Release Date:  July 31, 2000

RFA:  DC-00-003

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  September 15, 2000
Application Receipt Date:       October 11, 2000


This Request for Applications (RFA) emphasizes the ongoing commitment 
of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders 
(NIDCD) to support research activities focusing on the development and 
dissemination of health communication information across the 
disciplines of communication sciences and disorders.  Health 
communication and research information dissemination are integral 
components of the NIDCD mission.

The NIDCD seeks applications using methods that reach out to public 
health and professional audiences focusing on disease prevention or the 
promotion of healthy behaviors, based on contemporary scientific 
knowledge in any of the seven mission areas of the NIDCD.  Of 
particular interest are projects that explore new and innovative 
approaches to health communication, including health literacy and 
strategic dissemination in areas of public health emerging from 
research in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech or language.  
Examples include projects focusing on early identification of hearing, 
voice, speech or language disorders to ensure intervention and 
rehabilitation, prevention of disease or disorder (e.g. prevention 
noise-induced hearing loss), and materials that make complex disease 
issues more understandable to the public (e.g. materials to accompany 
genetic counseling in areas of inherited disorders or diseases of human 

It is expected that applications in response to this RFA will be from 
interdisciplinary teams of health communication experts knowledgeable 
about strategies, tactics, development, dissemination and evaluation of 
health information based upon scientific discovery and scientists 
knowledgeable about normal and disordered processes of human 


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 "Health 
Promotion and Disease Prevention: Health Communication, Development, 
and Dissemination" is related to one or more of the priority areas.  
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at:

Further, HP2010 includes a new chapter on “vision and hearing” [#28] 
that addresses specific areas of disease prevention and health 
promotion related to early identification of infant hearing impairment, 
otitis media and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.  There are 
specific objectives related to public understanding of disease 
prevention and health promotion.  A copy of this chapter may be 
obtained at:


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.  
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) Education 
Project Grant (R25) mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, 
direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely that of 
the applicant.  The total project period for an application submitted 
in response to this RFA may not exceed three years.  

It is anticipated that NIDCD will have approximately $600,000 total 
costs available for this initiative in Fiscal Year 2001 and that up to 
three 3) awards will be made.  The anticipated award date for this RFA 
is July 1, 2001.  Although the financial plans of the NIDCD provide 
support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent 
upon the availability of funds for this purpose and the receipt of 
meritorious applications. This RFA is a one-time solicitation.

Direct costs will be awarded in modules of $25,000, less any overlap or 
other necessary administrative adjustments.  Facilities and 
Administrative costs will be awarded at a rate of 8%.


The purpose of this RFA is to encourage the submission of research 
grant applications that create, develop, and evaluate health 
communication information in one or more mission areas of the NIDCD.  
Projects should be based on current health communication theory and 
directed to address important problems of disease prevention, health 
promotion, and improved understanding of the basis for human 
communication disorders through public information.

In responding to this RFA, investigators should have identified an 
important public health issue in human communication research and 
selected the best research-driven strategies and tactics to reach 
appropriate targeted audiences.  Investigators should provide plans for 
dissemination and evaluation of all materials generated in this plan.  
In addition, research and communication teams must demonstrate that a 
functioning partnership will exist between communication experts and 
scientific experts, with a clear description
of the contribution and nature of cooperation from each partner.

Proposed projects should be targeted to any (or several) of a variety 
of audiences including patients, families, health care professionals, 
educators, industry, or the general public.  Investigators must 
demonstrate thorough knowledge of the scientific principles of health 
communication, as well as the current state-of-the-science within the 
field chosen. Projects that explore innovative approaches to 
education/health communication are encouraged.

NIDCD will support only projects that have a well-defined evaluation 
plan.  The project plan should include evidence of consideration of the 
appropriateness of materials for women, men, underrepresented minority 
groups, and/or children.  Also, attention should be given to key ethnic 
or cultural groups for whom the specific health information is directly 
relevant due to incidence or prevalence.  Projects should also 
demonstrate plans for inclusion of key groups in planning materials on 
culturally sensitive topics or in dissemination efforts that involve 
diverse cultural groups.  Teams must demonstrate knowledge of existing 
materials within the subject area, selected to ensure non-duplication 
of effort.  Dissemination strategy must incorporate a plan for 
publicizing the availability of materials to appropriate groups, 
organizations, communities, or health professionals.  Further, all 
materials produced under this effort must include consideration of all 
accessibility issues for individuals who are disabled (e.g., filmed or 
taped materials must be captioned and those costs must be included 
within the budget, as well as accommodations such as large print 
materials for visually-impaired audiences.)

In general, applications to support media documentaries will not be 
accepted, except in special circumstances.  Exceptions may include 
cases in which there is compelling evidence that the proposed program 
will have sound educational value for a broad segment of the 
population, will include timely and accurate scientific information, 
and that the dissemination has been established through an identified, 
appropriate media outlet partner. It is essential that applications 
that relate to controversial or differing treatments address the full 
range of views on issues addressed.

The R25 Grant is not intended to be used to conduct workshops or 
training sessions, unless they are part of the materials development.  
Applicants are encouraged to consider all appropriate and modern 
information delivery systems including the World Wide Web.

Materials developed under this mechanism must be submitted to the 
Office of Health Communication and Public Liaison at the NIDCD for 
consideration and possible inclusion in the Combined Health Information 
Database (CHID), an annotated resource for finding health materials 
produced with Federal money.


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 are provided 
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 103-43).

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 in the NIH 
Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994, 
available on the web at the following URL address:


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 or 
supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons 
not to include them. This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) 
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 address:

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


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.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by September 15, 2000, 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 this RFA.  Although a letter 
of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the 
review of subsequent applications, the information it contains allows 
NIDCD staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid 
possible conflicts of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Amy Donahue at the address 
listed under INQUIRIES.


The PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is the form to be used to apply for this 
program.  The form may be downloaded from the NIH Home Page at  It is also available at most 
institutional offices of sponsored research, or it may be obtained from 
the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National 
Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 
20892-7910, telephone 301-710-0267, email:

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form 
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application and 
must display the RFA number DC-00-003.  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.

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

BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR 
and responsiveness by the NIDCD.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive 
applications will be returned to the applicant 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 NIDCD in accordance with the review 
criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, a process 
will be used by the initial review group in which applications 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 NDCD 
Advisory Council or 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.  
In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the 
following aspects of the application 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 in assigning the overall score, weighting them as 
appropriate for each application.  The application does not need to be 
strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major
scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score.

(1) Significance:  Does this project address an important problem that 
can be answered by effective communication strategies and materials?  
If the aims of the application are achieved, how will disease 
prevention and health promotion be advanced?

(2) Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and 
analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the 
aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem 
areas and consider alternative tactics?

(3) Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or 
method? Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or 

(4) Investigator:  Are the project team members appropriately trained 
and well-suited to carry out this work?  Has the research team 
committed the appropriate time to accomplish project goals?

(5) Environment:  Do the scientific and communication environments in 
which the work will be conducted contribute to the probability of 
success? Are the resources necessary to complete the project available?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o  The adequacy of plans to include children, both genders, minorities, 
and their subgroups, as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will 
also be evaluated.
o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation 
to the proposed research.

o  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the 
project proposed in the application.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other favorably 
recommended applications.  Funding decisions will be based on the 
quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, relevance 
to the mission of the NIDCD, program priorities, and availability of 


Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or 
questions from potential applicants is encouraged.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, including eligibility 
and responsiveness, to:

Amy M. Donahue, Ph.D.
Scientific Programs Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400C, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  301-402-3458
Fax:  301-402-6251

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Sharon Hunt, Chief
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400B, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  301-402-0909
Fax:  301-402-1758


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No. 93.173.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health 
Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public 
Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants 
policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  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 

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