Full Text DC-97-002
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 10, March 28, 1997
RFA:  DC-97-002
P.T. 34

  Communicative Disorders, Hearing 
  Communicative Disorders, Speech 

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Office of Research on Minority Health
Application Receipt Date:  May 23, 1997
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
(NIDCD) and the Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH) announce
the availability of small grants (R03) to support doctoral
dissertation research in human communication for minority doctoral
candidates.  Grant support is designed to aid the research of new
minority investigators and to encourage minority individuals from a
variety of academic disciplines and programs to conduct research in
hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language.
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 Request
for Applications (RFA), NIDCD/ORMH Minority Dissertation Research
Grants in Human Communication, is related to several priority areas
applicable to human communication.  Potential candidates for the
awards 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).
Minority Status.  Applicants must be from ethnic/racial groups that
are underrepresented in the biomedical or behavioral research
sciences in the U.S.  For purposes of this RFA, the NIDCD will give
priority consideration to applications from African Americans,
Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
Within this group, women and persons with disabilities are
particularly encouraged to apply.  The applicant for dissertation
research grant support must be a citizen of the United States or have
been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
The doctoral candidate must have a dissertation topic approved by
his/her institutional committee established for that purpose.  This
information must be verified in a letter of certification from the
thesis chairperson and submitted with the grant application (see
APPLICATION PROCEDURES).  Research topics must address issues in
human communication, focusing on one or more of the areas described
The applicant organization must be a domestic institution supporting
doctoral level training, such as a university or college.  The
performance site may be foreign or domestic.
The mechanism of support is the NIH small grant (R03).  Grants may be
made for up to two years.  Grants to support dissertation research
will provide no more than $30,000 in direct costs over the two-year
period, and no more than $25,000 in direct costs in any one year.
The NIDCD and ORMH anticipate awarding up to 10 grants.  These grants
are not eligible for renewal.
This grant initiative is to provide minority students assistance to
perform their dissertation research on a topic related to human
communication and thereby increase the pool of minority researchers
in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech and language. The
research supported by NIDCD includes basic or fundamental sciences as
well as clinical or applied sciences, such as molecular and cellular
biology, genetics, epidemiology, and imaging.
The descriptions below of the research foci of NIDCD are provided to
help potential applicants determine whether a topic may be
appropriate for this initiative.  Questions on the relevance of a
particular topic can be addressed to the program contact listed under
HEARING.  Diseases and disorders of the auditory system including
otitis media, otosclerosis, autoimmune-mediated hearing loss,
tinnitus, and genetic deafness/hearing impairment, the normal
auditory system, including plasticity, development and regeneration
of auditory structures, cochlear mechanics, and perception of complex
auditory signals, rehabilitation devices, including but not limited
to cochlear prostheses, and hearing aids.
BALANCE.  Human balance control, structure and function of the
peripheral and central vestibular system, development and
regeneration of vestibular structures, molecular bases of vestibular
function, adaptive plasticity in the vestibular system,
vestibulo-autonomic regulation, diseases and disorders primarily
affecting balance and the vestibular system, including Meniere"s
disease, vestibular toxicity and age-related changes in vestibular
functioning, clinical assessment of balance and the vestibular
function, and therapeutics and physical rehabilitation of balance and
vestibular disorders.
SMELL. Normal and abnormal olfactory functions, including development
and regeneration of olfactory receptor neurons, transport of
substances to and from the brain via the olfactory receptor neurons,
including transport of pathogens, associations between olfaction and
diseases throughout life.
TASTE.  Normal and abnormal sense of taste, including development and
regeneration of taste bud cells, central processing, gustatory
determinants of food intake, and the diagnosis of gustatory
VOICE.  The neural basis of vocal learning and vocalization, neural
mechanisms and physiology of the larynx, voice disorders, including
assessment, characteristics of specific populations, and treatment of
voice disorders.
SPEECH.  Speech perception, characterization of normal speech
production, and disorders of speech production such as neurogenic
speech disorders (apraxia and dysarthia), speech of deaf individuals,
and stuttering.
LANGUAGE.  Normal language processing, brain basis of language, adult
aphasia, the grammatical abilities and writing deficits associated
with Alzheimer"s disease, language acquisition in deaf individuals,
American Sign Language, literacy in deaf individuals, and language
disorders in children, including specific language impairment, early
expressive language delay, and language deficits associated with
Additional Material. In addition to the completed PHS 398 form
described under APPLICATION PROCEDURES, applicants must also submit:
o  A letter from the faculty committee or university official
directly responsible for supervising the development and progress of
the dissertation research.  The letter must be countersigned by a
representative of the graduate school of the sponsoring institution.
The letter must:  (a) fully identify the members of the committee and
certify their approval of the dissertation topic and, (b) certify
that the author of the letter has read the application and believes
that it reflects the work to be completed in the dissertation.
o  A tentative timeline for completion of the research, the
dissertation, and the doctoral defense.
o  A transcript of the investigator"s graduate school record
o  Biography of mentors, limited to 2 pages each (use the
Biographical Sketch page in form PHS 398)
o  Statement of the investigator"s career goals to be placed under
"Background" (see the Research Plan instructions in PHS 398)
o  A signed statement from the sponsoring institution establishing
the eligibility for support under this program including information
on ethnicity and citizenship.  (See Eligibility Requirements).
Grant Conditions.  The following conditions apply to dissertation
o  The doctoral candidate must be the designated Principal
Investigator on the grant and the doctoral candidate must be the only
individual named in the application for whom salary support is
o  The principal investigator"s salary may not exceed $12,000 per
twelve months.
o  Work on the funded project must be initiated within three months
after the date of the award.
o  Investigators may request support for up to 24 months.  An
application that requests support beyond this time period will be
o  Grantees who are approved for two years of support must submit a
satisfactory progress report no later than 10 months after the start
of the first year of the grant.  This report should contain a brief
summary of the work completed to date together with copies of any
publications supported wholly or in part by the dissertation grant.
o  A copy of the dissertation must be submitted and constitutes the
final report of the grant.  The dissertation must be officially
accepted by the faculty committee or university official responsible
for the candidate"s dissertation and must be signed by the
responsible officials.
An applicant who receives support for dissertation research under a
grant from the NIDCD/ORMH may not at the same time receive salary
support under a predoctoral or fellowship grant, nor be supported
under any other research project grant awarded by a Federal agency.
Allowable Costs.  Expenses usually allowed under PHS research grants
will be covered by the NIDCD/ORMH dissertation research grants, but
may not exceed $30,000 for the total  project.  Allowable costs
include the investigator"s salary (not to exceed $12,000 per 12
months), direct research project expenses such as travel to one
scientific meeting per year (limited to $1000 per year), data
processing, supplies, and dissertation preparation costs.  Any level
of effort by the candidate that is less than full time must be fully
justified.  No tuition support is allowed.  It is expected that most
equipment needed for the research will be available at the site or
laboratory in which the dissertation is to be performed.  Therefore,
any requests for equipment must be specifically justified. Facilities
and administrative costs are limited to eight percent of requested
direct costs, less equipment.
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
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 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, Volume 23,
Number 11,
March 18, 1994.
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research as well as from the
Office of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National
Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD
20892-7910, telephone (301) 710-0267, FAX (301) 480-0525, email
The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) application form
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.
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 (NIDCD/ORMH
Minority Dissertation Research Grants in Human Communication,
DC-97-002) must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the
application form and the YES box must be marked.
Instructions for completing the applications are found in the PHS 398
form.  These instructions must be followed except that under C.
Specific Instructions - Research Plan, no more than 10 pages may be
used for items A to D (instead of 25 pages as stated in the standard
instructions).  Applications that exceed the 10 page limit for this
section will be returned. Appendices are not allowed.
Submit a signed original of the application (with the supporting
letter and graduate school transcript), including the Checklist, and
three signed photocopies, in one package to:
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
(with the supporting letter and the graduate school transcript) must
be sent to:
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South, Room 400-C
6120 Executive Boulevard - MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 496-8683
FAX:  (301) 402-6250
ATTN:  Minority Dissertation
Applications must be received by May 23, 1997.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant
without review.  The Division of Research Grants (DRG) 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 NIDCD.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 standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of
the initial merit review, all applications will receive a written
critique and may 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 and assigned a
priority score.
Review Criteria
o  scientific and technical merit, significance in relation to the
promotion of public health, and originality of the proposed research,
o  appropriateness and adequacy of the literature review,
experimental approach and methodology proposed to carry out the
o  qualifications and research experience of the Principal
Investigator (the student),
o  qualifications, research and training experience of the mentor
particularly, but not exclusively, in the proposed area of research,
o  quality and availability of research resources needed to complete
the dissertation,
o appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the research,
o  Adequacy of plans to include minorities and their subgroups and
both genders as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research.
Plans for the 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.
The anticipated date of award is September 1997.  Final funding
decisions are based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the
relevance of the project to NIDCD priorities, and the availability of
Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.
Interested investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the
person named below who can provide clarifying information about
material described in this RFA.  The investigator will then be
referred to the relevant program to discuss the suitability of the
research topic.
Dr. Judith A. Cooper
Deputy Director
Division of Human Communication
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South, Room 400-C
6120 Executive Boulevard - MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 496-5061
FAX:  (301) 402-6251
Email:  judith_cooper@nih.gov
Direct inquiries relating to fiscal matters to:
Ms. Sharon Hunt
Chief, Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South , Room 400-B
6120 Executive Boulevard - MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 402-0909
FAX:  (301) 402-1758
Email:  sh79f@nih.gov
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 79-410, 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.  The requirements of Executive Order 12372,
"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," are not applicable to
NIDCD research grant programs.
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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