National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
UH4 Hazmat Training at DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex
Reissue of RFA-ES-14-009
Only one application per institution is allowed. See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.
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.
August 14, 2019
October 21, 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The maximum project period is 5 years.
Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than 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:
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.
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.
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.
This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:
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.
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:
The letter of intent should be sent to:
Janice Allen, PhD
, with the following exception or additional requirements:
- For this specific FOA, the Research Strategy section is limited to 30 pages.
, 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.
Please refer to the WTP Funding Opportunities website for example illustrations of a curriculum description, training plan tables, and DOE sites tables.
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.
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.
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.
The following modifications also apply:
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.
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.
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
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.
This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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:
Information regarding the disposition of applications is available 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.
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.
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.
NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:
Areas of Joint Responsibility include:
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.
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.
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)
Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Janice Allen, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Lisa Archer Edwards
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
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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