Full Text RR-94-003


NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 1, January 7, 1994

RFA:  RR-94-003

P.T. 02

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Center for Research Resources

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  February 18, 1994
Application Receipt Date:  April 8, 1994


The National Center for Research Resources is authorized under
Sections 481A and 481B of the Public Health Service Act, as amended
by the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, Public Law
(PL) 103-43, to "make grants to public and nonprofit private entities
to expand, remodel, renovate or alter existing research facilities or
construct new research facilities" for biomedical and behavioral
research and research training.

The Appropriations Act for the Department of Health and Human
Services for Fiscal Year 1994 (PL 103-112) provides $7,000,000 in the
budget of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) for extramural facilities
construction grants, to be awarded competitively.  The NCRR is
issuing a Request for Applications (RFA) RR-94-003 for support of
construction and renovation of facilities for biomedical and
behavioral research and research training.


Under Section 481A of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, domestic,
non-Federal, public and private non-profit institutions,
organizations, and associations that conduct or support
biomedical/behavioral research are eligible to apply.  An institution
of emerging excellence must have been so designated under Section 739
of the PHS Act as revised in PL 102-408, and received a PHS Centers
of Excellence grant award in Fiscal Year 1993 to be eligible to
apply.  Under Section 481B of the PHS Act, Regional Primate Research
Centers are also eligible to apply.

In addition to any applications submitted from Regional Primate
Research Centers or recipients of 1993 PHS Centers of Excellence
awards an institution may submit only one application in response to
this specific announcement.  For example, a medical school and a
dental school of the same institution, even if separated
geographically, may not submit separate applications.


The award mechanism will be the construction grant award (C06).
Awards will be administered under Federal Regulation 45 CFR Part 74 -
Administration of Grants.  Matching funds from non-Federal sources
will be required.


This one-time solicitation is based on the Fiscal Year 1994
appropriation that provides $7,000,000 for this initiative, with up
to 25 percent of these funds targeted for institutions of emerging
excellence.  Up to 50 percent of the necessary and allowable costs of
a project may be awarded, or 40 percent of costs proportionate to use
in a multipurpose facility, not to exceed $2,000,000.  Because the
nature and scope of the activities proposed in response to this RFA
may vary, it is anticipated that four to ten awards at different
levels will be made.  Prior to grant award, the applicant must
provide an assurance of required matching funds and that additional
funds will be secured to meet any projected costs in excess of the
award amount.  Requests of less than $500,000 will not be accepted.
No indirect costs or continuation costs will be awarded.


The main objective of this program is to facilitate the conduct of
PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research by providing funds
for construction of basic and clinical research facilities and for
the purchase of associated fixed research equipment essential for the
operation of these facilities.  Support also may be requested for the
costs of designing and constructing non- Federal facilities to meet
the biomedical/behavioral research, research training, and research
service needs of an institution or a research group at that
institution.  Support for instrumentation or equipment that usually
would be requested as part of a research project grant will not be
provided.  In addition, neither land acquisition nor off site
improvements will be supported. Applications proposing to broaden the
scope of research and research training programs of the institution
by promoting interdisciplinary research, research on emerging
technologies, or other novel research programs are particularly
encouraged, as are applications from institutions of emerging
excellence as defined in the PHS Act, Section 739 as amended by PL

Facility construction that may be supported under this program

o  Construction of new facilities
o  Additions to existing buildings
o  Completion of uninhabitable "shell" space in new or existing
o  Major alterations and renovations


Prospective applicants are asked to submit by February 18, 1994, a
letter of intent to the individual noted below.  The letter,
requested for planning purposes only, should identify the RFA number
noted above, the Principal Investigator, and include a brief title of
the type(s) of research or research support to be conducted in the
new facility.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not
binding, and does not enter into the review of subsequent
applications, the information that it contains allows NIH staff to
estimate the potential workload and to avoid conflict of interest in
the review.  The letter of intent is to be addressed to:

Dr. Charles L. Coulter
Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
Westwood Building, Room 8A15
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7952


o  Intergovernmental-Review -- Executive Order 12372

Applicants are required to comply with Executive Order 12372 as
supplemented by DHHS 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental Review of
Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities.
Standard Form 424 meets the reporting requirements of Executive Order
12372.  The purposes of this review are to:

1.  Identify the relationship of any proposed project to State or
area-wide comprehensive plans and evaluate the significance of these
projects for the plans or programs of particular State agencies or
local governments; and

2.  Ensure that public agencies responsible for environmental
standards and civil rights have an opportunity to review and comment
upon proposed projects.

Each applicant is encouraged to discuss projects with the Single
Point of Contact (SPOC) at the earliest time possible and to provide
the SPOC with required information in a timely manner. (The State
Single Point of Contact List is included as an attachment in the
special instructions accompanying the application Standard Form 424

The SPOC must be given 60 days to review a construction grant
application.  Applications submitted to NIH in response to this
solicitation must contain either SPOC comments or documentation
indicating the date on which the application was submitted to the
SPOC for review.

The SPOC comment period ends 60 days after the application receipt
date.  Applicants are to provide the SPOC with a copy of the
application NOT LATER THAN the time the application is submitted to
the Division of Research Grants, NIH.

Applicants required to submit applications for review to a Health
Systems Agency (HSA), or Statewide Health Planning and Development
Agency (SHPDA), must contact the SPOC/HSA/SHPDA to determine what
coordination has been agreed to by those agencies.

NIH is required to notify the SPOC when an application is received
without an indication that the application has been provided to the
SPOC for review.

All SPOC comments must be forwarded to both the applicant and to the
NCRR fiscal contact given below. If comments are provided by the
SPOC, the applicant may wish to submit to the NIH a statement of its
reaction to the comments and any appropriate changes to its
application.  If no response is received from the SPOC by the end of
the 60 days allotted for review of the application, the applicant
must notify the NIH that no response was received.

o Public Disclosure

Applicants must also make a public disclosure of the project by
publication and describe its environmental impact at the time the
SPOC is notified.  It is suggested that the notice be published in a
large-circulation newspaper in the area.  This public disclosure is
required by Section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) of 1969 and by Federal Executive Order 11514.

One example of a suitable disclosure statement follows:


"Notice is hereby given that the Uptown Medical School proposes to
construct additional space, partially utilizing Federal funds.
The proposed construction project is the addition of 2,700 square
feet connected to the existing Allen Building, which is located at
5333 Main Street, Downtown, Ohio."

"The Medical School has evaluated the environmental and community
impact of the proposed construction.  There will be construction
noise and increased construction traffic during the construction
period.  No significant permanent environmental impacts are foreseen.
All building permits and zoning approvals have been obtained."

"In accordance with Federal Executive Order 11514, which implements
the NEPA of 1969, any individual or group may comment on, or request
information concerning, the environmental implications of the
proposed project.  Communications should be addressed to the Office
of Planning, Uptown Medical School, and be received by (date).  The
Federal grant application may be reviewed at the Office of the Dean,
School of Medicine, 5333 Main Street, during working hours."

o Design Standards

Design requirements are imposed to protect the health and safety of
persons using the proposed facility, control the project's impact on
the natural environment, conserve energy resources, achieve economy
in construction costs, and protect against natural disasters such as
earthquake and flood.  Therefore, the documents listed under
REFERENCES at the end of the RFA must be consulted, and the design
requirements incorporated in the development, review, and evaluation
of all drawings and specifications.


Applicants must use Standard Form 424, "Application for Federal
Assistance."  Application forms and special instructions for
completing the forms relevant to this RFA must be requested from the
contact official noted below.  Those responsible for preparing the
application are advised to consult with appropriate institutional
officials before completing the application forms.

In addition to any applications from Regional Primate Research
Centers or recipients of 1993 PHS Centers of Excellence awards an
institution may submit only one application in response to this
specific announcement.

An original and two copies of the application including appendices
must be submitted to:

Application Receipt Office
Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD  20892

Applications must be received at NIH by April 8, 1994.  To insure
against carrier delays, retain a legible proof-of-mailing receipt
from the carrier, dated no later than one week prior to the receipt
date.  Applications received after the receipt date will not be
accepted for review in this competition and will be returned to the


Applications will be reviewed by DRG staff for completeness and by
NCRR staff to determine administrative and programmatic
responsiveness to this RFA.  Those judged to be incomplete or
nonresponsive will be returned to the applicant without review. Those
considered complete and responsive may be subjected to a triage
review to determine their scientific merit relative to the other
applications submitted in response to this RFA.  This triage review
will be done by the Biomedical and Behavioral Research Review
Committee or a subgroup thereof, established for the purpose of
initial peer review by the NCRR.

The NIH will withdraw from competition those applications judged by
the triage peer review group to be noncompetitive for award and will
so notify the applicant investigator and the institutional business
official.  Those applications judged to be competitive for award will
be reviewed for scientific and technical merit by the Biomedical and
Behavioral Research Review Committee to be convened by the Office of
Review, NCRR.  The second level of review will be provided by the
National Advisory Research Resources Council in September 1994.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of criteria intended to
assess the following overall questions:  1)  How will the proposed
change in the research environment facilitate the applicant's ability
to conduct or expand, improve, or maintain biomedical/behavioral
research?  2) How will the proposed project meet national unmet
health needs for biomedical/behavioral research, research training
and/or research support facilities?

Thus reviewers will consider the following factors:

o The overall scope of the ongoing PHS-supported biomedical and
behavioral research and/or research support activities that will be
impacted by the proposed construction, as well as the expanded or
proposed future biomedical/behavioral research and/or research
support activities.

o Appropriateness and suitability of the proposed facilities for the
research to be conducted and/or research support to be provided.

o The applicant's consideration of safety and biohazard issues in
planning the construction and administering the facilities.

o Specific deficiencies in the existing research facilities that
would be remedied.

o Impact of proposed project on current and future research
activities, particularly for institutions of emerging excellence.

o The appropriateness of the proposed physical location and layout of
the new facility.

o Reasonableness of the proposed time-course, cost and sequence for
the construction.

o Adequacy of the proposed administrative arrangements with respect

  --Institutional commitment to use the space for
biomedical/behavioral research and/or research support.

  --Institutional safety and biohazard issues.

  --Capabilities of the Principal Investigator and staff for
scientific and fiscal administration of the facility.


Factors considered in making awards include the merit of the
proposal, the needs of the institution, with special consideration
for institutions designated as institutions of emerging excellence,
the commitment of the institution, the availability of funds and the
overall program priorities.  Awards will be made on or before
September 30, 1994.

Award Conditions

Advertisement for construction bids and construction can be initiated
only after receipt of the construction grant award and subsequent
approval of the working drawings and specifications by NIH staff.
Therefore, no requests to initiate construction, consistent with
Public Health Service policy, will be entertained prior to receipt of
a construction grant award from NIH and subsequent approval of
working drawings and specifications by NIH staff.

The Principal Investigator should be a highly placed institutional
official, at the level of Dean or equivalent, who has the
responsibility for allocation of space for the program(s) of
biomedical/behavioral research and research training addressed in the
submitted application.

The facility must be utilized for the specific biomedical/behavioral
research purposes for which it was constructed for at least twenty
(20) years beginning ninety (90) days following completion of the
construction project.  The NIH staff will evaluate use of the
facility periodically to assure its continued use for the approved
purposes.  Failure to comply with the twenty (20) year utilization
requirement will result in recovery of the Federal share of the value
of the facility in accordance with Federal regulation 45 CFR Part 74,
Subpart O.


Inquiries for further information or clarification regarding this RFA
are encouraged.

For information concerning programmatic issues, please contact:

Dr. Charles L. Coulter
Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
Westwood Building, Room 8A15
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7952

For application Standard Form 424, special application instructions,
and information on fiscal matters contact:

Ms. Katherine A. Springmann
Office of Grants and Contract Management
National Center for Research Resources
Westwood Building, Room 849
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7955


A.  PHS Policy.  The project shall meet the PHS policies as described
in the "Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement, "DHHS
Publication No. (OASH) 90-50,000 (rev.) October 1, 1990 as updated.

B.  The design of facilities to be constructed or altered with PHS
grant funds will be evaluated for compliance with design requirements
contained in the most recent edition of Technical Handbook 2.1,
"Information for Project Applicants and State Agencies on Design and
Construction Related Activities."  The Handbook is part of the
Department's Facilities Engineering and Construction Manual and is
available from the Office of Engineering Services.  Applicants from
Regions I, II, III, and V should write to:

Director of the Regional Office of Engineering Services
Office of the Regional Health Administrator, PHS
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York  10278

Applicants from Regions IV, VI, and IX should write to:

Director of the Regional Office of Engineering Services
Office of the Regional Health Administrator, PHS
1200 Main Tower
Dallas, Texas  75202

Applicants from Regions VII, VIII, and X should write to:

Director of the Regional Office of Engineering Services
Office of the Regional Health Administrator, PHS
Blanchard Plaza Building
2201 6th Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98121

Where State and local codes or requirements exceed the design
requirements set forth in Technical Handbook 2.1 or standards
incorporated in it, the more stringent requirement will be applied.
State or local codes may be used as a basis for facility design in
lieu of the design requirements in Technical Handbook 2.1, but a
prior determination must be made by HHS that the specific State or
local code is equivalent to, or exceeds, HHS requirements.


All awards will be made under the authority of the Public Health
Service Act and administered under the PHS grant policies as outlined
in the Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement, DHHS
Publication No. (OASH) 90-50,000 (Rev.) Department of Health and
Human Services, OASH, October 1, 1990, and Federal Regulation 45 CFR
Part 74.  Applicants are required to comply with Executive Order
12372 as supplemented by DHHS 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental
Review of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities.  This
program will be described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, number pending.


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