Full Text OH-93-001


NIH Guide, Volume 22, Number 13, April 2, 1993

RFA:  OH-93-001

P.T. 02

  Occupational Health and Safety 

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 30, 1993
Application Receipt Date:  June 8, 1993


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is soliciting
grant applications for research and demonstration projects relating to
occupational safety and health in the construction industry.

The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to develop
knowledge that can be used in preventing occupational diseases and
injuries.  The NIOSH will support the following types of applied
research projects:  causal research to identify and investigate the
relationships between hazardous working conditions and associated
occupational diseases and injuries; methods research to develop more
sensitive means of evaluating hazards at work sites, as well as methods
for measuring early markers of adverse health effects and injuries;
control research to develop new protective equipment, engineering
control technology, and work practices to reduce the risks of
occupational hazards; and demonstrations to evaluate the technical
feasibility or application of a new or improved occupational safety and
health procedure, method, technique, or system.


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,
Construction Health and Safety, is related to the priority area of
occupational safety and health.  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).


Eligible applicants include domestic and foreign non-profit and
for-profit organizations, universities, colleges, research
institutions, and other public and private organizations, including
State and local governments and small, minority and/or woman-owned


$1,000,000 is set aside for new projects addressing hazards in the
construction industry.


The types of grants NIOSH supports are described below. Applications
responding to this announcement will be reviewed by staff for their
responsiveness to the following program requirements.  Grants are
funded for 12-month budget periods in project periods up to five years
for research project grants and demonstration project grants; three
years for SERCA grants; and up to two years for small grants.
Continuation awards within the project period are made on the basis of
satisfactory progress and on the availability of funds.

Research Project Grants (R01).  A research project grant application
should be designed to establish, discover, develop, elucidate, or
confirm information relating to occupational safety and health,
including innovative methods, techniques, and approaches for dealing
with occupational safety and health problems.  These studies may
generate information that is readily available to solve problems or
contribute to a better understanding of underlying causes of diseases
and injuries.

Demonstration Project Grants (R18).  A demonstration project grant
application should address, either on a pilot or full-scale basis, the
technical or economic feasibility of implementing a new/improved
innovative procedure, method, technique, or system, for preventing
occupational safety or health problems.  The project should be
conducted in an actual workplace where a baseline measure of the
occupational problem will be defined, the new/improved approach will be
implemented, a follow-up measure of the problem will be documented, and
an evaluation of the benefits will be conducted.

Special Emphasis Research Career Award (SERCA) Grants (K01).  The SERCA
grant is intended to provide opportunities for individuals to acquire
experience and skills essential to the study of work-related hazards,
and in so doing create a pool of highly qualified investigators who can
make future contributions to research in the area of occupational
safety and health.  SERCA grants are not intended either for
individuals without research experience or for productive, independent
investigators with a significant number of publications and of senior
academic rank.  Moreover, the award is not intended to substitute one
source of salary support for another for an individual who is already
conducting full-time research; nor is it intended to be a mechanism for
providing institutional support.

Candidates must:  (1) hold a doctoral degree; (2) have research
experience at or above the doctoral level; (3) not be above the rank of
associate professor; (4) be employed at a domestic institution; and (5)
be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the U.S. or its possessions or
territories or must have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. for
permanent residence at the time of application.

This non-renewable award provides support for a three-year period for
individuals engaged in full-time research and related activities.
Awards will not exceed $50,000 per year in direct costs for salary
support (plus fringe benefits), technical assistance, equipment,
supplies, consultant costs, domestic travel, publications, and other
costs.  The indirect cost rate applied is limited to 8 percent of the
direct costs, excluding tuition and related fees and equipment
expenses, or to the actual indirect cost rate, whichever results in the
lesser amount.

A minimum of 60 percent time must be committed to the proposed research
project, although full-time is desirable.  Other work in the area of
occupational safety and health will enhance the candidate's
qualifications but is not a substitute for this requirement.  Related
activities may include research career development activities as well
as involvement in patient care to the extent that it will strengthen
research skills. Fundamental/basic research will not be supported
unless the project will make an original contribution for applied
technical knowledge in the identification, evaluation, and/or control
of occupational safety and health hazards (e.g., development of a
diagnostic technique for early detection of an occupational disease).
Research project proposals must be of the applicants' own design and of
such scope that independent investigative capability will be evident
within three years.  At the completion of this three-year award, it is
intended that awardees should be better able to compete for individual
research project grants awarded by NIOSH.

SERCA grant applications should be identified as such on the
application form.  Section 2 of the application (the Research Plan)
should include a statement regarding the applicant's career plans and
how the proposed research will contribute to a career in occupational
safety and health research.  This section should also include a letter
of recommendation from the proposed advisor(s).

Small Grants (R03).  The small grant program is intended to stimulate
applications from individuals who are considering a research career in
occupational safety and health; as such, the minimum time commitment is
10 percent.  It is expected that a recipient would subsequently compete
for a career development grant (K01) or for a traditional research
project grant (R01) related to occupational safety and health.  The
award is not intended to supplement ongoing or other proposed research;
nor is it intended to be a mechanism for providing institutional

The small grant investigators must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen
nationals who are predoctoral students, post-doctoral researchers
(within 3 years following completion of doctoral degree or completion
of residency or public health training), or junior faculty members (no
higher than assistant professor).  If university policy requires that
a more senior person be listed as Principal Investigator, it should be
clear in the application which person is the small grant investigator.
Except for applicants who are assistant professors, there must be one
or more named mentors to assist with the project.  A biographical
sketch is required for the small grant investigator, as well as for the
supervisor and other key consultants, as appropriate.

This non-renewable award provides support for project periods of up to
two years to carry out exploratory or pilot studies, to develop or test
new techniques or methods, or to analyze data previously collected.
Awards will not exceed $25,000 per year in direct costs for salary
support (plus fringe benefits), technical assistance, equipment,
supplies, consultant costs, domestic travel, publications, and other
costs.  The indirect costs will be based upon the negotiated indirect
cost rate of the applicant organization.  An individual may not receive
more than two small grant awards, and then, only if the awards are at
different stages of development (e.g., doctoral student, post-doctoral
researcher, or junior faculty member).


The NIOSH program priorities applicable to this RFA are occupational
lung disease, musculoskeletal injuries, occupational cancers, severe
occupational traumatic injuries, cardiovascular diseases, disorders of
reproduction, neurotoxic disorders, noise-induced loss of hearing,
dermatologic conditions, psychological disorders, control techniques,
respirator research.  These priority areas represent the leading
diseases and injuries related to risks on the job, and NIOSH intends to
support projects that facilitate progress in preventing such adverse
effects among workers.  Investigators may also apply in other areas
related to the occupational safety and health of construction workers,
but the rationale for the significance of the research to the field of
occupational safety and health must be developed in the application.

Construction workers suffer far more serious injuries and fatalities
than the general work force population.  They die from work-related
trauma at a rate three times the national average for workers in all
industrial sectors; they suffer disproportionately from nonfatal
injuries, from lung diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss,
and dermatologic conditions.  For the construction industry, the
national cost from lost production, medical care, workers'
compensation, and related claims, is very high.  Workers' compensation
insurance premiums alone cost $7 billion annually.

The construction industry is faced with unique safety and health
problems that require special attention.  Construction workers must
perform work in an environment containing a variety of hazardous energy
sources.  They often work in the presence of excessive noise levels and
with tools and equipment that produce potentially hazardous vibrations;
perform repetitive, forceful motions and assume awkward working
postures; frequently use a variety of toxic and volatile substances;
and must cope with the complications of frequently changing work sites
with several employers and work crews engaged in separate concurrent
activities, while being self-supervised during much of the day.

Construction includes not only the building of new structures, but also
the destruction or renovation of existing structures.  Thus, the
potential hazards may be new or old, known or unknown, and simple or
complex to control.  A complete picture of the extent and severity of
the adverse effects is not available, but a partial list of concerns is
as follows:

1.  Lung diseases resulting from exposure to asbestos, man-made mineral
fibers, silica, and other agents that lead to cancer and chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease

2.  Injuries caused by falls, electricity, person-machine interactions,
and environmental conditions

3.  Cumulative trauma, vibration-induced disorders, and osteoarthritis

4.  Skin disorders caused by irritants, allergens, and

5.  Systemic toxicity from lead, cadmium, solvents, and other "poisons"

6.  Noise-induced hearing loss


The NIOSH program priorities listed below are applicable to all of the
support mechanisms listed in this RFA. These priority areas represent
the leading diseases and injuries related to risks on the job, and
NIOSH intends to support projects that facilitate progress in
preventing such adverse effects among workers.  The conditions or
examples listed under each category are selected examples, not
comprehensive definitions of the category.

The NIOSH Program Priorities are:

o  Occupational lung disease:  asbestosis, byssinosis, silicosis, coal
workers' pneumoconiosis, lung cancer, occupational asthma

o  Musculoskeletal injuries:  disorders of the back, trunk, upper
extremity, neck, lower extremity:  traumatically induced Raynaud's

o  Occupational cancers (other than lung):  leukemia, mesothelioma,
cancers of the bladder, nose and liver

o  Severe occupational traumatic injuries:  amputations, fractures, eye
loss, and lacerations

o  Cardiovascular diseases:  hypertension, coronary artery disease,
acute myocardial infraction Disorders of reproduction:  infertility,
spontaneous abortion, teratogenesis

o  Neurotoxic disorders:  peripheral neuropathy, toxic encephalitis,
neuroses, extreme personality changes (exposure-related)

o  Noise-induced loss of hearing

o  Dermatologic conditions:  dermatoses, burns (scalding), chemical
burns, contusions (abrasions)

o  Psychological disorders: affective disturbances such as anxiety,
depression and job dissatisfaction; mal-adaptive behavior and lifestyle
patterns; aggression; stress and post traumatic stress disorders;
substance abuse

o  Control Techniques:  new technology performance evaluation,
preconstruction review, equipment redesign, containment of hazards at
the source, fundamental dust generation mechanisms, machine
guarding/avoidance methods, explosion control, removal of emissions
after generation, dispersion models, monitoring and warning techniques,
technology transfer

o  Respirator research:  new and innovative respiratory protective
devices, techniques to predict performance, effectiveness of respirator
programs, physiologic and ergonomic factors, medical surveillance
strategies, psychological and motivational aspects, effectiveness of
sorbents and filters, including chemical and physical properties



NIH policy is that applicants for NIH clinical research grants and
cooperative agreements will be 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 should 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 should
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 should be addressed in developing a research
design and sample size appropriate for the scientific objectives of the
study.  This information should be included in the form PHS 398 in
Sections 1-4 of the Research Plan AND summarized in Section 5, Human

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,

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

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research includes 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.

For foreign awards, the policy on inclusion of women applies fully;
since the definition of minority differs in other countries, the
applicant must discuss the relevance of research involving foreign
population groups to the United States' populations, including

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 will be 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 policies.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 30, 1993, a letter
of intent that includes a reference to the number and title of this
RFA, a descriptive title of the proposed effort, the name and address
of the Principal Investigator, the names of other key personnel, and
the participating institutions.  The letter of intent is requested in
order to provide an indication of the number and scope of applications
to be reviewed.  This letter of intent does not commit the sender to
submit an application, nor is it a requirement for submission of an
application.  The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Fleming at the
address listed under INQUIRIES.


Applications submitted in response to this RFA must be received on June
8, 1993.  Applications are to be submitted on form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91).
State and local government applicants may use form PHS 5161-1 (rev.
7/92); however, form PHS 398 is preferred.  Forms are available from
the contacts listed under INQUIRIES and from the Office of Grants
Inquiries, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of Health,
Westwood Building, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone (301) 594-

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be affixed
to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Failure to use this
label could result in delayed processing of the application such that
it may not reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition,
the RFA title and number (OH-93-001, CONSTRUCTION HEALTH AND SAFETY)
must be typed on line 2a of the face page of the application form PHS
398 (or the top of the face page of the PHS 5161-1) and the YES box
must be marked."  The original and five copies of the PHS 398 or the
original and two copies of the PHS 5161-1 application must be submitted

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

The timetable for receiving applications and awarding grants in fiscal
year 1993 is given below.

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 30, 1993
Application Receipt Date:       June 8, 1993
Initial Review:                 August 1993
Secondary Review                September 1993
Earliest Possible Start Date:   September 30, 1993

Applications must be received on the above receipt date.  To guard
against problems caused by carrier delays, retain a legible
proof-of-mailing receipt from the carrier, dated no later than one week
prior to the receipt date.  Applicants must follow the guidance
provided in the application package.


Applications received under this RFA will be assigned to an Initial
Review Group (IRG).  The IRGs, consisting primarily of non-Federal
scientific and technical experts, will review the applications for
scientific and technical merit.  Notification of the review
recommendations will be sent to the applicants after the initial
review.  Applications will also be reviewed for programmatic importance
by NIOSH.  Awards will be made based on results of the initial and
secondary reviews, as well as availability of funds.

The initial (peer) review is based on scientific merit and significance
of the project, competence of the proposed staff in relation to the
type of research involved, feasibility of the project, likelihood of
its producing meaningful results, appropriateness of the proposed
project period, adequacy of the applicant's resources available for the
project, and appropriateness of the budget request.

Demonstration grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the
basis of the following criteria:

o  Degree to which project objectives are clearly established,
obtainable, and for which progress toward attainment can and will be

o  Availability, adequacy, and competence of personnel, facilities, and
other resources needed to carry out the project.

o  Degree to which the project can be expected to yield or demonstrate
results that will be useful and desirable on a national or regional

o  Documentation of cooperation from industry, unions, or other
participants in the project, where applicable.

SERCA grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the basis of
the following criteria:

o  The review process will consider the applicant's scientific
achievements, the applicant's research career plan in occupational
safety and health, and the degree to which the applicant's institution
offers a superior research environment (supportive nature, including
letter(s) of reference from advisor(s), which should accompany the

Small grant applications will be reviewed additionally on the basis of
the following criteria:

o  The review process will take into consideration the fact that the
applicants do not have extensive experience with the grant process.


In the secondary review, the following factors will be considered:

o  The results of the initial review.

o  The significance of the proposed study to the mission of NIOSH.

o  Relevance to occupational safety and health, by contributing to
achievement of the research objectives specified in Section 20(a) of
the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and Section 501 of the
Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977,

o  Magnitude of the problem in terms of numbers of workers affected,

o  Severity of the disease or injury in the worker population,

o  Potential contribution to applied technical knowledge in the
identification, evaluation, and/or control of occupational safety and
health hazards, and

o  Program balance, and

o  Policy and budgetary considerations.

Questions regarding the above criteria may be addressed to the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.

Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, questions concerning
the acceptability of a proposed project, and address the letter of
intent to:

Roy M. Fleming, Sc.D.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Building 1, Room 2053, Mail Stop D-30
Atlanta, GA  30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-3343

For business information contact:

Ms. Carole J. Tully
Grants Management Branch
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
255 E. Paces Ferry Road, NE
Room 300, Mail Stop E-09
Atlanta, GA  30305
Telephone:  (404) 842-6880


This program is authorized under the Public Health Service Act, as
amended, Section 301 (42 U.S.C. 241); the Occupational Safety and
Health Act of 1970, Section 20 (a)(29 U.S.C. 669[a]); and the Federal
Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977, as amended, Section
501(30 U.S.C. 951).  The applicable program regulations are in 42 CFR
Part 52.  Applications are not subject to review as governed by
Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number is 93.262.  This
program is not subject to the Public Health System Reporting


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