Release Date:  May 13, 1999

RFA:  GM-99-006


National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 15, 1999
Application Receipt Date: February 17, 2000


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences recognizes the increasing
trend toward the use of interdisciplinary approaches to advance the nation"s
research endeavor and thus the need to encourage cross disciplinary training for
the next generation of researchers.  Therefore, this RFA seeks to encourage cross
training of undergraduate students by providing opportunities for those in the
quantitative and physical sciences to take part in mentored biomedical research
experiences with NIH-supported investigators.  Such programs should provide
innovative, mentored, realistic summer laboratory research experiences for an
appropriately targeted (as defined by the applicant) group of undergraduate
students in biomedical research projects at the institution.  The application
should include strong faculty involvement, interactive group activities,
presentations and seminars.

Applications are sought for programs that recruit students from the quantitative
and physical disciplines such as, but not limited to, engineering, mathematics,
computer science, and physics, to participate in biomedical and/or translational


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for Applications (RFA), Summer
Research Experiences for Undergraduates, is related to one or more of the
priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000"


Applications may be submitted by domestic, non-profit organizations, public and
private that have a cohort of mentors with NIH support. Since this is an
institutional program, the Program Director should be an individual with the
ability and authority to run an institutional, cross-departmental program. 
Students should be placed in the laboratory of an investigator (participating
mentor) who has an NIH supported research grant and who can provide sufficient
mentoring for an undergraduate summer research experience.  In addition, the
institution must be prepared to provide enrichment activities to enhance and
support the laboratory experience. Participating mentors are expected to be
Principal Investigators on any of the following types of grants: R15, R55, R21,
R01, P01, P50, R29, R37, U01 and S06.  Foreign institutions are not eligible for
Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates grants.  Racial/ethnic minority
individuals, women and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as
Program Directors or participating mentors.

Applications should describe an eight to ten week summer research program,
targeting a pool of no less than three or more than ten undergraduate students
with quantitative backgrounds to work with NIH extramurally funded Principal
Investigators (PIs). The students selected to participate in the summer research
program may be part of a larger institutional program. Participating mentors
should have an active NIH research grant and be able to provide sufficient
mentoring and a realistic research experience.


Awards under this RFA will use the Education Research Project (R25) mechanism.
The Education Research Project provides support to develop and/or implement a
program as it relates to a category in one or more of the areas of education,
information, training, technical assistance, coordination or evaluation. This
mechanism is not eligible for submission as modular grants.

Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed program
will be solely that of the applicant organization.  The total project period for
an application submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed four years. 
Facilities and Administrative costs will be paid at 8% of the direct costs, minus
appropriate exclusions.

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Future unsolicited competing applications
will not be accepted. The anticipated award date will be February 1, 2001.

Allowable Costs:

If appropriate, the budget may include:

o  Salary and Wages: (1) Student remuneration through salary, wages and fringe
benefits for participation in summer research experiences.  In order to provide
student salary support, (a) students must perform actual and meaningful research
work, (b) an employer-employee relationship must exist between the student and
the institution, (c) total compensation must be reasonable for the research work
performed, and (d) must be the institution"s practice to provide compensation for
all students in similar circumstances.  Caution should be used not to permit
students to receive duplicate federal support (excluding Pell Grants and VA
Benefits).  (2) Staff salaries and wages should be limited to partial
remuneration for the Program Director and administrative assistant, but must be
strongly justified.

o  Supplies and Other Expenses: The budget may include funds for research
supplies and Other Expenses up to $500.00 per student.

Unallowable Costs

o Include, but are not limited to: stipends, housing, food, incentives, travel
costs, textbooks, tuition and entertainment costs.


An estimated total of $1.5 million will be available for the awards made in
response to this RFA, if NIGMS receives sufficient numbers of highly meritorious



This program seeks to promote the initiation and development of unique,
innovative summer research experiences for a cohort of no less than three and no
more than ten undergraduate students who would not normally be involved in the
biomedical research endeavor.  Programs that recruit students from disciplines
not traditionally involved in biomedical research such as, but not limited to,
engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics and pharmacy, to participate
in interdisciplinary biomedical and/or translational research are especially

Specific Objectives

The proposed summer program is expected to be specifically designed for the
undergraduate students from non-biological backgrounds and should allow for the
development/expansion of their knowledge and research skills of biomedically
related sciences during the summer months. The Program Director should be an
individual with the ability and authority to run an institutional, cross-
departmental program.  Participating mentors should have active, NIH extramurally
funded research that is related to the scientific research areas of NIGMS, e.g.,
Cell Biology and Biophysics, Genetics and Developmental Biology and Pharmacology. 
This web site may be used as a resource for additional information on NIGMS
programs: In addition, participating mentors must be
able to provide sufficient mentoring for a summer research experience.

It is an expectation of NIGMS that students who enter Summer Research Experiences
Program will receive support from the institution (grantee), i.e., access to
equipment, instruction on safely using laboratory reagents and equipment and
library resources.  Applicants should describe the type(s) of institutional
commitment that would be available for this program as well as a plan for
monitoring student activities to ensure that the program goals are being met.


Applicants should fully describe the Summer Research Experiences for
undergraduates program and explain how its design will meet the goals of this
initiative and meet the needs of the target student group.  Applicants should
describe the criteria to be used in the selection and laboratory placement of the
student participants. They will need also to show evidence of a unique summer
program, with a commitment to training the targeted pool, including a description
of potential laboratory experiences as well as other enrichment activities
planned for the students. Applicants should provide evidence of previous
experience in working with the targeted population. The first week of the summer
experience should include training procedures for laboratory safety, instruction
in scientific ethics and information on career options.

Applicants with existing summer research experiences for undergraduates should
describe the existing programs and explain how they do not duplicate the goals
of the new program designed under this initiative.  An applicant should describe
the current methods and facilities available for tracking student participants
and must provide details of the methodology to be used to assess whether the
program is meeting the program"s objectives.

Evaluation Requirements

An important aspect of each application is the inclusion of an evaluation plan
that clearly states measurable objectives, outcomes and steps to assess
effectiveness. Ideas on approaching evaluations of this type of program may be
found on This site is a project of
the American Physiological Society that has received support from NIGMS. 
Although it is targeted to the evaluation of programs to increase the number of
underrepresented minorities in biomedical science, the material on this site may
also be used as a resource for developing evaluation plans for Summer
Undergraduate Research Programs.  At each noncompetitive renewal, the Principal
Investigator will evaluate the impact of the Summer Research Experiences for
Undergraduates on the institution.

Reporting Requirements

The Application for Continuation of a Grant (PHS 2590) or equivalent
documentation must be submitted to, and be approved by, NIH to noncompetitively
fund each additional budget period within a previously approved project period. 
The PHS 2590 (SNAP) application should include in the progress report a list of
students supported, description of the enrichment activities provided and
identify the laboratories participating in the summer research experience. 
Reference:  NIH Grants Policy Statement, NIH Publication No. 99-8, October 1998.
The annual progress report must include information on the number of students
that participated and how the proposed program objectives were fulfilled.


It is the policy of NIH that women and members of minority groups and their
subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and behavioral
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling
rationale and justification is provided 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 "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in
Clinical Research," which was published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994
(FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23,
No.11, March 18, 1994, and is available at


 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.  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, which was published in the NIH Guide for Grants and
Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at:


Prospective applicants are requested to submit, by November 15, 1999, a letter
of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed summer program, the
name, address and phone number of the Program Director, and the number and title
of the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.  Although, a
letter of intent is not required, it is not binding, and does not enter into the
review of a subsequent application, the information it contains allows NIGMS
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. Hinda Zlotnik at the
address listed under INQUIRIES.


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, Maryland  20892-7910, telephone (301) 710-0267, email: and from the NIGMS program director listed under INQUIRIES. 
The forms are also available on

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.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the
Checklist, and three photocopies of the signed application in one package to:

BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be sent

Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 1AS.19
National Institutes of Health-MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

Applications must be received by 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.

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. The CSR
will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already
reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of
applications already reviewed, but such applications must include an introduction
addressing the previous critique.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and
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
the NIGMS in accordance with the review criteria stated below, and will undergo
a second level of review by the NIGMS National Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

This RFA seeks to encourage cross training of undergraduates by providing
opportunities for those in the quantitative and physical sciences to take part
in mentored biomedical research experiences with NIH-supported or other
extramurally supported investigators. Thus, the following criteria will be used
in the evaluation of the each application:

(1) Uniqueness, reasonableness and merit of the proposed summer program
activities for the targeted student population.

(2) Rationale for the selection procedures of the targeted student population and
evidence of adequate student pool.

(3) Quality and experience of the research faculty as investigators and mentors,
including evidence of adequate NIH funded support.

(4) Budget and cost-effectiveness of the project including appropriateness to the
scope of the program and benefit to the students.

(5) Evidence of institutional commitment, adequacy and availability of research
resources and the research environment.

(6) Merit of the measurable objectives and the plan for the evaluation of the
impact of the program.

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the
proposed project.

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the protection of
human subjects and the safety of the research environment.

Additional scientific/technical merit criteria specific to the objectives of the
RFA and the mechanism used must be included if they are to be used in the review.


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    November 15, 1999
Application Receipt Date:         February 17, 2000
Peer Review:                      June 2000
Advisory Council:                 September/October 2000
Earliest Anticipated Award Date:  February 1, 2001


The Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates will be awarded on a
competitive basis.  The criteria for funding decisions on individual research
applications will be based on:

o the proposed research project"s scientific merit.

o its relevance to the NIGMS mission and the intent of this RFA.

o availability of funds.

o geographical distribution of awardee institutions.

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 (NIH Publication No. 99-8,
October 1998).


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:

Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D.
Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS.37K, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-1826
Telephone: (301) 594-2651
FAX:  (301) 480-2554

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Phyllis Finch
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2As.55H, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone: (301) 594-5243
FAX: (301) 480-2554


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Nos.
93.821, 93.859, 93.862.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health
Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-
158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under NIH Grants Policy Statement
(10/1/98) and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR pat 74.  This program is
not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372
or Health Systems Agency review.

NIH 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 NIH mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.

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