RELEASE DATE:  August 24, 2004

RFA Number:  RFA-GM-05-009 (Reissued as RFA-GM-07-005)

EXPIRATION DATE:  November 16, 2004

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:  November 15, 2004  


o   Purpose of this RFA
o   Research Objectives
o   Mechanism of Support 
o   Funds Available
o   Eligible Institutions
o   Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
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 goal of this RFA is to support research that will test assumptions 
regarding the effectiveness of interventions that are intended to increase 
interest, motivation and preparedness for careers in biomedical research, 
with a particular interest in those interventions specifically designed to 
increase the number of underrepresented minority students entering careers in 
biomedical and behavioral research. Since it is likely that comparable 
interventions are applicable to students universally, the proposed research 
need not be restricted to underrepresented minority students. Indeed, 
comparative research may well be particularly illuminating and is, therefore, 


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes that there is a 
significant under-representation of minority scientists engaged in biomedical 
and behavioral research in the U.S. Consequently, over the past 30 years the 
NIGMS, other institutes of the NIH, other agencies of the federal government 
and private foundations have instituted a variety of programs designed to 
redress this disparity. To accomplish the goal, the programs supported three 
main types of objectives: a) increasing the participant pool generally by 
stimulating students' interest at multiple stages, starting as early as 
middle school; b) retaining the participant pool via remediation, support 
services such as tutoring and financial aid, bridging programs, and 
activities designed to motivate; and c) strengthening the participant pool 
via acquisition of knowledge, academic enrichment and development of skills 
deemed important for success as a scientist. The types of interventions 
supported by the various programs have almost always included financial 
support and encouragement to underrepresented minority undergraduate and 
graduate students to participate in biomedical research in a variety of 
academic institutions. Emphasis has also been placed on providing financial 
support and encouragement directly to institutions themselves, with the 
expectation they would use their enhanced capacity and resources to encourage 
and sustain biomedical research among both faculty and students.

Some consistent beliefs underlying these interventions have been: 1) when 
students are provided the opportunity to engage in state-of-the-art 
biomedical research, with appropriate facilities, support and mentorship, 
their appetite will be whetted to enter a career in biomedical research; and 
2) once focused, they will show improvement in academic and other skills 
needed to pursue successfully a biomedical research career. Based upon these 
beliefs, one type of program component that has been supported is early 
exposure to laboratory research and a research-experienced mentor.

Because these beliefs are consistent with the experience of many successful 
scientists and make intuitive sense to many, diverse programmatic 
interventions have evolved over the years. These include creation of intra-
institutional student-researcher environments, on- or off-campus summer 
research experiences, attendance at professional scientific conferences and 
research seminars, tutoring in "gate-keeper" courses (e.g., organic 
chemistry, calculus), subsidy of GRE preparatory courses, post-baccalaureate 
transitional research experiences (pre-graduate school), and individual 
research fellowship support or training-grant-type support.

To date, however, the use of these interventions has been based more on 
educated assumptions by the stakeholders than on systematic analysis. A 
notable exception is the Merit Workshop at the University of California, 
Berkeley, which grew out of Uri Treisman's observations of study behaviors of 
at-risk students that challenged prevailing assumptions (1992, College 
Mathematics Journal 23(5), 362-372). Nevertheless, there is a need for 
research designed to develop an empirical base of evidence upon which new 
interventions can be developed, and existing interventions can be improved. 

The purpose of the present initiative is to invite innovative grant 
applications that utilize research designed to identify and optimize 
strategies for engaging students and characteristics of interventions (e.g., 
content and structure of program and curricula, methods, intensity, duration, 
etc.) that encourage increased numbers of well-educated underrepresented 
minority students to enter careers in mainstream biomedical research and be 
competitive at the highest levels. It also invites applications for research 
that would test underlying assumptions of how interventions interest, 
challenge, motivate or otherwise affect students, especially regarding their 
choice of a career in biomedical and/or behavioral research. Since the focus 
of this RFA is on underrepresented minority students, proposed research 
involving non-minority students should be comparative, rather than addressing 
non-minority students exclusively.

Examples of some basic types of questions that might inform this purpose are: 
Which characteristics of a student and program (e.g., skills, preparation) 
are likely to lead to the pattern of persistent engagement that enables the 
student to develop into a biomedical researcher? Which variables in a 
student's background and/or personality are likely to affect career choice, 
ability to excel and compete at the highest levels, and commitment to 
succeed? In which ways do variables in student personality, attitude, 
behavior, etc., influence the successful progression of career development? 
Is there an optimum age or level of maturity of a student that maximizes 
outcome? Are behavior patterns that are critical for a successful 
biomedical/behavioral research career teachable? To what extent do the 
teaching skills, preparedness, or motivation of one’s science teachers, 
beginning in elementary school, impact one’s career development. To what 
extent do peers, the immediate family, local community, and/or personal 
economics influence minority individuals' choosing to enter or remain with 
research careers? To what extent does the relative influence of these factors 
vary across minority/ethnic groups, other subpopulation groups, or the 
majority population? In which ways do (or could) various programs build on 
these factors and/or serve as interventions to mediate their effect? Which 
variables in interventions are likely to have the greatest effect on student 
career choice? To what extent do mentors or other persons serving as role 
models affect students' career choice? What are the most salient 
characteristics of mentors and role models? How are these key factors 
different and similar for each, and what different functions do mentors 
versus role models versus social support from peers and/or family play in 
affecting the success of minority researchers? At which developmental vs. 
career stages do role models or mentors make a difference in students' career 
choice? How does the relative effectiveness of different interventions change 
with age/developmental stage?  What is the relative efficacy of support to 
institutions, individual investigators, and individual students? In which 
ways does collaboration, particularly with majority institutions or 
individuals, affect career choice among students who participate in training 
or related programs addressed to minority institutions or individuals? To 
what extent does the quality of the research infrastructure (environment, 
facilities) impact career choice, in positive and/or negative ways?

It would be desirable if the proposed research would compare the 
effectiveness (and potential cost-effectiveness) of the experimental 
intervention(s) with that of existing practice. The efficacy of the 
interventions should be considered in the context of the student 
characteristics and the academic environment. Another desirable outcome would 
be the revelation of new principles that would inform practice. Applicants 
should discuss how recommendations based on the new evidence could be used to 
modify and/or reinforce existing practices, and/or inform novel 
interventions.  Applicants should note that the proposed study should be a 
research, rather than an evaluation, project.  If development of a database 
(e.g., “problem-based,” which is designed to address specific research 
questions) is proposed, the rationale for selection of the specific elements 
should be explained and justified.

This RFA will result in grants supporting individual and possibly multi-site 
multidisciplinary research projects. It is expected that the research 
findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals.


This funding opportunity will use the NIH R01 award mechanism. As an 
applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and 
executing the proposed project.  
This funding opportunity uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular 
as well as the non-modular budget formats (see 
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, if 
you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 
or less, use the modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application 
instructions. Otherwise follow the instructions for non-modular research 
grant applications.  

The participating ICs intend to commit approximately $2.4 million in FY 05 to 
fund six to eight new grants in response to this RFA. An applicant may 
request a project period of up to four years and a budget for direct costs of 
up to $300,000 per year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed 
research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that 
the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial 
plans of the NIGMS provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this 
RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a 
sufficient number of meritorious applications.  


You may submit an application if your institution is a domestic one and has 
any of the following characteristics:

o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government
o Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply
o Faith-based or community-based organizations


Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution 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 programs.


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

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Clifton A. Poodry, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Suite 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-3900
FAX: (301) 480-2753
E-mail: poodryc@nigms.nih.gov

Matthew A. Kinnard, Ph.D.
Director, Extramural Associates Program
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5E03, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 435-2736
Fax:  (301) 480-0393
Email:  kinnardm@mail.nih.gov

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.12, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-2881
FAX: (301) 480-8506
E-mail: sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

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

Ms. Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
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
E-mail: hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

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 Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA 

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.
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:

Clifton A. Poodry, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Suite 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-3900
FAX: (301) 480-2753
E-mail: poodryc@nigms.nih.gov


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 D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/. The D&B number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 
398 document is available at 
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 710-0267, 
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in a 
modular grant format.  The modular grant format simplifies the preparation of 
the budget in these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail.  
Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules.  Section C of the 
research grant application instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at 
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-by-step 
guidance for preparing modular grants. Additional information on modular 
grants is available at: 

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 Appendix, and three signed 
photocopies (without appendices) in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application 
plus five sets of any appendix material must be sent to:

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

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 

The NIH 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 the 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. 

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.

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the 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 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 the applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a written critique
o Receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory council 
or board.


The goal of the research supported by the present NIH grant mechanism is to 
inform evidence-based interventions that will increase the numbers of 
underrepresented minority students who enter careers in mainstream biomedical 
and behavioral research at a competitive level. 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 research will have an 
impact on the pursuit of these goals.  The scientific review group will 
address and consider each of these criteria in assigning the 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 

SIGNIFICANCE: Does the proposed research address an important problem? If the 
aims of the application are achieved, what is the likelihood that novel 
interventions can result that will increase the numbers of underrepresented 
minority students who enter mainstream biomedical and/or behavioral research 
careers at highly competitive levels? What will be the effect of the research 
on the concepts or methods that drive this field?

APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, rationale, design, methods, and 
analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims 
of the project? Does the PI justify adequately the rationale for the selected 
experimental interventions and the data to be collected, e.g., for database 
construction? Does this proposal incorporate a rigorous research-based 
experimental design? Is the pool of target students clearly identified and 
adequate to provide meaningful information? Does the applicant acknowledge 
potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?

INNOVATION: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? 
Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing 
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

INVESTIGATOR: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to 
carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level 
of the principal investigator?  If the proposal utilizes a research team, is 
the team composition, the unique expertise of the different team members, and 
their expected contributions to the project, adequately described and 

ENVIRONMENT: Does the educational/scientific environment in which the work 
will be done contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed 
research take advantage of unique features of the educational/scientific 
environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of 
institutional support? 

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:

subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation 
in the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria included in the 
section on Federal Citations, below.)
plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups 
(and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 
research will be assessed.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be assessed. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on 
Federal Citations, below.) 


DATA SHARING: A data sharing plan is not required.

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


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 18, 2004
Application Receipt Date:  November 15, 2004 
Peer Review Date: February-March, 2005
Council Review: May, 2005
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2005


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

o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds 
o Programmatic priorities


HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION:  Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that 
applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with 
reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against 
these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and 
others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained.

the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations 
must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a 
clear and compelling justification is 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 clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines 
for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - 
Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 
on October 9, 2001 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 

The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical 
research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB 
standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical 
trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must 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) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 

The NIH maintains a policy 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 

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 is available at 

policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for 
all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to 
the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", 
the "Privacy Rule," on August 14, 2002.  The Privacy Rule is a federal 
regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
(HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable 
health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for 
Civil Rights (OCR).  

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside 
with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website 
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/ provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a 
complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered 
entity?"  Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH 
processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, 
cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at 

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.  Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers 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 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  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 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. 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 recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the 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

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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