RELEASE DATE:  February 11, 2002
RFA:  RFA-MD-02-002


National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)



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


The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) 
invites exploratory center applications (P20s) for a new program for 
centers of excellence:  Excellence in Partnerships for Community 
Outreach, Research on Disparities in Health and Training (Project 
EXPORT).  This centers of excellence program was authorized by the 
Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 
2000 and is in support of the Department of Health and Human Services 
initiatives to address and ultimately eliminate health disparities.  
Two other announcements inviting applications for Project EXPORT using 
the R24 Project Export Resource Related Research Developmental Activity 
(RFA-MD-02-001) and the P60 Center Grant mechanism (RFA-MD-02-003) are 
presently available.  

These exploratory grants will provide a mechanism to strengthen the 
infrastructure for minority health and other health disparities 
research and training and to provide resources for successful 
applicants to assist them in the development of innovative partnership 
models.  In addition, the grants are intended to help facilitate single 
or multi-site research projects in areas of research relevant to 
specific populations of interest.  Research that explores a broad array 
of determinants of disparities in minority health and health 
disparities is encouraged as well as that which addresses a full range 
of health promotion approaches with the prevention or reduction of 
health disparities.  

The purpose of this request for applications (RFA) is to solicit 
applications for EXPORT Center programs that would establish centers of 
excellence with a focus on community outreach, research on health 
disparities, and training.  These centers may be established 
independently by eligible institutions, through partnerships between 
minority serving and other "designated" institutions, or between 
designated and non-designated institutions with substantial existing 
federal research support and/or research infrastructure as reflected in 
the report (http://thecenter.ufl.edu/research_data.html).  A 
predominantly minority serving institution is an academic, health 
care or research institution with an enrollment and/or faculty that 
consists predominantly of racial and ethnic minorities.  "Designated" 
institutions are eligible based on the requirements as described in the 
section "SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS."  Non-designated institutions are those 
that do not meet the criteria as outlined.  All partnerships must 
demonstrate a clear mutual benefit with respect to developing research 
programs and/or research training and career development programs.  
While partnerships among institutions are strongly encouraged, 
involvement in a partnership is not an absolute requirement for 
participation in Project EXPORT.  

The objectives of Project EXPORT include but are not limited to: 1) 
promotion of the conduct of minority health and/or other health 
disparities research aimed at reducing disparities in health status, 2) 
building research capacity for health disparities research in minority 
serving and other institutions, and 3) promotion of the participation 
of health disparity groups in biomedical and behavioral research and 
prevention and intervention activities.  It is anticipated that the 
outcome of this activity supported through the exploratory center 
mechanism is the generation of a competitive comprehensive center grant 
application (P60) for an NCMHD EXPORT Center, the centerpiece of 
Project EXPORT.


The NCMHD will conduct four regional technical assistance and 
information-sharing workshops, one each in Dallas, Texas (February 11-
12; Morgantown, West Virginia February 19-20; Birmingham, Alabama 
(February 26-27; and Seattle, Washington (March 5-6.  Potential 
applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.  For more details see the 
NCMHD website (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov).



Although the diversity of the population in contemporary America is one 
of its greatest assets, the richness of this feature is overshadowed by 
the reality of the disproportionate burden of disease and illness that 
is borne by racial and ethnic minority populations and the rural and 
urban poor.  Compelling evidence of the disparate health status of 
America's racial and ethnic minority populations and the economically 
disadvantaged is documented in the form of shorter life expectancies 
and higher rates of cancer, birth defects, infant mortality, asthma, 
diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Other areas in which racial and 
ethnic minorities and the medically underserved suffer a 
disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality include: HIV 
Infection/AIDS, autoimmune diseases such as lupus and scleroderma, oral 
health, sexually transmitted diseases, disease burden associated with 
mental disorders, drug use associated mortality, and viral borne 
diseases such as hepatitis C.  While studies cannot delineate with 
certainty why health disparities exist, data suggests that differential 
incidences of disease and health outcomes result from the interaction 
of a plethora of factors in complex and unsuspecting ways.  

Observations and anecdotes provided clues about the etiology of the 
disproportionate burden of disease and illness, but it has only been 
through rigorous population and epidemiologic research that the medical 
community has been able to reasonably discern the extent of the 
healthcare crisis.  We are now poised to more completely define the 
scope of the problem and begin the process of identifying and 
evaluating new approaches to mitigating disparities in health.  
Clearly, the soundest investment that can be made for the present and 
immediate future is a strengthened commitment to research, research 
training, and enhanced community involvement aimed at elucidating the 
etiology of health disparities, developing new diagnostics and 
treatment and prevention strategies, and the full implementation of such.  

Project EXPORT is central to NCMHD's investment strategy for addressing 
disparities in health status.  Consistent with the goals of the trans-
NIH Strategic Plan, EXPORT Centers will focus on research aimed at 
reducing and eliminating health disparities, improving research 
capacity, and providing outreach and education. 

Research Topics for Consideration

In developing the research to be supported applicants may want to 
consider the following topics.  

o Interdisciplinary minority health and other health disparities 
research, including basic, clinical, behavioral and social sciences 
research to advance understanding of disease/disability development 
and progression. 

o Research that improves approaches for diagnosis, prevention, 
and treatment.  

o Potential pathways to disparities in health outcomes, including but 
not limited to environmental exposures, genetic variations and/or other 
underlying biological, ethnic and familial factors.  In particular 
studies identifying the biological underpinnings of differential 
responses to therapies (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, renal 
transplantation, depression) and/or the differential prevalence of 
disease.  Also included are studies of the specific mode of 
transmission and/or natural history of diseases such as hepatitis C in 
minority groups and potential differences related to virologic 
infection, particularly in terms of viral genotype, host differences, 
and/or differential responses to antiviral therapies. 

o Development of methodological tools for disentangling the impact of 
biologic factors and socioeconomic status on health.

o Epidemiological studies of the incidence and prevalence of 
disparities in health status among individuals living in different 
geographical regions of the US, in particular in the Mississippi Delta 
and Appalachian regions.  And studies designed to investigate factors 
contributing to the excess morbidity and mortality associated with 
living in such regions.

o Developmental influences across the life span, specific health 
behaviors, discrimination in health processes, psychosocial and socio-
cultural influences, and socioeconomic (SES) related factors such as 
differential access to health care.  Health processes include the 
technical and interpersonal activities pertaining to disease 
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that go on between patient 
and practitioner.

Please note that the topics listed above are not in priority order, nor 
are they comprehensive or restrictive. 

Project EXPORT Research Infrastructure

EXPORT Center applications should be organized into discrete components 
that comprise a proposed overall program of research.  For example, an 
application may include an administrative core, a research component, a 
training component and a community outreach component.  It may also 
include a shared scientific resource core(s), an education component 
and a pilot project component.  

o Administrative Core (Mandatory) (15-page maximum recommended)

The administrative core component plays a key role in the coordination 
and operation of the proposed EXPORT Center.  Through this core, the 
Center director provides substantive leadership as well as manages the 
administration of the budget.  This core should be described in 
sufficient detail to assure that all proposed components and related 
activities would function optimally and in an interactive, 
synergistic manner.  

o Shared Resource Core(s) (15-page maximum recommended)

Shared resource cores are intended to enhance opportunities for 
investigators at the Center to take advantage of new technologies that 
could enhance and broaden their research initiatives.  While, research 
per se is not conducted as part of the shared resource core, quality 
assurance activities that evaluate the operation, resources, quality 
and utilization of the core and that are directed at problem 
identification and improvement of core functioning are appropriate.  
Some examples of support that shared resource cores typically provide 
are: a) technology that implements automation of large batch 
preparations; b) tissue and/or cell culture facilities; c) complex 
instrumentation, e.g., electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, 
electrophysiology; d) animal care and preparation; e) service and 
training; f) patient coordination; and g) information processing, data 
management, and statistical services; h) telehealth.

In collaborative partnerships and/or consortia arrangements, priority 
must be given to locating newly developed shared resource core 
activities at predominantly minority serving institutions.

o Research Component Cores (15-page maximum recommended for each 
Research Component Core proposed)

Each research component must be a highly focused area of investigation 
and may include several investigators under the direction of a 
component director.  Individual research components must be thematic, 
high focused, and interrelated so that they collectively contribute to 
the goals of the Center program to a greater extent than if the 
research undertaken under individual components were pursued 
separately.  Each proposed research component core must be described 
separately and its individual budget provided.  Also, for each proposed 
research component, provide a clear description of its major goals and 
objectives as well as how it integrates with the other Center 
components in relation to the overall EXPORT Center program.

o Community Outreach and Information Dissemination (15-page 
maximum recommended)

The mission of the Community Outreach and Information Dissemination 
Component is to integrate the EXPORT Centers into the local communities 
as a disease prevention and health and science education resource.  
Accordingly, there is a three-fold focus: 1) development and 
dissemination of culturally sensitive health information – directly 
related to the research of the Center or general health information 
presented in a culturally sensitive manner; 2) encouraging and 
equipping the community for potential participation in clinical studies 
and for partnering in the conduct of evidence based disease prevention 
and intervention activities; and 3) sponsorship of science education 
outreach activities (e.g., K-12 science programs with area middle 
schools and/or high schools).   

EXPORT Center may develop exploratory programs for disseminating 
minority health and health disparities research information as well as 
sponsor activities that encourage community participation in research 
either as study participants or that equip community based 
organizations for partnering in and/or conducting disease prevention 
and/or intervention activities.  In particular for information 
dissemination purposes, the audiences should include health care 
students and professionals, community based organizations and 
researchers at the host institution as well as investigators at other 
institutions.  Information transfer activities may include, but are not 
limited to activities such as training programs, short courses, 
telemedicine, presentations at professional meetings and publications.  
Information transfer refers specifically to activities that involve 
interactive exchanges between Project EXPORT staff and the community.

With respect to equipping health disparity communities to develop and 
manage their own culturally sensitive programs for educating their 
populations and/or participating in prevention and intervention 
activities, the focus could be on addressing risk factors for disease, 
chronic disease management, screening, prevention, and decision making 
with respect to available therapeutics.  Such activities may require a 
substantial portion of the first year for planning and development with 
actual implementation beginning near the second year and continuing in 
subsequent years.

Plans to evaluate the success and/or effectiveness of the proposed 
community outreach/information dissemination should be described, with 
emphasis on the impact of the proposed activities on knowledge, 
attitudes, and/or behaviors.  Note that it is expected that 
considerable development of the Community Outreach Component may be 
ongoing in year one of the project period with full implementation 
targeted for year two.

o Pilot Research Component Core (15-page maximum recommended)

The purpose of pilot projects is to provide the Center with a flexible 
means of developing and exploring new research activities or directions 
and unique scientific opportunities that could evolve into 
independently funded research projects.  Such projects must be in a 
separate pilot project component that incorporates all of the pilot 
studies of the proposed Center grant.  While the specific number of 
pilot projects to be proposed is at the discretion of the applicant, 
all proposed pilot projects need not be ongoing at any one time, but 
may be phased in at different points during the life of the proposed 
Center grant.  It is recognized that the relative priority or need for 
specific pilot projects may change over the course of time.

While the Center's framework for the management of pilot funds and the 
mechanism for operating the program are left to the discretion of the 
Center, the application must provide specific information to enable 
adequate scientific evaluation by a peer review committee. (The 
descriptions of all proposed pilot research projects must be limited to 
5 pages each.  This is in addition to the recommended 15-page limited 
for describing each research core component.)

o Training Component (15-page maximum)

Training activities may be provided at the undergraduate, graduate, 
post-doctoral, and junior faculty level or a combination of two or more 
of the aforementioned levels.

Undergraduate/Graduate Students.  Training components for students may 
include establishing academic term and/or summer training 
opportunities.  For consortia arrangements, in particular, new research 
training programs might provide graduate students the opportunity to 
fulfill their research requirements in research laboratories at the 
partner institution.

Post-Doctoral Training.  Training components may also support post-
doctoral training for individuals that have earned the doctorate degree 
or equivalent and who are from racial and ethnic minority groups or 
other health disparity subpopulations.  Including opportunities for 
postdoctoral training within Project EXPORT will fulfill an 
important gap.  

Junior Faculty at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).  With respect 
to faculty at MSIs, mentored research components may be developed to 
provide assistance in learning new methodologies or to encourage 
faculty participation.  

The applicant institution and its partners must demonstrate or give 
reasonable assurances that it has: the capacity to train predoctoral 
and/or postdoctoral students for careers in biomedical, behavioral, 
epidemiological or health services research; and the capacity to 
conduct continuing education programs on the Center's designated 
research theme in the medical, behavioral, epidemiological, or health 
service fields.  Further, the research training core is expected to:  
develop, implement and evaluate research development activities related 
to conducting health disparities research for participants at all 
partnering institutions; provide training on issues related to 
developing cultural competence; increase the number of potential 
investigators from racial and ethnic minority and other health 
disparity groups; and identify and facilitate interdisciplinary 
collaboration to promote the conduct of health disparities research.

For partnerships and consortia, in particular, training initiatives 
should represent true collaborations that function across 
institutional boundaries.

o Minority Health and Health Disparity Education (15-page maximum)

An educational component could focus on efforts to augment existing or 
create new curricula among partner institutions that would apprize and 
culturally sensitize undergraduates, graduate students, or postdoctoral 
trainees in research, medicine, or public health of the need to reduce 
and eliminate disparities in health status among the nation's ethnic 
and racial minority groups and the medically underserved.  A successful 
first effort may result in an R25 education grant.  It is anticipated, 
however, that such efforts will later lead to institutional commitments 
to make these curricular an inherent component of their educational systems.


This RFA will use NIH series P20 exploratory center award mechanism. 
Responsibility for planning, directing and executing the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicant.  This RFA uses just-in-
time concepts.  The anticipated award date is September 28, 2002.


The NCMHD intends to commit approximately $7.5 million in FY2002 to 
fund up to five new grants in response to this RFA.  An applicant may 
request a project period of up to five years and a budget for total 
costs of up to $1.5 million 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 this program is provided for in the financial plans of the 
NCMHD, the award of grants pursuant to this RFA is contingent upon the 
receipt of sufficient numbers of meritorious applications and on the 
anticipated availability of funds for this purpose.  


You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics:

o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, and laboratories
o For-profit or non-profit organizations
o Units of state and local governments
o Faith-based organizations

For-profit or non-profit, state and local governments and faith-based 
organizations must partner with eligible institutions in order to 
participate in this RFA. Additional requirements pursuant to the 
statute that authorized this program can be found in the section 


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.



The definitions below are intended to clarify concepts that are 
expressed in this RFA.

o Applicant Institution:  The applicant institution is the entity at 
which the EXPORT Center will be physically and/or integrated into its 
administrative structure.  The Center Director must have his/her 
primary appointment at the applicant institution.

o Collaborating Institution:  The collaborating institution is the 
institution with which the applicant institution has partnered.

o Complementary Budget:  The individual budgets of the applicant and 
collaborating institution are called complementary budgets. The total 
cost for the COMPLEMENTARY BUDGETS must equal the cap designated either 
in RFA-MD-02-002 or RFA-MD-02-003, depending on the RFA selected.  For 
members of consortia the applicant institution and a designated member 
of the remaining consortium may submit complementary budgets.  
Remaining members of the consortium would have subcontracts with the 
applicant institution.  

o Complementary Applications:  In the case of two-member partnerships, 
both the applicant and collaborating institution may submit individual 
applications.  Generally the narratives of the two applications will be 
similar; however the Center component budgets for the applicant and 
collaborating institutions should reflect ONLY the specific activities 
that will be performed at the respective institutions.

o Predominately Minority Serving Institution:  A "predominantly 
minority serving institution" is an academic, health care or research 
institution with an enrollment and/or faculty that consists 
predominantly of racial and ethnic minorities.  

o Designated Institution:  Pursuant to Public Law 106-525, a designated 
institution is an intuition of higher learning that has a history of 
enrolling and graduating racial and ethnic minority and 
socioeconomically disadvantaged students from their degree programs.  
The recruitment of racial and ethnic minority faculty and staff is also 
priority at such institutions.  Operationally, a designated institution 
is one that has:

o Been effective in assisting racial and ethnic minority and students 
from other health disparity groups to complete a program of study or 
training and receive the advanced degree involved.

o Made significant efforts to recruit minority students to enroll in 
and graduate from the institution, which may include providing means-
tested scholarships and other financial assistance as appropriate. AND

o Made significant recruitment efforts to increase the number of 
minority or other members of health disparity populations serving in 
faculty or administrative positions at the institutions.

o Non-designated Institution:  A non-designated institution is 
considered as any institution of higher learning that does not have a 
record of recruiting racial and ethnic minority students nor graduating 
such students from their degree programs.  

o Health Disparity Populations: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, 
Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders 
and the medically underserved which includes socioeconomically 
disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas. (P.L. 106-525).

o Partnership and Consortium Arrangements. When a grant application 
includes research activities that involve more than one institution it 
is considered a partnership or consortium effort, depending on the 
number of institutions involved.  Such activities are encouraged in 
Project Export, but it is imperative that such applications be prepared 
so that the programmatic, fiscal and administrative considerations are 
explained fully.  In addition, the Project EXPORT thematic science 
focus must be evident in the application.  Applicants should exercise 
care in preserving the interactions of the participants and the 
integration of the partnership or consortium project(s) with those of 
the primary applicant institution, because synergism and cohesiveness 
can be diminished when projects are located outside of the group where 
the administration of Project EXPORT is carried out.  Applicants are 
encouraged to review the NIH policy and procedures applicable to 
consortium agreements, which are published as part of the NIH Grants 
Policy Statement, Part III, available on the NIH homepage at 
https://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/index.htm.  Questions 
may be directed to the fiscal contact identified below under Inquiries.

Demographic Goals

Project EXPORT has a "grass-roots" strategy with a focus on matching 
the needs of the community with the strengths of local institutions.  
Therefore, establishing EXPORT Centers within geographic areas with 
specific demographic characteristics is an important emphasis. 
Accordingly, an applicant institution and/or its collaborating partner 
must also have at least ONE of the following demographic characteristics:

o Be located within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) where the 
density of racial and ethnic minorities within the general population 
is equal to or exceeds:  19 percent for Hispanic Americans or African 
Americans respectively, 10 percent for Asian Americans and Pacific 
Islanders, or 2 percent for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.  In 
addition, the overall poverty rate within the geographic region to be 
served by the center must equal or exceed the national average of 11.3 
percent.  (Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, Census 2000 Brief, 
Elizabeth Grieco and Rachel Cassidy, 


o Be located within or near a Health Professional Shortage Area (HSPA) 
or within an officially designated area of underservice.  For the 
purposes of this announcement a United States Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) designated HSPA is a geographical area having fewer than the 
generally accepted minimum number of clinicians (physicians, dentists 
and mental health workers) per thousand. A listing of the USDA fully 
medically served and underserved HSPAs can be found at 
(http://www.hrsa.gov/grants/).  An underserved area is a 
geographical region with a calculated score of 62 or less on the IMU 
(index of medical underservice) scale.  The IMU index is a weighted 
score derived from four criteria: ration of primary medical care 
physicians per 1,000 population, infant mortality rate, percentage of 
population below the federal poverty level, and percentage of the 
population 65 years and older (http://www.hrsa.gov/grants/).


o Be located within a Department of Health and Human Service Region 
where the density of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in the 
general population equals to or exceed 200,000.  There are ten DHHS 
regions (http://www.hhs.gov/about/regions).  Native Americans and 
Alaska Natives generally reside in the greatest numbers in DHHS regions 
IV, VI, VIII, IX and X with the overall highest density in regions VI 
(Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) and IX (Arizona, 
California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Basin, and Guam). 

Any institution that meets the above criteria may form a consortium 
with Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), tribal health programs or 
with non-designated institutions.  Non-designated institutions are 
institutions of higher learning that do not meet the criteria outlined 
above but which have substantial federal research support and/or 
research infrastructure as reflected in the report on research 
institutions:  http://thecenter.ufl.edu/research_data.html.  For a 
listing of HBCUs and HSIs see the following website address:  
http://www.sciencewise.com/.  A listing of TCUs may be found at 

Note that while partnerships among "designated" institutions are 
strongly encouraged, involvement in a partnership is not an absolute 
requirement for participation in Project EXPORT.  Also remember that 
pursuant to Public Law 106-525 "designated" institutions are intuitions 
of higher learning that have a history of enrolling and graduating 
racial and ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students 
from their degree programs.  The recruitment of racial and ethnic 
minority faculty and staff is also priority at such institutions.

Allowable Costs in Exploratory EXPORT Center Applications

o Administrative Core.  This component may include the costs of 
recruitment packages for key leadership positions in year one and 
education activities for faculty and staff; salaries of personnel 
responsible for management of the Center, supplies, travel, special 
consultation, program enrichment activities for investigators and staff 
such as special lectures, visiting scientists, symposia, seminars, 
workshops, etc., and costs related to dissemination of research 
information to the scientific community and lay public.  Funds also may 
be requested for the allowable indirect costs of the applicant 
organization(s).  In addition, costs of advisory committee and 
consultants may be included in the administrative core.  Consultants 
for specific components should be included in the budgets for 
those components.  

o Shared Resource Core. Funds for the development of a shared resource 
core should be requested in its individual budget.  In the first year 
of the grant, substantial funds may be allocated in the budget of the 
administrative core for recruitment packages for core directors.  

o Research Component(s) Core. Partial salary for core personnel (if 
applicable), other costs essential for the improvement of 
research infrastructure. 

o Pilot Project Component Core. Seed money and start-up funds to 
support new, innovative pilot projects. Like a small grant, these funds 
should support activities that would serve as the basis for the 
development of a larger research grant applications. The budget should 
be submitted for the pilot project component as a whole for each year 
in which pilots are proposed.  For years 01 and 02, this budget will 
reflect costs of pilots proposed in the application.  For years 03-05, 
the budget will estimate cost based on the number and kind of work to 
be pursued.  Note that the funds for pilot projects are not intended to 
supplement ongoing research projects.  

o Training Component. Support for students, including an allotment for 
research supplies, salary support for the core director.

o Community Outreach and Information Dissemination. Salary support, 
support for prevention/intervention activities as well as educational 
outreach, etc.

o Minority Health and Health Disparity Education. Costs related to the 
development and implementation of educational activities, partial 
salary support, etc.

Other Special Requirements

Each exploratory EXPORT Center application must include and/or address 
the following:

o Letters of commitment from the leadership of each partnering 
institution. The letters should indicate full support for this activity 
and specify what efforts will be made to ensure the success of these 
planning activities. Such efforts might include protected faculty time, 
provision to recruit new faculty, space and facilities for the proposed 
new projects/programs, capital improvements, etc.

o Budget for an annual meeting in Bethesda, Maryland with NCMHD staff
o Complementary Applications and Budgets. For two member partnerships, 
collaborative activities must be submitted as TWO grant applications, 
one each from the partnering institutions.  Also, the principal 
investigator of one partner institution must appear as the co-
investigator on the complementary application and vice versa.  The 
overall specific aims of the two applications must be the same, but the 
actual activities and budgets of the two applications should reflect 
how each respective partner both compliments and differ from the other 
in achieving their common objectives.  For members of consortia the 
lead institution and one other member of a consortium must submit 
complementary applications.  Remaining members of the consortium would 
have subcontracts with the lead institution. The total costs of the two 
complementary applications together cannot exceed $1.5 million/year.  
If there is a third party subcontract, only the direct costs of the 
subcontract will count against this cap.

o Organization/Administration and Administrative Core. An exploratory 
EXPORT Center must be an identifiable organizational unit with an 
administrative structure and clear lines of authority that will 
facilitate coordination among Center personnel to assure maximum 
accountability and efficiency in Center operations.

o The minimum acceptable combined number of components is five --an 
administrative core, research component core, shared resource core, 
training component, community outreach component and a research 
emphasis/pilot research component.  The maximum combined number of 
Center components, including a research emphasis/pilot project 
component is ten. An education component does not count toward this 
total.  More than ten components are not acceptable.

o Program Advisory Committee, comprised of at least three to five 
scientists, with national scientific reputations in their field; their 
expertise must be directly relevant to the scientific theme of the 
Project EXPORT activity. The advisory committee responsibilities 
include concept development, program planning, encouraging faculty 
development and mentoring, identifying resources, and evaluating 
progress toward stated goals. The committee will also review and 
approve candidates for replacement/substitute projects and 
investigators as required, before such requests are forwarded to NCMHD.  
The committee must meet at least twice per year and minutes are to be 
recorded and made available for review by NCMHD program staff 
responsible for Project EXPORT.  Include plans for the establishment of 
the committee, but not specific names.

o If a committee other than the Program Advisory Committee such as a 
proposed Program Executive Committee is included specific plans 
regarding committee selection and function should be provided in the 
application.  An Executive Committee usually consists of the heads of 
all cores, representatives from the partnering institution (if 
applicable), and appropriate business officials.  The function of such 
a committee would be to assist the Director and Co-director with 
decisions with respect to the allocation of funds, the identification 
and selection of key personnel, and the planning and execution of the 
center activities

o Planning/Evaluation. There must be a common planning and evaluation 
core shared between the partnering institutions.  This core will be 
responsible for planning and implementing internal processes (e.g., 
workshops and other forums to identify areas of new opportunity as well 
as for strengthening, establishing and merging existing 
projects/programs). Internal processes must also have an evaluation and 
prioritization process in place for reviewing internal proposals for 
Pilot and full projects/programs, recruitment of research associates, 
new investigators and establishment of resources and infrastructure on 
the basis of their merit and potential to contribute effectively to 
achieving high priority goals and objectives.  In cases where a single 
institution is the applicant, such a planning mechanism is also required.

o Centers will be required to submit detailed annual progress reports 
including substantive information about research results to date, 
status of ongoing research, research plans for the next year, and any 
modifications in long-term research plans.  Also required are report of 
inventions, reports of expenditures, final reports, and other reports 
in accordance with NIH policy.

o If the director is not in place at the institution at the time of the 
review or award, a plan to recruit such an individual must be included 
in the application.  If an institution has not appointed a permanent 
Center Director at the time of award, the making of an award pursuant 
to this RFA will take place at the discretion of the NCMHD director in 
consultation with the Advisory Council.

Opportunities Under Project EXPORT

o Endowment Funds:  EXPORT Centers funded through the exploratory 
center mechanism are eligible for endowment funds under the conditions 
authorized in Public Law 106-525.  Such funds may be available to the 
applicant institution at the discretion of the NCMHD Director in 
consultation with the Center's Advisory Committee.  The additional 
conditions for such awards are: 

o The EXPORT Center is beginning its second year of its project period. 
o The Center Director submits a strategic plan for developing an EXPORT 
Center endowment fund and its proposed use. 
o The plan is reviewed for scientific and technical merit and the 
Center Director, in consultation with the NCMHD Advisory Council, 
approves the meritorious plans for support.  

All EXPORT Center Endowment Fund awards will be made as supplements 
through the Endowment Fund mechanism for tracking purposes.

o Renovation/Construction: Pursuant to public law 106-525 funds 
provided under this program may also be used to "expand, remodel, 
renovate, or alter existing research facilities or construct new 
research facilities for the purpose of conducting minority health 
disparities research and other health disparities research."  While the 
cost of renovations (combined total costs of up to $200,000) may be 
included in the exploratory center application within the relevant 
research component or core component budgets, construction awards are 
usually made using a different funding mechanism.  Accordingly, the 
principle investigator may indicate in the application and/or in the 
letter of intent any construction activity that would be central to 
establishing an EXPORT center.  The timely availability of such 
information is important to NCMHD for planning purposes in particular 
in terms of assisting the Center in determining the allocation for its 
construction program in fiscal year 2003.

Priority for construction funds will be given to institutions that 
receive less than $60 million annually in federal research support 
AND/OR have a student enrollment and faculty composed of 50 percent or 
more racial and ethnic minorities.   

o Competitive Supplements. Pursuant to the recommendation of the 
Center's Advisory Committee and providing the Center has a minimum of 
three years of funding support remaining in the project period, 
awardees of support for EXPORT Centers under the exploratory center 
mechanism may apply to expand or enhance the Center's operations with 
respect to adding additional shared resource cores and/or 
research components.  

o Research, dissemination of research information and training 
activities associated with the Center may receive additional funding 
from Federal sources as well as from State and local sources.  The 
NCMHD expects and encourages the institution and scientists attracted 
to such Centers to seek and compete actively for such funding.  
Research staff in funded Centers may submit applications for 
independent research project grants for support of research projects 
that do not overlap with their Center projects.


o With respect to activities for which an award [Project EXPORT]…is 
authorized to be expended, the Director of the Center may not make such 
an award to a designated research institution or consortium for any 
fiscal year unless the institution or institutions in the consortium, 
as the case may be, agree to maintain expenditures of non-Federal 
amounts for such activities at a level that is not less than the level 
of such expenditures maintained by the institutions involved for the 
fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which such institutions 
received such an award." P.L. 106-525 (Section 485F (e)(1)).


We encourage 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 issues:

o Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. Jean L. Flagg-Newton
Deputy Director, NCMHD
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 5465
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-5465
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366
Fax:  (301) 480-4049
Email:  Flaggnej@od.nih.gov

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

Ms. Usha Ganti 
Acting Grants Management Officer, NCMHD
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 5465
Bethesda, MD  20892-5465 
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366 
Fax:  (301) 480-4049
Email:  GantiU@od.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: 

Project EXPORT
Attn. Dr. Jean L. Flagg-Newton, Deputy Director, NCMHD
6707 Democracy Blvd, Suite 800, MSC 5465
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-5465
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366
FAX:  (301) 480-4049
Email:  flaggnej@od.nih.gov


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grants 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 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.

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

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed 
photocopies, 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 and 
five copies of any appendix material must be sent to:

Dr. Jean L. Flagg-Newton, 
Deputy Director,
National Center on Minority Health
  And Health Disparities
6707 Democracy Blvd, Suite 800, MSC 5465
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-5465
Telephone:  (301) 402-1366
Fax:  (301) 480-4049
Email:  flaggnej@od.nih.gov

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

o Receive a written critique
o Receive a second level review by the NCMHD Advisory Council.


The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  
In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the 
following aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood  
that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the 
pursuit of these goals:

o Significance
o Approach
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these 
criteria in assigning your application's overall score, weighting them 
as appropriate for each application.  Your 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, 
you may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not 
innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

(1) SIGNIFICANCE: Does your study address an important problem?  If the 
aims of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific 
knowledge?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or 
methods that drive this field?

(2) APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and 
analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the 
aims of the project?  Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and 
consider alternative tactics?

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

(4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well-suited to 
carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to your 
experience level as the principal investigator and to that of other 
researchers (if any)?

(5) ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which your work 
will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed 
experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific 
environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there 
evidence of institutional support?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o PROTECTIONS: The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, 
animals, or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely 
affected by the project proposed in the application.

o INCLUSION: The adequacy of 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.  Plans for the 
recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated.  (See 
Inclusion Criteria included in the section on Federal Citations, below)

o DATA SHARING:  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data. 

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

o OTHER REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following: 

Strength of the evidence that the researchers and faculty of the 
partnering institutions worked closely together in the preparation of 
the application.

The degree to which the letters of support from senior faculty and/or 
institutional leaders were supportive of the planning activities.

As applicable, the adequacy of provisions made for day-to-day 
oversight, coordination, support and logistical services needed to make 
the collaboration successful.

Planning -- The adequacy of the different planning methods proposed by 
the institutions to fully explore areas of opportunity and to ensure 
highly interactive and integrated efforts between individual scientists 
(e.g., research project) and/or between faculty and scientists (e.g., 
training program, education program).

The appropriateness and adequacy of the specific faculty and scientists 
identified to contribute effectively to each aspect of this planning effort.

Other Considerations

Administrative Core 

o Adequacy of the administrative core to manage the overall 
planning activities.

o Appropriate justification for the core, including the duplication of 
existing resources or services and anticipated future use of the core.

o Qualifications of the Director of the Administrative core (if 
applicable), including the ability of the center director to provide 
the scientific an administrative leadership for the planning 
activities, strategies to promote scientific planning, interaction, 
implementation, and evaluation; and arrangement for the fiscal 
management of the grant.

o Proposed composition and function of the Executive Committee to 
support the proposed activities.

o The proposed composition and function of the external Advisory 
committee to support a proposed EXPORT Center.

Research Questions/Feasibility Studies/Pilot Projects 

o The scientific merit of the concepts for the proposed research and 
the importance of the information sought to the mission of the NCMHD.

o The process for selecting the pilot/feasibility studies to be 
included in the planning activities.

o How well the proposed research areas address a minority health or 
health disparities topic.

o The innovativeness and promise of the proposed methods to be used in 
the conduct of research.

o The novelty or originality of the proposed research concepts. 

o The appropriateness and justification of the requested budget for the 
proposed planning activities.

o The qualifications of the investigator that will lead the initiative 
to develop the research questions and/or plan feasibility studies.  If 
required, areas in which investigators will be recruited.

o Adequacy of plans to identify and address ethical concerns related to 
conducting health disparities research.

Shared Resource Core 

o Need/justification for the core service/resource.
o Scientific and ethnical merit of the service/resource provided.
o Plans for resource allocation.
o Quality control procedures.
o Qualifications, experience, and commitment of the component director.
o Adequacy of component director's time and effort.
o Adequacy of the resources and environment.

Research Training 

o Evidence of a strong commitment to and plans to help foster and 
facilitate the research career development of racial and ethnic 
minority students and other health disparity students and faculty.

o The plans to facilitate and monitor the research career trajectory 
and productivity of participants at both members of the partner 
institution and where applicable at all members of a consortia.

o Qualifications of the investigator that will lead the planning 
activities for research mentoring component.

Community Outreach/Information Dissemination (Mandatory) 

o Adequacy of plans for establishing, sustaining, and evaluating 
research-based prevention and intervention studies with targeted 
communities, if applicable.

o Adequacy of plans for K-12 science education outreach, if applicable.

o A plan for disseminating health disparities research findings to 
participants, community groups, and lay and professional audiences, 
if applicable.

o The qualifications of the leadership of the planning activities for 
research outreach and dissemination.

Overall Research Resource Related Developmental Activity 

o Evidence of collaborative and/or interdisciplinary research, and 
interdisciplinary approach of the Project EXPORT activity.

o Adequacy of the available resources and the quality of the research 
or training environment.

o The institutional commitment to the Project EXPORT planning activity 
in terms of space, resources, administrative authority, and other 
necessary support, e.g., donated faculty time, and the extent to which 
a proposed EXPORT Center would be recognized as a major element within 
the organizational structure of the institution.

o The plans for developmental activities, including recruitment and 
expansion, insofar as the proposed research and/or training program 
justifies these.

o The plans for the provision of protection of human subjects and the 
humane care of animals.

o Appropriateness of the requested budget for the work proposed.

o The adequacy of plans to include both genders, and if applicable, 
other health disparity groups, and children as appropriate for the 
scientific goals of the proposed research.  Plans for the recruitment 
and retention of subjects will also be evaluated.


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:    April 24, 2002
Application Receipt Date:         May 24, 2002
Peer Review Date:                 July-August 2002
Council Review:                   September 2002
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  September 28, 2002


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.


policy of 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 AMENDMENT 
"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 differences.

SUBJECTS: 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 them.  This policy applies to all 
initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates after 
October 1, 1998.

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 

The 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.

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: The authority for the centers of excellence 
program was provided in the statute that established the National 
Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  Pursuant to Section 
485F of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and 
Education Act of 2000, ?The Director of the Center shall make awards of 
grants or contracts to designated biomedical and behavioral research 
institutions…for the purpose of assisting the institutions in 
supporting programs of excellence in biomedical and behavioral research 
training for individuals who are members of minority health disparity 
populations or other health disparity populations.?  It is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 
or Health Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under authorization 
of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 
USC 241 and 284) and administered under NIH grants 
policies described at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm
and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  

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.

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