Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Funding Opportunity Title
HAZMAT Training at DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex (UH4 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

UH4 Hazmat Training at DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-ES-14-009

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-ES-19-004
Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed. See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.142

Funding Opportunity Purpose

NIEHS invites applications for cooperative agreements to support the development of model programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response within the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex.

This funding opportunity announcement aims to prevent work-related harm through safety and health training. The training programs will transmit skills and knowledge to workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, facility decommissioning and decontamination, hazardous materials transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or chemical emergency response. Currently, tens of thousands of DOE employees require safety and health training to help reduce the risk of their being exposed during work to hazardous materials and hazardous waste products. The NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program enhances training capabilities at these sites.

Key Dates

Posted Date

August 14, 2019

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
October 21, 2019
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

October 21, 2019

Application Due Date(s)

November 21, 2019, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on the listed date(s).

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)
Not Applicable
Scientific Merit Review
February/March 2020
Advisory Council Review
May 2020
Earliest Start Date
August 2020
Expiration Date
November 22, 2019
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide,except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts ).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.
  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose

The purpose of the NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program is to support the development of model programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response within the DOE nuclear weapons complex.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) aims to prevent work-related harm through safety and health training. The training will transmit skills and knowledge to workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, facility decommissioning and decontamination, hazardous materials transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or chemical emergency response. Currently, tens of thousands of DOE employees require safety and health training to help reduce the risk of being exposed during work to hazardous materials and hazardous waste products.

This program supports institutional competency-building for the delivery of model training and education programs to hazardous materials and waste workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Proper use of NIEHS and DOE training resources will result in federal and contractor employees who are highly skilled and capable of carrying out critical missions in a safe and reliable manner consistent with recognized standards of excellence. The planning and conduct of training programs should include alignment with mission priorities and efficient use of resources.

Background

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 126(g), authorizes an assistance program for training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous waste generation, removal, containment, or emergency response and hazardous materials transportation and emergency response. Congress assigned responsibility for administering this program to NIEHS, an Institute of NIH within the Public Health Service (PHS) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993 (42 USC 7274(d)) authorized the Secretary of Energy in section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B) to make awards: "to provide training and education to persons who are or may be engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency at Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities; and to develop response curricula for such training and education." The Secretary was further authorized in Section 3131(a)(2)(A)-(B) to make the training awards to non-profit organizations demonstrating capabilities in: "implementing and conducting effective training and education programs relating to the general health and safety of workers; and identifying, and involving in training, groups of workers whose duties include hazardous substance response or emergency response."

As stated above, under SARA Section 126(g), NIEHS developed and administers the Worker Training Program (WTP). During 1992, DOE evaluated WTP for adaptation to its own program and training needs and determined that the program was suitable. To rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage program resources, DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer a grants program that adapts the NIEHS WTP to meet the needs of the DOE nuclear weapons complex.

Protecting worker health and safety training delivery is a priority of the Secretary of Energy and is a primary goal of the Office of Environmental Management (EM). As the DOE mission has shifted from weapons production to environmental restoration, the site worker is exposed to new operations and hazards while conducting restoration activities, many of which are associated with potential exposure to hazardous substances and wastes.

To protect workers' health and safety, all workers at DOE sites engaged or potentially engaged in environmental restoration activities, including hazardous substance response or emergency response, are required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and respective DOE directives to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulations 20 CFR 1910.120 and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training requirements (40 CFR 300.150).

Environmental cleanup is a complex undertaking, which may often pose significant dangers to remediation workers, as well as to residents of the surrounding community. Throughout the DOE complex, contamination issues resulting from the historic mission of weapons production, as well as from extensive use of radioactive materials and highly toxic chemicals, have created a unique challenge for those managing environmental cleanups. There is great need for highly trained workers to carry out remediation work.

Model training programs for hazardous waste workers and emergency responders shall satisfy minimum requirements as specified in Federal OSHA rules and other related regulations which have been or may be promulgated. Training programs shall also meet the minimum requirements specified in the Minimum Health and Safety Training Criteria: Guidance for HAZWOPER and HAZWOPER-Supporting Training (Minimum Criteria), updated in 2018 as a result of an NIEHS-sponsored technical workshop focused on revising critical components of the guidance. Originally issued in 1991, with revisions in 1994 and 2006, the latest document incorporates training issues such as updating language on technology-based training methods, collateral duty, and program evaluation.

Consideration should also be given to Appendix E of 29 CFR 1910.120 (59 FR 43268, August 22, 1994), which references much of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria.

In 2006, DOE established a new safety and health program under Rule 10 CFR 851, Worker Safety and Health Program. This rule established worker safety and health requirements that govern the conduct of contractor activities at non-nuclear and nuclear sites. The Rule requires that DOE contractor workers are provided with a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious physical harm.

To accomplish this objective, the Rule establishes management responsibilities, worker rights, safety and health standards, and required training. The Rule incorporates DOE Order 440.1A that provides the foundation for a worker protection program to protect workers from hazards associated with their activities. Rule 10 CFR 851 should be a central part of any training activities at DOE sites.

In April 2011, DOE issued an Integrated Safety Management Policy (DOE P 450.4A). Through ISM, DOE is committed to conducting work efficiently and in a manner that ensures protection of workers, the public and the environment. It is DOE policy that safety management systems shall be used to systematically integrate safety into management and work practices at all levels so that missions are accomplished while protecting the public, the worker, and the environment. Direct involvement of workers during the development and implementation of safety management systems is essential for their success. The policy also states that all organizations involved in DOE embrace a strong safety culture where safe performance of work and involvement of workers in all aspects of work performance are core values that are deeply, strongly, and consistently held by managers and workers. The Secretary of Energy provided a public address on safety culture. Additionally, NIEHS has provided annual updates to DOE’s Safety Culture Improvement Panel to demonstrate how NIEHS training contributes to safety culture and is aligned with department priorities.

WTP and NIEHS have strategic planning documents that can be referenced to understand program goals, expected outcomes, and ongoing initiatives. For WTP, these documents are a strategic plan, a logic model, and an operational matrix. The Operational Matrix is used to track annual progress toward WTP goals and activities. The activities within the matrix link to outcomes (impacts) in the WTP Logic Model. NIEHS has a 2018-2023 strategic plan. WTP activities primarily fall under the NIEHS goals for Theme Two, Promoting Translation – Data to Knowledge to Action. WTP uses the environmental sciences to reduce risk and protect worker and public health through training.

Program Description

The NIEHS Worker Training Program, in partnership with DOE EM, has supported qualified domestic nonprofit organizations to develop and administer model health and safety education programs for hazardous materials or waste workers within the nuclear weapons complex. The close collaboration with DOE EM as well as DOE’s Office of Environment, Health, Safety & Security (AU) is a critical component of the program. This collaboration seeks areas and topics where DOE, NIEHS, and its awardees can collaborate with site programs to enhance the safety of site operations through training.

Target populations for training in the DOE nuclear weapons complex include those covered by federal requirements of OSHA (CFR, Title 29, Part 1910); EPA (CFR, Title 40, Part 311) standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, regulations governing the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (CFR, Title 42, Part 65); and US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for hazardous materials transportation workers.

Congress recognized the training needs to support these requirements and authorized the Secretary of Energy, through the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Section 3131, to award grants for training and education for persons engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency response at DOE nuclear weapons facilities. For purposes of Section 3131, the term "hazardous substance", in addition to its definition under CERCLA, includes radioactive waste, mixed radioactive, and hazardous waste.

The DOE/NIEHS Nuclear Worker Training Program provides site-specific, quality training to workers in a timely and cost-effective manner, through a partnership involving government, contractors, and labor organizations. A cornerstone of the program is the use of "worker-trainers" — peer trainers who are experienced employees well-versed in performing a given task in a hazardous environment who are trained to instruct other workers.

Benefits of the partnership include fostering cooperation between management and workers, improving efficiency and quality of training, reducing training redundancy across the complex, improving the ability to address worker concerns, and empowering all stakeholders to address site-specific safety and health needs.

NIEHS, through its awardees, has provided high-quality hazardous substance response or emergency response training to ensure that: (1) DOE site workers are aware of the hazards that exist at DOE sites; (2) workers are prepared to work safely in such hazardous environments to prevent accidents from occurring; and (3) workers have sufficient knowledge of their work environment and hazardous conditions to identify hazardous situations and take appropriate actions to protect themselves, fellow workers, and the environment.

General Training Goals and Objectives

Major program objectives for the future of the NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program include:

  • Establish DOE and contractor safety and health training programs with best practices by drawing on the skills and knowledge of experienced workers on the job.
  • Facilitate and promote a culture of continuous learning, integrated safety management, and improved task readiness within the DOE complex. This includes assisting in the development of a positive safety culture within the complex.
  • Act as a prime source for new training methodologies, new and updated curricula, innovative techniques, and lessons learned for all DOE operations through partnering with site contractors, regulatory personnel, the DOE National Training Center, and other stakeholders.
  • Reduce safety and health training costs through standardization, centralized partner development, and minimizing necessary travel and expenses. This includes participation as appropriate with DOE directive P 364.1 Health and Safety Training Reciprocity, which establishes a policy for reciprocity of employee health and safety training among DOE entities responsible for employee health and safety at DOE sites and facilities to increase efficiency and effectiveness of Departmental operations while meeting established health and safety requirements.
  • Reduce redundancy within the DOE complex by utilizing existing high-quality safety and health training programs located in partner organizations and integrating best-in-class technical training program capabilities.
  • Maximize the use of instructional technologies in the classroom where available and appropriate to support effective training delivery and student evaluation. Section 10.5 of the Minimum Criteria (Instructional Technologies) can be used to help assess how to best integrate web-based, virtual, and computer-based methods with traditional hands-on and classroom centered learning.

Awards will be made for direct training to students and worker-trainers, technical support of training, and training program evaluation. Curricula and training materials exist for most topics in worker health and safety training that can be adapted with minimal effort. A list of curricula developed by current NIEHS awardees is available.

Means of multiplying training are also encouraged to meet organizational needs; thus, programs such as train-the-trainers are encouraged. Programs targeted to multi-state and nationwide coverage to reach wider worker populations will be given preference in funding. Applications will not be considered that cover municipalities or other jurisdictions covering less than two states. Applicants are also encouraged to develop plans for independently continuing the program. Since this program restricts indirect costs to 8%, applicants are also strongly encouraged to develop plans to generate program income to assist in supporting efforts under the award.

Regarding worker populations to be trained, applicants should refer to SARA Section 126 requirements for training. This identifies workers to be trained based on potential exposure and health risk and requires training for personnel engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities, such as those involved in transportation, which expose or potentially expose such workers to hazardous substances. In addition, training is required for workers who may be exposed to unique or special hazards.

The training scope under this program covers worker health protection from hazardous waste work and exposure to hazardous substances in the broadest sense. The applicant shall identify workers or groups of workers who need to be trained in hazardous substance response or emergency response to ensure their health and safety. These target populations may include the existing DOE workforce; those likely to perform DOE environmental cleanup and waste management work within 120 days following the completion of training; those involved in waste transportation on, to, and from DOE sites; appropriate supervisors and managers of contractor and subcontractor activities; emergency response personnel with site mutual aid agreements; appropriate Federal, state, tribal, and local government officials who are involved in compliance efforts; and community members, members of tribal nations, and emergency response personnel surrounding DOE sites who would be responsible for or involved in a hazardous materials release.

Applicants are expected to make a reasonable effort to develop cooperative relationships with DOE training managers to: (1) identify what training courses are needed to ensure that applicable health and safety training requirements are met; (2) accurately determine the number of employees who need training; and (3) ensure that training meets site-specific needs and is consistent with established quality standards and DOE directives and guidance.

Education and training are essential components of health and safety programs for those who work with hazardous materials. SARA Section 126 addresses this when requiring OSHA to promulgate standards for the health and safety protection of employees in this area. OSHA final rule 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response Operations was promulgated on March 6, 1989 with an effective date of March 6, 1990. Further information about OSHA resources and interpretations of HAZWOPER training requirements is available.

With worker health and safety training, an immediate goal is to provide students with relevant information, problem-solving skills, and the confidence needed to use these tools. Long-term goals of model training programs should be to assure that workers become and remain active participants in determining and improving the health and safety conditions under which they work and that avenues are established for collaborative employer-employee relationships in creating safe workplaces. The active participation of workers in all aspects of work performance is an attribute of a strong safety culture, as discussed in DOE’s Integrated Safety Management Policy (DOE P 450.4A).

Worker safety and health training programs are adult-based, action-oriented, and results-centered. Training for workers focuses on providing knowledge and skills that can be applied in the workplace, rather than on learning for its own sake. Workers come to training with a great volume of experience, and are, in many ways, the richest resources of a training class. Successful adult education emphasizes peer-sharing activities, such as problem-solving and simulation exercises, that tap the experience of the learner. It also harnesses the motivation an adult learner brings to the classroom when they have a use for the topic and skills being taught. After training, workers should be able to bring what they have learned in the classroom or work-site training back to their jobs. Section 8.2 of the Minimum Criteria, Principles of Adult Education Applicable to HAZWOPER, provides more details on this topic.

Ongoing Program Initiatives

Since the previous FOA (RFA-ES-14-009), NIEHS has published several reports that provide lessons learned, summaries of accomplishments, and evaluation and impact findings regarding the NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program. These include an annual report of the DOE/NIEHS Nuclear Worker Training Program, highlights in state profiles, and a report of Native American and Alaska Native training through WTP, including under the DOE program. These reports are available on the WTP Training Summaries and Highlights page. Additionally, the Training Evaluation webpage includes resources such as recordings of recent Evaluation Community of Practice webinars.

To respond to the increase in technology-based training methods, NIEHS included an update in the Minimum Criteria under Section 10.5, Instructional Technologies. The Minimum Criteria provides factors to consider when new training technologies are being considered for a training program and provides criteria to help ensure the technology-based activities address literacy and user-friendliness.

WTP recognizes that within proposed target populations there are workers who have less formal education or have limited English proficiency. Applicants are encouraged to consider how to address the language and cultural needs of these workers so that they are engaged in learning and can understand and act on the health and safety information being taught to them.

The inclusion of institutions and organizations that have historical involvement and expertise in responding to environmental justice issues is also strongly encouraged. Participation of minority institutions and community-based organizations representing people of color communities may include the:

  • Adaptation of curricula to address occupational health disparities and environmental justice concerns;
  • Development of training programs that outreach to environmentally disadvantaged groups and Limited English Proficient populations; and
  • Delivery of high-quality training that can enhance efforts to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, chemical process safety, and pollution prevention.

WTP-focused hazardous waste training has long been recognized as protecting the environment and the health of surrounding communities. Yet new health and safety concerns or regulations for workers emerge across the complex or at individual sites. Training approaches can be responsive and innovative for these new hazards to the hazardous waste workforce, such as in the areas of green remediation, green chemistry, nanotechnology, new industrial processes and chemicals, combustible dust, climate change, the storage of nuclear waste, beryllium safety, respiratory protection at tank farms, and infectious diseases.

To address unmet mental health and resilience needs identified following disasters and the crisis surrounding misuse of prescription drugs in occupational settings, WTP has developed curricula and held workshops to develop training options for organizations to address these concerns with workers and communities. Training tools are available on disaster worker resiliency and prevention of occupational exposure to fentanyl and other opioids, with a tool in development on awareness of fentanyl and other opioids in the worksite. For a list of these curricula, applicants should refer to the WTP Responder and Community Resilience page and the Opioids and Substance Use: Workplace Prevention and Response page.

Applicants may consider how these new emerging concerns may be incorporated into hazmat safety and health training at DOE nuclear weapons sites through existing or new programs and curricula.

Applicants are encouraged to consult with WTP staff for specific questions about their proposed project.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.

Application Types Allowed
New
Renewal

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.

Clinical Trial?
Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIEHS intends to fund an estimate of 7-12 awards, corresponding to a total of $9.5 million, for fiscal year 2020. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget
Renewal a pplication budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. A new applicant may request a budget for direct costs of up to $700,000 for the first year.
Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 5 years.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)
Foreign Institutions
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed. 
Required Registrations

Applicant organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number to register in eRA Commons. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration , but all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

 

An institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) can submit only one application; however, that institution may also participate as partner via a sub-award or associate program through applications submitted by other institutions.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101)

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

 

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.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Janice Allen, PhD
Telephone: 984-287-3232
Fax: 301-480-3705
Email: allen9@niehs.nih.gov

Page Limitations
All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed

, with the following exception or additional requirements:

- For this specific FOA, the Research Strategy section is limited to 30 pages.

Instructions for Application Submission
The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.
SF424(R&R) Cover
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
SF424(R&R) Other Project Information
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

, with the following additional instructions.

Other Attachments: The following "Other Attachments" mustbe included to aid in the review of applications. The filename provided for each attachment will be the name used for the bookmark in the application image.

  • Training Center Organizational Structure. Applicants mustinclude a diagram of the organizational structure of the Training Center. This diagram should demonstrate how the interactions between the different aspects of the Center achieve the mandate-driven goals of the Center and how each consortia member/organization is integrated into the program structure. The diagram mustbe uploaded as a pdf file titled "Training Center Organizational Structure".
  • Description of Curricula. Applicants mustdescribe key curricula courses in outline form. The description of each curriculum must not exceed two pages in length and mustinclude the following: Course Title, short description of course, training provider, languages, delivery method, course hours, intended audience, learning objectives, and course outline. Do not include copies of the actual curricula. The diagram mustbe provided as a pdf file titled "Description of Curricula".
  • Tables of Year One Training Plan. To assist in understanding the detailed training plans in the first year of the proposed program, tables must be provided that clearly describe the projected total year one training and the courses to be delivered under the grant, delineated by the primary applicant organization and by consortium members or subgrantees, as applicable. Two types of tables must  be included: Type A - Year One Total Project Training, that provides a summary across the consortium; and Type B - Year One Projected Courses, to include a table for the primary applicant organization and each consortium member/subgrantee, as applicable, with columns for curriculum, number of courses, number of trainees per course, contact hours per course, and total number of contact hours. The tables mustbe loaded as a pdf file titled "Tables of Year One Training Plan".
  • Tables of DOE Sites, Collaborators, and Worker Populations. To facilitate an understanding of how the applicant will interact with the DOE sites across the complex, tables must   be provided that describe the sites where training programs will most often take place and the partners, collaborators, and worker populations involved in the training programs. Two tables mustbe included: Table A - DOE Sites, Collaborators, and Worker Populations, that provides a summary of which training organizations will provide training at which DOE sites; and Table B - DOE Site Partners, Collaborators, and Worker Populations that describes the partners or collaborators and the worker populations involved in each DOE site where training will most often occur. For applicants who plan to bring workers in to regional training centers for training programs or who train workers from many sites across the DOE nuclear complex, focus the tables on the sites from which the consortium trains the most workers. The tables mustbe loaded as a pdf file titled "Tables of DOE Sites".

Please refer to the WTP Funding Opportunities website for example illustrations of a curriculum description, training plan tables, and DOE sites tables.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
 

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Allowable indirect costs for this program are limited to 8% of a modified indirect cost base which excludes amounts over the first $25,000 for each consortia agreement, equipment costs, and tuition and related trainee fees.

R&R Subaward Budget
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Allowable indirect costs for this program are limited to 8% of a modified indirect cost base which excludes amounts over the first $25,000 for each consortia agreement, equipment costs, and tuition and related trainee fees.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.
PHS 398 Research Plan
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Specific Aims: State the objectives and specific aims for worker health and safety training. Describe the proposed hazardous material and waste worker populations targeted for training including: size, types of work, and geographic locations. Project the number of workers anticipated to be trained.

Research Strategy: State the broad, long-term objectives and concisely and realistically describe what the proposed training is intended to accomplish. This section should include the following: Background and Significance; Prior Experience; Administration, Staff, and Advisory Board; Target Populations; and Training Plan.

a. Background and Significance.

Briefly sketch the relevant background and the need for the proposed health and safety training. Give the rationale for the proposed training program. Applicants must strongly document the organization's past success in performance and effectiveness in planning, implementing, and operating worker health and safety training programs and employing adult education techniques. Give a summary of worker health and safety activities for the last five years for the major participating organizations in the proposed program. Emphasis should be placed on worker health and safety training and education experience including information on the students trained and their jobs, type of worker health and safety training given, number of workers trained, training duration, outreach activities, and new advances in training.

b. Progress Report/Compliance with Terms of Prior Award(s).

Applicants who are presently being funded under this program should provide a progress report of their activities. This should include: description of efforts to meet established terms and conditions, attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards, ability to manage and expend funds in a timely manner in prior budget periods, examples of collaboration with DOE sites and contractors, examples of training program outcomes or impact, and a summary of collaborative efforts with other awardees and NIEHS program staff.

c. Administration, Staff, and Advisory Board.

Describe the administrative structure of the proposed program and the distribution of responsibilities within it, including how the PD/PI will obtain continuing advice with respect to the operation of the program.

Describe the extent to which participating faculty members have collaborated with the program in the past. For individuals who are not Senior/Key Personnel, list technical support staff members and identify their roles in the program. Minimum position qualifications and position descriptions must be provided for proposed staff not yet hired. Be sure to include relevant publications and scholarly articles pertaining to public health, safety, and training.

Provide evidence of lines of responsibility and accountability. This evidence must be clearly delineated when two or more organizations are collaborating on an activity. Provide detailed plans for collaboration.

It is intended that offsite instruction funded by the NIEHS/DOE program will be supplemented with onsite training under the direct supervision of trained, experienced personnel at the time of initial job assignment.

Include evidence that the administrative/business official has experience or knowledge in the management of federal programs and will participate in program decisions. To assure effective and quality direct training, provide evidence of program staff with demonstrated training experience that includes use of appropriate adult education techniques.

This must include:

Provide details of an external board of advisors that represents user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response.

Describe the Advisory Board, to include a description of the expertise of the membership of the external board (New applicants should not list names of anticipated Advisory Board members, unless they provide input into the design of the application; continuing Advisory Board members should be identified for renewal applications); and policies and procedures that allow for meaningful input to the PD/PI on the quality of training activities and the overall training program grant. The board should review student feedback, course evaluations, other appropriate evaluations, and quality assurance procedures.

d. Target Population(s).

Describe methods and techniques to be used for identifying and accessing target specific worker population(s) to be trained, whether organized or not, that are engaged in hazardous materials and waste operations and transportation and related emergency response. Specific descriptions of targeted training populations should reflect the respective regulations of EPA, OSHA, DOT, etc. Describe the population(s) to be trained, including size of the target population(s), worker profiles, trades and job categories, types of hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response, geographic locations of workers, and the degree of health and safety training already received. Provide documented assurances of access to these populations for training.

Describe outreach and recruitment plans of prospective students. Describe the type and number of workers who have applied for worker health and safety training given by your organization over the last five years, the number of workers who have completed this training, and the resulting benefit of the program to the student and their employers.

e. Training Program.

Courses and Curricula: Describe the proposed training program plan including the types of courses, number of students to be trained, durations of training, course training objectives, and course content. Document how the training program will meet the Minimum Criteria. Both initial and appropriate refresher training should be covered. The plan must include involvement of appropriate health and safety disciplines. Describe curricula to be used, distribution of course materials, and use of direct worker training.

Training Methods: Describe the extent of hands-on demonstration and instruction, which simulates hazardous materials and waste operations or emergency response. Describe methods for employing adult education techniques and approaches for training and evaluating instructors. When used, technology-based training methods should be part of a blended learning approach that combines these technology-based approaches with hands-on, small group, and other instructor-led and interactive learning activities.

Indicate how the proposed worker health and safety training will be integrated with other specialized training already provided to the proposed target worker population. Specify and highlight the integration of new program initiatives as identified in the FOA with your proposed training plan.

Trainer Development: The plan must include information on the training of instructors, including worker trainers, and on-going trainer development and support activities.

Sustainability: Discuss plans for continuing the program independently beyond the cooperative agreement period.

Underserved Populations: Plans for reaching and actively engaging underserved worker populations should be included, especially those with less formal education, limited English proficiency, or limited access to training. Provide evidence of arrangements to include institutions and organizations which have historical involvement and expertise in responding to occupational health disparities and environmental justice issues. For example, does your plan include a community outreach and involvement component which can augment the delivery of high-quality training to promote community toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness, and awareness of local hazards, chemical process safety and pollution prevention?

Quality Control and Evaluation Plan: Describe an evaluation plan that includes both process and outcome evaluation of the training program that allows for understanding the program implementation and effectiveness as part of an ongoing quality control plan. The Minimum Criteria section 10.10 Program Evaluation provides guidance for developing an evaluation plan.

The plan should address (1) measurement and evaluation of student learning, progress and performance; (2) methods and procedures for evaluating appropriateness, quality, and effectiveness of worker health and safety training; and (3) a process for assessing instructor effectiveness, trainee retention of knowledge and hands-on skills, and the positive impacts of training activities on work practices and overall worker protection from on-the-job hazards. The plan must describe a system for tracking trainee employment in hazmat-related jobs.

Description of Relationships with DOE Training Managers and Training Facilities: Describe arrangements made with DOE training managers to: (1) identify what training courses are needed to ensure that applicable health and safety training requirements are met; (2) accurately determine the number of employees who need training; (3) ensure that training meets site-specific needs, and (4) be consistent with established quality standards and DOE directives and guidance. Also, describe how your program collaborates or cooperates with DOE national and local training facilities in terms of programs such as reciprocity, curricula sharing, or trainer capacity building.

Letters of Support: Applicants may include letters of support pertaining to the training program. For example, these letters may include collaborative agreements for the training program, institutional support (if applicable), community support, etc.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The following modifications also apply:

  • Generally, Resource Sharing Plans are expected, but they are not applicable for this FOA.
Appendix:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information
When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday , the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement .

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications lacking clear relevance to the NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program will be considered nonresponsive. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIEHS Referral Office by email at allen9@niehs.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

2019 FOA Briefing Informational Meeting

A briefing for interested applicants will be held at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, NC on Thursday, September 12, 2019, from 1-5 PM at Keystone Conference Room 1003-AB at 530 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. NIEHS Staff will explain the purpose of the Program, provide instructions about the application process and answer questions. A summary of responses from the briefing will be available upon request from NIEHS at wetp@niehs.nih.gov and may be posted on an FAQ page at a later date. The briefing will be webcast live and a registration page will be available closer to the event. The webcast will be available via NIEHS webcasting. In-person attendance is not necessary, and no information will be discussed that is not given to all potential applicants.

Visiting NIEHS and Directions - You must submit your contact information in advance to Amy Acosta at amy.acosta@nih.gov or via phone at (919) 794-4703 to RSVP for the Informational meeting. All attendees must contact Amy Acosta by Monday, September 9 to attend the event.

Post Submission Materials
Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact
Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
Scored Review Criteria
Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

 

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Does the applicant demonstrate relevance to worker health and safety training and the NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program?

 

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Does the PD/PI strongly demonstrate the capacity for providing leadership and assuring productivity of appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs and for overall management of the training programs including quality assurance and program evaluation?

Is there sufficient evidence of an applicant’s organizational structure or consortium, if applicable, that provides adequate knowledge and oversight of resources and administrative management of the program?

Do the PD/PI and the proposed staff have the ability to manage complex training programs?

 

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Is there evidence of inclusion of worker training initiatives and innovations?

Does the applicant show innovation in addressing existing and new challenges to the field of worker health and safety, such as with training tools, curriculum development, worker outreach, and program evaluation?

 

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project ? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

Are the methods and techniques to be used adequate for identifying, describing, and accessing target worker populations for worker health and safety training and impact of the proposed program?

Does the applicant provide detailed program plans for adapting existing curricula, training of instructors, distributing course materials, directing worker training, and conducting program evaluations?

Are the combinations of classroom instruction and hands on demonstration and instruction appropriate to simulate worker site activities and conditions?

Are there plans for independently continuing the program; for the generation of program income, if applicable; and for assuring the long-term viability of the program?

Is the training plan adequate for reaching underserved worker populations, especially those with less formal education, limited English proficiency, and limited access to training?

Has the organization or consortium demonstrated effectiveness in planning, implementing and operating appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs? Are they able to immediately initiate direct worker health and safety training, program evaluation, and related support activities?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

 

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Are the facilities and equipment appropriate to support the described worker health and safety training and education activities, including hands on instruction?

Is there evidence that the operation of training facilities assures the protection of prospective trainees during program delivery?

Are there appropriate policies and procedures for assuring fitness for training and medical clearance?  

Additional Review Criteria
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

 

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

 

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

 

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

 

Not Applicable

 

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Has the awardee demonstrated attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards?

 

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

 

Not Applicable

 

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

 

Not Applicable

 

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

 

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s), convened by NIEHS, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:
  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.
Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements.  FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award.  An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS.  The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.”  This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/index.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/index.htmlhttps://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/laws-regulations-guidance/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

The PD/PI has primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of their studies and training activities. It is the responsibility of each awardee to develop the details of the training plan, which will be required to describe the technical approaches, target population access and recruitment, curricula modification, training methodology, and program evaluation procedures.

  • Each awardee is required to attend awardee meetings at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and to coordinate training activities. PD/PIs and business officials are required to attend at least annually.
  • Before use, awardees must submit draft copies of training manuals, instructor guides, course curricula and other materials developed for use in training activities supported by NIEHS to the NIEHS Program Coordinator to receive technical comments and suggestions regarding the adequacy, technical accuracy and suitability of materials to be used for worker safety and health training. Final copies of all materials developed with support from NIEHS will be transmitted in approved electronic format by the awardees to the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response and made available to the general public, subject to any specific legal caveats on use or copyright protection.
  • Each awardee is required to participate annually in two technical workshops, which coincide with the two annual awardee meetings, to be sponsored and planned by the NIEHS Program Coordinator. The technical workshops will present relevant and topical information to assure the continued high quality of worker safety and health training activities carried out by the awardees and encourage the exchange of significant information regarding effective training techniques and approaches.
  • Each awardee is required to convene a Board of Advisors representing user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response. The Board of Advisors must meet annually to evaluate training activities and provide advice to the PD/PI.
  • Each awardee is required to have one individual assigned the responsibility for information technology transfer and dissemination as the point of contact for the NIEHS Program Coordinator. This person would ensure the effective communication and transfer of important training and administrative information to NIEHS and other appropriate audiences, including tracking trainee activities, submittal of training data to NIEHS, coordination of special meetings/conferences, submission of curricula, and other training activities conducted by the program.
  • Awardee is required to annually propose and report progress on a training program that includes the types of courses, number of students to be trained, and durations of training.
  • Each awardee will retain custody of and primary rights to the data and the curricula materials developed under these awards, subject to appropriate Government rights of access consistent with current HHS and NIH policies. Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.
  • Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

  • The role of the NIEHS Program Coordinator will be to facilitate, not to direct, the development of a high-quality national worker training resource. These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 75 , and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration policy statements.
  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate activities of mutual interest and benefit to awardees and the Institute. The primary objective of the Worker Training Program will be to stimulate collaborative work between NIEHS and the awardees in the creation of model worker safety and health training programs. Substantial programmatic involvement by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assure that there is not duplication of efforts or overlap in worker safety and health training delivery and program development by the awardees.
  • In order to provide consistent use and delivery of existing curricula for high- quality worker safety and health training, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will ensure that there will be close coordination among awardees, other state and federal governmental agencies, and other training providers. Such program coordination between NIEHS and the awardees will make maximum use of worker safety and health training materials and curricula that have already been developed, evaluated, and used. Training materials developed by the awardees will be submitted for review by the NIEHS Program Coordinator for consistency, appropriateness and technical accuracy before the initiation of worker safety and health training activities.
  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will convene a working meeting at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and discuss technical issues and to coordinate training activities.
  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will provide ongoing technical assistance to the awardees through arrangement of technical workshops related to the substantive technical issues that affect the program. Technical workshops will bring together program directors from each awardee with the relevant technical experts from a number of scientific fields involved in hazardous waste, occupational health, environmental health sciences, and adult education. Examination of training technologies and technical issues which are specific to the program will be developed and coordinated through these technical workshops, which will be held at least twice per fiscal year, to coincide with awardee meetings.
  • To assure that training programs developed with assistance from NIEHS will comply with all applicable federal safety and health regulations, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees through continual involvement with other federal regulatory agencies. Operational monitoring by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees in complying with general federal statutory requirements regulating worker safety and health training activities.
  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate overall program evaluations and communications projects to show the impact of the training on improving work practices, reducing work related injury and illness and to document the increased understanding of relevant environmental health sciences by workers involved in environmental cleanups, hazardous waste management and emergency response to chemical releases. While each awardee must have its own evaluation program, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will strive to assess the overall effectiveness of the training programs supported under the cooperative agreements in terms of the nation's needs and in relation to the target populations identified by Congress in SARA Section 126 and related statutes which are referenced above.
  • NIEHS maintains a National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response to assist awardees by providing information and technical support services to the PD/PIs of NIEHS funded hazardous materials, waste operations, and emergency response worker training programs. The Clearinghouse will also function as a national resource for the dissemination to the general public of program related information and curricular materials that have been developed by the awardees.
  • An NIEHS Program Officialwill be responsible for normal program stewardship of the award. The NIEHS Program Official may also serve as the NIEHS Program Coordinator.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

  • None; all responsibilities are divided between awardees and NIH staff as described above.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.
Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)
Joseph Hughes
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3271
Email: hughes3@niehs.nih.gov

Demia Wright
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3341
Email: demia.wright@nih.gov

Sharon Beard
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3237
Email: beard1@niehs.nih.gov

Jim Remington
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3311
Email: remingtonj@niehs.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Janice Allen, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3232
Email: allen9@niehs.nih.gov

Alfonso R. Latoni, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3279
Email: alfonso.latoni@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Lisa Archer Edwards
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 984-287-3258
Email: archer@niehs.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Authority and Regulations
Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 65, and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 in addition to the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 126(g) and the National Defense Authorization Act (42 USC 7274(d) Section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B).


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