DESIGN, MEASUREMENT AND STATISTICS IN COMMUNITY MH RESEARCH

RELEASE DATE:  August 24, 2004

PA NUMBER:  PA-04-150  (Reissued as PA-06-474)

March 2, 2006 (NOT-OD-06-046) – Effective with the June 1, 2006 submission date, 
all R03, R21, R33 and R34 applications must be submitted through Grants.gov using 
the electronic SF424 (R&R) application. This announcement will stay active for 
only the May 1, 2006 AIDS and AIDS-related application submission date for these 
mechanisms. The non-AIDS portion of this funding opportunity for these mechanisms 
expires on the date indicated below. Other mechanisms relating to this announcement 
will continue to be accepted using paper PHS 398 applications until the stated 
expiration date below, or transition to electronic application submission. Parent 
R03 (PA-06-180) and R21 (PA-06-181) funding opportunity announcements have been 
issued for the submission date of June 1, 2006 and submission dates for AIDS and 
non-AIDS applications thereafter. Applications relating to R33 and R34 activities 
must be in response to NIH Institute/Center (IC)-specific announcements.

EXPIRATION DATE: June 23, 2006

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 (http://www.nih.gov)

COMPONENT OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION: 
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
 (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/)

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER(S):  93.242

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o  Purpose of the PA
o  Research Objectives
o  Mechanism(s) of Support
o  Eligible Institutions
o  Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o  Where to Send Inquiries
o  Submitting an Application
o  Supplementary Instructions
o  Peer Review Process
o  Review Criteria
o  Award Criteria
o  Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA

This PA replaces PA-01-018.

The purpose of this program announcement (PA) is to encourage research grant 
applications for work on the design, measurement, and statistical challenges 
inherent in conducting mental health services research in community settings.  The 
goal of this initiative is to build and diversify the methodological infrastructure 
of community-based mental health services prevention and intervention research.  
The PA is designed to encourage methodologists from diverse academic backgrounds, 
including mathematical and educational statistics, biostatistics, software 
engineering, behavioral and social science, and business, to focus on the 
challenges inherent in this type of research.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background.  Advances in mental health community-based research are highly 
dependent on the quality and applicability of research designs, measures, and data 
analytic strategies.  Innovative methods are needed now, as never before.  With the 
rapidly expanding mental health services research knowledge base, community-based 
interventions have become a central focus for future research.  To extract the most 
useful information from these trials, the field requires the development and/or 
adaptation of increasingly more sophisticated and precise designs, measures, and 
analytic strategies, some of which do not come from the areas of science most 
familiar to health services researchers.  Given the challenges inherent in 
community-based research, such as cultural differences among participants, widely 
variant preferences for treatment, losses to follow-up, and the need for short 
assessments, it is imperative that investigators conducting community-based 
research consider and test advances that emanate from any scientific discipline.

The NIMH is issuing this PA to ensure that those who are currently working on the 
methodological issues in mental health community-based research will continue to do 
so and that those methodological experts who are not working on mental health 
services issues will be encouraged to enter the field, bringing with them the 
insight that a fresh perspective can provide in finding solutions to problems.

This PA makes explicit the determination of NIMH to support the basic 
methodological work, both qualitative and quantitative, necessary for the 
advancement of mental health community-based research.

Research Issues.  Listed below are examples of research topic areas that focus on 
design, measurement, and statistical analysis in mental health community-based 
research.  The list of examples is illustrative, not exhaustive; it is expected 
that additional important research topics will be identified by researchers who 
respond to this PA.

o  Studies focusing on the development or refinement and testing of instruments and 
procedures for assessing both stable and unstable characteristics of individuals 
(e.g., functioning, motivation, socioeconomic status, quality of life) and the 
contexts in which individuals live (e.g., family, neighborhood, cultural milieu, 
workplace characteristics).  Research in the area of outcomes assessment should 
incorporate the latest advances in measurement theory.

o  Research to assess the feasibility for intervention researchers of item banking 
and computerized adaptive testing.

o  Studies to investigate the feasibility, validity, and benefit of incorporating 
subject (e.g., clients, patients, families, clinicians, case workers) preference in 
intervention design and outcomes assessment.

o  Continuing research to advance statistical methods for analyzing longitudinal 
data and for analyzing highly complex and conceptually overlapping clinical data, 
such as that from neuropsychiatric testing.

o  Research on the applicability to mental health community-based research of the 
theory and methods from fields such as decision science, marketing, and 
engineering.

o  Research that will develop and test new methods of economic analysis in mental 
health community-based research, such as development and testing of for assessing 
social costs and development of simulation models that advance understanding of the 
financing of system-wide linkages in mental health care.

MECHANISM(S) OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the NIH research project grant (R01) and the NIMH Interventions 
Development (R34) award mechanisms.  An applicant for an R34 Grant may request a 
project period of up to 3 years and a budget for direct costs (excluding Fiscal and 
Administrative Costs), of up to $450,000 (with no single year exceeding $225,000).  
Additional information on the R34 mechanism is available at:  
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-03-078.html).  As an applicant 
you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed 
project.

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the modular budgeting as well as 
the non-modular budgeting formats (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).  Specifically, if you 
are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less, 
use the modular budget format.  Otherwise follow the instructions for non-modular 
budget research grant applications.  This program does not require cost sharing as 
defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part2.htm. 

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following 
characteristics:

o  For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o  Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and 
laboratories 
o  Units of State and local governments
o  Eligible agencies of the Federal government
o  Domestic or foreign institutions/organizations
o  Faith-based or community-based organizations

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the 
proposed research is invited to work with their institution to develop an 
application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic 
groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for 
NIH programs.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two areas:  
scientific/research and financial or grants management issues:

o  Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Ann A. Hohmann, Ph.D., MPH
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7135, MSC 9631
Bethesda, MD  20892-9631
Telephone:  (301) 443-4235
Email:  ahohmann@nih.gov

o  Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Joy Knipple
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6131, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD  20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-8811
Email:  jk173r@nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  Applications must have a Dun and Bradstreet 
(D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier 
when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements.  The D&B number can be 
obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at 
http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/.  The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of 
the face page of the PHS 398 form.  The PHS 398 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format.  
For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email:  
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The title and number of this program announcement must be typed on line 2 of the 
face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines, which are 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application deadlines are 
also indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR BUDGET GRANT APPLICATIONS:  Applications 
requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs (excluding Fiscal & 
Administrative Costs) must be submitted in a modular budget grant format. 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-040.html ) The modular 
budget grant format simplifies the preparation of the budget in these applications 
by limiting the level of budgetary detail.  Applicants request direct costs in 
$25,000 modules.  Section C of the research grant application instructions for the 
PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html 
includes step-by-step guidance for preparing modular grants.  Additional 
information on modular grants is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATIONS REQUESTING $500,000 OR MORE PER YEAR:  
Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must include 
a cover letter identifying the NIH staff member within one of NIH institutes or 
centers who has agreed to accept assignment of the application.

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more must carry out the following steps:

1) Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application, 
i.e., as you are developing plans for the study; 

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your application for 
consideration for award; and,

3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff member and IC 
who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), competing 
continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or revised version of 
these grant application types.  Additional information on this policy is available 
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 19, 2001 at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten original of the 
application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one package 
to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be mailed on or before the receipt dates 
described at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.  The CSR 
will not accept any application in response to this PA 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 a substantial 
revision of an unfunded version of an application already reviewed, but such 
application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, 
applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within 8 
weeks.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of established PHS 
referral guidelines.  Appropriate scientific review groups convened in accordance 
with the standard NIH peer review procedures (http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) 
will evaluate applications for scientific and technical merit.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o  Undergo a selection 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
o  Receive a written critique
o  Receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory council

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 evaluate application in order to judge the 
likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit 
of these goals.  The scientific review group will address and consider each of the 
following criteria in assigning the application’s overall score, weighting them as 
appropriate for each application.

o  Significance 
o  Approach
o  Innovation
o  Investigator
o  Environment

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.

SIGNIFICANCE:  Does this study address an important problem?  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?   

APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately 
developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the 
applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?

INNOVATION:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods?  Are 
the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing paradigms or 
develop new methodologies or technologies?

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)?

ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done 
contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments take 
advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful 
collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, the following items 
will be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score: 

PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FROM RESEARCH RISK:  The involvement of human subjects 
and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed 
research will be assessed. (See criteria included in the section on Federal 
Citations, below). http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH:  The adequacy of plans to 
include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), 
and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be 
assessed.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be 
evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on Federal Citations, below).

CARE AND USE OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN RESEARCH:  If vertebrate animals are to be 
used in the project, the five items described under Section f of the PHS 398 
research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) will be assessed.

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in 
any year of the proposed research are expected to include a data sharing plan in 
their application.  The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale 
for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers.  However, 
reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of 
scientific merit or priority score.  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_guidance.htm

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of 
support in relation to the proposed research.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available funds with 
all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in making 
funding decisions:

o  Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o  Availability of funds
o  Relevance to program priorities

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS

ANIMAL WELFARE PROTECTION:  Recipients of PHS support for activities involving 
live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of 
Laboratory Animals 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf), as mandated 
by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal 
Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm), as 
applicable.

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION:  Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications 
and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the 
risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the 
potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance 
of the knowledge gained or to be gained.  
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm.  Additional helpful 
information, particularly for statisticians conducting research with existing data, 
can be found on the following NIAID site:  
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/clinical/humansubjects/human_pf.htm

DATA AND SAFETY MONITORING PLAN:  Data and safety monitoring is required for all 
types of clinical trials, including physiologic, toxicity, and dose-finding studies 
(phase I); efficacy studies (phase II), efficacy, effectiveness and comparative 
trials (phase III).  The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) 
is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail 
potential risk to the participants.  (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking 
$500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan 
for data sharing or state why this is not possible 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).  Investigators should seek 
guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies, 
local IRB rules, as well as local, state and Federal laws and regulations, 
including the Privacy Rule.  Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will 
not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority 
score.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH:  It is the policy of the 
NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be 
included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and 
compelling justification is provided indicating 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 clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for 
Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - Amended, 
October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on October 9, 
2001
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm.  The 
amended policy incorporates:  the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; 
updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; 
clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials 
consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH 
staff and the extramural community.  The policy continues to require for all NIH-
defined Phase III clinical trials that:  a) all applications or proposals and/or 
protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, 
to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including 
subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and 
progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic 
group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS:  The 
NIH maintains a policy 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.  

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 is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm.

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS:  NIH policy 
requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all 
investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human subjects.  You 
will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts 
Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT:  The Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public 
access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some 
circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in 
whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a 
Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., 
a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to 
understand the basic scope of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public archive, 
which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an 
indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should include a description of 
the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the 
budget justification section of the application.  In addition, applicants should 
think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects 
procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION:  The 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the 
“Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information,” the 
“Privacy Rule,” on August 14, 2002.  The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under 
the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that 
governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is 
administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with 
the researcher and his/her institution.  The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) 
provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and 
a set of decision tools on “Am I a covered entity?”  Information on the impact of 
the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress 
monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found 
at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES:  All applications and proposals for 
NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations.  Unless 
otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be 
used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no 
obligation to view the Internet sites.  Furthermore, we caution reviewers that 
their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010:  The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the 
health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA is related to one or 
more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy 
People 2010" at http://www.healthypeople.gov/.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems 
Agency review.  Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of 
the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal 
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  All awards are subject to the 
terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the 
NIH Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace 
and discourage the 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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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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