Release Date:  July 16, 1998

RFA:  HL-98-017


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  August 3, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  September 23, 1998


This program provides research support to faculty members at minority
institutions who have the interest and potential to conduct high quality
research in the areas of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic disease, or
in sleep disorders.  Important goals are to enhance the institution's science
programs and to assist in the acquisition of "hands on" research opportunities
for minority students at the applicant's institution.


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),
NHLBI Minority Institution Faculty Mentored Research Scientist Development
Award, is related to the priority areas of heart disease and stroke, tobacco,
educational and community-based programs, environmental health, maternal and
infant health, diabetes and chronic disabling diseases, and HIV infection.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:
Stock No. 017-001-00474-1 or Summary Report: Stock No. 017-001-00473-1)
through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone: 202-512-1800).


A.  Minority School

A minority school is defined as a domestic medical or non-medical college,
university or equivalent school in which students of minority ethnic groups
including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian or Pacific Islanders
comprise a majority (more than 50%) of the school's enrollment. The commitment
of the institution to the faculty candidate's research and development must
clearly be presented in the application, including statement(s) from the Dean
and the candidate's departmental chair.  These signed statements must also
indicate that the candidate will be provided with the amount of time and
effort designated in the application to accomplish the research goals stated
in the application.  Because the NHLBI views this commitment as vital to the
success of the program, the Institute will closely monitor this aspect of the
program if an award is made.

B.  Faculty Development Award Candidate

Candidates for this award are minority school faculty members who (1) are
citizens of the United States, non-citizen nationals or permanent residents at
the time of application, (2) have a doctoral degree or equivalent in a
biomedical or behavioral science, (3) wish to receive specialized training in
cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research, (4) have
the background and potential to benefit from the training, and (5) are
committed to providing research opportunities for students at their

C.  Mentor at Nearby Research Center

Each candidate must also identify and complete arrangements with a nearby
mentor (within approximately 100 miles) who is recognized as an accomplished
investigator in the research area proposed and who will provide guidance for
the awardee's development and research plan.  Arrangements with mentors at
institutions greater than 100 miles from the applicant institution will be
considered, but must be justified strongly and outlined clearly in the
application.  Plans for intensive training of the applicant and their
student(s) during the summer period (2 - 3 months) as well as during the
academic year should be developed with the mentor.

The commitment of the mentor and the mentor's departmental chair to both the
summer and academic year training periods must be documented in the
application.  The mentor must provide an annual evaluation of the faculty
member's career development.  This evaluation is to be included as part of the
Application for Continuation Grant if an award is made.

D.  Student Research Assistants

Student research assistants are underrepresented minority students enrolled at
the applicant (minority) institution who are (1) citizens of the United
States, noncitizen nationals, or permanent residents at the time of
application, (2) have declared a major or concentration in a biomedical or
behavioral science, (3) have at least an overall B grade point average, (4)
have the potential and desire to pursue an advanced degree in the biomedical
or behavioral sciences, and (5) wish to receive research training in areas
relevant to cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic health and disease or
transfusion medicine, or sleep disorders research.  At least one and a maximum
of two students may participate on the project simultaneously as research
assistants.  Students are expected to participate in the program for a minimum
of two years.

For the purpose of this RFA, underrepresented minority students are defined as
individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been
determined by the applicant institution to be underrepresented in biomedical
or behavioral research.  For the purposes of this program, Black, Hispanic,
Native  American, and Pacific Islander students are considered to be


This RFA will use the NHLBI Minority Institution Faculty Mentored Research
Scientist Development Award, (K01) mechanism of support.  However, specific
application instructions have been modified to reflect "JUST-IN-TIME"
streamlining efforts implemented by NIH and published in the NIH Guide for
Grants and Contracts, Vol. 25, No. 10, March 29.  This process allows
applicants to submit certain information only when there is a possibility for
an award.  It is anticipated that these changes will reduce the administrative
burden for the applicants, applicant institutions, reviewers, and Institute

For this RFA, no detailed budget is required.  However, total direct costs for
all years must be provided in addition to the name, role on project, percent
effort and narrative justification for all project personnel.  Instructions
for completing the Biographical Sketch have also been modified.  In addition,
Other Support information for the applicant and the application Checklist page
are not required as part of the initial application.  However, Other Support
information is required for the mentor and co-mentor.  If there is a
possibility for an award, necessary budget, Other Support and Checklist
information will be requested by NHLBI staff following the initial review. 
The Application Procedures section of this RFA provides specific details of
modifications to standard PHS 398 application kit instructions.


The estimated funds (total costs) available for the first year of support for
the entire program is expected to be $895,000 in fiscal year 1999.  The actual
amount may vary, depending on the response to the RFA and availability of
funds, but the number of awards for the Minority Institution Faculty Mentored
Research Scientist Development Award is anticipated to be four new awards.



Measurements of health status indicate that Americans today are, on the whole,
healthier than at any other time in our history.  Life expectancy has
increased while infant mortality statistics indicate that fewer infants are
dying at birth or in the first few months of life.  Diseases that disabled or
killed at the start of the century have virtually disappeared.  In spite of
this national trend toward better health, there is a continuing disparity in
the burden of death and illness experienced by Blacks and other minority
Americans.  This segment of the population continues to be over represented
among those in poor health and has remarkably higher death rates from
cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases.

Despite a recent decline in the death rate from coronary heart disease,
cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the
United States.  Cardiovascular disease accounts for almost one million deaths
annually.  An estimated 68 million Americans are estimated to have diseases of
the heart and blood vessels, resulting in a large burden of acute and chronic
illness and disability.  Heart and blood vessel diseases cost the economy tens
of billions of dollars per year in lost wages, reduced productivity, and
expenses for medical care.

Diseases of the lung also constitute a major national health problem.  About
one in every five persons has some chronic respiratory problem resulting in an
annual estimated cost to the nation of over $29 billion.  In the newborn, the
most common cause of death is neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). 
Neonatal RDS may be implicated in development of adult respiratory diseases as
well.  Of the adult respiratory diseases, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are
major causes of death.  Fibrotic and immunologic lung diseases are serious
causes of lung problems in the young adult.  Asthma, emphysema and chronic
bronchitis represent particularly pressing health problems, affecting an
estimated 17 million Americans.  Moreover, the death rate and prevalence of
these conditions have increased at an alarming rate over the past 15 years. 
As a disabling disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading
cause of worker retirement on Social Security disability payments.

Disorders of the blood, including congenital or acquired disorders or
deficiencies, are another major causes of death and disability in the United
States.  Disorders of the blood affect not only the blood itself, but the
tissues and organs through which it flows.  Recent research findings have
revealed the widespread involvement of thrombosis in the pathology of numerous
disorders, including the development of atherosclerosis and coronary
thrombosis.  Aggressive therapy for cancer has resulted in the increased
susceptibility of patients to bleeding disorders and has increased the demand
for blood products for therapeutic purposes.  A significant segment of the
population has inherited blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease,
hemophilia, or Cooley's anemia, which require life-long hematologic attention
and blood product support.

Chronic disorders of sleep affect an estimated 40 million Americans.  Sleep
problems affect men and women of every age, race, and socioeconomic class. 
Many people are unaware of their illness and are not receiving adequate
treatment.  About 20 million adults have chronic insomnia.  Sleep apnea, a
cessation of breathing during sleep, is the second most common sleep disorder. 
It affects about 12 million Americans.  Other startling statistics include the
following:  about 25 percent of American children aged 1 to 5 have a sleep
disturbance; an estimated 250,000 people suffer from narcolepsy; more than 50
percent of Americans aged 65 and older have a sleep problem; and disturbed
sleep is among the reasons most frequently cited by caretakers for
institutionalization of older Americans.  Each year, sleep disorders, sleep
deprivation, and daytime sleepiness contribute a substantial burden to
national health care.  Additional costs to society for such consequences as
lost worker productivity, accidents, and the contribution of sleep disorders
to other serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke are just
being identified and studied.

The NHLBI continues its commitment to address these important medical
challenges.  One way of meeting these challenges is to increase the pool of
well trained investigators, especially in minority groups where the proportion
of biomedical investigators is strikingly lower than the percentage of
minority U.S. citizens.  Although 12 percent of the population is Black, less
than 0.25 percent of persons holding a Ph.D. in science are Black.  The
figures are even lower for Black Ph.D.s in the biomedical sciences. 
Furthermore, the number of doctorates, both M.D.s and Ph.D.s, in other ethnic
minority groups (such as American Indians or Hispanics) is proportionally
lower than for Blacks.  Vigorous recruitment is underway throughout the
government, academic institutions, hospitals, research institutions, and

The Minority Institution Mentored Research Scientist Development Award is
designed to address this critical need by increasing the research and academic
capabilities of faculty members at minority schools.  In doing so, the faculty
will become more able to prepare and direct their students to pursue advanced
degrees and ultimately careers in biomedical and behavioral research thus
increasing the pool of well trained biomedical and behavioral investigators in
cardiovascular, pulmonary, ematologic, and sleep disorders research.  Because
it is important to sustain the faculty's research program following the
initial period, recipients may reapply for an additional five year period of
support.  More than one applicant from each institution may apply.  Former
awardees within three years of the end of their award may also apply for the
additional five year period.  At the end of the period of support, it is
anticipated that the applicant will be prepared to apply for other types of
NIH support such as the Research Project Grant (R01), Academic Research
Enhancement Award (AREA, R15), or Minority Biomedical Research Support Program
(MBRS, S06.)


It is the policy of the 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 have been
published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 15508-14513) and in
the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by August 3, 1998, a letter of
intent that includes the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal
Investigator, the identities of other key personnel and participating
institutions, 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, is not binding, and does not
enter into the review of subsequent applications, the information that it
contains 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. C. James Scheirer at the address listed under APPLICATION PROCEDURES.


Applications are to be submitted on the research grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 5/95).  This form is available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and 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:

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 title (NHLBI
Minority Institution Faculty Mentored Research Scientist Development Award)
and number (HL-98-017) must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the
application form and the YES box must be marked.

Send the completed, signed application and three exact photocopies to:

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

Two additional copies of the application must be sent to:

NHLBI Research Training Review Special Emphasis Panel
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD  20892-7924

Supplemental Instructions for completing and submitting the application may be
obtained from the NHLBI contacts listed under INQUIRIES.

Applications must be received by September 23, 1998.  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 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 CSR and
responsiveness by NHLBI.  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 a Special Emphasis Panel in the Division of Extramural
Affairs, NHLBI, in accordance with the review criteria stated below. 
Following scientific-technical review, applications will receive a second
level review by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

The factors to be considered in the evaluation of the proposed training
program are:

o  the overall merit of the candidate's five year plan for research and the
development of research skills;

o  the candidate's background and the candidate's potential to meet the goals
of the program, which are to develop their research skills, provide research
training to students, and enhance the scientific program at the minority

o  the candidate's commitment to improving his/her research skills as
demonstrated by maintenance of a research laboratory, attendance at scientific
meetings, and participation in journal clubs and research seminars.

o  the candidate's record and outline of future plans for involving students
in research, and guiding them to science graduate programs and careers in
academic biomedical and behavioral research;

o  the ability of both the minority institution and the mentor's institution
to provide facilities, resources, and opportunities necessary for the
candidate's and students' research development;

o  the qualifications, ability, and plans of the mentor who will provide the
candidate with the guidance necessary for career development in research; and

o  the institution's commitment to the development of the candidate and the

Award Criteria

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  Overall merit of the application as determined by peer review; o 
Availability of funds; and
o  Program balance among the research areas of the RFA.


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:

Michael Commarato, Ph.D. or Beth Schucker, M.A.
Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7940
Bethesda, MD  20892-7940
Telephone:  (301) 435-0530
FAX:  (301) 480-1454
Email:  michael_commarato@nih.gov

Mary Reilly, M.S. or Ann Rothgeb
Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7952
Bethesda, MD  20892-7952
Telephone:  (301) 435-0222
FAX:  (301) 480-3557
Email:  mary_reilly@nih.gov

LeeAnn Jensen, Ph.D.
Division of Blood Diseases and Resources
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7950
Bethesda, MD  20892-7950
Telephone:  (301) 435-0065
FAX:  (301) 480-1060
Email:  leeann_jensen@nih.gov

Thomas Blaszkowski, Ph.D.
Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7938
Bethesda, MD  20892-7938
Telephone:  (301) 435-0433
FAX:  (301) 480-1864
Email:  thomas_blaszkowski@nih.gov

James Kiley, Ph.D.
National Center for Sleep Disorders Research
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7920
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 435-0199
FAX:  (301) 480-3451
Email:  james_kiley@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative matters to:

Marie Willett
Grants Operations Branch, Heart Section
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0177
FAX:  (301) 480-3310
Email:  marie_willett@nih.gov

Raymond L. Zimmerman
Grants Operations Branch, Lung Section
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0177
FAX:  (301) 480-3310
Email:  raymond_zimmerman@nih.gov

Jane Davis
Grants Operations Branch, Blood Section
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, MD  20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0166
FAX:  (301) 480-3310
Email:  jane_davis@nih.gov


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance,
numbers 93.233, 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839.  Awards are made under the
authority 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 PHS grant policies and Federal Regulations at 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part
74.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements
of Executive Order 12372 or a 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.

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