Release Date:  March 16, 1999

RFA:  OD-99-006


Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Children's Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families
National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, DOJ
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of
Justice Programs, DOJ
Office of Special Education Programs, Department of Education

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: June 15, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  September 14,1999


The purpose of this five-year research grant program is to enhance
our understanding of the etiology, extent, services, treatment,
management, and prevention of child neglect.  This Request for
Applications (RFA) is intended to stimulate the development of
programs of child neglect research at institutions that currently
have strong research programs in related areas (e.g., child
development, injury prevention, developmental neurobiology, child
abuse, substance abuse, population research, craniofacial and
dental public health, health services) but are not engaged in
extensive research focusing on child neglect.  A second goal of
this RFA is to bring the expertise of researchers from the child
health, education, and juvenile justice fields into the child
neglect research field and to promote their collaborations with
each other and with child neglect and child abuse researchers.

While increasing attention is being paid to the issue of child
abuse, little research has yet addressed the equally significant
problem of child neglect.  Yet child neglect may relate to profound
health consequences, including premature birth and perinatal
complications, physical injuries (such as central nervous system
and craniofacial injuries, fractures, and severe burns),
disfigurement, disabilities, and mental and behavior problems
(e.g., suicide, lowered IQ, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic
stress disorder, delinquency and later adult criminal behavior,
drug and alcohol abuse, and a greater likelihood of growing up to
repeat the cycle of negative behaviors as a parent).  Moreover,
child neglect can place children at higher risk for a variety of
diseases and conditions (e.g., through elevated exposure to toxins
causing anemia, cancer, heart disease, poor immune functioning, and
asthma; through inadequate health promoting behaviors--medical
checkups, proper diet, etc.--needed to  prevent disease or manage
chronic disorder).  Child neglect can also interfere with normal
social, cognitive, and affective development, including the
development of language, social relationships, and academic skills.

Thus, child neglect is a serious public health, justice, social
services, and education problem, not only compromising the
immediate health of our nation's children, but also threatening
their growth and intellectual development, their long-term physical
and mental health outcomes, their propensity for pro-social
behavior, their future parenting practices, and their economic
productivity as eventual wage earners.  The sponsoring
organizations are jointly issuing this Request for Applications
(RFA) because neglect is a multi-faceted problem involving many
agencies in its consequences, prevention, and control. The RFA is
intended to go beyond what any single organization would be likely
to accomplish individually, since child neglect requires multi-
disciplinary solutions which cross-cut the missions of NIH and
these partner agencies.

Since studies of child neglect are constrained by myriad practical,
legal, ethical, and methodological considerations, the funding
partners sponsoring this RFA believe that, without special
encouragement to the scientific community, the number of studies
addressing child neglect will likely continue to lag behind that of
studies addressing other forms of childhood trauma.  Without an
increase in child neglect research we will continue to lack the
means to effectively prevent the occurrence of child neglect or to
ameliorate its consequences.  The need for more research to augment
and expand the existing scientific knowledge base on child neglect
provides the impetus for this RFA.


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 RFA, Research on Child Neglect, 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 organizations, public or private, such as universities,
colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local
governments, or eligible agencies of the Federal government. 
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.


This RFA will use the NIH individual research project grant (R01)
mechanism of support.  Although the R01 is the mechanism of support
for this RFA, research projects not traditionally supported with
this mechanism are also encouraged.  These may include not only
large scale research grants characteristic of more mature fields of
study, but also exploratory, preliminary, or innovative research
projects, with sound methodology and strong rationales, that
provide a basis for future continuing or expanded research project
applications.  Also of interest are short-term projects, studies
submitted by less experienced investigators, and feasibility
studies testing methods or techniques new to child neglect
research.  Because the nature and scope of the research proposed in
response to this RFA will vary, it is anticipated that the size and
length of the awards will also vary widely.


It is anticipated that for fiscal year 2000, the co-sponsors of
this initiative will provide total funds (direct and indirect
costs) in the amount of $ 3,315,000.  Award of grants pursuant to
this RFA is contingent upon receipt of both sufficiently
meritorious applications and funds for this purpose.  Between 11
and 15 awards are anticipated.  The exact amount of funding awarded
will depend on the quality of applications and the availability of

Applicants should provide a detailed time frame describing what
specific activities are to occur throughout the proposed grant
period, justifying time estimates.  Applicants may request support
for up to 5 years.  The usual PHS policies governing grants
administration and management will apply.  Annual awards will be
made, subject to continued availability of funds and progress
achieved.  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  At the end of each
project's official award period, a competitive renewal application
may be submitted for peer review and competition for support
through the regular grant programs of the participating agencies. 
It is anticipated that awards resulting from RFA OD-99-006 may
begin as early as July 1, 2000.  Administrative adjustments in
project period or amount of support may be required at the time of
the award.  Since a variety of approaches would represent valid
responses to this RFA, it is anticipated that there will be a range
of costs among the grants awarded.  All current policies and
requirements that govern the research grant programs of the NIH
will apply to grants awarded in connection with this RFA.



This initiative is responsive to the recent directive by the
Committee on Appropriations (H.R. No. 104-659) that the NIH
"convene a working group of its component organizations currently
supporting research on child abuse and neglect." The NIH Child
Abuse and Neglect Working Group (CANWG), was established in
response to this mandate. The Appropriations Committee requested
that this working group report on "current NIH research efforts in
this area, the accomplishments of that research, and on plans for
future coordination efforts at NIH at the fiscal 1998 hearings." 
The recommendations for future research noted in the CANWG's
subsequent 1998 report were based on both an analysis of the NIH
portfolio as well as  on the 1993 National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) report, "Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect."  The NAS
report outlined 17 research priority areas where research was
especially needed, including  (a) a better understanding of the
nature and scope of child maltreatment, (b) increased knowledge
about the origins and consequences of abuse and neglect, (c)
improving treatments and prevention interventions, and (d)
developing a science policy for research on child maltreatment.
Child neglect was also noted as a high priority research area in
the 1998 Institute of  Medicine  report, "Violence in Families:
Assessing Prevention and Treatment Programs."  This RFA is also
responsive to recommendations from the National Institute of
Justice (NIJ) "Child Abuse and Neglect Interventions Strategic
Planning Meeting," October 20-21, 1997, which included
representatives from the government agencies of ACYF, NIH, CDC, and
NIJ.  The content of this RFA is also in line with the conclusions
of a June 1993 National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect-
sponsored symposium on chronic neglect, which addressed consensus-
building on definitions, strategies for change, research,
treatment, and policy topics (Chronic Neglect Symposium Proceedings
(1993) available from the NCCAN Clearinghouse, 800-394-3366).

Child abuse and child neglect have become endemic to our society,
constituting major public health problems for all Americans, with
consequences of severe psychological and social dysfunction as well
as injury and death. Of these two serious problems affecting
children, the one of abuse (both physical and sexual) has gained
significantly greater attention.  In contrast, the area of child
neglect has not benefitted from any systematic study, despite the
fact that neglect may be as deleterious, and even more widespread,
than physical or sexual child abuse.

It is difficult to make any absolute statement about the extent of
neglect since the literature is plagued by poorly defined samples
and the tendency to aggregate physical abuse, sexual abuse, and
neglect into a single category of child maltreatment.  Perhaps the
most influential nationally representative incidence survey,
commissioned by ACYF, includes both harm and endangerment in its
definition of neglect (National Incidence Study (NIS), Office of
Human Development).  Another ACYF survey, the "1996 Child
Maltreatment Reports of the States to the National Child Abuse and
Neglect Data System," indicated that 55% of the nearly one million
documented cases of child maltreatment that year were cases of some
form of neglect. This incidence figure is likely to be a
significant underestimate. Other evidence suggests that less than
half of recognized cases of maltreatment are actually reported to
child protective services, and less than 20% of these cases are
taken to court.  While serious neglect may sometimes result in
foster care placement, only a minority of cases result in removal
of the child from the home.  Interventions must therefore address
the needs of both the child and the parents.

The NIS distinguishes among three primary forms of child neglect:
physical neglect, educational neglect, and emotional neglect.  In
a 1985 report, the AMA suggested that routine examinations may
reveal many indicators of physical neglect, including malnutrition;
low birth weight; repeated pica; constant fatigue; poor hygiene;
persistence of treatable medical conditions; lack of immunizations
and appropriate medications; absence of dental care; absence of
necessary prostheses such as eyeglasses and hearing aids; 
preventable injuries (e.g., craniofacial injuries resulting from
failure to wear protective headgear during sports); and delays in
physical, language, and cognitive development.  While educational
neglect (e.g., ignored or permitted truancy; failure to enroll
children in school; failure to obtain recommended remedial or
special education services) may also be relatively easy to detect,
less readily apparent is emotional neglect, which can involve
inadequate nurturance and affection, exposure to family violence,
permitted abuse of drugs or alcohol, or refusal of psychological
care.  Intervention may be particularly difficult in the vast
majority of the cases where neglect is chronic and insidious.

Parental factors that contribute to child neglect may include
maternal depression, intellectual impairments, social isolation,
financial problems, substance abuse, limited education,
unemployment, marital problems, and mental illness.  While the data
are largely inconclusive, child-related risk factors for neglect
may include prematurity, chronic illness, and hearing impairment.
Consequences of neglect may include developmental delays such as
lower IQs, growth problems, decreased readiness for learning, and
speech and language impairment.  Some studies show neglect to be
associated with behavioral and psychological impairments as well,
such as maladaptive peer interactions, insecure attachments, social
isolation, depression, avoidance, low self-esteem, lowered
tolerance for frustration, greater dependency, attention problems,
and (for boys) conduct disorder, though the causal direction for
many of these problems is still unclear.  Neglected children under
age 3 are also at high risk for child fatalities.

In 1993, the National Academy of Science "Report on Child Abuse and
Neglect" noted that studies of child neglect were lacking in
scientific rigor, and relied heavily on anecdotal evidence.  Since
these shortcomings remain, this RFA is intended to encourage
research on the prevalence, causes, course, and consequences of
child neglect, as well as evaluation of interventions designed to
prevent its occurrence, and to reverse, ameliorate, or compensate
for the short- and long-term effects of neglect on child victims.

This RFA, coordinated under the auspices of the NIH Child Abuse and
Neglect Working Group,  is a joint effort of several Institutes and
Offices of the NIH, including the Office of Behavioral and Social
Sciences Research,  the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism, the National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National
Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National
Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  This RFA is in line with NIH's
overall mission to promote the nation's health, by increasing the
scope of research on the causes, prevention, treatment, and
physical and mental health consequences of child neglect.

Joining with the NIH are the Children's Bureau, within the
Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and
Human Services; the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), both
in the Department of Justice; and the Office of Special Education
Programs (OSEP), within the Department of Education.  Research on
neglect fully supports the mission of the Children's Bureau, which
is to provide for the safety, permanency and well-being of children
and families through leadership, support for necessary services,
and productive partnerships with states, tribes and communities. 
This RFA is consistent with NIJ's overall mission to sponsor
research that strengthens the criminal justice system and reduces
crime and delinquency, including studies that evaluate the
effectiveness of criminal justice programs. The RFA is also
consistent with OJJDP's commitment to foster all research which may
potentially contribute toward the prevention and treatment of 
juvenile delinquency.  Finally, the RFA furthers the mission of
OSEP to encourage research useful to state and local efforts to
educate children with disabilities, and to provide all such
children and youth with early intervention services.

Research Goals and Topics

Studies responsive to this RFA should focus on:  the adult
caretaker and/or child victims of neglect; the dynamics of the
relationship between caretaker and child; the family system in
which neglect occurs; and the larger social contexts of neglect,
such as individual or family support systems, socioeconomic
factors, neighborhood, school, community programs and resources
(e.g., health care providers and health care delivery systems),
mandated community response agencies (e.g., the police or
protective service agencies), and prosecution and judicial
responses that address serious cases of neglect.  Multi-
disciplinary approaches are encouraged.  Studies in these areas can
include, but are not limited to:

1) Research on the antecedents of neglect, including studies of:

o  individual and social risk factors for neglect, such as the
influence of gender (mothers and mother-substitutes as primary
caretakers), availability and quality of child care settings and
providers; child disability; mental disorder and emotional problems
(e.g., depression, loneliness), substance abuse, interpersonal
situations, social/behavioral histories of caretakers (history of
neglect, domestic violence, criminal activity), socioeconomic,
family structure (e.g., single parent, alcoholic father), 
parenting knowledge, family isolation, family conflict resolution
processes, chronic childhood illness, child disruptive behavior
problems, and child temperament

o  cultural, social, religious, or ethnic differences in causes,
patterns, and contexts of neglect, (e.g., different cultural views
about behavior among kin, reporting of neglect, parental rights,
and the definition and significance of neglect)

2) Research on the consequences of neglect, including studies of:

o  the educational consequences of neglect (e.g.,  need for and
access to special education and related services, characteristics
of children who have been neglected in the preschool years, school-
readiness,  school adaptation, and academic achievement of children
who have suffered various degrees of neglect and/or environmental

o  the impact of neglect on the socio-emotional behavior of
children and youth, (e.g.,  antisocial behavior and delinquency,
status offenses, alcohol and drug use, risk-taking behaviors,
attachment relationships, peer relations, social competence, self-
esteem, emotional development; and adult criminality)

o  the impact of neglect on short and long term health outcomes(
e.g., SIDS, Pica, lead poisoning, anemia, AIDS, hepatitis, heart
failure, asthma, reactive airway disease, cancer)

o  prenatal and postnatal influences on the developing brain,
including studies of  gene regulation; mechanisms of stress system
activation on brain anatomic and functional development;  ages of
vulnerability to neglect on brain development; role of neuroimmune
and neuroendocrine influences on brain development as a consequence
of the neglect-stress environment

o  long-term neurobiological sequelae/morbidity of neglect (e.g.,
effect on immune system regulation, altered sleep patterns, changes
in motor system activity, neurocognitive, and neuropsychiatric
outcomes); factors that mitigate or protect the brain from adverse
long-term  outcomes

3) Research on processes and mediators accounting for or
influencing the effects of neglect, including studies of:

o  psychosocial and psychobiological mechanisms by which neglect
results in harmful effects; the impact of neglect on individual
development and progress during infancy, childhood, adolescence, or
adulthood; processes of risk and resilience in neglected
populations; effect of neglect on exposure to environmental hazards
(e.g., lead poisoning) affecting health, educational, or emotional

o  Individual and social protective factors, (e.g., teacher,
extended family, and other formal and informal social support;
coping style; quality child care; community resources; special
education); and subgroups of at risk populations

4) Neglect research on treatment, preventive intervention, and
service delivery, including studies of:

o  knowledge and behaviors of health care providers affecting early
detection or evaluation of child neglect; development and
validation of biomarkers, indices, or classificatory systems which
aid health providers, teachers, or other community members
recognize child neglect at earlier stages

o  theory-driven preventive strategies to reduce risk for child
neglect, such as programs targeted toward at-risk individuals or
families (e.g., early home visitation, parent training programs,
low-income child care, family preservation services) as they are
influenced by participant characteristics (e.g., poor or young
mothers; child's developmental stage, individual cognition, coping
responses, behavior patterns, substance abuse and/or emotional
reactions of caretakers or victims), family structure, intervention
processes, and extra-intervention factors

o  early intervention as a means of preventing long-term mental,
oral, and other health problems and disorders

o  interventions tailored for use in different ethnic, social, and
cultural groups, or different types of communities (e.g., urban
versus rural)

o  intervention models in various social and community settings for
ameliorating the effects of deprivation on antisocial behavior,
delinquency, and school outcomes;  the influence of setting (e.g.,
home, child care, institution, clinic, school, resource centers, 
foster care, special education) on program participation, and

o  population characteristics, societal values, or intervention
components that may affect identification, help-seeking, or access
to services; barriers to intervention availability, delivery, or
effectiveness as a function of social group membership or factors
in the setting (e.g., special education, foster care, child care,
home) in which the intervention occurs

o  different types of integration, coordination, and organization
of services on the effectiveness of preventive and treatment
strategies in real world settings;  the relative effectiveness of
different community-level comprehensive service system approaches
to neglect (e.g., case management systems, interagency panels)

o  legal processes, protective services, and mental health services
both separately and in combination with court-ordered interventions
( e.g., mandatory reporting, foster care, termination of parental
rights, kinship care, police response and involvement) as the means
of preventing or ending neglect, and  reversing, ameliorating, or
compensating for the short- and long-term effects of neglect on
child victims

5) Other topics/special issues, including studies of:

o  issues related to specific neglect populations and their
caretakers (e.g., co-occurrence with substance abuse, sexual or
physical abuse, exposure to community violence,
culturally/ethnically diverse samples) to determine similarities
and differences within and across groups and their implications for

o  studies of the effect of non-residential, parental involvement
as either a causative or preventative factor in neglect. 
Involvement may take the form of financial support, visitation, or
specific types of interactions with the child or residential

o  issues related to the impact of welfare reform on quality and
availability of child care and the frequency and severity of child
neglect in communities

o  the co-occurrence of child neglect with domestic violence,
including studies of the incidence and prevalence of child neglect
in families experiencing domestic abuse, impact of domestic
violence on parenting abilities and behaviors, consequences of
neglect within the context of domestic violence, effect of court
response to domestic violence, and effectiveness of interventions
for domestic violence in reducing the risk of child neglect or in
ameliorating its consequences

o  The co-occurrence of child neglect with disabling conditions,
including studies of neglected children with disabilities which
adversely affect educational performance; disabilities which
require special services under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act; delivery of special education services to neglected
children and youth with disabilities

o  instrument development to determine the utility, reliability and
validity of standard physical and mental health assessments when
used with neglected children, as well as assessment of other
effects of neglect (e.g., social attributions, world view, self-


It is anticipated that a successful grant application will address
the following considerations (see also Chapter 3 of the 1998
Institute of Medicine report, "Violence in Families: Assessing
Prevention and Treatment Programs,"
 as  a source of recent guidance
for conducting research in this sensitive field):

Definition of the Sample and Subject Selection Criteria

The samples for study must be rigorously defined to permit complete
independent replication at another site.  Within this context, the
ascertainment/referral sources should be described in detail,
including the definitions and criteria employed to identify and
report child neglect.  It is expected that not all victims of child
neglect will be identified according to the same definitions and
criteria.  Consequently, applicants should provide clearly
documented and operationalized definitions of the criteria employed
in the identification of neglect.  Description of subjects as
neglected according to vague referral sources (i.e., "agency-
identified" neglect victims) is discouraged unless accompanied by
the explicit identification criteria employed by the protective
service agency/health care provider, etc.  Because state statutes
vary in their criteria for designating a case as "neglected",
applicants should also identify and discuss the effects of legal
context on the sample selection or composition.

In addition, all study samples should be defined, to the maximum
extent possible, with reference to age, gender, grade level (if
appropriate), race, ethnicity, SES, geographic region, presence of
disabling/handicapping condition, socio-emotional behavioral status
(e.g., antisocial behavior, delinquency, alcohol and drug use,
etc), caretaker status, characteristics of home/family environment,
and primary type of neglect (physical, emotional, educational) and
combinations of types if present.

Measurement Criteria

Interviews, surveys, questionnaires, observational measures,
standardized measures, and other assessment procedures used for the
identification of child neglect across physical, emotional, and
academic domains must be described in sufficient detail to permit
independent replication.  Measures with known reliability,
validity, and appropriateness for the population under study should
be employed when available.  If reliability and validity
characteristics are not yet known for a particular assessment
procedure, the application should contain specific plans for
establishing these features.

Opportunities for Definition and Classification of Neglect

A critical public health task for amelioration of child neglect is
the development of a set of operational definitions and a
classification system for different types of neglect.  Definitional
clarity and classification are necessary to develop prevention,
early intervention, and treatment programs, to identify
distinctions and interrelationships between types of neglect, to
ascertain the antecedents and consequences of each neglect type,
and to understand the relationship between each type of neglect and
individual, familial, social, cultural, and geographic variables. 
Applicants should consider research protocols that are capable of
identifying well defined subgroups that exist within the neglected
population.  Within this context, investigators may wish to cast
the sampling net wide enough to ensure a representative number of
children across physical neglect, emotional neglect, educational
neglect, and combined neglect domains.

Secondary Data

It is acceptable to propose analyses of data collected for other
purposes that might yield  insight on neglect.  In these instances,
investigators should be specific about how neglect is
operationalized,  limitations of the data, and how the analysis
will be structured.  Investigators should also be clear when such
analysis is descriptive or designed to model a process or test an


Feasibility issues must be clearly addressed.  Plans for
implementation of interventions should include procedures for:
obtaining and maintaining the necessary community relations,
training and supervising staff, insuring implementation fidelity,
securing ongoing access to the subject population pool, recruiting
a representative sample of the target population, recruiting
minorities for the staff of the research intervention, and
monitoring subject participation over time.

Applicants are encouraged to document the commitment, support,
cooperation, and nature of proposed collaboration of community
agencies or other entities or settings outside the applicant
organization whose support is essential for the conduct of the
Annual Meetings

Successful applicants will be asked to participate in yearly
meetings to report progress, discuss problems, and share
information related to the conduct of their grants.  It is
recommended that costs associated with attendance at these
meetings, to be held in the Washington DC area, be included as a
part of the budget proposal.

Publication of Study Findings

All publications ensuing from these grants should acknowledge the
joint support of the agencies participating in this RFA, by citing
the "Federal Child Neglect Research Consortium" as the funding

The statutory mandate of the NIJ is to both support research and
disseminate the results of the research.  Given this, the NIJ
intends to publish the results of these research projects.  It is
therefore expected that at the completion of the project, in
addition to any publications specified in the application, the
grant recipient will submit a brief (2,500 to 4,000 words) summary
highlighting the findings and their implications for research and

In addition, OJJDP requires that grantees produce documents ranging
from 900 to 6,000 words suitable for publication as OJJDP Fact
Sheets or OJJDP Bulletins.  These publications are intended to
summarize the goals and objectives of the research effort, describe
the study, and discuss findings.

Participation in Data Archive

Because the pool of money for this RFA includes funding from NIJ
and ACF, grant recipients will be expected to conform to the data
archiving requirements of both of these agencies.  Archiving
requirements will be determined on a case by case basis, with the
potential for joint listing and linkage.  However, applicants
should bear in mind that OCAN/Cornell requirements permit
researchers 2 years after the completion of the grant to archive
their data, whereas NIJ requires that data be archived with the
final report.

NIJ is committed to ensuring the public availability of research
data and to this end has established a Data Resources Program. 
Recipients who collect data are required to submit a machine-
readable copy of the data and appropriate documentation to NIJ
prior to the conclusion of the project.  A variety of formats are
acceptable; however, the data and materials must conform with
requirements detailed in Depositing Data within the Data Resources
Program of the National Institute of Justice: A Handbook.  For
further information about NIJ's Data Resources Program, contact Dr.
Jordan Leiter, (202) 616-9487.

It is also expected that grant recipients will commit to using data
processing and documentation practices in accordance with the needs
of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and to
providing study data to the Archive at the conclusion of the
project, as applicable.  A manual describing such practices, The
Preparation of Data Sets for Analysis and Dissemination:  Technical
Standards for Machine-Readable Data, can be obtained free of cost
from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect located
at Cornell University, Family Life Development Center, G20 MVR
Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-4401, Phone: 607-255-7799; FAX:
607-255-8562; EMAIL:; Web site:  Applicants
must confirm that the final report will be prepared in the
suggested format to ensure its readiness for dissemination by the
Children's Bureau and ACYF, if desired.


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority
groups and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH
supported biomedical and behavioral research projects involving
human subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and
justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with
respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the
research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of
1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects
should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and
Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been
published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59
14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, Volume
23, Number 11, March 18, 1994, and is also available on the web at:

Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.


It is the policy of the NIH that children (i.e., individuals under
the age of 21) must be included in all human subjects research,
conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and
ethical reasons not to include them.  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
was published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6,
1998, and is available at the following URL address:


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by June 15, 1999 a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed
research, the name, address, telephone, and email 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 a subsequent application, the information
that it contains allows staff of the participating Institutes and
Agencies to estimate the potential review workload and to avoid
conflict of interest in the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Cheryl A. Boyce, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD  20892-9617
Telephone:  (301) 443-0848
FAX:  (301) 480-4415


The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) must be
used in applying for these grants.  However, since applications are
expected to vary considerably in scope, this RFA will NOT follow
the new modular grant application, review, and award procedures. 
Application kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and from the Division of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301)
710-0267, E-mail: Applications are also
available on the World Wide Web at

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. 
Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the
application such that it may not reach the review committee in time
for review.  To identify the application as a response to this RFA,
the RFA title, "Research on Child Neglect" and number OD-99-006
must be typed on Line 2 of the face page of the application form
and the YES box must be marked.

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

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

At the time of submission, send one additional copy of the
application to:

Cheryl A. Boyce, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD  20892-9617
Telephone:  (301) 443-0848
FAX:  (301) 480-4415

It is important to send this copy at the same time that the
original and four copies are sent to the Center for Scientific
Review (CSR).

All applicants must provide a Protection of Human Subjects
Assurance  Identification/Certification/Declaration as specified in
the policy described on the Optional Form 310.  If there is a
question regarding the applicability of this assurance, contact the
Office for Protection from Research Risks of the National
Institutes of Health at (301) 496-7041.  Applicants who have been
selected for funding may also wish at that time to apply for a
Certificate of Confidentiality as part of their plan to maintain
confidentiality for research participants.  To obtain more
information and to apply for a Certificate of Confidentiality,
under the authority of Section 301(d) of the Public Health Service
Act (42 U.S.C. 82421(d) to protect against involuntary disclosure
of the identities of research subjects, the appropriate contact is
Olga Boikess, J.D., National Institute of Mental Health, 6001
Executive Boulevard, Room 8102, MSC 9653, Bethesda, MD  20892-9653;
(301) 443-3877.  For certificates of confidentially related to
studies of substance abuse, the appropriate contact is Jackie
Porter, Office of Extramural Program Review, National Institute on
Drug Abuse, 6001 Executive Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20892-9547;
301/443-2755.  Specific questions concerning protection of human
subjects may be directed to the program staff listed under

Applications must be received by September 14, 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, applications will be reviewed for completeness by
CSR, and for responsiveness by NIH program staff.  Incomplete
and/or non-responsive applications will be returned to the
applicant without further consideration.  Applications that are
complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific
and technical merit by a special emphasis panel convened by CSR in
accordance with 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 and assigned a
priority score; those with the potential for funding will receive
a second level review by the National Advisory Council of the
relevant NIH institute.

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.

(1) Significance:  How does the application address the goals of
the RFA?  If the aims of the application  are achieved, how will
scientific knowledge be advanced?  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, and appropriate to the aims of the
project and state of the art? Is the most rigorous research design
possible proposed, given that a full range of research proposals,
from preliminary research to large scale studies, has been
encouraged?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas
and consider alternative tactics?  Are measures used for the
identification of child neglect across physical, emotional, and
academic domains described in sufficient detail to permit
independent replication?  If reliability and validity
characteristics are not yet known for a particular assessment
procedure, does the application contain specific plans for
establishing these features? Are proposed study and/or intervention
designs well grounded in theory? If an analysis of secondary data
is proposed, how is neglect operationalized, and how are
limitations of the data addressed?

(3) Ethical Issues: What provision has been made for reporting
suspected abuse and/or neglect as governed by applicable laws and
regulations?  How does the applicant plan to handle issues of
confidentiality and compliance with mandated reporting

(4) Study Samples: Are the samples sufficiently rigorously defined
to permit complete independent replication at another site?  Have
the ascertainment/referral sources been described, including the
definitions and criteria employed to identify and report child

(5) Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches
or method? Are the aims  original and innovative?

(6) Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and
well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed
appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator
and other researchers (if any)?

(7) Feasibility:  Do plans for implementing interventions (if any)
include procedures for: obtaining and maintaining the necessary
community relations, training and supervising staff, insuring
implementation fidelity, securing ongoing access to the subject
population pool, recruiting a representative sample of the target
population, recruiting minorities for the staff of the research
intervention, and monitoring subject participation over time?

(8) Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work
will be done contribute to  the probability of success?  Does the
proposed experiment take advantage of unique features of  the
scientific and community environment, or employ useful
collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of  institutional

(9) Dissemination:  What plans have been articulated for
disseminating findings and participating in a data archive?

In addition to the criteria listed above, the initial review group
will examine the appropriateness of the proposed budget and
duration; the adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities
(and their subgroups), and children as appropriate for the
scientific goals of the research, and plans for the recruitment and
retention of subjects; the provisions of the protection of human
and animal subjects; and the safety of the research environment.


Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  June 15, 1999
Application Receipt Date:       September 14, 1999
Initial Review:                 January/February 2000
Advisory Council Review:        May 2000
Earliest Start Date:            July 1, 2000


Funding decisions will made by the sponsoring organizations, based
on scientific and technical merit as determined by peer review,
program priorities, content area balance, policy and practice
relevance, and the availability of funds.


Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome.  Program staff of the NIH and other sponsoring
organizations are available for consultation before and during the
process of preparing an application.  Potential applicants should
contact program staff as early as possible for information and
assistance in initiating the application process and developing an

Inquiries regarding programmatic issues may be directed to:

Cheryl A. Boyce, Ph.D. (studies of assessment, risk factors,
course) National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD  20892-9617
Telephone:  (301) 443-0848
FAX:  (301) 480-4415

Malcolm Gordon, Ph.D  (studies of interventions)
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7146, MSC 9631
Bethesda, MD  20892-9631
Telephone:  (301) 443-3728
FAX: (301) 443-4611

G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Building 6100, Room 4B05, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 496-9849
FAX:  (301) 480-7773

Coryl L. Jones, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5169, MSC 9589
Bethesda, MD  20892-9589
Telephone:  (301) 443-6637
FAX:  (301) 443-2636

Susan Martin, Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 505
Rockville, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-8767
FAX:  (301) 443-8774

Patricia S. Bryant, Ph.D.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
45 Center Drive, Room 4AN-24E
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-2095
FAX:  (301) 480-8318

Giovanna M. Spinella, M.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 2136
Rockville, MD  20852-9527
Telephone:  (301) 496-5821
FAX:  (301) 402-0887

Cynthia Mamalian
National Institute of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20531
Telephone:  (202) 514-5981
FAX:  (202) 616-0275

Catherine Nolan
Office of Child Abuse and Neglect
Children's Bureau/Administration on Children, Youth and Families
330 C Street, SW, Room 2419
Washington, DC  20447
Telephone:  (202) 260-5140
FAX:  (202) 401-5917

Dean Hoffman
Research and Program Development Division
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20531
Telephone:  (202) 353-9256
FAX:  (202) 353-9096

Kelly Henderson, Ph.D.
Office of Special Education Programs
U.S. Department of Education
4626 Switzer Building
330 C Street SW
Washington, DC  20202-2731
Telephone:  (202) 205-8598
FAX:  (202) 205-8971

In addition, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI),
although not a formal co-sponsor, is interested in supporting
mission-relevant (i.e., with implications for sleep disorders and
cardiovascular, respiratory, and blood diseases) applications
submitted in response to this initiative that receive a peer review
assessment within NHLBI funding levels.

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Linda Hilley
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 504
Rockville, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-4704
FAX:  (301) 443-3891

Edgar D. Shawver
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Building 6100, Room 8A01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 496-1303
FAX:  (301) 402-0915

Martin R. Rubinstein
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
45 Center Drive, Room 4An-44
Bethesda, MD  20892-4800
Telephone: (301) 594-4800
FAX:  (301) 480-8301

Jack R. Manischewitz, PhD
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 3131, MSC 9541
Bethesda, MD  20892-9541
Telephone:  (301) 443-6710
FAX:  (301) 443-6847

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD  20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885

Karen Shields
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD  20852-9527
Telephone:  (301) 496-9231
FAX:  (301) 402-0219


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, Numbers 93.273 (NIAAA), 93.865 (NICHD), 93.279 (NIDA),
93.121 (NIDCR), 93.242 (NIMH), 93.853 (NINDS), 93.670 (ACYF),
16.560 (NIJ), and 84.329 (OSEP-ED). Awards are made under
authorization of section 301 and Title IV (42 U.S.C. 241 and 281)
of the Public Health Service Act, and are administered under PHS
grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CAR 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 by PHS agencies will be administered under
PHS grants policy as stated in the Public Health Service Grants
Policy Statement (April 1, 1994).

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.

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