Full Text RR-95-003


NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 43, December 9, 1994

RFA:  RR-95-003

P.T. 02

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

National Center for Research Resources

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 20, 1995
Application Receipt Date:  March 9, 1995


The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) is authorized under
Public Law (PL) 103-43, Sections 481A and 481B of the Public Health
Service Act (PHS), as amended by the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) Revitalization Act, 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 1995 (PL 103-333) provides $20 million in
the budget of the NCRR of the NIH for extramural facilities
construction grants, to be awarded competitively, with special
provisions made for institutions of emerging excellence, designated
under section 739 of the PHS Act as revised in PL 102-408, and the
Regional Primate Research Centers (RPRCs).  The NCRR is issuing a
Request for Applications (RFA) RR-95-003 for support of construction
and renovation of facilities for biomedical and behavioral research
and research training.


Under Section 481A of the PHS Act, domestic, non-Federal, public and
private non-profit institutions, organizations, and associations that
conduct or support biomedical or behavioral research are eligible to
apply, including, for example, allied health professional schools.
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

Only applications submitted in response to this RFA will be eligible
for possible award under this RFA.  Applications submitted previously
to the NIH, but not awarded, must be submitted again to compete for
these awards.

In addition to any applications submitted from RPRCs or recipients of
Fiscal Year 1994 PHS Centers of Excellence awards, an institution may
submit only one application in response to this specific
announcement.  For example, two components of the same institution,
e.g., a medical school and a dental school, even if separated
geographically, may not submit separate applications.


This RFA is a one-time solicitation that will use the NIH research
facilities construction grant (C06).  Responsibility for the
planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be
solely that of the applicant.  The total project period for an
application submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed one year
and no indirect costs or continuation costs will be awarded.  The
anticipated award date is September 30, 1995.

Matching funds will be required.  Under Section 481A, 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 multi-
purpose facility.  Under Section 481B, RPRCs may receive up to 80
percent of necessary and allowable costs.  The maximum award amount
will be $2.5 million.  Applications proposing a Federal share of less
than $500 thousand or more than $2.5 million will not be accepted.

Because the nature and scope of the activities proposed in response
to this RFA may vary, it is anticipated that the size of an award
will vary also.


Based on the Fiscal Year 1995 appropriation, up to $20 million will
be available for this initiative.  Up to 25 percent of these funds
are targeted for institutions of emerging excellence, and up to $2.5
million of the total amount available is set aside for the purpose of
improving the research facilities of the RPRCs as outlined in Section
481B of Title IV of the PHS Act as amended.  It is anticipated that
ten to 20 new awards at different levels will be made.


The main objective of this program is to facilitate the conduct of
PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research by supporting the
costs of designing and constructing non-Federal basic and clinical
research facilities to meet the biomedical or behavioral research,
research training, or research service needs of an institution or a
research group at an institution, and for the purchase of essential
associated fixed research equipment.

Applications are particularly encouraged from institutions of
emerging excellence as defined in the PHS Act, Section 739 as amended
by PL 102-408, as are applications that propose to (a) broaden the
scope of research and research training programs of the institutions
by promoting interdisciplinary research; research on emerging
technologies (including those involving novel analytical techniques
or computation methods); or other novel research mechanisms or
programs; (b) broaden the scope of research and research training
programs of qualified institutions by promoting genomic research with
an emphasis on interdisciplinary research, including research related
to pediatric investigations, oral health, and eye research.
Specialized research support facilities such as cell repositories
will also be considered for support.

Facility construction that may be supported under this program
includes construction of new facilities, additions to existing
buildings, completion of uninhabitable "shell" space in new or
existing buildings, and major alterations and renovations.  Support
for instrumentation or equipment that usually would be requested as
part of a research project grant will not be provided, and neither
land acquisition nor off-site improvements will be supported.


Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by January 20, 1995, a
letter of intent that includes a brief description of the type of
facility proposed and the areas of research or research support to be
conducted in the proposed facility, the name, address, and telephone
number of the Principal Investigator, 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 NCRR staff to estimate the
potential review workload and avoid conflict of interest in the

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Dr. Charles L. Coulter
Director, Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 8A15
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7952


Applicants must use Standard Form 424, "Application for Federal
Assistance."  Application forms and special instructions for
completing them must be requested from the grants management official
listed under INQUIRIES.  Individuals considering applying are advised
to consult with appropriate officials at their institution before
completing the application forms.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
appendices, and two signed photocopies, in one package to:

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

Applications must be received by March 9, 1995.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant
without review.  The Division of Research Grants (DRG) 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.

o  Intergovernmental Review -- Executive Order 12372

Applicants are required to comply with Executive Order (E.O.) 12372
as supplemented by DHHS 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental Review of
Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities.
E.O. 12372 sets up a system for State and local government review of
proposed Federal assistance applications.  Applicants (other than
federally-recognized Indian tribal governments) should contact their
State Single Point of Contact (SPOCs) as early as possible to alert
them to the prospective applications and receive any necessary
instructions on the State process.  For proposed projects serving
more than one State, the applicant is advised to contact the SPOC of
each affected State.  A current list of SPOCs is included in the
application kit.  The SPOC must be given 60 days to review a
construction grant application.  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.
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.  The granting agency does not guarantee to "accommodate or
explain" for State process recommendations it receives after that

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, assure that the new facility is
accessible to and useable by the physically handicapped, 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


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
Division of Research Grants and responsiveness by NCRR.  Those
applications judged to be unresponsive, incomplete, or ineligible
will be returned to the applicant.  Applications that are complete
and responsive will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit by
the Scientific and Technical Review Board on Biomedical and
Behavioral Research Facilities established for this purpose by the
NCRR.  The second level of review will be conducted by the National
Advisory Research Resources Council.

As part of the initial merit review, a process (triage) may be used
by the initial review group in which applications will be determined
to be competitive or non-competitive based on their scientific merit
relative to other applications received in response to the RFA.
Applications judged to be competitive will be discussed and be
assigned a priority score.  Applications determined to be non-
competitive will be withdrawn from further consideration and the
Principal Investigator and the official signing for the applicant
organization will be notified.

Review Criteria

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
institution's ability to conduct, expand, improve, or maintain
biomedical/behavioral research?  (2) How will the proposed project
meet national unmet health needs for biomedical/behavioral 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 the 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

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

b.  Institutional safety and biohazard issues.

c.  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 RPRCs and for institutions designated as institutions of emerging
excellence; the commitment of the institution; the availability of
funds; and overall programmatic priorities including geographic
distribution of the awards.

Award Conditions

Prior to award, an applicant must provide an assurance that required
matching funds are available and that additional funds will be
secured to meet project costs in excess of the Federal award and non-
Federal matching amounts.

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 or behavioral research and research training addressed in
the submitted application.

The facility must be utilized for biomedical or behavioral research
purposes for which it was constructed for at least 20 years beginning
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
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 concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. Charles L. Coulter
Director, Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 8A15
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7952
Email:  charlesc@ep.ncrr.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters and requests for
application Standard Form 424 and special application instructions,

Ms. Katherine A. Springmann
Office of Grants and Contract Management
National Center for Research Resources
5333 Westbard Avenue, Room 849
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-7955
Email:  kspringmann@ep.ncrr.nih.gov


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.214.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as
amended by Public Law 99-158 and Public Law 103-43, 42 USC 241, 285,
and 481) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 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.

The Public Health Service (PHS) strongly encourages all grant
recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use
of all tobacco products.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American


A.  PHS Policy.  The project shall meet the PHS policies as described
in the "Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement," DHHS
Publication No. (OASH) 94-50,000 (Rev.) April 1, 1994 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, DHHS
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, Room 3309
New York, NY  10278
Telephone:  (212) 264-3600

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

Director of the Regional Office of Engineering Services
Office of the Regional Health Administrator, PHS, DHHS
1200 Main Tower Building, Room 1900
Dallas, TX  75202
Telephone:  (214) 767-3491

Applicants from Regions VIII and X should write to:

Director of the Regional Office of Engineering Services
Office of the Regional Health Administrator, PHS, DHHS
Blanchard Plaza Building
2201 6th Avenue, M/S RX24
Seattle, WA  98121
Telephone:  (206) 615-2452

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.


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