RELEASE DATE:  October 2, 2003

RFA Number:  RFA-GM-03-012  

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)


National Institutes of Health (NIH)


National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) 




o Purpose of this RFA
o Research (Program) Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) branch of the Division 
of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) of the National Institute 
of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announces a limited competition for 
supplements to Research Initiative for Student Enhancement (RISE) and 
Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) grants to acquire 
laboratory equipment.  Supplemental funds may be used to purchase new 
equipment for meeting the specific aims of RISE or IMSD parent grants 
or to upgrade equipment currently being used in RISE or IMSD programs.

Applicants may request a single or several different pieces of 
equipment as needed to accomplish the specific aims of RISE or IMSD 
parent grants.  All requests must adhere to the costs guidelines 
specified in the RFA.  A detailed justification must accompany each 
piece of equipment requested. 

This RFA for competing supplements (Type 3) will use an existing NIH 
R25 award mechanism.  As an applicant you will be solely responsible 
for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.  This RFA 
is a one-time solicitation and awards are not renewable.  The 
anticipated award date is January 2005.

This RFA uses just-in-time concepts.  It uses the non-modular budgeting 
formats (see  
This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current 
NIH Grants Policy Statement at  


NIGMS intends to commit approximately $1-2 million in FY 2005 to fund 
10 to 30 equipment supplements to RISE and IMSD grants in response to 
this RFA.  Because the nature and cost of the equipment may vary, it is 
anticipated that the size of each award will also vary.  Although the 
financial plans of NIGMS provide support for this supplement program, 
awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of 
funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious 


You may submit an application (Type 3) if your institution has an 
active MBRS RISE or IMSD grant for this supplement provided the current 
grant has at least one year of support remaining at the time of award. 
The supplemental award may not extend beyond the parent grant.  MBRS 
RISE and IMSD grantee institutions that responded to earlier 
announcements of this RFA or that have previously received funds under 
this RFA are eligible to reapply. 


The PI for this supplement must be the current Program Director of the 
MBRS RISE or IMSD parent grant. 


Equipment requested under this RFA must be used to accomplish the 
funded specific aims of the RISE or IMSD parent grant and can not 
expand the scope of the parent grant.  Institutions that received an 
equipment supplement grant in response to a previous RFA (FY 2002 or 
2003) must give details of the equipment purchased under previous 
awards, including how it is being used and how it relates to the 
equipment requested under this RFA.

A report on the value added by the acquired research equipment will be 
required as a part of a subsequent non-competing grant progress report 
(Type 5), competing renewal (Type 2) application, or of the close-out 
package if a competing renewal application is not awarded.  

Allowable Costs

Under this RFA, only grant applications with a minimum aggregate cost 
of $75,000 and a maximum of $400,000 will be considered.  Individual 
equipment (not including the cost of ancillary equipment) costing a 
minimum of $20,000 and a maximum of $400,000 is allowable under this 
program.  Applications requesting equipment outside these ranges may be 
returned without review.   

In addition, when fully justified, support up to $40,000 per year for a 
technical assistant to maintain and teach others in the use of the 
equipment is allowed and may be requested for the term of the parent 
RISE grant.  Continued support, up to $40,000 per year for a technical 
assistant position awarded under this RFA, may be requested during 
competing renewal of MBRS RISE grants.  

Unallowable Costs

Unallowable costs include: 
o   Computers for individual use
o   Computers and audiovisual equipment for general classroom use 
o   Individual equipment costing less than $20,000 or more than $400,000 
o   Support for a technical assistant at IMSD institutions  


We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity 
to answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into 
three areas:  programmatic, peer review, and financial or grants 
management issues:

o   Direct your questions about programmatic issues to:

Derrick C. Tabor, Ph.D.
Program director, MORE Division
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-3900
FAX:  (301)480-2753

o   Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12F, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-2881
FAX:  (301)480-8506

o Direct your questions about financial or grant management matters to:

Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-5132
FAX:  (301)480-2554


Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes the following information:

o   Descriptive title of the proposed research 
o   Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator 
o   Name of the applicant institution 
o   Names of other key personnel 
o   Number and title of this RFA. 

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does 
not enter in to the review of a subsequent application, the information 
that it contains allows NIGMS staff to estimate the potential review 
workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning 
of this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Derrick C. Tabor, Ph.D.
Program Director, MORE Division
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200 
Bethesda, MD 20892-3900 
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900 
Fax:  (301) 480-2753 


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must 
have a DUN and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number as the Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or 
cooperative agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling 
(866) 705-5711 or through the web site at The DUNS number should be entered on 
line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 398 document is 
available at in 
an interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 710-0267, Email:


In addition to following the PHS 398 instructions for supplements (for 
example, all supplements are required to have a one page introduction), 
the supplementary instructions below should also be followed.


Under the Research Plan, the PI should provide the information 
requested below.  The Research Plan section may not exceed five pages. 
Letters from collaborators and consultants, and the checklist are 
excluded from the five-page limit.

Describe the capabilities of the requested equipment and relevance to 
the specific aims of the funded RISE or IMSD parent grant.  Describe 
how the requested equipment will contribute to meeting the funded aims 
of the RISE or IMSD program, the extent of its use, and how the 
equipment will improve the scientific environment at the institution. 

Describe the plan for maintenance of the requested equipment and 
discuss how the institution proposes to maintain the equipment beyond 
the grant period.  Indicate if the institution would contribute toward 
the costs associated with purchasing, setting-up, housing or 
maintaining the requested equipment.

Describe plans, if applicable, to share the use of requested equipment 
with others at the institution.

USING THE RFA LABEL:  The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 
5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page 
of the application.  Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use 
this label could result in delayed processing of the application such 
that it may not reach the review committee in time for review.  In 
addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face 
page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.  The RFA 
label is also available at:

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed 
photocopies of the application in one package by February 27, 2004 to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission to CSR, two additional copies of the 
application and five copies of the appendix materials must be sent to:  

Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received on or before the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA. If an 
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the 
applicant without review.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and 
funding assignment within 8 weeks.
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application 
in response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently 
pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending 
application.  However, when a previously unfunded application, 
originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be 
submitted in response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW 
application.  That is, the application for RFA must not include an 
Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text 
must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded 
version of the application.  


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR 
and responsiveness by the NIGMS.  Incomplete and/or nonresponsive 
applications will not be reviewed. 

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 the NIGMS in accordance with the review 
criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will:

o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score 
o Receive a written critique
o 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 your application in order to judge the likelihood 
that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the 
pursuit of these goals.  The scientific review group will address and 
consider each of the following criteria in assigning your application's 
overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application

o   Significance 
o   Approach 
o   Innovation
o   Investigator
o   Environment
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.

Applications submitted in response to this RFA are for a supplement to 
an existing award.  Since the original applications were previously 
reviewed using the published RISE or IMSD review criteria, the 
following review criteria will be used to determine the merit of the 
supplemental application for equipment:

(1) SIGNIFICANCE:  Does the requested equipment have relevance and 
immediate utility and will the investigator take advantage of unique 
features of the equipment to enhance progress toward the specific aims 
of the RISE or IMSD parent grant?  Are the plans for the proposed use 
of the equipment for RISE/IMSD clearly presented within the context of 
the funded RISE/IMSD grant?

(2) APPROACH:  (For RISE applications, if technical assistance is 
requested) Does the technician have the appropriate background and 
skills to maintain the equipment and instruct others in its use?

(3) INNOVATION:  Has the investigator shown that the equipment will 
assist in accomplishing the funded specific aims of the RISE or IMSD 

(4) INVESTIGATOR:  Has the investigator been successful in motivating 
faculty to develop and implement effective research education/training 
activities for students?  Will this equipment help to improve research 
education/training activities?

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Will the use of equipment significantly enhance the 
research education/training being conducted and contribute to meeting 
the specific aims of the RISE or IMSD program?  Is there evidence of 
institutional support of the equipment to be acquired?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA:  In addition to the above criteria, the 
following items will be considered in the determination of scientific 
merit and the priority score:

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested 
period of support in relation to the proposed plans for the equipment.


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 23, 2004 
Application Receipt Date:  February 23, 2004
Peer Review Date:  May-June 2004
Council Review:  September 2004
Earliest Anticipated Award Date:  January 2005 


Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:  

o The likelihood that the applicant institution will fulfill the 
proposed objectives and further the goals of the MBRS program 
o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds 
o Programmatic priorities


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.  Furthermore, reviewers are cautioned that 
their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an 
Internet site. 
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 RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. 
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
at and is not subject to the intergovernmental 
review requirements of executive order 12372 or Health Systems Agency 
review.  Awards are made under the authorization sections 301 and 405 
of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) under 
Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52and 45 CFR parts 74, and 92.  See also 
Senate Appropriations Committee Report, No. 92-316, July 29, 1971, 
Executive Order 12900, Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans 
February 22, 1994, Executive Order 12876, Historically Black Colleges 
and Universities, November 1, 1993, and Executive Order 13021, October 
21, 1996 and Outline of Work Plan, August 18, 1998, White House 
Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. All awards are subject 
to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations 
described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy 
Statement can be found at . 
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 

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