Release Date:  November 25, 1998

RFA:  OD-99-004


Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institute on Aging

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  February 5, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  March 12, 1999


The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Dental and
Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and
National Institute on Aging (NIA) invite applications for educational project
(R25) grants to develop and conduct short-term (1-2 weeks) educational workshops
in interdisciplinary research aimed at social, behavioral, and biomedical
researchers. The NIH sponsoring organizations are jointly issuing this Request
for Applications (RFA) to foster cross-disciplinary communication and research
collaborations within the behavioral and social sciences and between them and
biomedical sciences.

Grant applications are requested that propose as their educational objective the
integration of health research across various levels of analysis. These levels
can include environmental, social, individual, organ system, cellular, and
molecular levels. Special emphasis is placed on facilitating (1) the integration
of different fields of social and behavioral sciences research and/or (2) the
integration of these areas with the more biological analyses. The short-term goal
of this initiative is to encourage social/behavioral and biomedical scientists
to learn each other"s methods, procedures, and/or theoretical perspectives. The
long-term goal of this RFA is to enable researchers to develop cross-disciplinary
collaborations and to submit quality grant applications with interdisciplinary


The 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 RFA, Educational Workshops in Interdisciplinary Research,
is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain
a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at


Applications may be submitted by any domestic for-profit or non-profit
organization, public or private, such as universities, colleges, hospitals,
laboratories, units of State and local governments, or eligible agencies of the
Federal government that are engaged in health-related education or research.
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are
encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.


This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health education project grant
(R25).  Applications submitted in response to this RFA cannot be used to support
existing ongoing training.  These Interdisciplinary Workshop Grants are intended
to support only educational activities that promote interdisciplinary research
and may not be used for support of clinical training or clinically-oriented
continuing education programs in the health professions.  Up to $100,000 direct
costs may be requested for up to one year of support.  Requests for support that
exceed $100,000 (direct costs) will be returned as being nonresponsive to this
solicitation.  Indirect costs, other than those awarded to state or local
government agencies, will be reimbursed at eight percent of total allowable
direct costs.  State and local government agencies will receive reimbursement at
their full indirect cost rate.  Because the nature and scope of the workshop
proposed in response to this RFA may vary, it is anticipated that the size of an
award will vary also.  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  However, it may be
reissued depending on availability of funds and NIH programmatic goals.

Allowable Costs

Costs must be consistent with PHS Policy and be reasonable, allowable, and well
documented and justified for the proposed educational workshop.

Specifically, funds may be requested for:

o  Personnel costs for salary and fringe benefits may be requested for the time
spent by faculty members on the design and implementation of the workshop.
Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution"s
policy for similar positions.

o  Administrative and clerical salary costs associated with the workshop may be
direct charges to the grant only when specifically identified and justified as
reflecting significantly greater effort than the level of such services routinely
provided by academic departments.  Requests for consultant costs, equipment,
supplies, necessary travel, and other project related expenses must be justified
as specifically required by the workshop proposed and not duplicate items
generally available at the institution for educational programs.

Participants in the workshop may receive only per diem living (necessary lodging
and meals) and domestic or foreign travel expenses associated with attendance at
the interdisciplinary workshop(s). Since this is a short-term educational
workshop, citizenship requirements do not apply to the participants.

Unallowable Costs

o  Tuition costs are not allowed under this RFA nor can the participants receive
any payment for attendance, nor be charged a fee for attendance at the
interdisciplinary workshop(s).  Funds from this RFA may not be used to supplement
stipends or provide other individual compensation to trainees supported by PHS
training grants.


Approximately $1,000,000 will be available to award approximately seven to ten
education project awards under this RFA.  Although this program is included in
the financial plans of the participating Institutes and the OBSSR, the award of
grants pursuant to this RFA is contingent upon the availability of funds as well
as upon the quality of applications.


The objective of this RFA is to support educational workshops that foster the
development of cross-disciplinary communication and research collaboration.
Health is affected by physiologic and genetic factors, as well as behavioral,
social, and environmental factors.  The interactions of these factors can be
studied at different levels of analysis, ranging from the molecular, the organ
system, individual to the social structural level.  Evidence of biopsychosocial
interactions can be found at all levels of analysis.  For example, research shows
that smoking, diet, exercise, chronic and acute stress, anger, social support,
and socioeconomic status all have profound effects on the central nervous,
cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems.  Such interactions make it
imperative to more fully integrate behavioral with social science research, and
to integrate both behavioral and social science research with basic and clinical
biomedical research.

This RFA is being coordinated under the auspices of the Office of Behavioral and
Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) of the National Institutes of Health. OBSSR
provides leadership and direction in increasing the scope and support of research
on the role of behavior and social processes in the etiology and the prevention
of disease and the promotion of health.  One of OBSSR"s strategies to promote
this cross-cutting interdisciplinary research is to support short-term training
workshops for social, behavioral, and biomedical scientists to learn each other"s
methods and procedures, especially at an early stage in their career.  Four NIH
Institutes have joined with OBSSR to support this project, and each seeks to
encourage research related to its own mission.

o  The NICHD encourages workshops addressing an important medical rehabilitation
research problem by examining linkages between two or more states in the
enabling-disabling process (i.e., pathophysiology, impairment, functional
limitation, disability, and societal limitation).

o  The NIDCR is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary approaches to
community or health care system based interventions to prevent oral diseases or
systemic health problems associated with oral diseases, studies on orofacial
trauma and injury prevention, health services research related to oral diseases
or their treatment, and in studies utilizing oral or craniofacial tissues as
models for studying basic biological or behavioral processes.

o  The NINR is interested in training programs that foster improved cross-
disciplinary collaboration. This RFA is directly related to NINR"s emphasis on
multidisciplianary research spanning the basic and clinical sciences.

o  The NIA invites multidisciplinary research in the program areas related to
aging and: cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology,
sensory and perceptual processes, sleep, dementia, demography, economics,
sociology, behavior genetics, and behavioral medicine (see topic areas listed in
PAR-98-021 and PAS-98-041 for examples).  Examples of cross-cutting topics
include caregiving, end of life, decision making, and socioeconomic status and
health outcomes.

These Education Grants support short-term (1-2 weeks) workshops that are designed
to provide a broad understanding of fields outside the trainees" in order to
foster improved cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration.  For example,
a workshop may focus on educating behavioral researchers in the conceptualization
and measurement of social, environmental, or economic variables, or the training
of social or behavioral researchers in research methods employed in immunology,
neuroscience, genetics, or in the areas of heart, lung, and blood diseases, or
drug addiction.  Biomedical researchers might be educated in sociobehavioral
theory and research methods, such as techniques for measuring and manipulating
behavior in animal models of disease, social and behavioral epidemiological
approaches, cognitive and behavior therapy techniques, economic analyses, and
methods in cognitive neuroscience, behavioral genetics, or immuno-modulation.
Other examples for educational workshop topics include, but are not limited to,
end of life issues, clinical outcome research, and/or vulnerable populations.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by February 5, 1999, a letter of
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed workshop, the name,
address, and the telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the identities
of other key personnel and participating institutions, and the 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 NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid
conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institutes of Health
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C234, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 594-5943
FAX:  (301) 402-0051


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
4/98).  Applications kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach
and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive,
MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone: 301-710-0267, email: Applications are also available on the World Wide Web at

Applications are to be prepared according to the instructions provided on pages
5-20 except for the following Specific Instructions. Applications not following
these instructions will be returned to the applicant without review.

Specific Instructions:

1.  Application Face Page:

Item 2.  Check the box marked "YES" and type the number and title of this Request
for Applications.

Item 6.  Enter 093099 through 092900. The proposed period of support may not
exceed one year.

Items 7 and 8.  The direct cost request may not exceed $100,000. Indirect costs
are limited to eight percent of total allowable direct costs, except applicants
that are State and local governments may request full indirect cost

5.  Budget for Entire Proposed Period of Support (Form Page 5-EE) - not
applicable, do not complete.

9.  Research Plan

Follow the instructions for Items a. (Specific Aims) and b. (Background and

Item c. (Preliminary Studies/Progress Report) should be retitled "Preliminary
Data and Activities" and included, if applicable. This section should contain
information on steps that have led to the proposed workshop.

Item d. (Research Design and Methods) should be retitled "Educational Workshop
Plan". This section should provide sufficient detail to allow reviewers to
evaluate the proposed workshop according to the specific review criteria for this
RFA. Information in this section should be organized under the following

1) Proposed Workshop: Provide detail on the design and content of the proposed
workshop (e.g., time frame, courses, curricula, specific activities) and the
resource requirements (e.g., description of the facilities, laboratories,
participating departments, computer services, and any other resources to be used
in the conduct of the workshop).

2) Workshop Participants: Provide detail about the targeted participants, include
a description of plans for recruiting, as participants, individuals from under-
represented racial/ethnic groups. Particular attention should be given to range
of prior research experience to be accommodated (e.g., graduate students, junior
faculty, and/or senior faculty).

3) Workshop Faculty/Staff: Describe the characteristics and responsibilities of
the faculty, provide evidence that participating faculty and preceptors are
actively engaged in research or other scholarly activities related to the
proposed workshop.

4) Principal Investigator: Describe arrangements for administration of the
workshop, provide evidence that the Principal Investigator is actively engaged
in interdisciplinary research and/or teaching in an area involving the social and
behavioral sciences (investigators with a biomedical background should provide
evidence of collaborations with social and/or behavioral scientists), provide
evidence that the Principal Investigator can organize and administer the workshop

5) Institutional commitment: Provide evidence of institutional commitment and
support for the proposed workshop, e.g. commitment of facilities, staff, etc .

Items (e) through (i) should be completed following the standard PHS 398

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 kit must be affixed to the bottom of the
face page of the original copy of the application.  Failure to use this label
could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach
the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title and number
must be typed on line 2 of the face of the application form and the YES box must
be marked.

In one package, submit the signed, original of the application and appendices (if
any) and three single-sided, complete photocopies to:

6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At time of submission, two additional copies of the application should also be
sent directly to:

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institutes of Health
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C234, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205

Applications must be received by the receipt date of March 12, 1999.  If an
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant.
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 previously reviewed, but such applications must include an
introduction addressing the previous critique.


Upon receipt, CSR will review applications for completeness, and NIH program
staff will review them for responsiveness.  Incomplete and nonresponsive
applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for
educational, scientific, and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group
convened by CSR in accordance with standard NIH peer review procedures. As part
of the initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and
undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will be
discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the
National Advisory Council of the relevant NIH Institute or Center.

Review Criteria

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 the
application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have
a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these criteria will
be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as
appropriate for each application.  Note that the 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, an investigator may propose to
carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential
to move a field forward.

o  Significance: Does the educational workshop address an important problem which
has not received adequate attention from a multidisciplinary perspective? If the
aims of the application are achieved, is it likely that scientific knowledge will
be advanced? What will be the effect of this workshop on the research careers of
the participants or on scientific advances in the field?

o Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, and educational methods
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the
workshop? Are the curriculum and design appropriate for providing education in
interdisciplinary research? Has the potential pool of participants been clearly
identified and justified (e.g., level of prior research experience, geographical
area)? Are recruitment and selection plans for participants likely to succeed,
especially in regard to the recruitment of women and underrepresented minorities?

o  Innovation: Does the workshop employ novel concepts, approaches or methods?
Are the aims original and innovative? Is the proposed workshop likely to foster
innovative interdisciplinary health research and collaborations?

o  Investigator: Is the project director appropriately trained and well suited
to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level
of the project director and other faculty?  What is projector"s and faculty"s
past records of scientific and educational achievement in at least one area of
the proposed training and in terms of current engagement in research related to
the proposed workshop?

o  Environment: Does the scientific and educational environment in which the
workshop will be conducted contribute to the probability of success? Is there
evidence of institutional support?

In addition, appropriateness of the budget and the duration of the support needed
to achieve the stated goals and objectives will be evaluated.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds
o Program priority.


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  February 5, 199
Application Receipt Date:       March 12, 1999
Initial Review:                 June/July 1999
Advisory Council Review:        September 1999
Earliest Start Date:            September 30, 1999


Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff early in the
development of an application with questions regarding responsiveness to the
goals of this RFA.

Inquiries regarding programmatic issues may be directed to:

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institutes of Health
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2C234, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 594-5943
FAX:  (301) 402-0051

Louis A. Quatrano, Ph.D.
National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 2A03
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 402-2242
FAX:  (301) 402-0832

Patricia Bryant, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
45 Center Drive, Room 4AN24E
Bethesda, MD  20892-6402
Telephone:  (301) 594-2095
FAX:  (301) 480-8318

Carole I. Hudgings, Ph.D., RN
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Nursing Research
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN-12, MSC 6300
Bethesda, MD  20892-6300
Telephone:  (301) 594-5976
FAX:  (301) 480-8260

Georgeanne Patmios, MA
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 525, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-3138
FAX:  (301) 402-0051

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Mary Ellen Colvin
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17G
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 496-1304

Jeff Carow
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Nursing Research
Building 45, Room 3AN-12
Bethesda, MD  20892-6301
Telephone:  (301) 594-6869
FAX:  (301) 480-8256

David Reiter
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 2N212, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 442-3672

Martin R. Rubinstein
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
45 Center Drive, Room 4AN44A, MSC 6402
Bethesda, MD  20892-6402
Telephone:  (301) 594-4800
FAX:  (301) 480-8301


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.866 (NIA), 93.929 (NICHD), 93.121 (NIDCR), and 93.316 (NINR). Awards are made
under authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Titles III, Part A, and IV
of the Public Health Service Act, and are administered under PHS grants policies
and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52, and 45 CFR Part 74. This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive order 12372,
or Health Systems Agency Review. Awards will be administered under PHS grants
policy as stated in the Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement (April 1,

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the nonuse 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.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.