Full Text RR-97-001
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 37, November 1, 1996
RFA:  RR-97-001
P.T. 34

  Animal Breed. & Facil., Scientific 

National Center for Research Resources
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  December 20, 1996
Application Receipt Date:  January 24, 1997
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 Fiscal Year 1997 appropriation for the NIH includes $20 million
in the budget of the NCRR 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 this Request for
Applications (RFA) RR-97-001 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.
Applications are particularly encouraged from institutions of
emerging excellence as defined in the PHS Act, Section 739 as amended
by PL 102-408.
An institution may submit only one application in response to this
RFA; however, applications from RPRCs or recipients of Fiscal Year
1996 PHS Centers of Excellence Awards do not count against the one
application limit. 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, 1997.
Matching funds will be required for the specific project awarded.
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 $1.5 million for
applications from RPRCs, and institutions of emerging excellence
under section 739 of the PHS Act as amended by PL 102-408, and $1.0
million for other applicant institutions.  A description of the
sources of non-Federal funding for the project (both matching funds
and funds needed to complete the total project ) must be provided
with the application.  Applications proposing a Federal share of less
than $500 thousand or more than the maximum award amount specified
above 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 1997 budget, up to $20 million will be
available for this initiative.  Twenty-five percent of these funds
are targeted for institutions of emerging excellence, and $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
approximately 15 new awards at different levels will be made.
The main objective of this program is to facilitate the conduct and
enhancement 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 support needs of an
institution or a research area 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.  Applications for genetic research facilities from
institutions with demonstrated expertise in human genetics are also
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 December 20, 1996, 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
Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6142 - MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0766
Email:  charlesc@ep.ncrr.nih.gov
Applicants must use Standard Form 424, "Application for Federal
Assistance."  Application forms and special instructions for
completing them must be requested from the program 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 one signed photocopy, including appendices, in one
package to:
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (express/courier)
At the time of submission, one additional copy of the application
(with appendices, if any) must be sent under separate cover to:
Dr. D.G. Patel
Office of Review
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6018 - MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Email:  dgpatel@ep.ncrr.nih.gov
Applications must be received by January 24, 1997.  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 solicitations 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 date.
All SPOC comments must be forwarded to both the applicant and to the
NCRR 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 Environment Policy Act (NEPA)
of 1969 and by Federal Executive Order 11514.
One example of a suitable disclosure statement follows:
"Notice is here by 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 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.
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 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 assigned
a priority score.  Applications determined to be non-competitive will
be withdrawn from further considerations 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,
research training and/or research support facilities?
Thus, reviewers will consider the following factors:
o  The impact of the proposed construction on existing and future
PHS-supported biomedical and behavioral research, research training
and/or research support activities.
o For institutions with limited PHS support, the impact of the
proposed construction on the planned advancement or expansion of the
research and research training activities.
o  Appropriateness and suitability of the proposed facilities,
including safety and biohazard aspects, for the research to be
conducted and/or research support and training to be provided.
o  Specific deficiencies in the existing research facilities that
would be remedied and the impact of the proposed project on current
and future research activities.
o  The appropriateness of the proposed physical location and layout
of the new facility and the reasonableness of the proposed
time-course, cost and sequence for the construction.
o  Adequacy of the proposed administrative arrangements with respect
to institutional commitment to use the space for
biomedical/behavioral research, research training and/or research
support and the 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
and for RPRCs; 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 have been
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.
Early in the design process, applicants are encouraged to review the
"Public Health Service Grants Policy Statement," DHHS Publication No.
(OASH)  94-50,000 (Rev.) April 1, 1994 as updated; the sections
related to public policy requirements and construction are
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 74.32.
Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  A technical workshop
to assist applicants unfamiliar with the requirements for extramural
construction applications and to clarify any issues or questions from
potential applicants will be held on December 8-9, 1996 in Bethesda,
MD.  For additional information regarding the workshop, please call
(301) 435-1302.  A summary of the presentations and issues discussed
will be provided upon request for those unable to attend.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, requests for
application Standard Form 424 and special application instructions,
and SPOC comments, if any,  to:
Dr. Charles L. Coulter
Research Facilities Improvement Program
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6142 - MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0766
FAX:  (301) 480-3770
Email:  charlesc@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 PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use 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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