Release Date:  July 24, 2001

RFA:  RFA-DC-02-001

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  September 15, 2001
Application Receipt Date:       October 10, 2001


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 communication).

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 communication.   


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 


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. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. The anticipated 
award date for this RFA is July 1, 2002.

It is anticipated that NIDCD will have approximately $600,000 total costs 
available for this initiative in Fiscal Year 2002 and that up to three (3) 
awards will be made.  Because the nature and scope of the research proposed 
may vary, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary. 
Although the financial plans of the NIDCD provide support for this program, 
awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and 
the receipt of a number of meritorious applications.  At this time, it is not 
known if this RFA will be reissued. 


The purpose of this RFA is to encourage the submission of research grant 
applications that create, develop, and evaluate the way health information is 
communicated 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 

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 

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 

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 under 
investigation.  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 sub-populations 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 indicating 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 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 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 or 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 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 
Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
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.


NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website:


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 and 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 (PA) in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application 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 subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit 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 IC staff to 
estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.
The letter of intent is to be sent by September 15, 2001.   


The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) 
at is to be used in 
applying for these grants. This version of PHS 398 is available in an 
interactive, searchable PDF format. Although applicants are strongly encouraged 
to begin using the 5/2001 revision of the PHS 398 as soon as possible, the NIH 
will continue to accept applications prepared using the 4/1998 revision until 
January 9, 2002. Beginning January 10, 2002, however, the NIH will return 
applications that are not submitted on the 5/2001 version.  For further 
assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/710-0267, Email:

Applications submitted in response to this RFA must have a complete budget 
and should not be submitted in the modular format.  

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:

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

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be 
sent to:   
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders 
6120 Executive Blvd, Room 400-C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180

Applications must be received by October 10, 2001. If an application is 
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without 

Appendices should not be sent to the Center for Scientific Review and should 
be sent to:
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Blvd, Room 400-C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) 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 
CSR 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 the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NIDCD.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications 
will be returned to the applicant 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 NIDCD 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 NDCD Advisory Council. 

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 strategies?

(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 both genders, minorities and their 
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 

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.

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    September 15, 2001
Application Receipt Date:         October 10, 2001
Peer Review Date:                 February 2002
Council Review:                   May 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 1, 2002


Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o availability of funds
o programmatic priorities.


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 scientific review issues to:

Craig Jordan, Ph.D.
Scientific Review 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:  301-496-8683
Fax:  301-402-6250

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Sara Stone 
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 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 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 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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