisms (e.g., cognitive, associative,
motivational, reinforcement) underlying craving.
o  Experimentally differentiate the subjective states of needs,
urges, wanting, liking, craving, and withdrawal or other as yet
uncharacterized experiential states.
o  Compare craving for drugs with craving for other substances or
physiological outcomes.  Examine interactions of drug craving with
feeding behavior.
o  Develop animal models of new pharmacological and non-
pharmacological treatments of craving and relapse.  In particular,
animal models of relapse are needed that relate to drug use patterns
in humans.
o  Study personal narratives of craving to identify common
characteristics of the quitting/abstinence and/or relapse experience.
o  Investigate the utility of tailoring treatment approaches for drug
craving, including behavioral or pharmacotherapies, based on the type
of drug that is used or craved.
o  Characterize the association between craving and other psychiatric
symptoms and conduct disorders and (e.g., obsessive compulsive
spectrum disorders, gambling, depression, anxiety, psychoses) that
can co-occur with drug abuse and/or addiction.
o  Develop, improve and validate methods and instruments for
measuring craving, including individuals seen in a variety of
treatment settings including primary care settings.
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
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and reprinted
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11,
March 18, 1994.
Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.
Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by June 24, 1996, a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed
research, the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal
Investigator, the identities of other key personnel and participating
institutions, and the number and title of the RFA in response to
which the application may be submitted. Although a letter of intent
is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review
of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows
NIDA staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid
conflict of interest in the review.  The letter of intent also will
allow program staff to assess the responsiveness of the potential
application to this RFA.  Consequently, prior to submitting a letter
of intent, applicants are strongly urged to contact program staff.
The letter of intent is to be sent to:
Office of Extramural Program Review
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-42
Rockville, MD  20857
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  Applications kits are available at
most institutional offices of sponsored research and may be obtained
from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/710-0267,
email:  ASKNIH@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.
The RFA label available in the application form PHS 398 must be
affixed to the bottom of the original face page.  Failure to use the
RFA label and to follow instructions 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 in Item 2 on the face page of the application form and
the YES box must be marked.
FIRST (R29) award applications must include at least three sealed
letters of reference attached to the face page of the original
application.  FIRST (R29) award applications submitted without the
required number of reference letters will be considered incomplete
and will be returned without review.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the checklist, and three signed, exact photocopies, in one package
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for courier/overnight service)
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
must also be sent to:
Office of Extramural Program Review
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-42
Rockville, MD  20857
Applications must be received by July 24, 1996.  If an application is
received after this date it will be held for the next regular receipt
date and reviewed under standard circumstances; however, it will not
be considered as a response to this RFA.  The Division of Research
Grants (DRG) will not accept any application in response to the 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
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
DRG and responsiveness by the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA).  Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant
without further consideration.  If the application is not responsive
to the RFA, the applicant may be contacted to determine whether to
return the application to the applicant or submit it for review in
competition with unsolicited applications at the next review cycle.
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 NIDA in accordance with the NIH peer
review criteria procedures.  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 applications under review, will be
discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level
review by the NIDA's National Advisory Council.
Review Criteria
o  relevance of the proposed research to the objective of this RFA;
o  scientific, technical or medical significance and originality of
proposed research;
o  appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research;
o  qualifications and research experience of the Principal
Investigator and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the
area of the proposed research;
o  availability of the resources necessary to perform the research;
o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research; and,
o  adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research.
Plans for recruitment and retention of subjects will also be
The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human and animal subjects and the safety of the
research environment.
Funding decisions will be made on the basis of overall scientific and
technical merit of the proposal as determined by peer review,
appropriateness of budget estimates, program needs and balance,
policy considerations, adequacy of provisions for the protection of
human and animal subjects, and availability of funds.  In addition,
criteria for awards will be based on the Research Objectives listed
Dates for submission, initial review, council and award for this
solicitation are shown below:
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:     June 24, 1996
Application Receipt Date:          July 24, 1996
Initial Review Date:               September 1996
Advisory Council Date:             January 1997
Earliest Start Date:               March 1997
Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Dr. Jaylan S. Turkkan (basic research)
Telephone:  301-443-1263
FAX:  301-594-6043
Email:  jaylan@nih.gov  (or)
Dr. Jack Blaine (treatment research)
Telephone: 301-443-0107
at the following address:
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10A-12
Rockville, MD  20857
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal or grants management issues to:
Dr. Gary Fleming, Chief
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 8A-54
Rockville, MD 20857
Telephone: 301-443-6710
This program is described in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.279.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Section 301, and administered under PHS
grants policies and Federal Regulations at Title 42 CFR 52 "Grants
for Research Projects," Title 45 CFR Part 74 & 92, "Administration of
Grants," and 45 CFR Part 46, "Protection of Human Subjects."  Title
42 CFR Part 2, "Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient
Records" may also be applicable to these awards.  This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.
The Public Health Service strongly encourages all grant 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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