INITIATIVE FOR MINORITY STUDENTS: BRIDGES TO THE BACCALAUREATE
Release Date: January 15, 2001
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Application Receipt Dates: May 14 and November 14, 2001
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National
Center for Research on Minority Health (NCRMH), National Institutes of Health
(NIH), re-announce opportunities to apply for funding for the Bridges to the
Future Program. The Bridges to the Future Program was established in 1992 to
facilitate specific transitions in the career paths of underrepresented
minority scientists. The mission of the Bridges to the Future program is to
make available to the biomedical science research enterprise and to the
nation the intellectual talents of an increasing number of underrepresented
minority group members. It does so by facilitating the transition of
students from associate- to baccalaureate-degree granting institutions and
from masters to doctoral-degree granting institutions. The program promotes
effective inter-institutional partnerships that lead to improvement in the
quality and quantity of underrepresented minority students being trained as
the next generation of scientists.
This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits new and renewal applications for
a partnership initiative involving institutions awarding the associates
degree and institutions awarding the baccalaureate degree. A separate RFA
describes an initiative targeting the transition from masters to doctoral
programs. Former applicants of unfunded Bridge proposals may submit revised
applications in response to this announcement. Institutions with currently
active Bridges grants may submit renewal applications.
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas. This Request for
Applications (RFA), Bridges to the Baccalaureate, is related to one or more
of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.
Applications may be submitted by domestic, private or public, educational
institutions. State or local systems of higher education (also hereinafter
referred to as institutions) may submit applications as well. An institution
may be involved as a partner in more than one Bridge program, but can be the
APPLICANT institution for only one Bridges to the Baccalaureate program.
Institutions that submit applications in response to this RFA may submit
separate applications for support for the Bridges to the Doctorate (RFA GM-
01-003) if they meet the eligibility requirements. Institutions submitting
their own applications may participate in programs with other applicant
institutions so long as these interactions are consistent with institutional
resources and their institutional plans.
Each proposed Bridge program must consist of a partnership between at least
two institutions. One must be an institution that offers the associates
degree as the only undergraduate degree in the sciences within the
participating departments AND has a significant enrollment of
underrepresented minorities. Another partner must be a college or university
offering the baccalaureate degree in areas relevant to the biomedical
sciences. Thus, all applications must involve a partnership of at least two
colleges or universities, but may involve a consortium of several
institutions and may include several institutions within a single state
One participating institution must be designated as the applicant
institution, must name the program director, and must submit the application.
It is advisable that the applicant institution has experience in and
infrastructure for managing grants. Each participating institution must name
one individual to act as its program coordinator.
Programs developed under this initiative must specifically target
underrepresented minority students majoring in the sciences, including the
natural, physical, and behavioral sciences, information sciences, and
mathematics. For purposes of this RFA, underrepresented minority students are
individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been
determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or
behavioral research. Historically, individuals who have been found to be
underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research include, but are not
limited to, U.S. citizens who are African Americans, Hispanic American,
Native American and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Institutions offering both the associate and baccalaureate degrees may not
use funds from this program for graduates of their own associates degree
programs to enter their own baccalaureate programs, even if the student is
moving from one department, school, or college to another. The program seeks
to promote and enhance partnerships BETWEEN institutions.
For additional requirements see: SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
Awards under this RFA will use the National Institutes of Health
institutional education project (R25) grant award mechanism. Responsibility
for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be
solely that of the applicant. The total requested project period for
applications submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed three years.
Requested direct costs are not to exceed $600,000 for the three-year period.
Facilities and administrative (F&A) costs will be paid at 8% of the direct
costs, minus appropriate exclusions. A budget for each year must be
Requests for equipment, supplies, travel, and other expenses should be
limited to those necessary for program development and must be individually
Requests for funds for evaluation, including salaries, consultant fees,
technical assistance, and travel, are allowable.
The budget should include sufficient travel funds for the Program Director, a
grants manager from the grantee institution, and the program coordinators
from the participating institutions to travel to the Washington DC
metropolitan area for the Bridges Program Meeting each year.
Student remuneration is limited to underrepresented minorities matriculated
at the associate partner institution(s) and may include salary/wages and/or
other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages for participation in
research experiences. Expenditures for tuition remission or other forms of
compensation paid in lieu of wages are allowable provided the following
conditions are met:
o the student is performing necessary work,
o there is an employer-employee relationship between the student and the
o the total compensation is reasonable for the work performed, and
o it is the institution's practice to provide compensation for all students
in similar circumstances, regardless of the source of support for the
Tuition remission is allowable for graduate students only. The cost for
tuition for a specific course may be requested for undergraduate students,
provided it is directly related to research training. Salaries for students
should be requested as an hourly rate, based on the prevailing scale at the
The proposed budget should include funds to defray the costs of data
acquisition and data entry into the Electronic Student Tracking and Reporting
system (E-STAR) each year. E-STAR is a program developed by NIGMS to
facilitate the administration and evaluation of this program by the grantees
and the agency. Access to E-STAR is through Internet and the World Wide Web.
Minimum computer needs for E-STAR access include an IBM-compatible 386 with 4
megabytes of RAM, with Microsoft Windows(tm) 3.1 and WIN32S or a Macintosh
68020 with 4 megabytes of RAM; a 14.4 kilobytes/second modem; and internet
In summary, allowable costs include, but are not limited to, salary, wages,
and fringe benefits for students and faculty; tuition remission; supplies;
equipment (including computer hardware); travel; and other expenses.
Stipends, housing, food, tuition (unless as stated above), and fees are not
allowable costs under this program. Salary support for faculty to support
their research is not allowable.
An estimated total $20 million will be available for awards made in response
to this solicitation and awards in response to RFA GM-01-003 (Bridges to the
Doctorate). NIH staff anticipate making a combined total of 20 to 40 new and
competing continuation awards for these RFAs, provided NIH receives
sufficient numbers of highly meritorious applications and sufficient funds
for this purpose.
Many underrepresented minority students enter community colleges or
associates degree-granting institutions to gain new skills. Recent data show
that over half of the underrepresented minority college students in the
United States are enrolled in associate degree-granting institutions. Many
of these students have the desire and potential to pursue careers as research
scientists, and their needs should be addressed through improvement of
skills, challenging curricula, outstanding mentoring, active research
experiences, guidance and advising, and financial support. The Bridges to
the Baccalaureate program supports partnerships between institutions offering
terminal associates degrees and institutions offering baccalaureate programs
in areas related to biomedicine.
Bridges to the Baccalaureate seeks above all to increase the number of
underrepresented minority biomedical scientists. To do so, it is also
critical to improve the ability of educational institutions to train and
graduate promising underrepresented minority students in the biomedical
sciences, including the behavioral, physical and quantitative sciences. It
is the premise of the program that this can best be accomplished by
developing partnerships that support and facilitate underrepresented minority
students at a key point in their educational careers the transition to a
Bridges grants are institutional and must reflect institutional plans and
priorities as well as the collective plans and priorities of the partnership.
Collaborative agreements should take the form that best fits the needs and
situations of the institutions involved. The challenge for the participating
partners is to create a partnership program, or enhance an existing program,
that will focus attention and adequate resources to the associates degree-
granting institution(s) and enhance the academic competitiveness of its
graduates in the sciences.
Bridges to the Baccalaureate programs must address the needs and requirements
of the underrepresented minority students enrolled in the partner associates
degree program. Activities which may be supported include, but are not
limited to, the following:
o enriching the curriculum at the two-year institution;
o enabling students from the two-year institution to take courses and/or
participate in seminar programs at the baccalaureate college;
o developing courses at the two-year college jointly taught by faculty of
o developing visiting lectureships at the two-year college by science
faculty from the baccalaureate institution;
o guaranteeing acceptance as juniors into the participating baccalaureate
program(s) for students who participated successfully in the enhancement
o academic counseling (e.g., guidance in course selection, tracking and
providing assistance to students who express an interest or show special
aptitude for science);
o establishing a mentoring program with faculty at the baccalaureate
o providing laboratory research experiences at the baccalaureate
institution, other research institutions, or industrial laboratories for
students enrolled in the two-year institution (students may receive
compensation for these activities);
o providing research opportunities at the baccalaureate institution for
faculty of the two-year college;
o additional enrichment activities, such as tutoring, to enhance the
student's transition to the baccalaureate program.
Applicants should describe the criteria to be used in the selection and
retention of the student participants as well as the criteria for selecting
participating faculty. An applicant with a different existing transition
program should describe that program and explain the relationship of that
program to the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program. Applicants should
describe the methods and facilities available for tracking student
Support for Baccalaureate Education
The Bridges to the Baccalaureate program does not provide funds to students
in the baccalaureate program. Applicants should describe the type(s) of
institutional support that would be available to students who transfer.
Evaluation is a mandatory component of every Bridges to the Future Program.
Each applicant institution must set specific goals and measurable objectives
that can be used to develop the program and to measure progress. The NIGMS
recognizes that minority and minority-serving institutions have diverse
missions, opportunities, and environments. Therefore, the emphasis of the
evaluation activities of the Bridges to the Future Program will be on
improvement as defined in the specific goals and measurable objectives that
the applicant institution sets.
Central to each application are (1) a clear statement of program and
institutional goals and (2) a set of measurable objectives which track
progress toward those goals, (3) a plan for evaluating whether or not those
objectives have been met, and (4) a measure of the efficacy of specific
Student Population and Career Tracking
Applicants must describe the associates degree-granting institution's success
in training students in the sciences, including information on the numbers of
minority students receiving the associates degree and data on subsequent
careers or education of their graduates.
Applicants should describe a system for tracking the students, including
their future careers. Applicants should maintain data to show the impact of
this program on retention rates, graduation rates, transfer rates to the next
higher degree program, and graduation rates from the next higher degree
programs. These data should be compared to those of the non-minority
students and the minority students who were not in the Bridges program.
If an institution is involved in more than one Bridge Program, the applicant
or the institution's program coordinator must describe how the various Bridge
Programs interact and are consistent with the overall goals of the program.
Institutions with active or pending NIH grants for the Support for Continuous
Research Excellence (SCORE), Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement
(RISE), or Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs or with other
sources of funds, such as the National Science Foundation or the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute, may also apply to the Bridges to the future
program. The applicant must describe how the programs complement each other
and how the students and faculty supported by each will interact.
Each applicant institution should delineate appropriate agreements and
consortium arrangements with the other partner institutions consistent with
its own unified institutional plan. The following statement, accompanied by
signatures of the appropriate administrative officials from EACH of the
collaborating institutions, must be included as part of the application:
"THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAMMATIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL OF EACH
INSTITUTION INVOLVED IN THIS GRANT APPLICATION ARE AWARE OF THE NIH
CONSORTIUM GRANT POLICY AND ARE PREPARED TO ESTABLISH THE NECESSARY INTER-
INSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENT(S) CONSISTENT WITH THAT POLICY."
In addition, letters signed by the appropriate institutional official and
program coordinator and acknowledging participation in the program are
required from each participating institution.
Information on NIH policy regarding consortium agreements can be found at
A progress report will be required at the end of each calendar year after the
award is made. A final report will be required 90 days after the termination
date of the project period and must include information for each student
participant (E-STAR may be used to satisfy part of these requirements) and a
summary of the impact of the program. A Financial Status Report is due 90
days after the termination date of the project period.
INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and
their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and
compelling rationale and justification are provided indicating that inclusion
is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of
the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on
August 2, 2000
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) all
applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of plans
to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) all
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.
INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS
It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21)
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in
Research Involving Human Subjects that was published in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL
Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff
listed under INQUIRIES. Program staff may also provide additional relevant
information concerning the policy.
URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within
specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation
to view the Internet sites. Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.
The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in
applying for these grants. These forms are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research; from the Division of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive
MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 710-0267; email:
email@example.com. The forms are also available on at:
The RFA label in the PHS 398 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 number and title
must be typed on line 2 of the face page form, the "YES" box must be marked.
The RFA label and line 2 of the application should both indicate the RFA
number. The sample RFA label available at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to
allow for this change. Please note this is in pdf format.
Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, and five photocopies of the signed application in one package to:
CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, SUITE 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
Applications must be received by May 14 or November 14, 2001.
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR ad
for responsiveness by NIGMS. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.
Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group
convened by NIGMS. As part of the initial merit review, all applications
will receive a written critique and undergo a process in which only those
applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top
half of the applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority
score, and receive a second level review by the National Advisory General
Medical Sciences Council.
The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health. In
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following
aspects of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed
program will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each
of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall
score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that the
application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely
to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For
example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its
nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward. New and
competing applications will be judged for merit according to the following
(1) Significance: If the aims of the program are achieved, what impact will
they have on the diversity of the scientific workforce? Is a thorough
evaluation plan, including specific goals and measurable objectives, in
(2) Approach: Is the application adequately developed, well integrated, and
appropriate to the aims of the program? Does the program provide details and
rationale for the activities that will enhance the academic preparation of
the targeted population(s) of students? Does the applicant demonstrate
knowledge of current literature and practice on effective intervention
strategies? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problems and consider
alternative approaches? Does the program make good use of the skills and
resources at the participating institutions?
(3) Innovation: Does the project employ novel approaches or methods to
recruiting, retaining, training, or mentoring students? Does the project
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
(4) Investigator: Is the program director appropriately trained and well
suited to carry out this work? Does the program director have the necessary
leadership skills? Do the program director and coordinators have the
qualifications and experience to carry out the proposed program?
(5) Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be
done contribute to the probability of success? Is there evidence of
institutional commitment at each institution? Is the strength of the
collaborations sufficient to foster professional training of underrepresented
(6) Pool Size: Are there sufficient numbers of qualified underrepresented
minority students in the participating science departments who are interested
in studying further in biomedical science? Is there evidence that
underrepresented minority students at the participating institutions progress
to higher education?
(7) Administration: Is the proposed system for tracking program participants
adequate to monitor the effectiveness of the program? Is the administrative
plan, including adequacy of space and other resources, adequate?
Award decisions will be based on the technical merit of the applications, the
geographical distribution of the awardee institutions, and diversity of
underrepresented minority student participants. Awards can be made only to
institutions with financial management systems and management capabilities
that are acceptable under NIH policy. Awards will be administered under the
NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Application Receipt Date: May 14, 2001 November 14, 2001
Council Review: October, 2001 May, 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: January, 2002 July, 2002
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged. The
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Irene Eckstrand, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS-25K, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-5402
FAX: (301) 480-2228
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Grants Management Specialist
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
No.93.960, Special Minority Initiatives Program. Awards are authorized by
sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, and
administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 45 CFR Part 74
or 45 CFR Part 92. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental
review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.
The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early
childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of
the American people.
Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices