Full Text GM-95-002 INITIATIVE FOR MINORITY STUDENTS: BRIDGES TO THE DOCTORAL DEGREE NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 37, October 21, 1994 RFA: GM-95-002 P.T. 44, FF Keywords: Environmental Health Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl National Institute of General Medical Sciences Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 18, 1994 Application Receipt Date: January 20, 1995 PURPOSE The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), announce two research initiatives directed at increasing the number of underrepresented minorities entering careers in biomedical research. The programs target two different underrepresented minority student populations: those in colleges and universities offering only Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in biomedically-related sciences and those in two-year junior or community colleges. These have been identified as two key transition points for students considering careers in biomedical research. This is the third year of this program, which seeks to encourage the development of new and innovative programs and the expansion of existing programs to improve the academic competitiveness of underrepresented minority students and facilitate their transition into the next stage towards careers in biomedical research. This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits new applications for a partnership program involving institutions awarding the M.S. degree as the terminal degree and universities awarding the Ph.D. degree. A separate RFA (GM-95-001) describes a program targeting the transition from two-year colleges awarding the Associate's degree to institutions awarding the Baccalaureate degree. Previous applicants of unfunded Bridges applications are encouraged to submit revised applications that respond to the concerns of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS General Applications may be submitted by domestic, private and 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 institution in more than one Bridges Program, but can be the applicant institution for only one Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree and one Bridges to the Doctoral Degree Program. Institutions with NIGMS Bridge Program (R25) awards made effective on September 1, 1993 may submit competing continuation applications for three years of continued support (see RFA GM-95-003) since those initial awards will be ending in 1995. Institutions with NIGMS Doctoral Bridges Program (R25) grants funded on September 1, 1994 are not eligible to apply for this RFA (GM-95-002) or RFA GM 95-003. An institution or system of higher education may submit ONLY ONE application for this RFA. Institutions that submit an application in response to this RFA may also apply for support for a Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree program (RFA GM-95-001), if they meet the eligibility requirements. However, a separate application for each RFA is required. 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 unified institutional plans described in BOTH applications (see UNIFIED PLAN under SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS). Institutions participating in more than one application should provide a justification for each. Programs developed or modified under this initiative must be specifically designed to target underrepresented minority graduate students majoring in the sciences. 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. Nationally, individuals who have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. The term "science" is used in this RFA to mean the natural, physical, and behavioral sciences and mathematics relevant to biomedical research. Applications must include a partnership between an institution that offers the M.S. degree ("MS Institution") as the only post-graduate degree in the sciences within the participating departments AND has a significant enrollment of underrepresented minorities, and one research university providing Ph.D.-degree programs in areas relevant to the biomedical sciences. 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 system. One participating institution must be designated as the applicant institution, must name the program director and must submit the application. Each participating institution must name one individual to act as its program coordinator. Applications must include a description of the collaborative arrangement with all participating institutions. Institutions offering both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees may not use funds from this program for graduates of their own M.S. degree programs to enter their own Ph.D. degree 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 General Awards under this RFA will use the institutional education project (R25) grant. Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the applicant. The total project period for applications submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed two years. Requested direct costs are not to exceed $300,000 for the two-year period. Indirect costs will be paid at eight percent of the direct costs, minus appropriate exclusions, or actual indirect costs, whichever is less. A budget for each year should be provided. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. Future unsolicited competing applications will not be accepted. Allowable Costs If appropriate, the budget request may be divided into two phases: a planning phase with its attendant budget for the minor adjustment and/or refinement of the partnership program; and an implementation phase with its attendant budget. The planning phase costs should be minimal and not exceed a period of one year (not intended to serve as a substitute for the complete and detailed plan required to be in the application). Faculty release time for planning and implementation of the program and faculty travel related to program development may be requested. The implementation phase may include the costs of administering and coordinating the partnership program within and between each of the participants. Requests for equipment, supplies, travel, and other expenses should be limited to those necessary for program development and should be carefully and specifically justified. Student remuneration (limited to underrepresented minorities matriculated at the MS partner institution(s)) through salary/wages and/or other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages for participation in research experiences may be requested. Tuition remission (or other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages) expenditures 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 institution, 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 activity. In summary, allowable costs include, but are not limited to: tuition remission, supplies, equipment, travel, other expenses, salary, wages, and fringe benefits for students and faculty. Unallowable Costs Stipends, housing, food, tuition (unless as stated above), and fees are not allowable costs under this program. FUNDS AVAILABLE An estimated total of $9 million will be available in Fiscal Year 1995 to support awards made in response to this solicitation, GM-95-001, and applications for competing continuations, GM-95-003. NIH staff anticipate making a combined total of 20 to 40 new and competing continuation awards for these RFAs using multi-year funding, depending on the receipt of a sufficient number of highly meritorious applications and availability of appropriated funds. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES Background This program seeks to promote the initiation and development of new transitional programs, as well as the expansion and enhancement of existing programs between those institutions with departments offering only the Master's degree as the graduate academic degree in the sciences, and that have significant enrollments of underrepresented minority students, and research universities with Ph.D. degree programs. The objective is to facilitate the transition of underrepresented minority graduate students into Ph.D. programs after obtaining their M.S. degree. Students receiving their M.S. degree in one field of science may pursue a Ph.D. in a different area so long as it is in a discipline related to the biomedical sciences. Collaborative agreements should take the form that best fits the needs and situations of the institutions involved. The challenge for the project director, with the help of the participating partners, is to design a new partnership program, or enhance an existing program, that will focus attention and adequate resources to the MS Institution(s) to enhance the academic competitiveness of their graduate degree programs and graduates in the sciences. Additional Information The "Bridge" programs must be designed with special attention to the needs and special requirements of the underrepresented minority graduate students enrolled in the M.S. degree program. They may include, but are not limited to, the following elements: o providing research opportunities for M.S. students at the Ph.D. institution or in private industrial laboratories (students may receive compensation for these activities); o establishing a mentoring program for M.S. students with faculty at the Ph.D. institution; o strengthening the research capability of the MS Institution (e.g., by faculty research collaborations, joint seminar programs, etc.); o enhancing the curriculum of the MS Institution (special courses, seminars, etc.); o enabling and encouraging students from either institution to take classes at the other institution; o guaranteeing acceptance into the participating Ph.D. program(s) for students completing the M.S. program; o academic counseling for M.S. students, with a particular focus on encouraging students to pursue research careers in the biomedical sciences. o nontraditional or other professional degree-granting institutions should describe those modifications or additions to their programs that would encourage and facilitate Bridge students to enter research careers. It is an expectation of NIGMS and ORMH that students who enter Ph.D. programs as a result of this enhancement program will receive support, if needed, while progressing satisfactorily in Ph.D. research training programs. Applicants should describe the type(s) of institutional support that would be available to such students. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Applicants should describe the proposed transition program in detail and explain how its design will meet the goals of this initiative. Applicants should describe the criteria to be used in the selection and retention of the student participants for this program; applicants should also describe the criteria for selecting participating faculty. Applicants with an existing transition program should describe that program and explain how it would be altered to meet the goals of this initiative. Applicant should describe the methods and facilities available for tracking student participants, and criteria to be used for program evaluation. Unified Plan To avoid duplication of effort each institution should develop a unified plan (which may include the biomedically relevant physical, natural and behavioral sciences and mathematics) to facilitate the transfer of its students from the M.S. degree program to the Ph.D. degree program at another institution. Applicants should describe how this proposal fits in with the institution's overall transition plan. 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 institution's unified plan. Other Training Programs Colleges with any NIH funding such as the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC), Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS), National Research Service Award (NRSA) training grants, and/or project grants, or other sources of funds such as National Science Foundation grants or Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants, should define the relationship between those programs and this transition program. They should delineate how this enhancement program will influence their partnerships with the other participants and the manner in which underrepresented minority students in the transition program will interact with these other sources of support. Consortium Agreements Each applicant institution should delineate appropriate agreements and consortium arrangements with other 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, acknowledging participation in the program are required from each participating institution. Reporting Requirements A progress report will be required at the end of the planning phase (if any) or at the end of the first year, whichever is shorter. A final report will be required 90 days after the termination date of the award and must include information for each student participant and the benefits derived from the partnership program. For applicants submitting competing renewals the progress report in the competing application may satisfy this requirement. Student Population and Career Tracking The nature and extent of underrepresented minority student participation must be thoroughly delineated. The applicant should also describe the MS Institution's success in training its students in the sciences, including information on the numbers of minority students receiving the M.S. degree and data on subsequent careers or education of their graduates. The applicant should describe a system by which it would monitor and track the students participating in this program, including their future careers, in order to evaluate the success of the program. The applicant should maintain data to be able to demonstrate the benefits 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 that were not in the bridges program. LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are requested to submit, by November 18, 1994, a letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed plan, the name, address, and telephone number of the program director, the identities of other key personnel and participating institutions, and the number and title of the RFA. Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of subsequent applications, the information that it contains is helpful in planning for the review of applications. It allows NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and to avoid conflict of interest in the review. The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Rivera at the address listed under INQUIRIES. APPLICATION PROCEDURES 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; from the Office of Grants Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone (301) 710-0267; and from the NIGMS program administrator listed under INQUIRIES. The RFA label available 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 2A of the face page form, the "YES" box must be marked, and "R25" typed in 2B. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the Checklist, and three photocopies of the signed application in one package to: Division of Research Grants National Institutes of Health Westwood Building, Room 240 Bethesda, MD 20892** At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must also be sent to Dr. Americo Rivera, Jr. at the address listed under INQUIRIES. Applications must be received by January 20, 1995. Applications arriving after that date will be returned to the applicant without review. REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the Division of Research Grants (DRG) and responsiveness by the NIGMS. Incomplete and/or unresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. Those applications that are complete and responsive will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific and technical merit by appropriate peer review groups. The second level of review will be provided by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. Review Criteria o qualifications and experience of the Principal Investigator and staff to carry out the proposed program; o appropriateness of the plans to develop the transition program to meet the goals of the solicitation; o appropriateness of the existing program, if appropriate, and of plans to modify that program; o availability of significant numbers of underrepresented minority students in the participating science department(s) who are interested in studying further in biomedical and health-related fields; o evidence of underrepresented minority students progressing to higher education in the sciences; o appropriateness of the system to track future course of program participants and monitor the effectiveness of the program; o budget and cost-effectiveness of the project including appropriateness to the scope of the program, benefit to the students, number of students involved, appropriateness of the of resources allocated to MS institution(s), and responsible and prudent senior personnel costs; o evidence of institutional commitment, for each institution, and strength of the collaborative efforts between institutions to foster professional development of underrepresented minority faculty and to train underrepresented minority students in the biomedical sciences; o appropriateness of the administrative plan for managing the proposed program, including adequacy of space and other institutional resources. o appropriateness of applicant's plan for the evaluation of the impact the Bridges program has made (before and after) on the institutions and the underrepresented minority students and faculty. AWARD CRITERIA The anticipated date of award is September 30, 1995. 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 will be made only to institutions with financial management systems and management capabilities that are acceptable under PHS policy. Awards will be administered under the PHS Grants Policy Statement. INQUIRIES Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome. Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to: Americo Rivera, Jr., Ph.D. National Institute of General Medical Sciences Room 2AS-13H 45 Center Drive MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-0533 FAX: (301) 480-2004 Internet: RiveraA@GM1.NIGMS.NIH.GOV Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to: Ms Annette Hanopole National Institute of General Medical Sciences Room 2AN-50J 45 Center Drive MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-3928 FAX: (301) 480-3423 Internet: HanopolA@GM1.NIGMS.NIH.GOV 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 Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people. .

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