Full Text NR-94-001


NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 45, December 17, 1993

RFA:  NR-94-001

P.T. 04

  Clinical Medicine, General 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Institute of Nursing Research

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  March 18, 1994
Application Receipt Date:  April 21, 1994


The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) invites
applications for research center core grants in important scientific
areas of nursing research relevant to clinical practice and patient
outcome issues.  The Nursing Research Center Core grants (NRCC) will
provide central resources and facilities for an active center of
excellence in a specific area of inquiry that has a strong base of
research funding.  By developing infrastructure components, a number
of established and independently funded investigators and their
interdisciplinary teams will have the opportunity to enhance their
collective productivity to a greater degree than would be possible
from each of their separately funded projects.


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), Nursing Research Center Core Grants, is
related to the priority areas of maternal and child health, acute and
chronic disabling conditions, HIV infections and sexually transmitted
diseases, health promotion and disease prevention topics, and women's
health issues.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy
People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy
People 2000" (Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402-9325 (telephone: 202-783-3238).


Applications may be submitted by colleges and schools of nursing in
university settings and departments of nursing within university
affiliated medical centers or hospitals.  Applications from foreign
institutions are ineligible for the center program mechanism.
Applications from women and minority scientists are strongly

Institutions eligible for the Nursing Research Center Core Grants are
those at which there are at least three Principal Investigators with
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) funded research
support grants from selective mechanisms (specifically, R01, R18,
R29, R55, P01, P20, P50, U01) or comparable peer reviewed research
projects (including those funded by State governments and private
foundations) related to the scientific area of nursing inquiry.  Each
of these awards must have at least one year of committed support
remaining at the time of the application receipt date. Institutions
with centers grants (P50s and P20s) funded from previous NINR RFAs
are eligible.  Only one actively funded NINR center grant will be
allowed per institution.  No other NIH mechanisms of research support
will be considered in determining eligibility.  One of the three
grants may be from a department other than nursing.  A large number
of NIH awards in the scientific area of inquiry for the active center
of excellence would strengthen an application.

Only one NRCC application will be accepted from any single applicant
organization.  For multi-campus institutions (e.g., the California
institutions), no more than one NRCC application will be accepted
from each of the separate campuses.  Joint applications will not be
accepted from investigators at neighboring, independent institutions,
but subcontracts are allowed if their usage enhances the development
of the scientific area of inquiry and stays within the dollar limits
of the RFA.


This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research
center core grant mechanism (P30).  The purpose of this mechanism is
to support shared resources and facilities for a specific area of
scientific inquiry by a number of investigators who provide an
interdisciplinary approach to a joint research effort or who focus on
a common research problem.  The core grant is integrated with the
center's component projects or program projects, though funded
independently from them.  This support, by providing more accessible
resources, is expected to assure a greater productivity than from the
separate projects and program projects.  Responsibility for the
planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be
solely that of the applicant.  Awards will be administered under PHS
grants policy as stated in the PHS Grants Policy Statement (Oct 90).
The total project period for applications submitted in response to
the present RFA  may not exceed five years.  The total costs (direct
and indirect costs) requested cannot exceed $300,000 for the first
year.  The anticipated award date is September 30, 1994.  This RFA is
a one-time solicitation.  Support for NRCC awardees may be renewed in
competing continuation applications which will compete in future NRCC


The NINR intends to fund four to five NRCC awards from this RFA in FY
1994, subject to the availability of funds and receipt of
sufficiently meritorious applications.  The estimated funds available
for the first year of support of the centers are $1.2 million.

All NRCC applications should request and provide justification for
five years of support.  The NINR expects to award four NRCC grants in
fiscal year 1994 pending sufficiently meritorious applications and
availability of funds.  The total costs (direct plus indirect) for
each NRCC are limited to $300,000 for the first year.  The pilot
and/or feasibility studies are limited to 20 percent of the total
costs for each year.  Cost-of-living or inflationary increases in
subsequent budget years for recurring costs such as personnel and
supplies may not exceed four percent escalation per year.

Each budget item must be adequately justified.



This initiative builds directly on a centers program initiated by
House Report 100-689 accompanying the FY 1989 DHHS Appropriations
Bill.  The Appropriations Committee noted that the research agenda of
the National Center for Nursing Research (NCNR) could benefit from a
centers program.  The Committee directed that $1 million be allocated
to this new centers activity and asked for a multi-year plan for
developing the Centers initiative.  In response, NCNR funded two
specialized centers (P50s) and two exploratory centers (P20s).  In FY
1991, the Senate Report 101-516 accompanying the DHHS Appropriations
Bill directed NCNR to support an additional exploratory center for
health and behavior research.  In response, NCNR collaborated with
the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in issuing an RFA
inviting interested institutions to establish interdisciplinary
exploratory centers to investigate health behavior development in
children and adolescents (ages 8-18).  NCNR funded three exploratory
centers (P20s) and NICHD and NIMH each funded one additional
exploratory center.  In FY 1992, NCNR issued an RFA and funded two
exploratory centers that targeted innovative clinical assessment and
management strategies for symptoms commonly experienced by acutely or
chronically ill patients.

In FY 1994, the National Institute of Nursing Research plans to
implement the research center core grant (P30) mechanism in place of
the specialized center mechanism (P50).  This mechanism offers
support that will be advantageous to a number of schools of nursing
and nursing departments in clinical settings.  The research center
core grant mechanism will allow the continued promotion of
interdisciplinary cooperation and synergism within institutions and
continue the development of infrastructure components for highly
effective researchers who are building a strong center of excellence
in a specific area of scientific inquiry.

Content Areas

Applicants should select the scientific area of inquiry based on a
conceptually sound integration of their currently funded projects.
The link to nursing practice issues within their center of excellence
should be explicit.   Examples of research areas of interest to the
NINR are reflected in the following descriptions of the three
branches of the Division of Extramural Programs.  These examples of
scientific areas of inquiry, which are making important advances
relevant to clinical practice and patient outcome issues, are
included only as examples and are not intended to limit the
scientific area of inquiry responsive to this RFA:

1.  Research in the Acute and Chronic Illness Branch deals with human
responses to illness and disability throughout the life span.
Research is concerned with the biological, behavioral, and
psychosocial factors that contribute to these conditions and with
methods to improve or alleviate the effects of the illness or
condition.  Research topics on nursing care of acute illness range
from sleep-wake patterns of pre-term infants in the neonatal
intensive care unit to the biobehavioral factors affecting recovery
following a myocardial infarction.  Research involving nursing care
of patients with chronic illnesses addresses symptom management for
conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, AIDS, and cancer.  Additional
research examples of patient responses being investigated include the
assessment and management of pain, stress, cognitive impairment, and
urinary incontinence.  The Acute and Chronic Illness Branch has a
special initiative to increase nursing research in structural and
molecular biology, genetics, and immunology, in order to answer
clinical questions and solve nursing problems.  The goal of this
effort is to increase the biological science interface with nursing
research to validate biobehavioral knowledge underlying nursing

2.  Research in the Nursing Systems Branch examines the clinical
practice environment in which health care is provided, factors
underlying the process of nursing care, relationships among aspects
of clinical practice, and the influence of that practice on outcomes
of care.  Also included are investigations of promising approaches to
strengthening quality of care, such as studies that link nursing
management and quality of care delivery.  The primary focus of
nursing systems research is inquiry into the delivery of health care
which includes the study of the structural, organizational, and
economic context of clinical practice and the processes of care
delivery in relation to the assessment of clinical endpoints of
appropriate care, which encompasses quality, efficacy, and
effectiveness.  Some examples are: investigations of the outcomes of
home care, long-term care and/or hospital care; the mechanisms
responsible for different clinical outcomes among different
populations; the development and validation of clinical intervention
strategies for rural and underserved areas; mechanisms to facilitate
continuity of care; and the development of innovative approaches to
the delivery of health care as linked to clinical outcomes.  One
special program emphasis pertains to ethical issues occurring during
clinical practice that involve individual patients, their families,
and practitioners.  Examples include issues of advanced directives;
withholding treatment; informed consent; prolongation of life; and
involvement of patients, families, and care providers in clinical

3.  In the Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Branch studies on
health promotion supported by the NINR are aimed at developing an
understanding of the various factors involved in the advancement of
well-being and the avoidance of health risks across the life span.
They focus on nursing's concern with informing people about how to
make good choices for themselves, and providing them with the skills,
resources, and social environment needed to change and maintain
healthful behaviors.  Examples include, but are not limited to,
studies on smoking and health, misuse of alcohol and drugs,
nutrition, physical fitness and exercise, risk-related sexual
behavior, family violence, self care, normal developmental processes
in women, and parenting practices.  Research in the HP/DP Branch also
focuses on the prevention of illnesses and the promotion of health
within illness.  The focus of studies in this program includes the
identification of biological, behavioral, and environmental risk
factors and the development or refinement of methods in which nurses
can intervene to enhance the abilities of at-risk individuals and
their families to respond to potential health problems.  Examples,
include but are not limited to, studies of hypertension control,
pregnancy and infant health, sexually transmitted diseases, and
stress and coping through the life span.

The choice of the scientific area of inquiry for the NRCC will be
made by the Principal Investigator, who will be designated as the
center director.  The selection of a scientific area from the
National Nursing Research Agenda or from other NINR initiatives will
not be given preferential treatment during the review and funding
process.  Scientific areas of inquiries focusing primarily on
psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol usage, or pharmacological
interventions will not be responsive to this RFA.  However,
individual research grants that focus on these topics would be
acceptable as part of the funded base to meet the eligibility
requirements for the proposed center.

Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research
Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH National Center for Research
Resources may wish to identify the GCRC as a resource.  Details of
the interactions of the NRCC staff with the GCRC staff and research
personnel may be provided in a statement describing the collaborative
linkages being developed.  A letter of agreement from the GCRC
Program Director must be included with the application.


A nursing research center must be an identifiable organizational unit
either within a college or school of nursing or a department of
nursing within a university-affiliated medical center or hospital.
Close cooperation, communication, and collaboration among all
involved personnel of all disciplines is an ultimate objective of the
NRCC.  A Nursing Research Center Core Grant will involve the
interaction of broad and diverse elements within the university or
medical center.  Therefore, lines of authority and sanction by the
appropriate institutional officials must be clearly specified.

Three mandatory research cores must be proposed.  The three mandatory
cores are (1) the Administrative Core to manage the overall
activities of the Center and the pilot and/or feasibility studies,
(2) the Research Support Core to manage the coordination of clinical
and laboratory data and its appropriate data analysis, and (3) the
Research Development and Dissemination Core to facilitate the
research training of staff and the exchange and dissemination of
information critical to the scientific area of inquiry both within
the NRCC and within the broader scientific community.  Additional
research cores are allowed and welcomed if they are well justified,
conceptually linked to the scientific area of inquiry, clearly
demonstrate how the shared resources will enable investigators to
conduct their independently funded research projects more efficiently
and/or more effectively, and remain within the $300,000 total costs
of the NRCC award and the page limitation allowed for each core.

Pilot and/or feasibility studies, also described below, are another
mandatory component of the NRCC application.  These are intended to
enable eligible investigators to explore the feasibility of a concept
within the scientific area of inquiry and to amass sufficient data to
pursue it through other funding mechanisms.


A core is a shared central laboratory or clinical research facility,
service, or other resource.  Each core is directed by an investigator
with substantial expertise related to the core.

Core facilities may be proposed which will enhance productivity or in
other ways benefit a group of investigators to accomplish their
stated goals.  An important consideration is the degree to which core
facilities will be utilized by and benefit individual ongoing-funded
projects and center investigators and will assist in the development
of the scientific area of inquiry.

The following three cores are mandatory for all NRCCs:

1.  An Administrative Core to manage the overall activities of the
Center.  This should include the following:

a.  A specified Director and Associate Director;

b.  A description of the administrative structure;

c.  A description of how the pilot and/or feasibility studies will be

d.  A general description of overall facilities and institutional

e.  Separate budget pages detailing out the various administrative
expenses and the pilot and/or feasibility studies.

Each applicant institution will name an NRCC Director who will be the
key figure in the administration and management of the NRCC grant.
The Director will be responsible for the organization and operation
of the NRCC.  The Director should be experienced in conducting
research and have demonstrated ability to coordinate, integrate, and
provide guidance in the establishment of new programs in the
scientific area of inquiry.  An appropriate time commitment must be
made by the Director.  An Associate Director must be named who will
be involved in the administrative and scientific efforts of the

It is expected that the NRCC administrative structure will accomplish
the following:

a.  coordinate and integrate the NRCC components and activities;

b.  review the utilization of funds, including funds for pilot and
feasibility studies;

c.  advise the NRCC Director on the activities of the Center's cores;

While the final administrative structure of the NRCC will, for the
most part, be left to the discretion of the applicant institution,
NIH's experience has demonstrated that the effective development of
Center programs requires interaction among the Director, the core
leaders, the Principal Investigators of research projects using the
cores, appropriate institutional administrative personnel and the
staff of the awarding agency.

To facilitate communication between the NRCC staffs and the NINR, the
NINR requests that each NRCC application includes funds to attend an
annual meeting in Bethesda, Maryland of all the NRCC Directors,
Associate Directors, and their business managers.

The success of the NRCC is dependent upon the involvement of
scientific and professional personnel representing a variety of
disciplines who must be willing to relate to and collaborate with
each other in order to facilitate the development of new knowledge.
An Executive Committee, consisting of the Associate Director and the
heads of each of the cores, should be established to assist the
Director in making the scientific and administrative decisions
relating to the Center.  In addition to coordination of the NRCC, the
Director, with his or her Executive Committee, will be responsible
for allocation of NRCC funds, the identification and selection of key
personnel, and the planning and evaluation of the NRCC activities.

An external Advisory Committee should be established and composed of
scientists from within the institution and at least two scientists
from outside the institution.  This committee may also be used in
evaluating the overall research programs of the NRCC, the
effectiveness of communications within the NRCC, and any other
activities in which problems arise for which  expertise is required
or desirable.  The advisory committee should meet at least once
annually.  However, the nature of its responsibilities may require ad
hoc meetings at more frequent intervals.  A member of the NINR
extramural program staff is to be invited to attend each meeting as
an observer.

The NRCC Director must describe the process that he or she will use
to review the pilot and/or feasibility studies for future years of
the proposed center.  The review process may be carried out by the
Advisory Committee, by an ad hoc Review Committee, by a mail review,
or by a combination of these methods.  It is recommended that the
NRCC Director utilize at least two scientists with expertise relevant
to the scientific area of inquiry of the NRCC from outside the
institution during the review process.  The research plan and the
results of each pilot and/or feasibility study supported must be
reported in the annual progress reports for the NRCC grants.

The complex nature of administrative requirements of the NRCC will
necessitate the assistance of a person with business management
expertise.  It is important that such an official be identified and
directly involved with the fiscal aspects of the NRCC application and
grant.  An appropriate amount of this individual's time and effort
should be committed for this purpose.  The institutional business
official should be a member of the executive committee.  While budget
formulation and planning will undoubtedly begin with the Director in
collaboration with the scientific staff, the business official must
be involved in the process and provide consultation in matters of
fiscal administration and evaluate such issues as equipment on hand
versus that requested for the core facilities. The business official
should attend the annual Director's meeting and funds may be
requested in the budget for this purpose.

2.  A Research Support Core will support shared resources and
facilities around a scientific theme. These may include functions
such as patient registry, patient coordination, evaluation, clinical
and laboratory data gathering, biometry or statistical data
coordination. Assistance from computer experts, biostatisticians, and
other individuals who can assist or collaborate with the
participating investigators in conducting laboratory or applied
clinical research relevant to clinical practice and patient outcomes
issues may also be desirable.

3.  A Research Development and Dissemination Core will facilitate the
research training of staff in new skills and techniques as well as
enhancing the exchange and dissemination of information critical to
the scientific area of inquiry both within the NRCC and within the
broader scientific community.  The core will publicize the NRCC and
its scientific activities (e.g., seminars, workshops, visiting
scientists, and consultation opportunities in special areas of needed
expertise) to foster interest within the institution and to encourage
the development of a cadre of new investigators interested in the
scientific area of inquiry.  Clearly stated objectives and a
systematic plan as to how these objectives will be met are required
for this core.

The NINR, through the NRCC mechanism, may support cores that seem
likely to result in scientific accomplishments beyond those
attainable solely through support of the mandatory cores.  It is
important to note that support is not allowed for cores that only
replace or centralize resources supported on individual projects
grants.  Examples of other types of research cores that would be
acceptable are:  (1) provision of a technology that lends itself  to
automation or preparation (e.g., histology and tissue and cell
cultures); (2) complex instrumentation (e.g., electron microscopy and
image analysis); (3) animal preparation and care; and (4) service
(e.g., molecular biology, photography, electronics shop).

In a Nursing Research Center Core Grant application, it is not
sufficient for the applicant merely to identify such centralized
resources.  Rather, it must be demonstrated exactly how each core
would augment or enhance the present capabilities of the
investigators and make possible new activities.  In addition, after
an award is made, the NINR will require documentation in annual
progress reports and in renewal applications that sharing of
resources has been achieved.

Pilot and/or Feasibility Studies

Pilot and/or feasibility studies should be included as a critical
component of the NRCC application. Up to 20 percent of the total
costs of the NRCC grant per year may be used for pilot and/or
feasibility studies.  The monies provide modest research support for
a limited time (one year or two years maximum with clear
justification for the time length) to enable eligible investigators
to explore the feasibility of a concept within the scientific area of
inquiry and to amass sufficient data to pursue it through other
funding mechanisms. Eligible investigators include:

1.  An established investigator in the scientific area of inquiry
with a proposal for testing the feasibility of a new or innovative
idea that is conceptually related but represents a clear and distinct
departure from the investigator's ongoing research interest;

2.  An established, supported investigator with no previous work in
the scientific area of inquiry who is willing to test the
applicability of his/her expertise on a conceptually related problem;

3.  A new investigator who has not been a Principal Investigator in
the past, or who is not currently funded, with an NIH research
project grant (e.g., R01, R29, P01).

The NRCC center director and collaborating investigators are among
those eligible for pilot and/or feasibility study monies.  However,
the pilot and/or feasibility studies monies should not be used for
the next logical step in an ongoing research program for these
investigators.  These investigators should not be the predominately
funded investigators with the pilot and/or feasibility study monies.

Applications submitted in response to this RFA will not be considered
for funding unless at least one pilot and/or feasibility study to be
carried out during the first year has been recommended for approval.
Therefore, three pilot and/or feasibility studies should be included
in the application for review for the first year and they must be
described in a maximum of thirty pages (which is in addition to the
twenty-five pages allowed in the Research Plan, Sections 1 through 4,
for describing each of the mandatory cores).  The theoretical basis
for the pilot and/or feasibility studies must be clearly explicated
for the behavioral, psychosocial, and/or biological strategies being
used.  An interdisciplinary approach should be utilized to promote
the collaboration of nurse scientists with scientists of other
disciplines.  Each pilot and/or feasibility study is limited to ten
pages of description for the Research Plan, Sections 1 through 4, and
should delineate the question being asked, detail the procedures to
be followed, and discuss how the data will be analyzed.  Both
qualitative and quantitative methodologies are encouraged.
Subsequent pilot and/or feasibility studies (a minimum of two ongoing
each year) will be developed during the course of the award and must
be discussed as part of the annual progress report.  The total budget
for all pilot and/or feasibility studies may be up to 20 percent of
the total costs of the NRCC grant each year and should be included in
the administrative core budget.  Results of each pilot and/or
feasibility study must be in the Center's annual progress reports to
the NINR along with the plan used to solicit the new pilot and/or
feasibility studies.

For pilot and/or feasibility studies involving clinical research, NIH
requires applicants to give special attention to the inclusion of
women and minorities in study populations.  Study populations must be
described in the research design and methods section for each pilot
and/or feasibility study.  If women or minorities are not included in
the study populations for the clinical studies, a specific
justification for this exclusion must be provided.  Applications
without such documentation will not be accepted for review.  Further
information about this policy may be requested from NINR staff.



NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and
cooperative agreements are required to include minorities and women
in study populations so that research findings can be of benefit to
all persons at risk of the disease, disorder or condition under
study; special emphasis must be placed on the need for inclusion of
minorities and women in studies of diseases, disorders and conditions
which disproportionately affect them.  This policy is intended to
apply to males and females of all ages.  If women or minorities are
excluded or inadequately represented in clinical research,
particularly in proposed population-based studies, a clear compelling
rationale must be provided.

The composition of the proposed study population must be described in
terms of gender and racial/ethnic group.  In addition, gender and
racial/ethnic issues must be addressed in developing a research
design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of
the study.  This information must be included in the form PHS 398
(rev. 9/91) in Sections 1-4 of the Research Plan AND summarized in
Section 5, Human Subjects.  Applicants are urged to assess carefully
the feasibility of including the broadest possible representation of
minority groups.  However, NIH recognizes that it may not be feasible
or appropriate in all research projects to include representation of
the full array of United States racial/ethnic minority populations
(i.e., Native Americans [including American Indians or Alaskan
Natives], Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics).

The rationale for studies on single minority population groups should
be provided.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research is defined as human
biomedical and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology,
prevention (and preventive strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of
diseases, disorders or conditions, including, but not limited to,
clinical trials.

The usual NIH policies concerning research on human subjects also
apply.  Basic research or clinical studies in which human tissues
cannot be identified or linked to individuals are excluded.  However,
every effort should be made to include human tissues from women and
racial/ethnic minorities when it is important to apply the results of
the study broadly, and this should be addressed by applicants.

If the required information is not contained within the application,
the application will be returned.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in
the application conforms to these policies.  If the representation of
women or minorities in a study design is inadequate to answer the
scientific question(s)  addressed AND the justification for the
selected study population is inadequate, it will be considered a
scientific weakness or deficiency in the study design and reflected
in assigning the priority score to the application.

All applications for clinical research submitted to NIH are required
to address these policies.  NIH funding components will not award
grants or cooperative agreements that do not comply with these


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by March 18, 1994, a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed
center, 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 NINR 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. Ernest Marquez
Office of Review
National Institute of Nursing Research
Westwood Building, Room 740
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7865
FAX:  (301) 594-7894


The application receipt date is April 21, 1994.  Applications
received after this date will not be considered.

Form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) is to be used to apply for these grants.
These forms are available at most institutional offices of sponsored
research; from the Office of Grants Information, Division of Research
Grants, National Institutes of Health, Westwood Building, Room 449,
Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone 301/710-0267; and from the NINR program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  The pilot and/or feasibility studies
and the mandatory cores have page limitations requirements.  The
arrangement of materials must follow both the instructions in form
PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) application kit and in the NRCC guidelines which
are available from the NINR program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

The original and three signed exact photocopies must be sent or
delivered to:

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892**

In addition to mailing the application to the Division of Research
Grants, send two copies of the application to:

Dr. Ernest Marquez
Office of Review
National Institute of Nursing Research
Westwood Building, Room 740
Bethesda, MD  20892**
Telephone:  (301) 594-7865

Applicants should keep in mind that the written application is the
basis for the merit review.  Site visits will not be conducted for
the NRCC applications.  Applications not in accordance with NRCC
guidelines will be returned to the applicant.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be
affixed to the bottom of the face page.  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 in line 2a of the face page of
the application form and the YES box must be marked.

If the use of human subjects and/or vertebrate animals is proposed,
appropriate institutional reviews and certifications must be obtained
before the application is submitted and appropriate items on the Face
Page must be completed.


Applications for NRCC grants will first be reviewed for completeness
and responsiveness to the RFA.  Applications that are incomplete or
non-responsive to this RFA will be returned to the applicant.
Applications that are complete and responsive may be subjected to a
preliminary evaluation by a peer review group to determine their
scientific merit relative to the other applications received in
response to this RFA (triage); the NIH will withdraw from further
consideration applications judged to be noncompetitive and promptly
notify the Principal Investigator and the official signing for the
applicant organization.  Abbreviated summary reports will be prepared
for non-competitive applications.

Those applications judged to be competitive will be further evaluated
for scientific merit by an ad hoc review group.  This phase of peer
review will be conducted by a group of expert consultants convened by
the Office of Review of the NINR.  Each application must be complete
in itself.  Site visits will not be conducted.  A second level of
review will be performed by the National Advisory Council for Nursing

Careful consideration of the information in the SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
section of the RFA and the following review criteria will be used to
evaluate the NRCC grant (P30) applications:

Research Base

1.  Focus and depth of funded investigations that are currently in

2.  Presence of emerging collaborations and interactions, with common
research interests, among the investigators within the research base.

3.  Impact that funded investigators have made in their respective
fields, as indicated by publications, and other factors.

4.  The qualifications, experience, and commitment of the NRCC
investigators responsible for the individual research projects, and
their willingness to interact with each other.

5.  The appropriateness of the investigators as participants of the
center, and whether their activities warrant core support.

Individual Core Projects

1.  The inclusion of three mandatory cores including: (a) the
Administrative Core to manage the overall activities of the Center,
and the pilot and/or feasibility studies, (b) the Research Support
Core to manage the coordination of clinical or laboratory data, and
its appropriate data analysis, and (c) the Research Development and
Dissemination Core to facilitate the research training of staff and
the exchange and dissemination of information critical to the
scientific area of inquiry both within the NRCC and within the
broader scientific community.

2.  The appropriateness and relevance of the proposed cores and the
modes of operation, facilities, and potential for contribution to
ongoing nursing research.  Enhancement of collaborative and/or
interdisciplinary research is a consideration.

3.  Appropriate justification for each core component. Considerations
include the duplication of existing resources or services and
anticipated future use of each core.

Pilot and/or Feasibility Studies

1.  The scientific merit of the research proposed, how well the
research fits into the focus of the overall center grant and the
importance of the information sought to the goals of the NINR.

2.  The feasibility and promise of the proposed methods.

3.  The novelty or originality of the application.

4.  The training, experience, and research competence of the

5.  The suitability of the facilities for the proposed research,
including the availability of required special resources.

6.  The appropriateness and justification of the requested budget for
the proposed work.

7.  Provisions for the protection of human subjects and the humane
care of animals.

Overall Center Core Grant Application

1.  The overall scientific merit and the potential of the research
program for making a significant contribution to achieving the goals
of the NINR.

2.  The scientific gain from linking the research projects in a
center grant, i.e., the degree of interrelatedness and synergism
among the components of the center.

3.  The qualifications of the Principal Investigator and other key
investigators and the commitment of participating investigators to a
common goal and to collaboration.

4.  The adequacy of the available resources and the quality of the
research environment.

5.  The adequacy of the multiple aspects related to the
administrative structure for the center, including the ability of the
center director to provide the scientific and administrative
leadership for the project; strategies to promote scientific
planning, interaction, implementation, and evaluation; plans for
succession of Principal Investigators; and arrangements for the
fiscal management of the grant.

6.  The institutional commitment to the center in terms of space,
resources, administrative authority, and other necessary support; the
extent to which the center is recognized as a major element within
the organizational structure of the institution.

7.  The plans for developmental activities, including recruitment and
expansion, insofar as these are justified by the proposed research

8.  The plans for outreach and collaboration with other groups doing
related work.

9.  Provisions for the protection of human subjects and the humane
care of animals.

10.  Appropriateness of the requested budget for the work proposed.


Prior to submission of the application, consultation with NINR staff
concerning the technical aspects of preparing the application is
extremely desirable.  Applicants should not construe advice given by
NINR staff as assurance of favorable review.  The staff will not
evaluate or discuss the merit of the scientific aspects of the

Inquiries regarding programmatic/scientific issues and requests for
the supplemental guidelines may be directed to:

Laura A. James, Ph.D., R.N.
Acute and Chronic Illness Branch
National Institute of Nursing Research
Westwood Building, Room 752
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7397
FAX:  (301) 594-7603

For administrative and fiscal matters, contact:

Sally A. Nichols
Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Nursing Research
Westwood Building, Room 748
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7498
FAX:  (301) 594-7603


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.361 Nursing Research.  Awards will be made under
the authority of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A
(Public Law 78- 410, as amended by Public Health Law 99-158, 42 USC
241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74. This program is not
subject to intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order
12372 or Health Systems Agency review.


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