Release Date:  July 19, 1999

RFA: DC-99-002

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 15, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  November 23, 1999


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

The NIDCD seeks applications that focus 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 and
dissemination in areas of public health emerging from research in hearing,
balance, smell, taste, voice, speech or language.  Examples might include
projects that focus on early identification of hearing, voice, speech or
language disorders to ensure intervention and rehabilitation, 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 and human
communication scientists.


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, Health Promotion and Disease
Prevention: Health Communication, Development and Dissemination, is related to
the priority areas of diabetes and chronic disabling conditions and special
population objectives.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-11474-0 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) or on the
web 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.  In general, allowable costs must be consistent with
PHS policy and recommended by peer reviewers.  This RFA is a one-time
solicitation of FY 2000, with $750,000 total costs available.  It is expected
that up to three awards will be made.  The anticipated award date for this RFA
is July 1, 2000.


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 in 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 that is the responsibility of
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
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 each issue they address.

The R25 Grant is not intended to be used to conduct workshops or training
sessions unless they are part of the 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 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

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.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by October 15, 1999, 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
that 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. Beth Ansel at the address listed


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-99-002.  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

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)


Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit in accordance
with the standard NIH procedures by an initial review group (IRG) convened by
the Center for Scientific Review (CSR).  As part of the initial review, all
applications will receive a written critique.  Those applications deemed to
have the highest merit, generally the top half of applications under review
will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level of
review by the NIDCD 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?  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 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 funds.


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:

Beth M. Ansel, Ph.D.
Division of Human Communication
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400C, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  301-402-3461
Fax:  301-402-6251

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Sharon Hunt, Chief
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
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 people.

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