Full Text ES-94-006


NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 9, March 4, 1994

RFA:  ES-94-006

P.T. 34, FF

  Environmental Health 

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Application Receipt Date:  May 20, 1994


Human health and human disease result from three interactive
elements:  environmental factors, genetic susceptibility, and age.
The mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences (NIEHS) is to reduce the burden of human illness and
dysfunction from environmental causes by further understanding each
of these elements and how they interrelate.  The NIEHS achieves its
mission through a multidisciplinary biomedical research program,
prevention and intervention efforts, and a communication strategy
that encompasses training, education, technology transfer, and
community outreach.  The ultimate goal of the NIEHS activities is to
define and understand the mechanism of action of environmental agents
on human health and transfer this knowledge to the public benefit.

The NIEHS invites minority faculty members at historically black
colleges and universities and other predominantly minority colleges,
universities, and health professional schools to submit applications
for support of activities directed at the development of
investigators at such schools in areas relevant to environmental
health sciences.  The intent of the award is to provide an
underrepresented minority faculty member with increased access to
research opportunities through collaborative arrangements with funded
environmental health scientists, usually at institutions within a
100-mile radius of the applicant organization.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Request
for Applications (RFA), Minority Scientist Award at Minority
Institutions, is related to the priority area of Environmental
Health.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People
2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People
2000" (Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington
DC 20402-9325 (telephone (202) 783-3238).


A minority school is defined as a medical or nonmedical college,
university, or equivalent school in which students of minority ethnic
groups including African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and
Asian or Pacific Islanders comprise a significant proportion of the
school enrollment and that has a commitment to the special
encouragement of minority faculty, students and investigators.

Candidates for this award are faculty members who (1) are members of
an underrepresented minority group; (2) are citizens of the United
States, noncitizen nationals or permanent residents at the time of
application; (3) have an M.D., Ph.D. degree or equivalent in a
biomedical or behavioral science; (4) wish to develop research
capabilities in environmental health sciences research; and (5) have
the background and potential to become an independent biomedical
investigator.  A minimum of 70 percent effort annually must be
committed to the award.

Applicants may not apply for, or accept, other PHS research grant
support or its equivalent at the time of submission of the Minority
Scientist Award at Minority Institutions, nor may they apply at the
same time for any other type of academic award.  However, they may
apply for, and accept research grant support subsequent to award of
the Minority Scientist Award at Minority Institutions.

Each candidate must also identify and complete arrangements with a
nearby mentor, preferably at a majority or minority institution
within reasonable commuting distance, approximately 100 miles.  The
mentor should be recognized as an accomplished NIEHS-funded
investigator, in the research area proposed, who will provide
guidance for the awardee's development and research plan.  NIEHS
staff is willing to assist prospective applicants in identifying
appropriate NIEHS grantees.  If no NIEHS-supported grantee can be
identified, other NIH-supported grantees may be suitable as mentors.
However, the applicant should discuss this with NIEHS staff to
determine if the mentor is appropriate for this program.  Plans for
an intensive training period should be developed with the mentor.

The commitment of the mentor and his/her institution to both the
summer and academic year training must be evidenced by letters of
support to be included in the application.  A commitment from the
mentor's department head must be included in the application.


Support of this program will be through the NIEHS Minority Scientist
Award at Minority Institutions (K14).  Applicants will be responsible
for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project.
Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy as stated in the
PHS Grants Policy Statement, DHHS Publication No. (OASH) 90-50,000
(rev. October 1, 1990).  Awards are nonrenewable and nontransferable
from one awardee to another.  Funding beyond the first year of the
grant is contingent upon satisfactory progress during the preceding
year.  Future program interest in this initiative will be announced
through the NIH Program Announcement mechanism.

Awards must be requested for a period of five years.  Allowable costs

Salary:  The salary of the candidate may be requested up to $50,000,
plus fringe benefits, per annum for the time and effort committed to
the activities of the award.  A minimum of 70 percent effort annually
must be committed to the award.

Research Support:  A maximum of $60,000 for year 01 and $35,000 per
year in succeeding years for the categories listed below:

Equipment:  Specialized research equipment essential to the proposed
program; in accordance with PHS policy, title to such equipment will
vest with the grantee institution.

Supplies:  Consumable supplies essential to the proposed program.

Other:  Personnel, publication costs, computer costs, or other costs
necessary for the research program.

Travel:  Domestic travel for the awardee that is essential to the
proposed program.  Travel expenses for up to two active researchers
from outside the institution as consultants/seminar speaker(s).

Tuition and Fees:  If essential to the awardee's individual research
development program.

Indirect Costs:  Will be provided for at a rate of eight percent of
the total direct costs of each award, exclusive of tuition, fees, and
expenditures for equipment.

Categorical amounts cited above notwithstanding, the total award may
not exceed $110,000 in direct costs per year ($135,000 in the first


The estimated funds (total costs) available for the first year of
support for this RFA are anticipated to be $250,000.  It is expected
that two to three awards will be possible.  This level of support is
dependent on the receipt of a sufficient number of applications of
high scientific merit.


This program is designed to support environmental health sciences
related research career development of minority faculty at minority
institutions at the M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent level who have the
interest and capabilities of doing state-of-the-art research in this

The objective of this RFA is to develop the research skills and
capacity of faculty members at minority schools, increase the pool of
biomedical and behavioral investigators in environmental health
sciences research, improve the research facilities at minority
institutions, and have undergraduate students, most of whom will be
minority individuals, become more cognizant of research opportunities
in environmental health sciences.  Since the objective of this
program is to develop the faculty research capacity, the inclusion of
undergraduate students on the project is not required.  However, if
appropriate, the participation of an undergraduate student is


The applicant should request funds for one trip annually to the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for a grantee

The applicant must include plans for a seminar program for
undergraduate students.  Each year the applicant should include
his/her own research and two active researchers from outside the
institution as seminar speakers.  Although the specific features of
the seminar program are the responsibility of the applicant, it is
expected that this would be a regularly occurring seminar program and
provide undergraduate students an opportunity to learn about and
explore environmental health sciences issues and opportunities.

The NIEHS expects that this award will result in the submission of
manuscripts for publication and presentations of the research at
national forums by the awardee.  In addition, the applicant must
include a plan for the submission of a grant application to a program
not targeted to minority institutions.  Since the objective of this
award is the development of the research capacity, funding for the
fourth and fifth year of the award will be contingent upon the
submission of a NIH grant application.  Although the specific
research to be proposed in such a grant application will be uncertain
at the time of this application, the applicant should be planning to
obtain future research support via traditional research grants.



NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and
cooperative agreements will be required to include minorities and
women in study populations so that research findings can be of
benefit to all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or condition
under study; special emphasis should be placed on the need for
inclusion of minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders
and conditions which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is
intended to apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or
minorities are excluded or inadequately represented in clinical
research, particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear,
compelling rationale should be provided.

The composition of the proposed study populations must be described
in terms of gender and racial/ethnic group.  In addition, gender and
racial/ethnic issues should be addressed in developing a research
design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of
the study.  This information should be included in the form PHS 398
in Sections 1-4 of the Research Plan AND summarized in Section 5,
Human Subjects.

Applicants are urged to assess carefully the feasibility of including
the broadest possible representation of minority groups.  However,
NIH recognizes that it may not be feasible or appropriate in all
research projects to include representation of the full array of
United States racial/ethnic minority populations (i.e., native
Americans (including American Indians or Alaskan Natives),
Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics).  The rationale for
studies on single minority population groups should be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research includes human
biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology,
prevention (and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of
diseases, disorders or conditions, including but not limited to
clinical trials.

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research or clinical studies in which human tissues
cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,
every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and
racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of
the study broadly, and this should be addressed by applicants.

For foreign awards, the policy on inclusion of women applies fully;
since the definition of minority differs in other countries, the
applicant must discuss the relevance of research involving foreign
population groups to the United States' populations, including

If the required information is not contained within the application,
the review will be deferred until the information is provided.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in
the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of
women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the
scientific question(s) addressed AND the justification for the
selected study population is inadequate, it will considered a
scientific weakness or deficiency in the study design and will be
reflected in assigning the priority score to the application.

All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required
to address these policies.  NIH funding components will not award
grants or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these


The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used
in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research and from the Office of
Grants Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes
of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892,
telephone (301) 594-7378 (for multiple copies) (301) 496-7248 (for
one copy).

Applications must be received by May 20, 1994.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant.

The RFA label provided in the PHS 398 (rev 9/91) application form
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.
Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the
application such that it may not reach the review committee in time
for review.  In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on
line 2a of the face page of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the checklist, and three signed photocopies, to:

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

To expedite review, two copies must also be sent to:

Ethel Jackson, D.D.S.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
104 Alexander Drive, Building 17, North Campus
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by NIH staff for
completeness and responsiveness.  Incomplete and non-responsive
applications will be returned to the applicant without further
consideration.  Applications may be triaged on the basis of relative
competitiveness.  Those applications judged to be competitive will
undergo further merit review by an appropriate review group convened
by the Scientific Review Branch, NIEHS.  The second level review by
the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council considers
the special needs of the NIEHS and the priorities of the NIEHS

The factors that will be used by the review group in the evaluation
of applications for this RFA are listed below.

o  The overall merit of the candidate's plan for research and the
development of research skills.

o  The background and potential of the proposed candidate for
development into an independent biomedical investigator.

o  The candidate's commitment to a research career.

o  The ability of both the minority institution and the training
center to provide facilities, resources, and opportunities necessary
for the candidate's research development.

o  The commitment of the home institution to the faculty candidate's
research and development must clearly be presented in the
application, including statements from the sponsor and the department

o  The qualifications, ability, and plans of the mentor who will
provide the candidate with the guidance necessary for career
development in research.  Recognition of the mentor as reflected by
receipt of support from national peer reviewed funding sources.

o  The seminar plan.


The anticipated date of award is September 30, 1994.


The NIEHS welcomes the opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants.  Written and telephone inquiries
concerning this RFA are encouraged.

Direct inquiries concerning the RFA to:

Michael J. Galvin, Jr., Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD 3-02 (North Campus)
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7825

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Carolyn Winters
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD 2-01 (North Campus)
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7823


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.113 and 93.115.  Awards are made under
authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A
(Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 43 USC 241 and
285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.


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